Kicking Shins Through Time and Space


When I first wrote A Time Traveller’s Best Friend, it was a short story.

It was a short story written for my writers’ group, which gave a series of prompt words that turned out wildly different stories from each of us. I took it back to the writers’ group, still madly writing the last 500 words—have I mentioned that I’m a procrastinator?—while the small talk was going on. It turned out to be reasonably popular, which was nice.

My problem was that I really connected with Kez and Marx. I’d never intended to write scifi (I’ll follow up on that in a blog post next month) but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to keep writing about Kez and Marx. I didn’t like the idea of extending the short story I already had, but I am a fan of scifi tv series (*coff*Star Trek Voyager*coff*) and it occurred to me that I could do something similar with Kez and Marx.

And so the short story became a Book.

However, by the time I was finished the first draft of that book, I was quite certain that I could keep writing this pair of characters into more books.

The book became a Series.

I dithered on the series for a bit—I had another series I was writing, and exciting new ideas for other books, and I wasn’t entirely sure how well Volume One was received. Then it came to my attention (through a bookstore owner who stocks my books) that a certain reader was always coming in and asking when the next book in the Time Traveller’s Best Friend series would be out. I mean, I always wanted to keep writing about Marx and Kez, I’d just got sidetracked. That day, I was again caught up in the excitement of Kez and Marx’s world, ideas fluttering away in my back-brain and plot growing steadily and sturdily behind that.

The upshot of all this is a number of things:

First and foremost, Volume Two of A Time Traveller’s Best Friend, Memento Mori, is on its second edit and will be published next month. Just as excitingly, Jenny at Seedlings Design Studios has designed a new cover for A Time Traveller’s Best Friend, and next week will be hard at work on the cover for Memento Mori. Thirdly, A Time Traveller’s Best Friend has a new blurb! You know, because once you update the cover, you should take a look at the blurb…

Below is the new-and-improved blurb for A Time Traveller’s Best Friend. You can check it out on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. (There will also be new-cover paperbacks available from late next month! Yay!)

Meet Marx. Meet Kez.

Marx is a small, angry man with a time machine and a chip on his shoulder. Kez is a homicidal little girl with a price on her head and a penchant for kicking people where it hurts the most.

After a narrow escape from the owners of the stolen craft he pilots, the last thing Marx wants is another gun pointed at him. What he wants and what he gets, however, are two very different things.

On the run from killers, shadowy corporations, and one very specific Someone, the last thing Kez wants when she points a gun at yet another apparent killer is a self-appointed protector.

What she wants and what she needs, however, are two very different things…


Guys, I’m so excited! I’ve been wanting to update the cover for A TIME TRAVELLER’S BEST FRIEND for a little while now (I mean, I love the old one, too, but I needed something more commercially viable), but I wanted to make sure that I first a). had an idea of the sort of thing I wanted, and b). had the second volume written and almost ready to go.

Of course I got Jenny to do the cover. I knew how good she was going into this, and the conversations we had about the cover really had me excited, so I had very high expectations of the cover.

Those expectations? They were totally blown out of the water. This cover. I mean, THIS COVER, GUYS.

It’s perfect. It’s amazing. It’s my FAVOURITE COVER SO FAR.

Guys, I can’t even—I just—just WOW

Keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks: I’ll be blogging and talking about A TIME-TRAVELLER’S BEST FRIEND: MEMENTO MORI over the next two months in preparation for publication day in September. Closer to the day there will be another cover reveal, and you can expect excerpts, competitions, and giveaways, etc.

Also, don’t forget to let me know if you’re not on my Awesome Beta Readers list and want to be. I’m signing up Betas over the next week, in particular for this scifi series; so if you love Douglas Adams-esque scifi, message/pm/email me!


Did you guys know that printed books should always be odd-numbered on the right page? Or that text should be right and left justified? Or, for a matter of fact, that when you shorten the front of a word with an apostrophe (ex. ‘leave ’em alone’) that the apostrophe must face the same way as one that shortens the end of a word (ex. ‘doin’ what comes naturally’).

I didn’t until I started self-publishing. Got any idea how long it takes to go over 300-odd pages of text, looking at every flamin’ apostrophe? Oh yeah, and MS Word just puts ’em through as regular apostrophes. You gotta think about every shortened word as you type it. (Well, there’s probably a function I can turn on somewhere in the recesses of the program, but beggared if I know where it is.)

Also on today’s housekeeping: both Masque and A Time-Traveller’s Best Friend: Volume One are on a Goodreads giveaway at the moment, until about mid-April. I’ve got three signed copies of each to give away, so if you’re interested, click through the link on either above, and enter to win. A handy little feature of Goodreads that I found out about just a few days ago, and that I’m very happy to make use of!

And as I announced on my Facebook and Twitter pages, Wolfskin is at present being sent out to bloggers and reviewers. If you’re interested in getting a free copy (either ecopy or paperback) for the purposes of a review, contact me at gingellwrites [AT], through the comment section, or from the form on my Contact page.

Fourthly and lastly, I’ve been bingewatching On The Up with the wonderful Dennis Waterman, delightful Sam Kelly, inimitable Joan Sims, and pot-stirring Jenna Russell. SO MUCH FUN. So many glorious one-liners. And I’m completely in love with the ending.

Well, that and the equally wonderful live-action version of Black Butler. I’ve watched it three times now. It’s become one of my all-time favourites along with Alice (mini-series version with Andrew-Lee Potts), The Fall (Lee Pace), and City of the Lost Children (Ron Perlman).

Seriously. Watch any of these.

Over and out.

(What? You didn’t think my housekeeping would include actual work, did you? Well, apart from all the apostrophes.)

Proofs Have Arrived!

Ladies and gentlemen, proofs have arrived for the paperback of A Time-Traveller’s Best Friend! They’re almost all gone, too; because as soon as they arrived, various family members began to claim title to them. (Actually, I went a bit crazy a la Ophrah: ‘You get a book! You get a book! Everybody gets a book!‘)

So if anyone wants me, I will be sitting in my writing chair with my remaining proof, and gloating. Also, pics!

Book Proof 1 Book Proof 2 Book Proof 3

Clipping From ‘The Margaree Moocher’

Kez and Marx seem to have popped up on Seventh World, in the small township of Margaree . . .

Clipping from The Margaree Moocher, Community Column.


Law Enforcement in the community

Robbery at Margaree Downtown Drive-through Grocer.

At 3.57pm local time, officers were called to the scene of a robbery at the Margaree Downtown Drive-through Grocer. The offenders broke into the secure back room via the bolted back door, using a welding laser to cut through the 3-inch steel, and kicked free the safebox in the back room.

Fellow staff say that when a female staff member went to investigate the noise, the robbers held an industrial saw to her throat and threatened to decapitate her if she did not produce the key to the grocer’s strongbox.

According to witness statements, it was at this point that a small girl wriggled out the window of the next vehicle in line and through the drive-through window. Her co-passenger, described as a small, angry man, fell out the vehicle’s window while attempting to restrain her, and entered the grocer by kicking in the drive-through window.

The level of noise at this point became so great that surrounding houses as well as waiting customers pinged the Margaree Law Enforcement Office on their emergency frequency. Officers arrived on the scene to find a female staff member in hysterics on the floor, two bloodied and battered offenders handcuffed to the cool-room door, and several other staff members in the process of emptying a bottle of scotch between them.

The uninjured female employee was transferred to Margaree Medical Centre without comment, but other staff members were heard to comment: “She hit him in the head with a spanner. She hit him in the ******* head with a ******* spanner.”

Margaree Law Enforcement has taken custody of the offenders, though the rescuers were not found in the vicinity.

Anyone with information regarding these two persons of interest should comment on the Law Enforcement community board or ping the Office directly. The individuals are described as a short, sandy-haired male in his early forties, and a young, dark-haired female of ten to twelve years old.

Incident at the Margaree Local Library.

An incident at the Margaree Local Library has resulted in the re-appearance of several ancient book-form readers once catalogued as lost in the fire of 3069. The book-form readers have since been burned for safety reasons. Residents are reminded that travelling to points in time before the advent of time-travel is strictly prohibited and will be investigated by the Time Corp as a serious crime. Any information welcomed by the Margaree Law Enforcement Office and Time Corp.

Community Interest

*The Margaree Dramatic Society’s production of The Fall of Fourth World will be playing in Donovan’s Dimensions Playhouse all week. Attendees are reminded that outside snacks and drinks are not permitted, and that any devices interfering with the stage effects will be promptly confiscated.

*Enquiring minds wish to know if the overflow of stage effects in last night’s performance of the above was an attempt to make the performance more real to the audience, or if there was a malfunction with stage equipment. Complaints are already flowing in from Margaree’s leading ladies, who complain of ruined frocks and soggy shoes in the wake of an unexpected flood that deluged the audience.