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Latest Release - Big Red
We have always been here...
Traumatized by the effects of Compression travel, soldier Darren Loughlin holds the key to the fate of Earth’s Martian colonies. With his Battalion decimated, his fractured memory holds the only clues to the colony-wide communications blackout.

With time running out, Darren pieces together his year-long tour of duty with the Mars Occupation Force. Stationed in the Nazi-founded New Berlin colony, ruled by the brutal MARSCORP, he recounts his part in the vicious, genocidal war against the hostile alien natives and all who question Terran supremacy.

But as his memories return, Darren suspects he is at the centre of a plot spanning forty years. He has one last mission to carry out. And his alien enemies may be more human than he is…

Release Date 14 May 2019

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Damien's Sci Fi & Fantasy Blog

18 April 2019

The (Big Red) Back Story Part 2



Welcome to Part Two of the Big Red back story. This one picks up where the last one left off, so dive right in and enjoy!

The first concrete evidence that the Nazis had escaped the war came about in 1947, just outside of Roswell, New Mexico. In the wreckage of a crashed spaceship, Airforce investigators found the bodies of two human pilots- later identified as high-ranking SS members - thought to have died on the Eastern Front.

This prompted alarm within military and government circles that an invasion from technologically superior Nazi forces was imminent. In response, President Truman ordered the creation of a covert organisation known as ‘Majestic 12’. Given wide-ranging powers, this group began reverse engineering the downed spacecraft, directing government policy and overseeing a massive public disinformation campaign to cover up the truth. For the remainder of the 1940s, Nazi incursions into Allied airspace continued, although no direct hostile actions were taken by the aggressors. This led many within the Truman administration and Majestic 12 to believe that these fly-bys were either shows of strength or meant to test the capabilities of the enemy’s fighter-sized craft.

By early 1950, the construction of Earth’s first interstellar fleet of ships was midway under construction when Majestic 12 reported that the Third Reich leadership had opened negotiations with the USSR. Unwilling to admit to Stalin about the existence of the new fleet under construction, President Truman secretly ordered Majestic 12 to open a back channel with the exiled German forces to learn of their intentions.

To buy time, the President ordered these unofficial talks to be dragged out for as long as possible, while Majestic 12 stepped up their efforts in building the new interstellar fleet. These negotiations came to a head in March 1952 when Stalin made public his infamous ‘Stalin note’. This note called for a reunified Germany, free elections and the subsequent withdrawal of all Allied forces. The US and their allies publicly rejected the Stalin note, seeing it as the first possible step in a Nazi attempt to return to Germany from exile and re-establish a militarised National Socialist state.

Infuriated, the Third Reich leadership ordered an aggressive show of force, culminating in the 1952 UFO Washington Incident. Between the period of 12th – 29th July 1952, there were multiple sightings of UFO’s over America’s capital (including the White House). Determined not to back down, President Truman opened secret negotiations with Stalin and confirmed the existence of an American interstellar fleet of ships. After a series of long drawn out negotiations, the two sides agreed to form a united front against Nazi aggression and began planning an invasion of Mars.

Despite mutual shows of good faith, neither side could agree on the make up or composition of the ground forces needed to conquer the German colonies on Mars. Stalin feared a blow to his prestige if it ever became public that American forces were victorious in Earth’s first interstellar war, while Truman worried about a Soviet presence on Mars once hostilities ceased.

As a compromise, it was agreed that although the fleet would remain nominally under US control and both sides would commit support personnel and military attachés, the necessary manpower would need to come from third parties. Both sides reluctantly agreed to a joint British-French task force. This new group would be known as the Mars Expeditionary Force (MEF).

In early 1953, the Mars Expeditionary Force set off on its mission and arrived on Mars in March 1954. Although the initial landing of MEF soldiers and supplies went according to plan, the fleet was practically annihilated in a series of daring suicide attacks by Nazi spacecraft. These actions left the MEF soldiers effectively cut off from re-supply or escape and forced them into a do-or-die action to seize the German colonies.

The Battle for Mars had begun.

That’s all for this week folks! I had thought about doing a Part Three on this subject, but delving into the world of Big Red again has given me too many ideas that I’m not going to share just yet…

I have some announcements coming up to do with Big Red’s launch on 14th May, so stay tuned!

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05 April 2019

An Interview with Matthew Olney



For today's post, I've been lucky enough to have an interview with fellow British Irish Writing Community member and Indie author Matthew Olney. Matthew lives in Worcester with his wife Chloe. By day he works as a content creator but at night he writes novels. An avid gamer and supporter of the mighty Leicester City FC, he is a fan of most things geeky.

He is author of the Sundered Crown Saga, The First Fear, Blood of Kings and the Terran Defenders series.


1    How long have you been a writer?

I’ve been a writer in some form I think all my life. When I was little, I would tell stories to my classmates and I’d even make my own comic books that I would then sell for 2p a pop. As I got older, I became an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy but it wasn’t until I left uni and faced a tough period of my life that I sat down and wrote a novel. With a background in journalism I eventually ended up in the world of marketing and now work as a content creator for a cybersecurity company. I literally write for a living.


Where did you get the inspiration for your books?

Real world events and history are my main inspiration. For the fantasy side of things, I’ve been inspired by books, games and movies. I think Morrowind was my biggest inspiration for taking the plunge into the genre. Bernard Cornwell however is my biggest inspiration. I love his writing style and I try to emulate that when I can.


What is the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in your writing career, so far?

Learning the tricks of the trade, I guess. An indy author has to do everything themselves and finding editors, cover artists and proofers that you can trust is a massive challenge. Also, it’s expensive. The old adage of having to spend money to make money is true. Also, getting that first inevitable 1-star review for things that are out of your control takes some getting used to. You learn a lot about yourself in this game, especially about your pride and how you react to things.



If you could go back and give your younger self a single piece of writing advice, what would it be?

My advice would be not to rush. I wish that I’d written complete series before hitting publish.


Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’ve tried to be a plotter but it never works out. A pantser for sure. Letting characters and plots run free can lead to some very fun and interesting scenarios.


What do you think the biggest challenges are for aspiring writers, right now?

The competition and getting noticed for sure. The downside as well as a positive is the advent of self-publishing has resulted in a flood that drowns out some pretty good talent. I always wonder how many awesome stories are lost in the crowd. Authors themselves have done no favours by selling their works so cheap either. Readers now expect or demand books to either be free or ridiculously cheap to the point that from a monetary viewpoint it’s just not worth it.


Do you believe that having a strong social media presence leads to more book sales?

I’d like to think so but I’ve never been able to prove it does. I think a strong mailing list and mailing list swaps with other authors in your genre is the most effective way to generate sales.


How do you deal with writer’s block?

I covered this topic in a blog post recently. You can read my advice at - https://msolneyauthor.com/2019/02/12/tips-for-indy-authors-3-writers-block/


What is your favourite part of the writing process?

World building is my favourite part of the process. I love letting my imagination run free and coming with entire histories and cultures. Map making too is great fun and it allows me to express my more artistic side.


If you could collaborate with any other author on a project, who would it be and why?

I’ve worked with other authors on a few projects over the years and I think there’s plans for a fantasy anthology via the British Writers Community on Facebook. I did have plans to do a big expanded universe that incorporated several authors books so there could be cross overs of characters etc. In Quest for the Sundered Crown I worked with Rob May, the author of the Dragon Killer books and there is a brief crossover in it between the two series major characters. I’d love to more things like that and with magic the possibilities are endless.


What are you working on now?

I’m working on three projects at the moment. My main focus is completing the Empowered Ones Book Two, the sequel to my SPFBO 2018 entry The First Fear. I’m also working on Book 4 in the Sundered Crown Saga and have started on as yet to be revealed series.


Where do you see your writing career in 5 years?

Probably the same place I am now to be honest, unless I catch a big break. The ultimate goal is to be able to write books for a living, but for now, I learn and keep chipping away. Practice makes perfect and all that.


Have you ever considered writing in another genre?

I’ve dabbled in many genres including science fiction with my Terran Defenders books and historical fiction with Blood of Kings. I’d love to move more into historical fiction once my fantasy series are completed.


Pen names – yay or nay?

Nay. I have too big an ego to not want to take credit for hard work!


What marketing tips would you give to someone starting out in their career?

It’s a minefield. Never use a service that promises the earth. Sadly, many of the book promo sites are no longer very effective so put all your effort into the promised land that is a Bookbub US promotion. I’ve seen it work and it’s the only one that does.

You can find all of Matthew’s books at – https://mailchi.mp/eb0e0231b0de/buybooks

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08 March 2019

The (Big Red) Back Story Part 1



I posted previously about the world-building involved in creating Big Red, giving some insight into where I got the ideas from and what inspired me. With just over sixty days to go until Big Red lands in a book shop near you, I wanted to dive a bit into the background, giving readers a better insight into the fictional back story and history. A lot of these events took place before the characters of Big Red arrived on Mars, but in a lot of ways these events shaped their surroundings and environment. So, here goes!

As World War 2 drew to a close in Europe, Nazi scientists perfected a revolutionary new form of long-range interstellar travel. Having been used to establish secret research facilities on Mars in the 1930s, this was hailed by an increasingly deteriorating Hitler as a chance to turn the tide on the Allies.

Hampering the Nazi leadership was the fact that this technology was based on unknown origins and couldn’t be operated to transport troops to any point on Earth. As the Russians advanced to the gates of Berlin, an increasing number of high-ranking party officials began to break with Hitler’s fantastical beliefs of a final victory and contemplated using this new technology as a chance to escape. With the Russian forces emerging victorious in the brutal Battle of Berlin, the last remnants of the Third Reich escaped the slaughter and retreated to the only place the Allies couldn’t reach them – Mars.

On Mars, the Nazis had long since established formal relations with the indigenous population dubbed “The Natives”. These Natives were an agrarian society, primarily living underground in subterranean communities. Although they had an awareness and even an understanding of technology, they had forsaken it to pursue a more idyllic life based on community, hard work and family.

Believing the lies of the new German settlers that they were fleeing genocidal persecution back on Earth, the Natives readily allowed the Nazis to excavate the planet in search of technologies left over by the forebearers of the Natives. Rumoured to be a powerful and technologically advanced civilisation, the Nazis believed that this would give them the upper hand in their quest to reconquer not just Germany, but the entire world…

That’s all for this week, folks! In the next post, I’ll detail pivotal events in the Big Red story covering the (historically documented) 1947 Roswell UFO Incident, the 1952 Washington UFO incident and the 1952 Stalin note.

These events together serve as a catalyst for the Allied response to German plans to stage a comeback and the 1954 Allied invasion of Mars (culminating in the oft-referenced “Battle of New Berlin”).

Stay tuned and don’t forget – Big Red lands on the 14th May!

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