Red Soil

By Jamie Chipperfield

For one Mars lawman, a multi-disappearance shall have great implications for the colony he calls home.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

22/11/18 - First Week Done

A week ago I launched my debut novel, and just like any manuscript, it was a moment resulting from a serious amount of work. And it was like stepping from the frying pan and into the fire.


I understand the world of writing, marketing however less so. This process has a steep learning curve, and if my efforts in promoting come across as scattershot and amateurish, I can only apologise. I’ll get there.


With that aside, it has been an interesting and exciting week. To tide people over of on this long haul I have added below a little piece on how Red Soil came to be. I can only thank everyone kind enough to support me. 

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Let’s start at the beginning. Spring 2014. Red Soil does not yet exist.


And then, one solemn night, I have an idea. One scene. One villain.


Half a chapter. You have to start somewhere.


Creativity is a strange and fickle beast, it strikes without warning, it will grab you without mercy and demand your attention, and it will abandon you at the slightest whim. Maybe I am being over-dramatic, but the idea of creating something that otherwise didn’t exist is rather magical. After having the time to think about it, I have a good idea where Red Soil came from. 


I started the book at a time where there was particular scientific interest in Mars, an interest that continues to provide news stories of probes and rovers to this day. A continuing discussion of how we would colonise mars, talk of pods and one way tickets, the need for space tradesmen and their practical skills filled news bulletins. My favourite plan was to send married pensioners because only they had the long term tolerance to be trapped with one another on a far off planet. And then there are the big names, Elon Musk with SpaceX, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, even the late Steven Hawking lended his voice to the subject. You could say I was surrounded by so much rhetoric that it was only natural that I found my book within it.


It is a long held theory that creativity is born out of boredom, the brain trying to find life out of nothingness. This theory holds certain credence. I can attest that there is a mundane part of my day that happens to offer the most clarity when it comes to ideas, I can also add that one afternoon spent waiting for a fridge helped unblock a particularly frustrating plot. But if my last paragraph is anything to go by, inspiration is as much your environment as it is internal, an osmosis of the world you are in. The best writers are the most observant. 


It would be easy to say inspiration and creativity are beyond our control, it certainly seems that way in the moment, all the while the cogs of subconscious thought continue to turn beyond our notice. Tackling the mythical second book involves trying to rekindle that same magic, but ideas don’t necessarily arrive by the same means. 


If I told you that my second book was due in part to Jane Macdonald and Alan Sugar, then how could you predict inspiration?


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Tabatha Stirling
 Tabatha Stirling says:

I am SO looking forward to reading this. Going through a mad-martian-fan-girl phase :). Have pledged and hope you get to 100 % really soon.

posted 23rd November 2018

Jamie Chipperfield
 Jamie Chipperfield says:

Thank you Tabitha for your extremely heartening comment. Bless you for being the first supporter that I didn’t personally know. I think Mars is big in the public consciousness right now, and me writing about Mars was a consequence of that. I hope I meet your point expectations, don’t forget to check the excerpt if you haven’t already.

posted 26th November 2018

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