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Star trekking, across the universe…

by on April 29, 2014

And today we have my friend Jim Webster on the blog, talking about his latest book.

Hi, it’s nice to see you here on my blog. It gets lonely sometimes, and I like the company! Go on, tell me a little about yourself. Oh, and fess up to all these nice readers, too.

Hi Will, I’m Jim, fifty something, married with three daughters and I sort of make a living from farming, freelance journalism and writing.

I live in South Cumbria, just outside Barrow in Furness, and am known for my dress sense, by innate genius and my natural modesty.


And as you are here, I presume you have a book out?

Yes. That’s all, just yes. It’s a Sci-Fi, or even Space Opera novel, released by Safkhet Publishing. I think you may be familiar with them?

Justice 4.1 (The Tsarina Sector)
Tsarina book cover

Blurb: When a journalist is shot down in a backward area of Tsarina, Haldar Drom of the Governor’s Investigation Office is sent to investigate. He uncovers a hidden medical facility dedicated to the production of Abate, a drug used for population control, as well as evidence of the implantation of pre-created embryos in women brought to Tsarina for the purpose. He also discovers a deeper plot with far reaching political ramifications. A senior member of the Governor’s family, Doran Stilan is running a personal feud with the major pirate/Starmancer Wayland Strang. Indeed he begins to suspect that Stilan may even be angling to take Stang’s place.

The medical facility is destroyed after it is attacked by mercenaries hired by Strang, and Drom has to travel off world to untangle the treads of the conspiracy.

Arriving back on Tsarina, he has to deal with a failed Starmancer attack, punish the guilty and arrange for Doran Stilan to get what’s coming without undermining the position of the Governor. To do this, he’ll need skill, know-how and a whole lot of luck to ensure that the guilty face justice.

Sales link:

Looks great, Jim: are there any other books in the series?

Other books in the series? None published yet but one is with the editor, the other is sitting in limbo for three months until I have forgotten exactly what I wrote and have to read it properly so I can put in the bits I’ve missed. The fourth I’m working on, but admittedly with no particular sense of urgency

That’s enough of the publicity mate, let’s chat. What made you start writing?

I started writing as a freelance journalist because we needed to eat regularly, and ironically food production tends not to pay too well. I started writing novels because I wanted a change from animal health and EU dictats.

What was your inspiration for this book/series?

I had this mental picture of a space ship flying at below treetop height down a river, and this book is my attempt to explain how it happened.

A subject lose to all out hearts: writing – as an experienced writer are you a plotter or a pantser?

A bit of both. I start off with a few key points that the story will pass through, then the characters and I proceed on this wild downhill slalom during which I attempt to pass through as many of the points as possible, ideally in a rational order

And sticking with things that are of important interest to us all, which of your characters would you most like to take to the pub?

Toulis, if you took Haldar, you’d end up paying

Can’t have that! It’s against my ethics, or something. Anyway, I’ve seen the way your lot drink. BUt down the pub, after a few beers, what would your characters say about you? If they thought that you couldn’t hear them, of course

Jim? Oh he’s just this guy.

So, Justice 4.1. It’s an interesting work, reminds me of some early Asimov in scope. What is your favourite line in this book?

Toulis said, in a small voice, “I think I need a drink. Does coprophagous mean what I think it means?”

“Dung eating,” Bartan answered. “We’ve a fine selection of coprophagous insects on New Charity.” As Toulis stared at him he added, defensively, “We’re an agricultural world, everyone knows this kind of stuff.”

Nice…What are you working on now?

I’ve just done a short story for children which might or might no see publication, I’ve done an article on the medicinal value of honey, and I’m working on the fourth book set in the Tsarina Sector

Do you have a favourite place to write? If so, where?

Sitting at the desk top computer in the office

If you could go anywhere in the world to write your next book, where would you choose?

Still sitting at the desk top computer in the office. My computer is domesticated, it doesn’t follow me about whining that I’m not doing my emails or checking Facebook and that way I get on with real life.

When you are not writing, what do you like doing? And with whom?

I like walking, and given half a chance that’s what I’ll be doing. I do tend to walk on my own. It gives me time to think, to hammer out plot details and to generally put life into a proper perspective

Sensible man! I’m rather keen on walking, too! Now, finally : If you had to be Lost on a desert island, who would be your dream companion?

Anyone with a decent boat, I’ve spent my life trying to avoid peasant self-sufficiency as a life style and I’m not about to start now.

That’s all folks! And a big thank you to Jim for being my victim this week. Now, if you like detective stories and you like sci-fi, I’d advise you to go off and treat yourself to a copy of his latest outing.


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  1. Great interview. I cannot wait to read your book.

  2. I love the choice of companion for a desert island and the reason why. Really made me laugh. Great stuff.



  3. Rebecca Douglass permalink

    I love the bit about food production not paying enough to eat. The layers of irony are just so. . . so ironically layered 😀

  4. kimatsafkhet permalink

    Reblogged this on Safkhet Publishing and commented:

    thank you guys for this interview!

  5. I have a boat. Not sure it would make the desert island though. 😉 Nice interview guys.

  6. The Midlands always looks a close equivalent to somewhere remote from civilisation to me, Sheryl….*hides*

  7. Rosemary permalink

    Nice guys, thanks 🙂
    And the honey thing could be useful now that antibiotics are past it.

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