Welcome to April’s Indie Author spotlight. This month I am delighted to welcome a new to me author who I have interacted with on social media. Not only is Richard an author he is a keen baker and is always posting delicious creations on his Facebook page. Today Richard is sharing his writing journey. I hope you enjoy reading it and are tempted to check out his work. Firstly I am going to share a redesigned cover for his cosy mystery series, Andorra Pett, set in space.
How far is far enough? Andorra needs to get away from her ex, but is Saturn taking it a step too far?
When Andorra’s life turns upside down, she decides on a career change. Running a diner on a mining station orbiting Saturn. It seemed like a good idea at the time…
With her best friend Cy in tow, Andorra reckons it’s the best thing for them both. A chance to start again where nobody knows them.
Trouble is, there’s a secret hidden in the café. Before they have a chance to get settled, there’s a queue of dubious characters trying to find it.
While learning to bake and get used to life in space, Andorra has a murderer to catch!
Before they strike again… Purchase link http://mybook.to/Andorra
Hi, everyone, thank you, Kayleigh, for the chance to post here today.
Let me introduce myself; I’m Richard Dee and I write Science Fiction and Steampunk
adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective.
I wasn’t always a writer, I had a forty-year career at sea, travelling the world and seeing all
sorts of things. I’ve survived a fire on a ship and a flooded engine room, I’ve been around
Cape Horn and 600 miles up the Amazon. I met some amazing people and had a lot of fun. I
ended up as a ship’s pilot on the Thames, taking vessels of all sizes through the Thames
Barrier and Tower Bridge.
Events in my life have inspired my writing, a lot of my Sci-fi involves travel and quite a few
of my earthly experiences have been slightly modified and sent out into the future.
With twelve novels published so far, as well as several collections of short stories, I had an
idea for a new series of novels, based on a remark that a friend made. We were talking about
my Steampunk world of Norlandia; about how a Steam-powered society might have
developed, if oil and electricity had never risen to prominence.
For those who don’t know, the Steampunk world is a sort of grown-up Victorian society,
where things have evolved differently.
My Steampunk world still has a lot of what we would regard as normal, just done in a
different way. It gives me a great opportunity to build a world for adventures that are familiar
yet just strange enough to be (hopefully) interesting.
In The Rocks of Aserol and A New Life in Ventis, I introduced a hero called Horis Strongman,
who found out that he had the ability to influence his world, a world that was on the cusp of
radical change. Tales from Norlandia expanded on parts of the backstory and tried to give a
deeper view of the world.
Using the same world, only at a different time, when Horis has become a historical figure,
I’ve created a detective agency with a difference. Based in an Orphanage, some of the
children who inhabit it are agents of Sir Mortimer Langdon, in his eternal battle against the
forces of evil that seek to disrupt society.
The first case for the Orphan Detectives, The Sensaurum and The Lexis is out now and
features a home-grown adversary bent on taking control in Norlandia. He is armed with
knowledge at the edge of the technology of the day. The second, The Safety of the Realm, will
feature a threat from beyond the seas for the Orphan Detectives to deal with.
Let me give you a flavour of The Sensaurum. One of the orphans, a boy called Jackson, has
gone in search of food but instead of Mrs Grimble, the cook, he has found more than he
When he got to the kitchen doorway and peered around it, Mrs Grimble was absent. She must
have gone home already, Jackson thought. At least she had left the gas lamp burning, there
was light to aid him in his search. He ventured into the room; his hunger a real thing now, it
felt like a worm writhing in his belly. Perhaps some comestibles had been left unattended. If
he were lucky, he could maybe find a mouthful or two.
In the corner of the kitchen there was a large coal range, at least it was usually in the corner,
now it seemed to be moved away from the wall into the middle of the room. Jackson could see
that it was mounted on wheels, together with its tiled surround. He had never noticed that
before, the flue had also been uncoupled and hung from the ceiling. There was a dark hole in
the wall behind its place. He crept towards it, expecting all the time to hear a shout, he was
poised to run and dodge the blow from a master’s swishing, stinging, cane.
Reaching the hole, he saw the start of a flight of stone steps that led down. They were poorly
lit by more flickering gas lamps. The plain brick walls had dark lines of condensation
staining their faces. It smelt faintly musty, like the crypt at the church they were forced to
attend most days.
There were voices below, faint and indistinct. As he tentatively moved toward the top step, he
kicked a solid object, it made a scraping noise as his foot moved it across the flags. The noise
below stopped. Jackson bent down; there were a pair of boots on the ground, stout boots with
hobnailed soles, better than his boots which were more hole than sole. The tread had a
strange pattern, but Jackson assumed that it was to enable a better grip on muddy paths.
He removed his own, battered boots and tried them on as, below him, the muttering resumed.
The boots fitted him perfectly and when he laced them, he felt their robust construction
holding his feet in unaccustomed comfort. Standing upright, they felt strange; perhaps it was
due to the thickness of the soles. They were his now, he would soon get used to that.
There was an obstruction in each boot, a hard place by his big toe, like a stone. Apart from
that, they were perfect. He had no qualms about taking them, just as long as no-one saw him
He was more worried about how he could hide them from the attention of the other boys,
especially from Alyious, who was the biggest and worst of the bullies. Perhaps if he dirtied
them so they looked less like a new pair, they might remain his for a while.
His attention had been distracted by the boots; he had not noticed the soft tread of the person
who approached. The hand on his shoulder was totally unexpected. He tried to duck and spin
away but his new boots let him down. Sparks flew from their nails as they slipped on the flags
and his feet skidded for purchase.
His balance lost, he fell. He bounced off each step on the way down, landing in a bruised,
dazed heap at the foot of the stairs.
Fear took control of him, despite his bruising and dizziness he tried to get up and flee. No
sooner was he on his feet than he found himself held from behind. His feet were lifted off the
ground. Unable to turn, he faced the stairs. He struggled but whoever was holding him was
strong and pinned his arms to his sides with ease. He kicked back but his lunges encountered
nothing but air.
“Be still,” a gruff voice said in his ear. He saw the feet of a man coming down the stairs, then
his waist and then, just as he was about to see the face, a cloth bag was thrown over his head.
“What shall we do with this one then?” said the voice.
“That’s Jackson,” answered Mrs Grimble, in a voice which was hers and yet not so. “He’s
the one that I told you about.” Her tone was no longer that of a slightly bemused cook, she
sounded like a refined and confident lady of class.
A third voice, also rich with the tones of the ruling classes, joined in the conversation. “He’s
all skin and bone, what good would he be?” it asked.
Jackson tried to speak through the folds of cloth. “I’m strong, let me go,” he shouted, but if
any of them heard him they did not show it.
“He seems to have found the boots,” the first man said, “and they fit him.”
“They ought,” said Mrs Grimble. “Alyious stole his others to make a pattern.”
What was going on? Jackson’s boots had gone missing a week ago; he wondered who had
taken them. He had looked at all the other boys expecting to see them on another’s feet. He
had had to walk barefoot for a day and a half, cutting his feet badly on the rough cobbles of
the yard, then the boots had reappeared by the side of his bed and nobody could explain it.
How could Mrs Grimble, old, silly Mrs Grimble, be involved in plots and plans like this? And
Alyious, he was Jackson’s chief tormentor, what was his part?
“Let him go,” ordered the voice in the distance. “Yes Mr Langdon,” said the man holding
him and the bag was removed, as were the arms.
Jackson turned around and blinked, he was in a richly decorated drawing room, lit by many
gas lamps. The walls were panelled in dark wood, there was a fine carpet on the floor,
framed paintings and highly polished mahogany furniture. As well as Mrs Grimble, two men
who he had never seen before were present. Alyious was beside him, had he been the one who
had grabbed at him back in the kitchen?
Mrs Grimble stood before him. “Hello, Jackson,” she said. “I see you’ve found us then; I
expect you want to know what’s going on.”
To learn more about what Jackson finds, and how it changes his life, you’ll have to read the
book. You can find it at mybook.to/The_Sensaurum
If you’d like to know more about my worlds, my website is https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/
there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the PORTFOLIO tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free short story. Why not join my newsletter and get a free short story, unavailable anywhere else.
I’m on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RichardDeeAuthor/ and Twitter at https://twitter.com/RichardDockett1 My Amazon author page is https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG and my Goodreads is https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15289756.Richard_Dee