Smartphone author writes novel on commute

OLIVIA WANNAN
Last updated 05:00 04/04/2013
Peter King
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ

LORD OF THE RAILS? Peter King wrote a 1500-page novel on his smartphone while riding the train to work each day.

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Peter King has turned his daily commute into office time - by writing a novel on his smartphone.

Rather than wasting the two daily 45-minute journeys on buses and the Hutt Valley train line, he applied himself to writing Changels Genesis.

On a good day, when the words flowed, he found he could get 1200 words down in the trip from his home in Normandale to work.

"When you've got a youngster, you just have to write in those times, because you don't have a choice," the father of four said.

"The thing that amazed me was how much time we actually had. Now I've got to the point where [if] I sit there doing nothing on the train I feel the time screaming past me - I'm wasting precious moments."

He found he even preferred to write on the move, whether it was a plane, a train, or a "lurchy" old bus. "When you're on the go, for some reason it's easier to let your mind go as well."

Mr King, an AA researcher, had some prior writing experience, having worked as a technology reporter for The Dominion and as a screenplay writer, which made it easier to undertake the five-year project, started on an HTC Apache and completed on an HTC Touchpro.

Changels Genesis follows a Northland teenager, Sam Kahu, who joins a unique group of teenagers from around the globe acting as secret guardian angels, protecting future world leaders from danger with the help of super-advanced alien technology.

The tome - at 1500 pages, it's longer than The Lord of the Rings - was published yesterday, and is available as an ebook. Of course, a smart-phone version was published as well.

Mr King plans to write a sequel, so he will be keeping the smartphone handy for future commutes. Even if he could, he would not swap his current method of writing for sitting in front of a computer.

"When I was footloose and fancy free and when I had a screen in front of me, then came the great silence . . . when the cursor blinks away and nothing seems to come."

EXCERPT

‘‘One of the most enjoyable things about the speeder is. . . well . . . its speed. You see somewhere you want to go and it goes there. Fast. You don’t so much fly it as guide it. If you see something you don’t want to hit, it avoids it. I’ve tried to play flight simulators on a PC but I found the controls too demanding and the restrictions of wings, engines and gravity too boring. The speeder operates in Earth’s gravity but repels mass as well, which gives it lift and direction. It just goes like stink.’’

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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