Flight of the Kestrel

Intruders (Flight of the Kestrel book 1)

Tabitha Enns is given work experience on board the Kestrel, on the adventure of her life, that will push her to the limit.Tabitha gets to meet her first aliens, but it doesn't go smoothly, and being out in space isn't what she expected.When a hostile alien species are discovered, the Kestrel is sent to make contact, leading the crew – and Tabitha – into danger, and the crew have problems with their friends as well as their enemies. Why did a dying man say, 'butterfly'? Who exactly is the mysterious injured woman, and what is her connection to the hostile aliens threatening not only the Kestrel's crew but the entire galaxy?

Intruders is available on Amazon in print and ebook.

Available in all other ebook formats on Smashwords. Smashwords distribute to Barnes & NobleAppleKobo, Oyster, Scribd, PageFoundry, Flipkart, OverDrive and Baker & Taylor.

Reviews: Amazon UK (5*) Amazon US (5*)

Alien Secrets (Flight of the Kestrel book 2)

On a failed mission to look for a secret weapon, Shom Reuel of the Kestrel saves a man – twice. He looks human, apart from the lump on his forehead. It seems everyone wants him, but is he a friend or a deadly enemy? And will the shock of his identity cause Reuel to reveal his people’s greatest secret?

On the way the crew have to deal with space battles, smugglers and fighting colonists. All while trying to fulfil two different missions. And they are one crewman short, which is a lot for a crew of eleven. How will they cope if they lose any more crew?

You don’t need to have read Intruders (book one) in order to enjoy this one.

Alien Secrets is available on Amazon in print and ebook.

Available in all other ebook formats on Smashwords. Smashwords distribute to Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Oyster, Scribd, PageFoundry, Flipkart, OverDrive and Baker & Taylor.

Reviews: Amazon UK (5*)

Check out my Facebook Live virtual book launch!

The Kestrel

The artwork in the header is the professional artwork for the Kestrel, produced by Brett Buckle, and the novels are on their way! The series is called Flight of the Kestrel and the first book is called Intruders. The Kestrel is a member of the fast-response fleet of PACT (the Planetary Alliance for Co-operation and Trade). The fleet acts as a diplomatic/police force, dealing with incidents outside local space. They help first and work out jurisdiction later. The series is about the adventures of the Kestrel and her crew of eleven, under Captain Joseph Darrow.

If you're a fan of stories like Star Trek, Firefly or Babylon 5, you'll love this!

This is the story of how the series came about:

I am a great fan of science fiction, particularly the classics, like Azimov. I am also a fan of the older TV science fiction. Star Trek of course, Blake's 7, and Babylon 5, for example. During my teens, when I was trying to get to sleep at night, I used to make up stories about my favourite shows.

I would imagine myself on the Enterprise with Captain Kirk, for example. How would an ordinary person like me end up on the Enterprise? Was I from a less developed society, so I wasn't familiar with the technology (saved me from having to make it up)? Was I, perhaps, from a different time all together – got there through some sort of time warp? Was I hiding from someone? Was I a victim of some 'bad guy'?

As I tossed ideas around in my head, my cares would fade away, and I would relax, and at some point I would fall asleep. The following night I would try to remember where I had got to, and elaborate on it. Sometimes I would work out some more details, sometimes take the story further on. Some nights, I would be inspired to take the story in a completely new direction. Night after night I would go over the story again and again, until eventually I would tire of it and start a new one.

Many years later, when my children were grown, I decided I enjoyed these stories so much that I would write them down. I soon realised that having myself in every story was not a good idea – there are only so many damsels in distress you can take! My first story had a damsel in distress, which I thought was an acceptable place to start, but later stories managed to have other key characters.

Also, it was a huge cheat to use other people's settings and characters. I didn't want to write fan fiction, so I invented my own ship and crew. It took me ages – ready-made scenarios are so much easier. Enter the Kestrel, a fast-response ship with a crew of 11, working for PACT (the Planetary Alliance for Cooperation and Trade), a sort of interplanetary United Nations force.

Because of the way my story-making began, I was entirely plot driven. I knew the characters and scenery from the TV series, so I just made up the plot. Having got to the end of writing my first story, called 'Intruders', I realised all the characters were cardboard, just there to move the plot on, and there was virtually no description at all. At one point in the story, some time had to pass while the Kestrel traveled to an uncharted part of the galaxy. I had no idea what to do with it, but it seemed very weak to say, “some time later they arrived.”

This was the point at which I started reading books on writing, and became aware of all my shortcomings. I finished the story, so I had captured the whole plot, and then went back through and started 'padding'. My husband told me off for calling it that, as it sounds like putting in any rubbish to fill it out a bit. That's not what I mean, it's just my shorthand for filling out the story so it becomes more real. It's interesting to hear authors talk about their characters coming alive for them, and sometimes taking over the story and sending it in a new direction. This was all new to me.

So I spent all my spare moments, including those when I was trying to get off to sleep, working out just who the Kestrel crew were – what they looked like, their temperament and character, and their relationships with each other. This also developed sub-plots and made the stories richer.

After rehashing Intruders multiple times and taking advantage of workshops, both online and offline, I got an editor friend to read it. The verdict was that the story and characters was good, but the writing looked like it had been patched. All that messing about had left it with no flow. So, with a heavy heart, I wrote the whole thing again, and after several edits it went for professional editing and was published in 2016.

Meanwhile, there are all those other stories to work on...

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