Monday, June 14, 2010


Never give up, never surrender!

Let me tell you about a story I wrote the year before last. That would make it 2008. I was very proud of that novel because it was one of the first actual novels I ever wrote. (Up till then, I'd mostly been writing novellas.) I tried to get some interest in it but it never quite got there. What could it be, I wondered?

* The heroine as an exonerated terrorist?
* Having three of the four main characters non-white? * Interleaving some pretty hard science-fiction into the romance?
* The jaundiced view of the military that the hero and heroine hold?
* The fact that the only ostensibly alpha character in the entire novel is a villain?
* The fact that it's the heroine who has to rescue the hero?

As a writer, you can think up reasons for rejection till the sun goes nova and still not be finished. So, maybe for a reason I listed above, and maybe for none of the above, I wasn't able to tempt an agent with it.

I kept editing and polishing the thing through 2009...and heard about a new digital publisher opening. Not a fly-by-night, but one with solid investors and staff with publishing bloodlines. Hmmmm, would they be interested in My Little Novel?

Carefully reading the submission guidelines, I submitted a partial. They liked it! They asked for a full! With bated breath, I submitted the full! And Quartet Press folded. Aiyyayay! You know how that ancient mariner felt with the albatross around his neck? Yeah, that's how I was starting to view My Little Novel.

Then, I heard that Harlequin was starting up a digital-first press. Carina Press. From deep in my lair, my ears pricked up. I wonder...?

You know how you read that it's not enough to just write? You have to have tenacity and a tough hide to be a writer? It's true. Because if I hadn't somehow convinced myself that somewhere in the universe existed someone who'd appreciate My Little Novel, that story -- now called IN ENEMY HANDS -- would not be one of the launch titles for Carina Press on Monday, 7 June.

So let that be a lesson to you. Educate yourself in writing. Read widely. And cultivate tenacity. If I can do it, so can you!


The Republic had taken everything from Moon―her research partner, her privacy, her illusions. They thought they had her under control. They were wrong.

Srin Flerovs, Moon's new research partner, is a chemically enhanced maths genius whose memory is erased every two days.

While he and Moon work on a method of bringing dead stars back to life, attraction between them flares, but that poses its own problem. How can their love survive when Srin forgets Moon every two days?

When she discovers the lethal applications her research can be put to, Moon knows she and Srin are nothing more than pawns in a much larger game. Together, they must escape the clutches of the Republic before they become its scapegoats. But there are too many walls around them, too many eyes watching. They want to run, but they're trapped on a military vessel in the depths of space, and time is running out....

Kaz Augustin is a Malaysian-born writer of science-fiction, romance, and permutations of the two. Her website is at and she blogs at You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter; just look for “ksaugustin”.

JK Coi: In Enemy Hands is recently released by the brand new Carina Press and I'm interested to know how many of you have already taken advantage of some of their amazing authors' great new titles. For a chance to win In Enemy Hands and one other Carina Press release of your choice, tell me what other Carina Press books you've read or are looking forward to reading. I'll draw a name on Wednesday night.


Kaz Augustin said...

Thanks for hosting me, JK! Much appreciated.

Maria Zannini said...

It's that mule gene. Every writer should have one.

It is great SF, Kaz! I finished it in two sittings.