An Evening With Damon Wakes - June 10th
Friday, 10 May 2019
I'll be at Waterstones in Winchester (the High Street one) 6pm on June 10th to talk about Ten Little Astronauts.
If you missed the launch last month, this is the perfect opportunity to stop by and celebrate the publication of the book! Tickets are just £2.00 and refreshments will be served.
Do feel free to come along even if you did make it to the launch too! This event is organised as a…
Launch Party Video
Friday, 3 May 2019
As promised, here's the video from the Ten Little Astronauts launch party, very kindly recorded by Alex Carter (Lexica Films). It all went smoothly in the end, and it was great to see so many people who supported the book while it was crowdfunding, as well as so many who'd only discovered it since!
I had quite a lot of help getting this together, primarily from Crispin and the staff at P &…
Launch Party This Week!
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
The Ten Little Astronauts launch party is coming up this week - 6:30 - 9:00pm at P&G Wells (College Street, Winchester) on Thursday 25th!
This is largely just a reminder that it's on, but also I promised I'd give an update on my plan to livestream the event. That plan is now: "Record the best bits and upload it to YouTube, rather than try to stream the whole thing."
While I don't want to…
Ten Little Astronauts Launch Party - April 25th
Monday, 8 April 2019
Supporters should by now have got an email inviting them to the Ten Little Astronauts launch party, happening 6:30 - 9:00pm at P&G Wells in Winchester on April 25th. If you've sent an RSVP to damon.l.wakes[at]gmail.com then you'll be sure of a space, so I'm now opening this event up to everyone - the more the merrier! Please do tell your friends.
I've also set up a Facebook event, which makes…
Ten Little Astronauts' Three Month Anniversary
Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Ten Little Astronauts was released three months ago today!
The book has got off to a great start, even turning up in Waterstones Portsmouth right by The Hobbit! That's more to do with the alphabetical proximity of "Wakes" to "Tolkien" than any statement of quality by the bookshop, but I'll take what I can get.
It's also doing very well online, with mostly four- or five-star ratings on Goodreads…
Thursday, 24 January 2019
If your pledge included one of the ten anodised aluminium necklaces, there's a good chance that it's now on its way to you! I've finished just over half of them - prioritising the ones that have a long way to travel - and hope to have the remaining handful ready before too long.
This is easily the largest batch of this particular design I've ever had finished at one time; usually I've only…
Ten Little Astronauts Has Arrived
Monday, 14 January 2019
Back when Ten Little Astronauts came out, I invited you all to send me photos of your books when they came in the post. I’ve been collecting those up as a Twitter Moment (whatever that is), but now that the novella has been around for a month I figure this would be a good time to share those photos here!
That’s a lot of books (and a couple of CDs)! If you’ve had a chance to read yours…
Hampshire Writers' Society Guest Talk - January 8th
Friday, 4 January 2019
If you live near Winchester, you might be interested to know that I'll be appearing at the Hampshire Writers' Society as a guest speaker on January 8th. Much of the talk will be old news to anybody who's been following Ten Little Astronauts here on Unbound, but as it's aimed at writers rather than readers some of it will come at the book (and its crowdfunding campaign) from an angle you might not…
Share Your Books!
Monday, 10 December 2018
Several little birdies tell me that the first paperbacks of Ten Little Astronauts are now in the post (and may have reached some of you by the time you read this). If your pledge included a signed copy then that may take a little longer - there were rather a lot of them to do - but it's on its way now.
Cover Reveal (Supporters Only!)
Thursday, 6 December 2018
I've so far made very little use of the option to share posts only with supporters of the book, but this seems like a pretty good opportunity for one more: Ten Little Astronauts has a cover!
This has been in the works for a while - and it's looked fantastic every step of the way - but now that the book has gone to press(!) I can finally show it to you. It was created by Mecob, who are fantastic…
Ten Little Astronauts Now in Print!
Thursday, 6 December 2018
Good news, everyone! Ten Little Astronauts has been printed and it's looking great. I was really pleased with the cover when I saw it as a PDF spread, but it's still not quite the same as a finished book. In particular, it's hard to get an impression of how the cover will look when wrapped around the spine, which as it turns out is very good indeed.
I held off sharing the back cover before…
Little Fake Record
Saturday, 1 December 2018
The audio collection is now finished, and it has a name: Little Fake Record! Having decided to make the audio available on CD, I wanted to put together something really special and I think this does the job nicely.
The CDs are made to resemble old vinyl records, right down to the grooves on the top surface. Those aren't printed on, they're enrgraved right into the disc itself. (Don't put these…
Ten Little Astronauts Coming December 13th
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Good news! Ten Little Astronauts now has a firm publication date, and it's December 13th!
The book is all but ready to print at this point, with only the smallest details left to take care of: the blurb, the front and end matter, and other literary bric-a-brac. Even then it's mostly a matter of checking things over rather than writing from scratch. I've seen a mock-up of the cover (which looks…
Friday, 28 September 2018
Publication day is fast approaching, but if you'd like to get an even earlier look at Ten Little Astronauts, there may be a way: The Pigeonhole is offering a limited number of slots for a free serialised version of the novella starting on October 11th. There's a countdown running on their website right now.
I'm afraid that I was out of town when this went live a few days ago, so a considerable…
Supporter List for Ten Little Astronauts Closing Imminently!
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
One of the great things about supporting a book on Unbound is that you get your name listed in the back to record that you helped make it happen. For Ten Little Astronauts, that list closes at midnight on the 17th of September (UK time).
What this means is that if you know anybody who might be interested in the book, was planning to put in a pledge, or otherwise liked the idea of supporting…
Ten Little Astronauts Enters Pre-press
Saturday, 8 September 2018
If you're a supporter of Ten Little Astronauts (which seems likely given that you're reading this right now), then you should by now have seen something a little like this pop into your inbox:
That email gets into what will be happening next - copy editing, cover design, typesetting, proofreading - but it doesn't mention what's happened already. Six Years Stolen, the short story I've been rewriting…
Audio Updates and New Flash Fiction
Saturday, 4 August 2018
It may have been a while since my last update, but don't worry! That's just because there's been a whole lot going on - a great deal of it involving Ten Little Astronauts specifically.
I'm still working on the extra content for the book I mentioned last time. It's taking a little longer than expected, but that's largely because I'm keen to make it as polished as possible. I'm also working on the…
Extra Content for Ten Little Astronauts
Monday, 4 June 2018
I mentioned in my last update that there was a possibility I'd be able to add some extra content to Ten Little Astronauts, and for the last little while that's what I've been working on. I'm currently rewriting a substantial short story that I think will complement the novella itself. Here's a snippet of what I've got so far:
The man lifts the sieve from the machine – hand wrapped in…
Monday, 23 April 2018
You should by now have got an email from Unbound letting you know that things are moving along with Ten Little Astronauts and that it's been reviewed for a developmental edit. Well, I'm happy to say that we've already made progress with that! I've been working with Scott Pack - the guy who first took an interest in the book back at the Winchester Writers' Festival - to improve the story.
We All Saw It Coming Launch - April 3rd
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Ten Little Astronauts is still in the works, but the launch party for my latest flash fiction anthology We All Saw It Coming is right around the corner! I'll be holding it at The Railway Inn, Winchester at 7:30pm on Tuesday the 3rd of April.
The launch will be followed by the regular Poetry Platform open mic, where I've read a lot of my flash fiction in the past. That starts around 9 (with…
We All Saw It Coming Now Available
Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Just a quick update to let you know that We All Saw It Coming - my anthology of stories from Flash Fiction Month 2017 - is out now. If you're supporting Ten Little Astronauts at the Collectable level or above, you'll be getting a copy of the ebook along with your other rewards. The paperbacks are available online, or at pretty much any event I attend as an author.
I'm hoping to hold a launch…
Ten Little Astronauts is Fully Funded!
Saturday, 10 February 2018
It's the moment you've all been waiting for! Ten Little Astronauts has been moved onto the paperback list, meaning it has all the funding it needs to make it into print. It's actually on 131% of the new target, which I'm counting as a runaway success.
The next step for me is to edit the book. You might be aware that Ten Little Astronauts was my MA final project and that academically it got…
Please Stand By...
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Ten Little Astronauts Artwork by Joe Wright
Friday, 22 December 2017
It's a bit of a coin-flip as to whether this'll go out before or after Unbound closes up shop for the holidays (since these updates are approved manually), but I simply had to share it. Joe Wright just sent over this absolutely fantastic Ten Little Astronauts artwork, based on a scene from the novella that a very small handful of people will have heard me read at the International Agatha Christie…
225 Supporter Draw
Wednesday, 20 December 2017
Ten Little Astronauts absolutely shot past 225 supporters - we're rapidly approaching 250 right now - so here's the draw for that copy of Myths, Monsters, Mutations I promised.
The winner this time was Marc Denton. Congratulations!
Since rather a lot of new supporters pledged after we reached that 225 milestone, I feel as though I should mention here that there will be another draw for the…
Monday, 18 December 2017
This is the last chance to tell your friends about Ten Little Astronauts. The book is about two thirds of the way towards its original target, which means it's got a good chance of getting there if there's enough interest in these final few days, but even if it doesn't quite get there it will at least make it into print.
Mentioned in the video above, alongside James Ellis' The Wrong Story,…
2 Weeks Left! Ten Little Astronauts at 60%
Monday, 11 December 2017
With two weeks left until the Christmas funding deadline, Ten Little Astronauts is closer to its original target than ever. However, time is tight, and and getting the rest of the way really depends on everyone who wants to make this book happen pulling together to get it there. If just half the people currently supporting it found a friend to do the same, we'd be at 93%. It really wouldn't take…
3 Weeks Left! Ten Little Astronauts in the Daily Echo
Wednesday, 6 December 2017
This update is a little late because I was in London for the Brixton BookJam. Fellow Unbounder Zelda Rhiando (author of Fukushima Dreams) very kindly made the audio of the event available online, so I've attached my section to this very update. Hit the "P" button in the grey box above (immediately below the title and date) to have a listen! I was reading the same excerpt that I recorded as the 20…
Ten Little Astronauts in the Eastleigh Times
Thursday, 30 November 2017
Not so long ago I was interviewed by Lev Lourie of the Southern Daily Echo, and her article has just appeared in the Eastleigh Times today! If you live locally (and hear about this in time) you can get hold of a copy of your very own.
The interview took place at Fair Oak Library, which was neat because that was the first place I set up for an event after Ten Little Astronauts was first launched…
4 Weeks Left! Find a Friend
Tuesday, 28 November 2017
I have a favour to ask: if you want to see Ten Little Astronauts hit its target, please find a friend to join you in supporting the book. If even half the people who've already put in a pledge got one more person to do the same, we'd be well on track to reach 100% by Christmas. If everybody did it, we'd actually exceed that original goal.
If you've pledged at the Paperback level yourself, the easiest…
5 Weeks Left! Get an Early Look at Exponential Adventure
Monday, 20 November 2017
There are now just five weeks left until Ten Little Astronauts' Christmas funding deadline, and unfortanately we're still at 50%. At this point whether or not the book reaches 100% is ultimately down to you. There isn't long enough left for me to find those readers on my own, but if everybody who's supported the book so far can encourage just one more person to do the same, we'll be there in no time…
6 Weeks Left! Gift Certificates Now Available
Monday, 13 November 2017
There are now six weeks left until Ten Little Astronauts' Christmas funding deadline, so I thought this would be a good time to bring out a new option for anybody thinking of putting in a pledge for the book as a gift for someone else. The actual ebooks and paperbacks won't be available for a while after the crowdfunding campaign ends, so in order to provide people with a material something to give…
200 Supporters and 50 Percent!
Thursday, 9 November 2017
If you're seeing this in your inbox, please do click it because you may have won a book!
Ten Little Astronauts is now halfway to its target with just over 200 people behind it. Either one of those milestones on its own would be cause for celebration, but to reach them both the very same day is really quite something! The video above includes the draw for the signed copy of Unearthly Sleuths I promised…
Christmas Funding Deadline
Monday, 23 October 2017
Possibly the most important update yet! Unbound would like to move Ten Little Astronauts over to a new paperback list with a lower funding target, but if you'd like to see the version with all the bells and whistles that were originally planned, you've got until Christmas to make it happen.
With the massive level of support already behind the book, it's entirely possible to reach 100% by then…
175 Supporter Draw
Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Ten Little Astronauts has reached 175 supporters, and so I've picked another name from the hat to get a free bonus book. This time around, it's the first ever paperback copy of We All Saw It Coming: a prize that's so rare and exclusive it doesn't even exist yet! The stories appearing in this anthology are already written, but so far I haven't put together the complete book: just the cover.…
Pledge Party on Gower Street!
Monday, 11 September 2017
Back in June, Unbound started running Pledge Parties - a sort of literary Dragons Den where guests hear pitches from a range of Unbound authors and pick which they want to support - and since June I've been putting my name in the hat every time they run one. This month I got lucky, and so I'll be there pitching Ten Little Astronauts on Monday the 18th! It's coming up in just a week.
See me at the International Agatha Christie Festival
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Some exciting news: I've been invited to talk about Ten Little Astronauts as part of a Platform at the International Agatha Christie Festival this year! The event will take place at 6pm on the 14th of September in the Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey: the same place (and almost the same day) that I heard Sophie Hannah talk about her latest Poirot mystery, The Monogram Murders, last year at the Agatha Christie…
Ten Little Astronauts at 35%
Monday, 21 August 2017
Ten Little Astronauts has reached 35% funding, meaning that it's halfway towards the 70% at which a book on Unbound is more or less guaranteed to succeed. More immediately, that also means that I've released The Island and the Shapeless Beasts, a creation myth from the world of Face of Glass. If you're supporting Ten Little Astronauts and are signed into Unbound, you can find it here.
31 Stories for Flash Fiction Month 2017
Friday, 4 August 2017
Over the course of July I was participating in Flash Fiction Month: a challenge to produce 31 stories in 31 days. Every year for the past five years I've completed this challenge and collected the stories up into a book.
As you can tell from the hastily mocked-up cover artwork above, this year's book isn't ready yet. When it is, I'll be sending the first ever paperback copy in existence to…
Ten Little Astronauts One Year On
Thursday, 27 July 2017
It's been one year since Ten Little Astronauts launched on Unbound! It's come a long, long way in that time, and with the level of support behind it now its prospects are looking better than ever. If everyone reading this shared the book with their friends, it would help get it out there a great deal sooner!
My next update is likely to be the milestone reward for 35%: a never-before-seen myth from…
Ten Little Astronauts has 150 Supporters!
Thursday, 13 July 2017
Well, this happened sooner than expected.
Ten Little Astronauts reached 150 supporters remarkably quickly after I announced that it was at a third of the funding needed to get it into print, so there's really not very much to add here! If you didn't catch the last update before this one came out, here's a link to get you up to speed.
The main thing to mention is that I'll soon be starting…
Ten Little Astronauts at 33%!
Thursday, 13 July 2017
Ten Little Astronauts has reached 33% funding: a full third of the way towards making it into print!
This is quite a milestone, and the video above describes just a few of the rewards that I've released at various other milestones along the way. However, if you've recently put in a pledge and want to get right to the goodies, here are some direct links to those:
Flash Fiction Month 2017
Sunday, 2 July 2017
July is Flash Fiction Month, and this year I'll be throwing my hat into the ring just as I have for each of the past five consecutive years. Every year I write one story a day for the month of July, and every year I bundle those 31 stories together as an anthology of flash fiction. If you were one of the first 100 supporters of Ten Little Astronauts, you might recall that the prize draw for that milestone…
Seedship: Sci-fi in a Really Big Space
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Back when I first had to come up with a tagline for Ten Little Astronauts, to put on leaflets and such, I thought about what really set my book apart from the other sci-fi stories - and the other murder mysteries - out there. In the end, I settled on:
10,000,000,000,000 miles from help
Partly that was because "X of this thing, Y of that thing, Z of some other thing…
Girth Loinhammer Book Coming 2018
Sunday, 11 June 2017
You might be aware - perhaps through My Name Algernon or my work on Craft Keep VR - that I produce games and interactive fiction as well as books. If you've been following since November, you'll probaby have come across Girth Loinhammer's Most Exponential Adventure: the massively interactive fantasy parody that I’ve been working on for the past year and a half. Well, there's recently been some big…
HWS Gala Evening and Winchester Writers' Festival (and Some Swag)
Friday, 2 June 2017
There a couple of big events coming up in Winchester this month, so if you're in the area I really recommend dropping by! The first is the Hampshire Writers' Society Gala Evening, where I'll be setting up as part of their Members' Book Fair. It's free to come along, and if you do you'll also get a chance to hear talks by Guardian journalist Erwin James and novelist Claire Fuller whose debut book, …
Unbound Bithday Giveaway - Please Share!
Thursday, 25 May 2017
Unbound's birthday celebrations continue, this time with a discount and a giveaway both running until the end of the month! The promo code MayDay will give you 15% off anything in the fiction list, and you'll get two free ebooks to boot. Which books you get depends which day you put in your pledge, so take a look at the selection on offer:
New Reward: Unearthly Sleuths Ebook
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Good news for lovers of speculative detective fiction! JayHenge Publishing has just released a brand new anthology, Unearthly Sleuths. In much the same way as Ten Little Astronauts takes the basic premise of And Then There Were None and moves it onto an interstellar spacecraft, every single story in this book follows a detective of some kind or another working in a very unusual setting: essentially…
Ten Little Astronauts at 30%!
Monday, 1 May 2017
Ten Little Astronauts has now reached 30% of its goal! If you're one of the lovely people already supporting it, keep an eye on your inbox for Harvest Moon, the folk horror story I'll be sending out as the 30% milestone reward. There have been a lot of new pledges just this past week, so if you weren't around for the 20% and 25% rewards, you might like to check those out now: the former is an audio…
Free Shipping Until April 30th - Please Share!
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
It's Unbound's sixth birthday and, in a really nifty turn of events, they're offering free UK postage on all titles with code FREESHIPPING. That code will actually knock £4 off the cost of international shipping as well, so it's still a really handy option even if you're outside the UK. This code expires at midnight on April 30th. Don't miss out!
There are two things I think it's really worth…
Winchester Comic Con and EGX Rezzed
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Just a quick update to let everyone know that I'll be on the author panel of Winchester Comic Con this Saturday (March 25th). If you're nearby and fancy a day of sci-fi fun, do stop by and say hello! It would be great to see you (and, if you're supporting Ten Little Astronauts, to take the chance to say thanks in person).
It's set to be a busy day, particularly because advance tickets have…
125 Supporter Draw
Thursday, 16 March 2017
It's time once again to send one lucky someone a free bonus book! Ten Little Astronauts has reached 125 supporters, and this time around the reward is Kicking and Screaming, an anthology by A.T Douglas. This book includes (among many other excellent short stories) "Harvest Moon," a folk horror story that's most easily compared to The Wicker Man but isn't really all that similar overall. I struggle…
Ten Little Astronauts at 25%!
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Huge news! Ten Little Astronauts has reached 25% funding: one whole quarter of the way towards a super swanky trade paperback distributed by Penguin Random House, with even swankier first editions (among other things) going out to supporters. If you've already put in a pledge, you'll already have access to My Name Algernon: a work of interactive science fiction written for the very same MA course…
Brighton Global Game Jam 2017
Thursday, 26 January 2017
Ten Little Astronauts is very near 25% now, and when we hit that milestone I'm planning a little something special just for supporters of the book: My Name Algernon, a work of interactive science fiction.
In some ways, this is kind of an obvious tie-in to Ten Little Astronauts itself. Both are sci-fi, both got top marks on the same MA course, and both are based on well-known works by other authors…
The Witness for the Prosecution
Wednesday, 4 January 2017
I first heard that the BBC were going to film an adaptation of Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution back when I visited Torquay for her birthday celebrations. It was aired in two parts on Boxing Day and the evening after, and if you didn't manage to catch it then, you've got three more weeks to watch it on iPlayer (provided you live in the UK and have a TV license).
The original Witness…
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
My flash fiction anthology for 2016 - Robocopout - is now available, and as promised I've sent one to Jo Bellamy, who won the 100 supporters draw. She's actually the very first person in the world to get a copy: I don't even have one myself yet!
If you've only discovered my writing through Ten Little Astronauts, you might be surprised to learn that most of my short fiction is actually quite…
Anodised Aluminium Necklaces: See How They're Made!
Saturday, 17 December 2016
I felt as though I hadn't really done all that much to talk about the anodised aluminium necklaces I'm offering to supporters, not least how I make the things. Since it's even harder to describe than it is to do, here's a video by Alex Carter (Lexica Films) about the design and how it's made!
If you're interested in a necklace of your very own to commemmorate the publication of Ten Little Astronauts…
Ten Little Astronauts has 100 Supporters
Monday, 5 December 2016
Ten Little Astronauts has reached 100 supporters and, as promised, I'll be sending a signed copy of my 2016 Flash Fiction Collection, Robocopout, to one of them.
Using the age-old method of names in hats, and recorded for posterity in the hastily-recorded video above, I have determined that Jo Bellamy is the winner! I'll be in touch to sort out how to get your book to you, so if you're reading…
Ten Little Astronauts Gift Card
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Christmas is coming, and since putting in a pledge for a crowdfunded project is a nifty gift option, I thought I'd put together a card for anybody who's planning to back Ten Little Astronauts for a friend or relative. A gift like this is great because whoever you give it to knows that they're playing a part in bringing a book to life as well as simply getting one to read, but it's still nice to get…
Girth Loinhammer's Most Exponential Adventure
Thursday, 10 November 2016
With My Name Algernon lined up as the 25% milestone reward, I thought it might be worth sharing my current project for National Novel Writing Month with everbody here. Like My Name Algernon, this is an interactive story in which your choices dictate the path it takes. Unlike My Name Algernon, however, it makes no use of complicated state-checking and conditional text: instead, each passage simply…
Sunday, 23 October 2016
Before Ten Little Astronauts was launched by Unbound - submarine promo video and all - it formed the bulk of my work for an MA in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester. The way the course was weighted, that one project was just about as important as every other module combined. On top of that, in a move that I can only assume was intended to keep postgrads up all night to finish…
Saturday, 1 October 2016
You might recall that I promised to release My Name Algernon - a never-before-seen work of interactive science fiction - if Ten Little Astronauts reached 25% of its goal by the end of September. Well, that hasn't happened. Partly I think that might be because I underestimated how much of an influence the initial surge of pledges had on the book's overall progress so far (20% would probably have been…
Happy Birthday, Agatha!
Monday, 19 September 2016
On Thursday I got up at 6 and hopped on a four-hour train to Torquay. The reason? Agatha Christie's birthday celebrations! Also, the event marked 100 years since the creation of (perhaps) her most famous character, Hercule Poirot.
There were a fair few Poirots at the festival itself, which reminded me somewhat uncomfortably of Stevyn Colgan's A Murder To Die For, in which a murder takes place…
September Bonus Reward - My Name Algernon
Monday, 5 September 2016
The campaign to get Ten Little Astronauts into print has now hit 15% of its goal! A strong start, but to keep up the momentum I've got something new in mind: if we hit 25% by the end of September, I'll reward all supporters with a new, polished work of fiction immediately.
Ten Little Astronauts might have been the final project for my MA in Creative Writing - and it was definitely what earned me…
Ten Little Astronauts at Ten Percent!
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Ten Little Astronauts has hit 10% funding. Double digits!
Everyone who's pledged so far has done their bit to get the book to the stage it's at now, and you've all earned my eternal gratitude. Still I'd like to thank The Writers at Lovedean in particular for having me over to speak and to run a little flash fiction exercise at their group: their very short stories had me very impressed! While I…
International Pledge Levels Now Available
Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Everybody likes a paperback. As handy as ebooks are, and as great as it is to be able to walk around with an entire library in your pocket, when it comes down to it most people still prefer to have a good old fashioned paper book in their hands.
However, paperbacks have to be physically sent through the post, and if you live a long way away then that can be a problem.
Until now, if you wanted…
Saturday, 6 August 2016
Every book needs an "elevator pitch": a tiny handful of words that immediately convey precisely what that book is. It's the description of your book that you'd provide to any given big-shot if you found yourself travelling in an elevator with them, and it usually involves bringing in another, well-known work for comparison. These things are notoriously difficult to come up with, but for me it was…