I spent 6 months developing the characters. To give them an authentic voice they need to have their own history and personality. Much of this might not enter the script, but it's in your mind when writing it.
Each of the children has a significant family member who has taught them the skills needed on an expedition to Mars.
Mo has always been fascinated by his Father's palaentology. Both…
A couple of weeks ago I made a commitment to send the new orphanage £5 for every future pledge.
Thanks to your support today the first $100 was wired to Thando and Zulu.
They are spending it on food.
Well done and Thanks!
The night sky is a time machine.
When we gaze at the heavens we look back in time. There is no such thing as the present, even the sun is nine minutes older than we see it and the closest star four years.
Nothing can go faster than the speed of light, yet at mind boggling rate of 671million miles an hour it still appears to crawl through the vast cosmos.
Every pinprick of light is…
"Iceland a unique analogue of Mars" says NASA scientist
NASA has chosen Iceland to train its astronauts for years.
Trekking in the interior is exhilarating. Crossing the barren grandeur of the volcanic terrain, with hot steam emanating from the ground and sliding across the permanent ice fields rewards you with the sense of travelling through an alien landscape.
Two of the main characters…
While I was writing the novel, I delibrately included descriptions of sunsets to remind us that we live on a spinning planet. For the past few weeks I have been editing the draft down to 115,000 words.
This allowed me the oportunity to tweak the text. I had set a scene in Victoria falls, but when I thought of one of the most sublime moments I've witnessed, I relocated it to Lake Kariba. I particularly…
Spare a thought for our future visitors to Mars where the average temperature is - 60C. It can reach highs of 20C in the summer.
Freezing Peckham would feel like a balmy day on the planet.
It's been as low as - 55C in Yellowstone Park where we were this summer. Still life survives and flourishes.
Why not somewhere on The Red Planet? Underground perhaps.
The main characters of the novel are children. It's a challenge to develop them and and imagine their worlds. When I was looking for examples of talented children, Kirsty told me about an amazing African kid who made things from scrap. We've visited an orphanage near Bulawayo with Zulu and been touched by the children there. In honour of Zulu and his nephew Bheki I created two brothers from Zimbabwe…
I'm working on the last few images. I needed an eclipse illustration and this from our summer road trip. The diamond ring effect is just starting, as is the drawing!!.
I had an web image of Shakleton's advert for his Antarctic Expedition in the manuscript. I've have now finshed the full illustration.
We've reached 49% of the pledges after one month - Brilliant!. Special thanks to Jen, Will…
This was the beautiful sight we saw last summer. The Great American Eclipse. We wouldn't have chosen to go to Wyoming normally, but was so glad we did! It was brilliant, the 'Big Country' and especially Yellowstone.
Yellowstone is one big shield volcano like the big ones on Mars! It was also great to see more of America first hand.
So much of the novel is set there and I've had to imagine it…
Two weeks since the launch and 16 very kind subscribers. THANK YOU !!!
The kids pointed out the blue moon rising over Peckham Rye last night and then i caught the serious moonlight flooding the kitchen before dawn. Just beautiful and reminds me why I love to write about the planets and space.