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Hal Spacejock History - Part Three

The Hal Spacejock series has done pretty well for itself over the years, after eventually landing with a trade publisher. One title become a national bestseller, another made the shortlist for Australia's top spec fic awards (both the Aurealis and the Ditmar), and yet another went through three printings. However, it wasn't always sunshine and roses, and I've typed up this history to give you some idea of the frustration and heartbreak involved in writing an ongoing series ... and trying to get it published in the first place!

This is Part Three. Read the previous part here)

With roughly 11 months to come up with a plot, write 100,000+ words, edit the book into shape, get a cover organised and print 100 copies for the launch, I did what any sane, intelligent person would do - I went on holiday. When I got back, I fiddled with the book for three months, getting nowhere. I finally got things moving around September, and completed the novel, the printing and binding with 3 days to spare. The books came out April 2004, at Swancon. Dymocks Carousel placed a nice order for copies of all three novels, then flattered me with a seat at a signing table where I could formally meet fans and sign copies - heady stuff. I was sitting right alongside Glenda Larke as she signed copies of The Aware for her own fans. Some guy called Shaun Tan was there as well, and his queue went right around the block.

21st July 2004 Six weeks after I wrote the above, a publisher got in touch with me and offered me a three book contract for the existing books in the Hal Spacejock series. The release dates were September 2005 for the first, (which made the Dymocks SF bestseller for three weeks running after the launch), March 2006 for the second and January 2007 for the third.

3rd Sept 2006 After handing in the finished manuscript for Hal 3, I set about seeking an agent to represent me in Great Britain. I contacted one I'd heard great things about, and he was kind enough to take me on as a client. (Getting a decent agent is almost as hard as getting accepted by a decent publisher, so this was a real coup for the Hal books.)

And now, on to Part Four

Hal Spacejock Just Desserts covers

I knew what I wanted for the Bowman edition of Hal Spacejock 3: Hal and Clunk, a blue tone and the Space Elevator. Les delivered once again. Hal Spacejock Just Desserts
Fremantle Press commissioned a Just Desserts cover from Dion Hamill for their new edition of Hal 3. To be honest, this is the brightest, most eye-catching Hal cover yet, and I love it:

Hal Spacejock Just Desserts
A temporary image for the Bowman Press ebook release:

Hal Spacejock Just Desserts
An updated temporary image for the Bowman Press ebook release:

Hal Spacejock Just Desserts

And now, on to Part Four