Thursday, 24 May 2012

Alex Le Soum

Author of: Space Turbulence

Book blurb:

Murder, romance, heartbreak and intrigue - trapped on a spaceship lightyears from anywhere.
Fourteen people, one murderer - it's going to be one hell of a ride.

The Kolian Chronicles #1 - Space Turbulence

It's Mysior's birthday, so they hold a party in her honour. For a birthday surprise her husband tries it on with a dancing girl, and when the dancing girl is having none of it he takes his anger out on Mysior with his fists.

Battered, bruised and in fear for her life, Mysior runs - straight into the world of Hammer Mehran, space captain, smuggler, people trafficker and notorious womaniser.

Despite his allergy to commitment, Hammer finds himself falling heavily for Mysior's stunning beauty and dreamlike qualities, but the budding romance is cut short by the brutal murder of the First Mate.

As the only remaining qualified pilot Hammer has to fly the ship, but someone has to solve the murder. And as the only other person on board with a cast iron alibi (because Hammer was busy chatting her up at the critical time) the task therefore falls to Mysior.

She muddles her way through the investigation, thwarted by the colourful cast of characters and constantly distracted by her attraction to Hammer.

And as if murder wasn't enough to contend with, her investigations uncover a whole host of shady practices including drug dealing, blackmail and a strange case of suspected gravy molestation.

The novel is a self-contained murder mystery which can be read as the introduction to the Kolian Chronicles or a stand-alone story.
As an introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in the south of England, on the outskirts of Windsor, with my husband and three children. I’m a stay-at-home mum and part-time writer.
What is your book about?
Space Turbulence is a murder mystery, a love story and the opening book of the Kolian Chronicles.
The series is about a society going through a time of social reform, something which isn’t universally accepted by all, and key individuals within that society going through their own personal life changing journeys.
The two principal characters are: Hammer Mehran, a rich but disillusioned young pilot who has reached a point in his life where he’s being pressurized by his family to settle down, but is desperately resisting it with every woman he can get his hands on; and Mysior Rashif, who was forced into an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen and missed the entire “formative years” period of her life.
When they’re thrown together it’s fireworks, but neither of them are ready for the relationship or the wider social upheaval they find themselves living in.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written stories since I was a little girl. I wrote my first full length novel when I was ten. It wasn’t very good, but the story was in my head and I had to get it down.
I published my first novel with KDP in May 2011.
What genre do you prefer to write in?
Science fiction, although my work crosses into crime, romance and family sagas. The great thing about self-publishing is you don’t have to fit into an established pigeon hole.
What is your biggest writing achievement to date?
Completing my 7th novel, which took me over the one million word count for the series.
What inspired you to write this book?
I set out to write a one off murder mystery with a romance sub-plot. The characters quickly came to life and took over, and I knew I had to write their story from beginning to end.
Who is your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord with you?
Very hard to pin it down to one author. Douglas Adams for comedy, CS Lewis for sci-fi (Out of the Silent Planet), Jane Austen for romance.
I like stories that make you think and authors who aren’t afraid to break the rules. 
What book are you reading now, and would you recommend it?
Life’s Punishing Path by Donald Everetti.
I would definitely recommend it. I love the James Fratino character because he’s so human and believable, and I can never resist that bad boy mentality.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on Book 8 of the Chronicles. Book 7 is already written and in its “set-aside” period prior to editing.
Where and when do you do most of your writing?
In the evenings, after the kids are in bed. And sometimes in the early hours of the morning if I’m on a roll and keep going.
What would you say was the hardest part of writing your book?
The research, particularly the forensic details. Although the books are set in a fictional universe, the characters are human and all the gory medical stuff has to be accurate.
Who designed your book cover – and was the cover something you deemed important?
I designed the cover myself. The series contains a lot of satirical comedy and I was aiming for a cartoon feel to reflect this.
Book covers are very important, as they’re one of the first impressions a reader gets. But I do think some authors place too much emphasis on trying to look like everyone else in the genre. I see that advice given a lot in the KDP forums and I’m not convinced.
I don’t want my books to say “Hey, I’m sci-fi. I’m as good as every other sci-fi book on Amazon.” I want them to say “I’m a little different, something quirky and unique. I’m NOT like every other sci-fi book on Amazon.”
Did you try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel that self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?
I did send the manuscript to a handful of agents in the early days, but I quickly abandoned that idea when I realised the potential of self-publishing.
On the whole, how have you found self-publishing?
It was a steep learning curve in the beginning, grasping the formatting and technical requirements, but I received a lot of help from other authors. The KDP authors’ forum is a wonderful resource and I’ve made some good friends who’ve given me support and encouragement along the way.
Where can we buy the book?
All my titles are available through Amazon. The first six volumes of the Kolian Chronicles are now published.
Do you have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?
Not yet, but my website is under development. The best place to keep tabs on me at the moment is my Author Central page.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I don’t claim to be any sort of expert, but my advice would be to keep on writing. Marketing and networking is important, but I would never give it priority over writing the next book. One thing’s for sure – if it isn’t written, it won’t sell, no matter how good your internet presence.

And, finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?

I’d like to thank Rachael for giving me this opportunity to showcase my work, Amazon KDP for giving me the opportunity to publish my work, and all my fellow indie writers who have given me their friendship and support.

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