Category Archives: Arpia

Arpia novel available as “print-on-demand”

As of today, I have received my proof copies of the Arpia novel from three different print-on-demand solutions: the Blackwell bookstore in London, and Createspace (an partner).

If you fancy spending approximately 24 USD/18.50 Euros on a sci-fi novel of epic scale (seriously: 503 pages in A5 format, 650 in a slightly smaller format), I suggest you read on…

For those who don’t want to read this but want the book in physical format, please visit the Arpia novel page at There, you’ll find a high quality yet cheap print-on-demand version of the Arpia novel, and the shipping costs worldwide are fairly low.

Note: the prices here are as low as I could get them. I decided against royalties, so you’re paying for the print-on-demand itself only.

Of the three solutions, Blackwell was the most expensive and, unfortunately, the one with the lowest quality. The cost is currently 5p per page, i.e. a bit over £30 for a copy of the Arpia novel, and the heavy paper used for the cover is not quite as high grade as the others. Moreover, the binding doesn’t seem as sturdy as the others. If you live in London and go to that bookstore (on Charing Cross Road) often, however, it may be an easy solution.

The Createspace solution allows Arpia to appear on, which is awesome, but I have no idea of whether this will extend to the other Amazon websites (, .fr, …). Shipping from Createspace cost me almost as much as the price of the book itself, as it was shipping from the US… Result: 18.51 USD for shipping to the EU. Apparently, they only have printers in the US, so it may not be the best solution for people based outside of North America. A major qualm I have with Createspace is the fact that it wasn’t easy to set my own “spine” design (the side cover), and theirs is, frankly, not very nice.
Cost in store: 24.17 USD.

Finally, my favourite solution: This has the highest quality cover paper, and I was forced to adopt a new format for, namely A5. The other two solutions use a format that is slightly smaller than A5, which makes the novel nearly pocket-size. The A5 format does, however, have an unforeseen advantage: the star maps included in the novel are more readable. One of the great things about is that it uses printers around the world, which means that shipping costs are lower than the other solutions. To ship to the EU, I paid 6 Euros.
Cost in store: 18.50 Euros/22.56 USD/£15.66.

Edit: added the link.

Arpia novel released and available (online)

I made a spontaneous decision a few days ago: as the Arpia novel has been ready for some time, and as it doesn’t look like literary agents in the UK want it, I’ll make it freely available online.

This led me to recall the existence of an “Espresso Book Machine”, an easy way for aspiring authors and others to obtain a printed version of a book, be it their own or one that is out of publication (but still with a digital presence). This machine can be found in Blackwell, on Charing Cross Road in London.

On 25 August 2010, I was in London to hand in a paper copy of my dissertation for my LLM, and I took advantage of the trip to London to order one copy of my book. When I receive the copy by post, I’ll be able to let you Londoners know whether you should consider ordering a little sci-fi novel from there – they currently charge 5p a page, which given the size of my novel amounts to £30… Definitely the most expensive novel I’ve bought!

I’m going to work on making the novel available in ePub and other formats (note: ePub now available), perhaps also on online e-book catalogues (if possible for free) and on other self-publishing print-on-demand platforms (hopefully not too expensively).

In the meantime, though, why not take a look at the Arpia novel page, and read through the first chapters or the entire book?

An opening scene

The boy looked uncomfortable, and his forehead was starting to shine. His shirt collar was hanging down inelegantly. Who wore a green shirt anyway? He was cute, obviously a romantic fool, but he wouldn’t last two more minutes.

“This is a nice place,” he said with a hesitant smile.

Look me in the eye, the girl wanted to reply as his eyes returned from examining the surroundings to staring at her lips. Instead, she nodded. Why had she accepted his invitation?

“And it’s nice that they allow you to take your pet with you.”

The girl’s thoughts went straight to Artemis, the animal nested on her lap. She felt Artemis stiffen, and she stroked her on the neck to soothe her. It was inevitable that people would mistake a firnex for an unintelligent pet, probably thinking it was a simple fennec fox, but speaking with so little tact and by repeating a bland adjective demonstrated stupidity.

Continue reading An opening scene

Arpia – version 1, at 171,060 words

The day has finally come where I can say the following: I have finished writing Arpia.

I never imagined it would happen, but I have indeed written the last words of the full version 1 of the Arpia novel (version 1 as in “the parts that haven’t been revised three times already will be revised, and I’ll then revise the entire thing”).

As such, the Arpia novel page has been updated, and I’m in dire need of reviewers for the whole thing (I already have some reviews for part I [the first half], but you can never get enough reviews).

If you are therefore interested in reviewing the novel, letting me know what doesn’t flow, what is amazing, what is awful, do drop me a line by using the contact form.

To get some of you intrigued (hopefully), here are the very last lines of the novel:

One mind pondered a question.

“Is she ready now?”

The answer came from the second mind.

“We shall consult with the Shroud.”

If you know who the Shroud are, you’ll get easier access to the novel for review.

Unbidden, doubt creeps in

With 10-20.000 words to go, the Arpia novels have reached a stage I might consider “critical”: 160.000 words are set in ink, and therefore about 90% of the writing is fully done, not counting the “revision 1” phase half of the writing still has to undergo.

It’s strange to think that I’ve been working on the Arpia novels since the summer of 2005, over 3 and a half years.

What is even stranger, however, is the fact that I never seemed to ask myself one specific question until now: is it book-material, i.e. is it any good?

Continue reading Unbidden, doubt creeps in

Hope returns to Culuria

Returned to writing some of Arpia. Long day, so I deserved it.

Five days went by, and life returned to Culuria, despite growing doubts about the fate of Argoal and Fezzan’s team. Parmil took the girls out to each open exhibition or cinema she could find. Though no one was sure what to expect of the future, the present seemed bright enough not to be afraid.

Just before three in the afternoon in Yubenia, a message was spoken out in the speakers. Parmil and the girls stopped walking in front of the Bardrien Memorial Park entrance and listened carefully.

Continue reading Hope returns to Culuria

The writing never stops

Weird thing, writing a novel. Novels, really. The more you’ve written, the further away the end seems. At least, I’m currently at that point in Arpia volume 2 (I’m starting to wonder whether the two volumes shouldn’t be offered to publishers as one, with the option to divide it in two within the book).

Volume 1, currently entitled “Arpia, Flight of Dawn” (FoD, vol. 1), is 90.000 words long (some 190 A4 pages). And while I believe “Arpia, Fight of Eve” (FoE, vol. 2) will be as long, I’m now at 110 pages completed, or 53.000 words.

Continue reading The writing never stops

Killing a novel character

I had to post this: I have just killed an important character in the Arpia novels, and his/her death is told as he/she experiences it.

And I have to admit it’s a strange experience. I’ve often experienced emotions with my characters, and have many times written of things I have never felt or gone through myself, but writing one’s experience of death is beyond all that. I even had tears in my eyes at one point.