Peter King is a New Zealand journalist and researcher
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) The collected poems of TS Elliot, simply because it reminds me what great writing is. 2) The collected works of William Shakespeare, because of both the writing and the stories, which are classics. 3) God Knows by Joseph Heller, the funniest interpretation of Psalms ever. 4) Travellers Tales by Eric Newby (non fiction). A collection of short true stories by people away from home, through the ages.5) Dracula by Bram Stoker, which I regard as literature of the highest order. One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Outsider, The Satanic Verses, and the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series and Young Stalin (non fiction) would round out a top ten, if that's not cheating.
Which books have shaped your writing the most?
From a purely technical point of view Robert McKee's "Story", but strangely enough I found John Fowles' The Magus an excellent primer in story-telling techniques. Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children introduced me to the wonder of magical realism while Dracula's powerful story telling technique drove home for me the importance of the narrator's role as testifier. I liked the way Harry Potter managed to combine humour, sympathy and invention to create excellent entertainment, even if, in the end the stories lack any real staying power.
In February 2008 on a remote island off New Zealand a Russian scientist and financier made first contact with an alien civilization. He had already recruited six powerfully psychic teenagers from around the world to join him. With the help of the aliens the teenagers were able to find and safeguard future leaders of their own generation in some of the world's most dangerous places. However as they worked they also discovered more the one alien civilisation was at work on Earth and the others were decidedly not friendly.
In March 2009 their enemies struck. Twenty are missing and their home is a smoking ruin. Only one teen remains.
The Late 21st Century Farm Crime Comedy from New Zealand. Old school science fiction. That is looking at the possibilities for future generations in a small multicultural farming nation in the Pacific but in a lighthearted and comic way.
Earth's alien overlords are out to crush the Changels. In danger of being abandoned by their allies Sam turns to his psychic powers but he discovers his partner, the beautiful but manipulative Tahira, is way ahead of him. Has Tahira fallen to the dark side, and what must he do to help her?
As the community attempts to close down the mystery of the Renwick fire and resettle on Earth their enemies move quickly capture them. Only when it becomes clear they are planning to release a deadly a influenza epidemic does it become clear flight is not an option. Everyone, including Sue, must commit everything to prevent a massive plague. But that means a fight some will not survive.
Detective Sue Williams finds there are no limits to the battle between Sam's friends and the secret alien infiltrator society called Die Bruderschaft. Even her own brain becomes a battlefield as the enemy tries time and again to destroy the Changels - Earth's secret resistance once and for all. But as Sam's ongoing story reveals the dimensions of this conflict have no limits.
Once again Sue and Sam are safe but now Sam starts to explain that the Changels are not the only force at work trying to influence humanity's destiny. The shadowy alien infiltrator group, the Bruderschaft, are single-minded and utterly ruthless in using humanity for their purpose. But to find out how they tracked the Changels down Sam must confront them.
Sam tells Sue how his SAS veteran grandfather trained the three young psychics to use their alien-made equipment to teleport around the world. All the time as Sue struggles to contain her disbelief Sam knows their safehouse is vulnerable and very soon the powerful and shadowy forces hunting him will find them.
From the safehouse Sam tells Sue the history of the other psychic teens at haunted Renwick house, his own encounter with his father, and how Dr Prosperov's private high-energy physics experiment revealed the semi-magic weaving' of his interstellar conspiracy.
Most teens feel alienated from time to time. But Sam Kahu is more alienated than most. For a start his home has burned down and all his friends and family are missing presumed dead. Worse, he knows they are out to get him, and if he doesn't successfully hide within the system he could find himself inside a UFO having his brain dissected.
Smashwords Style Guide
on June 08, 2013
This book has a lot of great advice which humans would do well to read. Machines however are not intelligent enough. Unfortunately the autovetter program based on this 'guide' is a festering heap of garbage. I use Atlantis instead of Word and it generates perfect epub 3 ebooks every time. Then autovetter detects some infringement of the gospel according to Mark and you are screwed. Smashwords was originally about empowering authors. Now it's just about frustrating them.