Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock comic SF novel series, published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press. His website is: http://www.spacejock.com.au/ and he blogs over at:http://halspacejock.livejournal.com/
1. You’re currently writing the 5th book in the ‘Hal Spacejock’ series – ‘Legacy’. How’s it going?
Slowly! I’m clearly incapable of sitting down and just writing a novel. I have to write, discard, write, shape, write once more, cut, merge or alter half the characters, rewrite, rejig the plot, etc, etc. I’m ‘rejig the plot’ stage (again) right now.
It’s an inefficient and frustrating way to write, but on the plus side there’s a huge sense of satisfaction when all the pieces finally fit together.
2. You’ve embraced social media for promotion of the Spacejock series – livejournal, facebook, myspace, twitter. How important do you these have been in promoting the series? Has there been any initiative that you think has brought particular success?
It’s impossible to say. I think the fridge magnets & bookmarks I offer through the spacejock.com.au site have been good – old-fashioned widgets, but popular. Releasing the entire first novel as an ebook introduced a lot more readers to the series as well.
3. In the 2007 Snapshot you commented that you’d already plotted out Hal Spacejock Book 6, and it is indeed listed on the Hal Spacejock website. Do you plan to head straight into that once ‘Legacy’ is done? What other plans do you have for 2010?
The only writing goal I have right now is to make Hal 5 the best Spacejock novel yet. Aside from that I have plans for a couple of junior Hal Spacejock novels, where Hal is a ten-year-old living on a space station with a motley gang of people. When I do school visits I usually speak to kids in years 5-8, and the Hal books are a bit old for them. I’d love to write something they can really get into.
4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year? What have you enjoyed reading?
Everything in Andromeda Spaceways 😉 I’ve been reading non-fic for as long as I can remember (mostly programming & business) – any fiction credits I scrape together are spent on my own novel.
5. Will you be at Aussiecon 4 in September? If so, what are you most looking forward to about it?
I have it pencilled in, but if I do go it’ll be a last-minute decision. Meeting writers and readers I’ve only spoken to online would be cool.