Monday, 21 January 2013

Guest Blog: Author Jade Kerrion and The Double Helix series

Jade Kerrion

Author Bio:

Jade Kerrion unites cutting-edge science and bioethics with fast-paced action in her award-winning Double Helix series. Drawing rave reviews for its originality and vision, and described as “a breakout piece of science fiction,” Perfection Unleashed, and its sequels, Perfect Betrayal and Perfect Weapon, are available in print and e-book through Amazon and other major retailers.

TITLE: Deleted Scene from “Perfection Unleashed”

I love the extra features that accompany movie DVDs, like the director’s commentary, movie bloopers, and deleted scenes. My debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, which won multiple awards, is frequently compared to an action movie, anime, or graphic novel, and today, I thought I’d give you a peek into one of its deleted scenes.

But first, what was the scene in question, and why did I delete it?

The deleted scene was the prologue, and it set the context for the entire Double Helix series. The scene helped transport readers from “today” into the “not-so-distant future,” and described key players in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, including mutants with psychic powers. It also introduced Galahad, the perfect human being, and foreshadowed the existence of the abominations, inhuman by-products of the path to perfection.

Clearly it was an important scene, but why did I delete it?

The prologue didn’t do much more than the first chapter did. By the first chapter, readers are introduced to Galahad, and hear the banshee-like wails of the abominations. By the first chapter, we know that mutants with psychic powers populate our world, even though we have to wait until chapter three to meet Danyael, the alpha empath, Galahad’s physical template, and the protagonist of Perfection Unleashed.

It was a hard decision. The prologue was the scene that launched the movie in my mind, which eventually became the Double Helix series. I was, perhaps not irrationally, deeply attached to the scene. Still, in the final count, the prologue slowed down my attempt to plunge my readers straight into the action. I took a deep breath and hit delete.

Figuratively speaking, of course. The prologue never made it into Perfection Unleashed, but I did save it as a deleted scene, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share it with you today. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


The large octagon-shaped building that housed Pioneer Laboratories seemed especially desolate on that Christmas Eve when the child was born. It brooded as it kept watch over the manicured lawns all around, unimpressed by the gently falling snow. The lights that usually spilled from its many windows had been extinguished, save for one glowing softly from the highest floor.

Shepherds did not keep watch over the child that night, but scientists did. Two gray haired men whose seeming age was belied by the youthful vigor in their lithe frames waited in the dimly lit birthing chamber, speaking in lowered tones about nothing in particular. It would have been bad luck to speak about the only thing on their minds—the child—even though they knew, logically, that that no amount of conversation could change the outcome of that night. Still, they could not bring themselves to anticipate success or even discuss outcomes, not after having failed so many times before.

No angels heralded the birth of this child. It was the soft beep of the incubator as the timer ticked down to zero. Conversation stilled as the scientists moved quickly to the machine. They exchanged glances but said nothing as one scientist held his hand over the incubator’s controls. The moment of truth was at hand; the successful birth of this child would redefine the boundaries of genetic manipulation.

The scientist inhaled deeply before pressing down on the switch that would open the incubator and release the infant from the now-perfected artificial birthing process. Both scientists held their breaths as the translucent cover of the incubator swung silently to the side to reveal its precious contents.

The rules of life were broken. The science of life was rewritten in that single magical moment when the child was delivered into the world.

The perfectly formed, healthy male infant was the most beautiful thing the scientists had ever seen. With trembling hands and near reverence, they lifted the child from the chamber and wiped the birthing fluids from its soft skin before wrapping it in warm clothes. Warm and content, the child transitioned from incubator to world without the slightest fuss, making a soft gurgling sound—a happy sound—as it snuggled into the scientist’s arms.

The other scientist gingerly touched the child’s tiny, perfect hands and then smiled as the delicate, little fingers closed tightly around his. He looked up at the other man, almost afraid to hope even though he longed to believe. “Do you think…?”

“We would need to run tests over the course of the child’s life, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s done.”

Yes, it was finally done. Genetic manipulation had always been part art, part science, and completely magical. What began with the unraveling of the double helix and the cracking of the code of life in the Human Genome Project had finally led to mastery over life itself. The human genome had been mapped, scrutinized, and analyzed. Gene therapy, genetically modified food products, and cloned pets were parts of everyday life. Cloned human beings, once deemed impossible and outrageous, were steadily becoming the norm.

The journey was also littered with failures. Mutants tarnished the purity of the human race, typically created inadvertently as a result of genetic selection taken to an extreme. And in the past few years, increasingly dangerous psychic-level mutations threatened to tip the balance of power entirely.

But there was still that last step—the creation of a human being from a swirling mixture of nucleotides, building the double helix of life a base pair at a time, one gene at a time, to create the perfect human being. For the two scientists, it had been a lonely and difficult road, littered with failures, but the child born on a cold and quiet night made it worthwhile. They forgot the nagging despair they had felt during those long nights of painstakingly careful genetic coding, forgot the helpless anger they’d felt at the mocking derision of their colleagues. They held success now—sweet success—in their hands.

“What shall we name the Gene Child?” one scientist asked as they left the birthing chamber together. Their footsteps echoed hollowly down the empty corridors as they walked towards the nursery, carefully carrying the product of thousands of hours of work. “Gene Child” was an interesting and potentially acceptable scientific classification for this unique creature that had neither father nor mother, but it would need another name. “How about Galahad, after the last, the peerless knight of the mythical Round Table?”

The name seemed appropriate for the perfect little being. The scientist carrying the child set it down in the crib that had been prepared, a smile curving his lips as he gazed upon the sleepy infant. “Welcome, Galahad,” he said. The birth of the Gene Child was their ultimate gift to the world on this quiet Christmas Eve.

But another voice was heard that night. Deep within the bowels of the building, a low, inhuman moan, aching with pain and anger, shuddered its way from behind the thick walls of its prison to break the calm silence of that perfect starless night as something far too grotesque to be human welcomed Galahad—its brother—into the world.

About The Double Helix series: 

His genetic code sourced from the best that humanity offers, Galahad embodies the pinnacle of perfection. When Zara Itani, a mercenary whose abrasive arrogance exceeds her beauty, frees him from his laboratory prison, she offers him the chance to claim everything that had ever been denied him, beginning with his humanity.

Perfection cannot be unleashed without repercussions, and Galahad’s freedom shatters Danyael Sabre’s life.

An alpha empath, Danyael is rare and coveted, even among the alpha mutants who dominate the Genetic Revolution. He wields the power to heal or kill with a touch, but craves only privacy and solitude—both impossible dreams for the man who was used as Galahad’s physical template.

Galahad and Danyael, two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, and the other to escape it.

The award-winning Double Helix series, consisting of Perfection Unleashed, Perfect Betrayal, and Perfect Weapon, will challenge your notions of perfection and humanity, and lead you in a celebration of courage and compassion. Science fiction, urban fantasy, and action-adventure readers will enjoy this thrilling roller-coaster ride as it twists and turns through a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution.

Social media and buy links:

Connect with Jade Kerrion: Blog / Facebook / Twitter
Perfection Unleashed: Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords
Perfect Betrayal: Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords
Perfect Weapon: Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords


BACKUP LINKS (if, for some reason, the links above do not transfer through a simple cut and paste)

Social Media Links

Perfection Unleashed

Perfect Betrayal

Perfect Weapon

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Business Plan

This is a subject I never expected to talk about, and as you will soon find out, one I don’t know much about either, but it is something that has become important for me to do and I wanted to share it. This blog was started with the intention of being a place I could talk about any issues to do with writing, not a personal diary as such but things that might relate to people who have an interest in reading, writing and the emerging ebook world. This is one of those subjects that overlaps into the personal so please stay with me if I veer off a bit…I have come to a point in my life where I need to examine my writing, not in terms of my skill or confidence, but in terms of my personal and business aims, as to be honest, I feel a bit lost. It throws up all sorts of uncomfortable issues I don’t feel especially ready to address, but I must, and I want to talk about it here.

All I ever wanted to do was to write short stories. After fifteen years plus of thinking about it and telling myself one day I’ll get around to it, I finally got my head in the right place to start and the habit of daily writing was soon established and I felt pretty damn good about myself. It was only after I finished my first story that the idea formed in my head to self publish (once I had read about the new opportunities in eBooks.) It was then the idea of setting up my own company came to me, there was no reason to do it, I could happily do without a limited company, but there was something inside me that said, take it seriously, pretend it is official and you’ll treat it that way. It was in that order. Write first. Business second. It never occurred to me that it would be anything more than just a hobby.
Now the truth is, it may never be more than just a hobby but there are two ways to look at it, a hobby that I do in my spare time or a hobby that I treat as my profession with the understanding I will never make money from it! That may sound strange and naïve but it’s the way I feel. As I get older I feel that what I am inside, what I have tried to ignore or consciously push out of my mind, is an artist. I work in an art and design university so I fully understand what a loaded phrase that is, ‘I AM AN ARTIST!’…it makes me feel like a little bit of bile is climbing up the back of my throat…but as clichéd as it maybe, if you feel like an artist then you probably are. You don’t need to have a discipline, you don’t need to be known, you don’t need to be famous, you don’t need to be rich…you just have to know yourself and keep attempting to know yourself better, which is often the most difficult thing out of all of those. I think there is a Stephen King quote somewhere, sorry for not looking it up, that says something like if you have no money and you can’t pay the bills and one day you earn money by your writing even if it is enough to just turn on a light bulb then you can call yourself a writer. (Please rearrange that into the correct version.) Anyway, of course that is right, if you have a job and earn money from it then that is what you describe yourself as, you are an electrician, you are an accountant, you are a police officer…if you spend 50 hours a week plumbing people’s bathrooms you don’t describe yourself as a footballer just because you play for a local team every Sunday morning.
So anyway, with that in mind, why I am I doing a business plan? Well, I’m cheating a bit because I’m not really. I’m not going to send it to any bank managers, investors or fundraising sites. I have no intention of putting anything on there that remotely suggests it is a financially viable option. What I am doing it for is to continue what I did in the first place, to think of it professionally so I work at it professionally. It is going to be a business plan, reference document, tutorial how-to guide, strategy and vision in one.


I have decided to take January off from writing as I have so many things bubbling around my head that I need to get them all down in one place and get some focus back. Since that nice idea of simply writing every day for pleasure I’ve discovered the online community of self publishing, editing, formatting, cover design, copyright, file conversions, indie writers, gazillions of social media platforms, marketing, promotion, book trailers, recordings, interviews, blogging, working with other authors to publish their books through my company and a hundred other activities that were not even in my consciousness when I started. It all takes so much time and as enjoyable, interesting and stimulating as it is, it takes time away from writing.
I need to get it all into order, as much as I may structure my time, it still happens that I end up doing lots in one area but not as much as I wanted in another.   I’m now taking time out to put everything I have done into one comprehensive document. I am going to use the business plan format to make sure my vision for what I want to achieve is thoroughly examined.
I know this isn’t the most enthralling of subjects but if anyone reads this and feels a bit overloaded with ideas then all I can say is get organized. It feels painful taking time away from writing and in an ideal world it would be great if we had all the time we needed to do both but in reality we don’t and I really feel the need to get myself totally up to date with my thoughts before moving on.

·      Where am I going?
·      Why am I doing this?
·      What is the point?
·      What do I want to achieve?
·      What ideas do I have for Thinking Plainly Limited?

These are hard questions to answer, each one of those questions has a hundred sub questions. I have a lot of fear being honest, some of my answers go from the boring and mundane and ordinary to the ridiculously ambitious, ludicrously hopeful and overwhelming…but if you can’t be honest then you can’t ever move on and that’s what I need to do now, reflect as brutally as I can and give myself not just a kick up the backside to keep working harder, but a focused direction and clear goals that mean I will work with discipline and confidence.
When I interact with people, whether it be on email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, LinkedIn….on and on it goes…I know that there is so much more I can do to maximize the essential marketing and promotion that goes with being a writer, here's an example of just a few out of the hundreds of things on the checklist:

·      Am I using Amazon’s KDP promotion days correctly?
·      Am I utilizing Twitter hastags properly when promoting free days?
·      Am I posting on eBook give away Facebook pages in time?
·      Am I asking for reviews from customers?
·      Am I utlising Goodreads and Shelfari properly?
·      Am I developing a good SEO strategy?
·      Am I advertising my website enough?
·      Am I using Google Analytics correctly?
·      Am I contacting reviewers and bloggers?
·      Am I developing my social media strategy for eBook trailers, audio downloads, filmed interviews, Google+ hangouts…?
·      Am I far enough forward with my website Media Page plans?

The list of detailed questions that I have to remind myself about every day is so long that I cannot cope with having it all in my head, I need to prioritise, plan and develop in a logical and beneficial way…while still writing.
That is why I need that all-inclusive document I mentioned above but in my head I’m calling it a business plan, because as much as I feel I am an artist in the way I believe in art, I am also a business man in the way I believe in business. If I am to achieve anything, it is me that has to do it, no one is going to do it for me, so it may be a waste of time in some people’s eyes but I certainly need it. So far the document is 75 sides of A4…I’ll let you know how it goes.

I think I’ve over-run my normal hour as I took a break to eat some peanuts and drink a cup of tea, if that’s not a professional attitude then I don’t know what is.


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