…or how I was ripped off by a small press publisher!
Back in 2003 while I was briefly back in New Zealand, I stayed with my best friend Graeme Norgren and his family. Each day while they were both at work, I decided to write a sequel to the first book I ever wrote back in 1995 – Turning Point. And so the two-part space opera Onet’s Tale was born. Here are some of it’s reviews:
By Sarah Shopper on February 2, 2011
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Imagine slaving in a mine on a distant planet, where each swing of your pick throws poisonous dust into the air that will kill you in a few months time from breathing it. This is where “Onet’s Tale” opens, but it doesn’t stay there long. This epic sci-fi tale from Jack Eason includes a large cast of characters from various planets, including the human/nephile Akhen and Khan, who is a Drana. Once enemies, the two band together to escape the mine and start a rebellion that eventually leads to a war that spans years and galaxies.
The story itself is narrated by Onet, who happens to be a Khaz. Think little gray alien guy that might land in Area 51. Except Onet is albino and has red eyes. He’s watching all this unfold, waiting for his chance to stop the evil that his own kind started, which spread through a goddess-type being called Shu, and continued through her horrible creations of berserker warriors.
Murder, war, and mayhem reign throughout this book, while the main characters try very hard to live normal lives. Their efforts are always ripped out from under them, and I sympathized with the tortuous events they lived through. On the other hand, I kept wishing for more character depth. I’m really partial to character-driven novels, and this one seems mostly plot-driven. For me, I would have liked to have been inside the characters’ heads more, really feeling what they feel.
If you like sci-fi packed with battles, futuristic weapons and modes of transport, you’ll like “Onet’s Tale”.
By Chris Graham on March 10, 2014
To say that this epic saga / odyssey contained in just one book is breathtaking in its scope would be an understatement! It could easily have been done in two parts, which, combined with a previous book, would have made a fine Trilogy.
Beginning 800 years after the events of the authors earlier book, ‘Turning Point’, the story starts with an ancient Dranaa escape pod arriving in the Dranaa Empire territorial space.
The reader soon discovers that even after 800 years, descendants of the victorious human/nephile survivors of the battles with the Dranaa on Earth, are still engaged in war with the Dranaa – and things are not going too well for them.
Although labelled as Science Fiction, the story also contains some Conan the Barbarian / Xena the Warrior Princess type characters whose technology / evolution is so advanced it seems like they have magical powers.
For those who like Action, there are battles aplenty, in space and hand to hand. Did I enjoy it? Emphatically Yes!
By Paula Boer on February 15, 2011
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Wow! Hang on tight for a roller coaster ride. This novel moves at such a fast pace it’s like you’re on one of the spaceships. There is so much in it, it could easily have been expanded to three trilogies! The story line is great, and the characters good though lacking a bit in definition. As always in these types of stories I find it hard to remember who everyone is from the unusual names. Where there is detail, it is fantastic, but I would have liked a lot lot more.
Once I had returned here to the UK at the end of 2003, my personal circumstances took a turn for the worse when I had a complete mental breakdown, resulting in me sleeping rough on the streets for a few months. After getting the psychological help I needed, I was eventually placed in a homeless hostel in Lowestoft, nine miles to the east of where I now live in my home town of Beccles in the English county of Suffolk.
It was to be seven years of searching and constantly being turned down before I eventually found a publisher.
Thereby hangs a tale. The small publisher I dealt with is a one man band, who fancies he is an editor. Had he been any damned good, he should have paid me the royalties I was due for each copy sold, both ebook and paperback.Had he done that I’d still be with him. In reality he is, or was, a senior executive for a large American computer company. Like many in our game who set themselves up as a small press owner, after failing as a writer, he is on an ego trip. Note I say ‘is’ because his company is still going….
My good friend and fellow writer Derek Haines knew and warned me about him. But in my still fragile mental state, I was desperate for Onet to be published and signed the contract. It was the worst decision I ever made!
I won’t go into any further details, except to say that after putting up with being constantly dictated to by a martinet, we eventually parted company. To be rid of him once and for all, as part of the deal to leave I foolishly agreed that Onet’s Tale be immediately withdrawn from the market. Judging by the above reviews, chances are it might have been a best seller. But back then my fragile sanity came first!
The problem was that in his capacity as my then editor he always insisted he knew best. Going against my express wishes he added a ‘curriculum vitae’ of all the characters for both parts of the space opera. It was as if he considered the readers could not possibly work out who is who for goodness sake.
Then to add insult to injury, on the e-book version he added his and his former business partner’s names as co-authors. That was the last straw as far as I was concerned!
So a hard lesson was learned. Never allow any editor to dictate to you or control your story, especially a wannabe!