Press and Publicity MaterialAuthor Simon Haynes and the Hal Spacejock SF/Humour series
Author photo (c) 2012 Simon Haynes (Click for high-res)
I first shopped Hal Spacejock around in the year 2000. I only tried four publishers - two in Australia, one in the UK and one in the US - and while I got personalised feedback from each of them, they'd all come to the same conclusion: Despite the popularity of authors like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett and titles like Red Dwarf, SF/Humour didn't sell. Apparently.
So, I gave up on publishers. But I didn't give up on Hal.
At the time I was attending SF conventions with Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and so I decided to print up a few copies of Hal Spacejock and give them away to subscribers. (ASIM publishes light-hearted SF rather than the dreary stuff, so the audience was ideal.) At one of these conventions I met the SF specialist from Dymocks Carousel, the local branch of the Australian Dymocks chain, and he agreed to put a few copies on their shelves.
And that's where my current publisher found Hal Spacejock. They offered me a contract and I set to work rewriting the novels with editorial input from Janet Blagg. The first title was released in September 2005 and immediately featured in the Dymocks SF bestseller list. It stayed there for three weeks running, and ongoing sales led to a third printing.
Fremantle Press published four Hal Spacejock novels between 2005 and 2008. In 2009 and 2010 I worked on Hal Spacejock book five, but the novelty of getting published had worn off and I was busy with other interests.
Eventually, in 2011, I contacted the Press and we mutually agreed to end the series. I asked for the rights back, put the first four books on Amazon and made plans to publish a junior science fiction novel I'd been working on.
Hal Junior: The Secret Signal is an independently published title. Dion Hamill is doing the cover, and I've engaged a professional editor to ensure the book is in the best possible shape. Publication date is October 2011 for print and ebook.
This new book has revitalised my interest in writing, and I now have plans for continuing the Hal Spacejock series.
For more information see my Biography and Publishing Credits pages. You're also welcome to contact me.