Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Lifestyle -

KARAWARA au­thor Greg Byrne says his lat­est book Nine Plan­ets chose him as its au­thor.

“I know it sounds strange, but I made no con­scious decision to write this,” he said.

“The book, in a strange, lovely way, almost chose me to write it. Once it was in my head, it was im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore, a com­pelling story that had to be told.”

He de­scribed the story as part-thriller, part-mys­tery and partscience fic­tion with a touch of fan­tasy and a lot of al­ter­na­tive his­tory.

“It’s like a book that is hid­ing its true iden­tity un­der­neath some­thing else. It’s a story of the mod­ern world with a vi­tal bit miss­ing, but the reader won’t know what that vi­tal bit is un­til the very end,” he said.

Byrne said the novel was almost com­pleted in his head within 10 min-

ex­cerpt A hun­dred paces from his house, Niko­las turns the­last­corner,seeshishouse.

Heis­think­inghowhewil­l­bar­ri­cade­his­doorand kindle­firetofight­thethin­gof­fwhen,with­outany warn­ing,his­hear­trises­toaw­ild­sprint,gal­lop­sata rate­he­thinksmust­sure­lykill­him,thenslows.

He stum­bles, shocked, his chest swelling with spacethatit­can­not­pos­si­bly­hold.Hisvi­sion­blurs.

The­barko­fado­gis­cut­of­f­cleanly.Knife-clean. With­out echo. The wind drops. Niko­las sucks air, stares­fran­ti­call­yaroun­dand­seessome­thinghe­just doesn’tbe­lieve.

Only about thirty paces be­hind him, the fig­ure has­paused­mid­waythroughastride.

Amidthesmoke­and­fume,now­strangelystill,a sin­glelegex­tendsi­nape­cu­liarandquiteim­pos­si­ble jut.It­can­not­bal­ancethere,surely.

But it is, as though the world has halted for a mo­ment. utes of its first in­spi­ra­tion.

“How­ever, with life and fam­ily and work, writ­ing mainly by night and scrib­bling notes on the train to work and in spare mo­ments, it took about three years to get it to the point where I started send­ing it out to agents and pub­lish­ers,” he said.

■ The Kin­dle ebook is avail­able now for pre­order and is avail­able at the Dragonwell Pub­lish­ing site and Ama­zon. Print copies will be in se­lected book­stores soon after De­cem­ber 1.

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