Tag Archives: Jump

Reviews – Robinson Crusoe 2244 by E.J. Robinson and Jump…by Me

In my ongoing attempt to dominate the world of publishing, I have been getting a bit more socially involved, internet wise. Yes, I still have the six extra Twitter accounts (more about that some time soon), the G+, Facebook and other such tools that I’ve been using, but now I have also started looking for and reviewing other authors’ work.

Being a poor (or at least tight!) writer I am not inclined to fork out much (or indeed, any) money for books, so I’ve been keeping my eye out for deals of the day on Amazon, as well as following all kinds of promotional accounts on Twitter. it was via this medium that I happened upon a book which sounded kind of interesting.

The name of the book, as alluded to in the title of this post, is Robinson Crusoe 2244. The author’s name is E.J. Robinson, whom I discovered, in the course of writing my review, is called Erik. I did wonder to myself if his name had anything to do with why he chose that particular classic to update, but there isn’t any hint of that in any of his supporting material.

I’ll paste my review in now, and then get on to what happened next…

I had no preconceptions when I started reading this. I assumed it would be some kind of futuristic updating of the classic desert island shipwreck adventure, but didn’t expect for a moment that it was about to become one of my new favourite books!
The thing that surprised me most was the similarity to the writing of Jack Vance, the dialogue, the colourful characters, the intense impressions of scenery and clothing. Everything is so beautifully extemporised that you feel you’re inside the scene watching.
And the story…Instead of just a straightforward update, Mr Robinson (Erik, not Crusoe) has ripped the original into little pieces, mixed it up with half a cup of Richard Matheson, some shavings of Stephen King and fashioned a believable but horrifying future. I loved it!
Can’t wait until 2245!

In case you’re wondering, he has another book coming out in a week or two’s time, which is going to be called Robinson Crusoe 2245. Suffice to say I will be purchasing it when it hits the shelves! He is a sublime writer and the story was brilliantly planned, well thought out and included situations which, although fantastical, were utterly believable.

So, I posted my review, then forgot all about it.

A week or so later I realised that I had completely missed setting an account up on one of the biggest reading/writing resources on the interweb – Goodreads – so I signed up and went through the process of getting myself recognised as the author of Jump. In case you’re at all interested, my page is here. After getting it all sorted I had one of my first interactions, someone had bought my book and it turned out to be the aforementioned Mr Robinson. I was mildly surprised and also intrigued to see what he would think of it.

Reading it seemed to take him no time at all and shortly after he finished the following review appeared on my feed.

E.J.’s review

In JUMP, it isn’t the discovery of time travel that sets the story churning, but the potential misuse of it. When a covert environmental group threatens to destabilize the past in hope of limiting man’s influence on the future, the fate of the world hangs in the balance and our likeable cast of heroes must race to heal time’s wounds before it’s too late.

Ladle’s prose is intelligent and thoughtful and the story focuses on the characters as much as the premise. The time travel element is heavy on theoretical psychics and laymen not used to the genre might get confused, but the second half picks up the pace to what is an exciting resolution.

For fans of the time travel genre, JUMP is the thinking man’s TIMELINE, and it’s good to see there’s room for a potential sequel. A solid debut.

I was, literally, amazed! This nice man, whose book is a masterpiece of modern sci-fi/fantasy/fiction, seemed to think that what I wrote is worthy of a modicum of praise and even a sequel. He awarded me four out of a possible five stars too.

This is the first review Jump has received and the best I could ever have hoped for. The fact that he thinks the theoretical physics stuff is intelligent surprised me somewhat, as I am in no way a physicist and didn’t even do very well on my exams for that subject more than 20 years ago!

I was also pleased that he recognised that I was going for a character driven story and not trying to focus on the technical side of things too much, as that was exactly what I aimed for while writing the thing.

So, all in all I’m very happy with what he wrote, hopefully he feels the same way about my scribblings on his own labour of love. The whole experience gives me some hope that the 100,000 or so words I created are not so bad after all.

Here’s to you, Mr Robinson!

A Tweet in the Dark

I am currently working on marketing Jump, and when I say working on it is a bit like a full time job. Let me outline my strategy.

From the eleven characters in my book I picked six, there was some reasoning behind my choice, as some are no longer available at the end of the book and some are not the sort of people to go around “expressing themselves” in public. For these six characters I set up accounts on Twitter, this included finding profile pictures (I didn’t use photographs of people’s faces, that might have caused some issues), I also found some images for the backgrounds and headers and got them all prettified.

After the initial account details you are asked to choose people to follow, I decided not to go for anyone who might actually know me, instead I decided what sort of things each of them would like and started adding, e.g. bands, organisations and people.

So I ended up with six accounts for imaginary people who I then needed to allow to start having opinions and things to tell the world about. This was an interesting exercise because, although some of them are a little like me, e.g. similar taste in music or technology or etc., they are also quite different people. However, after writing a book about all of them I felt relatively confident that I could come up with some interesting things to say (on their behalves!).

Initially I set up the accounts and purely logged in and out of Twitter on my computer, but this soon got a bit tiring so I added each of their accounts to my phone, fine but not super easy to cope with swapping between and responding to each other’s Tweets, after all, they know each other and have worked closely together so are a pretty close group who interact a lot, although they are all starting to build up their own group of followers.

Now though, I have settled on using TweetDeck, which is a fantastic little program you can install on your desktop computer, then add Twitter accounts and receive, compose and respond to Tweets. My favourite thing though is a function I am just trying out, its possible to schedule your messages to be sent at a later time and/or date. So far today I have found a number of different things of interest which I have written Tweets about and marked for sending between about five PM tonight and half three tomorrow morning. This is very useful when your characters live in a completely different time zone and part of the world, as mine do!

Anyway, my plan is to get these six people interacting with a bunch of (probably, you can never quite tell) real humans, then slowly leak out bits of the story, eventually admitting that they are actually characters from a book and trying to appeal to their followers to buy their story.

I have no idea if this will work, but its quite a lot of fun pretending to be an attractive thirty-something woman with an interest in shoes, or a multilingual translator, or a guy who built a time machine.

If you like you can try to find and follow them, but I’m not giving you any sort of hints so you’ll just have to seek them out for yourselves!

Jump by Dan Ladle

So today I published my book. This would be the book I’ve been going on about for quite some time on this ‘blog. It’s a time travel adventure where eco-terrorists try and obliterate the human race.

I wrote a special introduction to go on the Amazon page, which is a recording of one of the characters telling us a bit about herself, you can see it below. I also included a bit of information about myself, along with some ideas of what to expect from the book.

If you want to read it you can search for my name “Dan Ladle” on your local Amazon site or, if you’re a bit lazy, click on one of the following links:




This is what Emily says:

‘How does this work? Oh, is this on? It is, isn’t it!’

‘Okay. Hi, I’m Emily Harrison, I’m a translator, mainly specialising in archaic and extinct languages, although I can speak quite a few modern ones. I used to work in a little office in the nether regions of a university. It was quite a good job, hard on the eyes though.’

‘Anyway, where was I? Yes, that’s right, these days I spend my time, if you’ll excuse the expression, flitting back and forth between the present day and prehistory, trying not to get crushed, rebuilding factories, destroying my rather fantastic clothes in unpleasant muddy forests, having affairs with super-intelligent physicists, talking about dragons and, last but not least, trying to save the world from impending obliteration out of the spacetime continuum.’

‘What, was I meant to make more of that last bit? Um, so this time machine we travel around in, the Jump Box, is apparently being taken by a group of eco-terrorists and used to change the past, which is messing up the weather and, frankly, not doing good things to my hair.

Still, with the aid of Cooke and Celia, who are pretty special, Masterson, who’s a bit on the military side, the Jameses, who are an interesting couple and Moulder, who’s a bit on the quiet side but good with animals, we ought to be able to figure the whole thing out and make the present a bit more pleasant again.’

‘What’s that, they’re coming? How do you turn this thing off Cooke…’

Transcript of recording, recovered from jump base three weeks after the events covered in the novelisation of events entitled “Jump”.

Jump is a fast paced adventure through space and time but grounded firmly in the real world, encompassing millions of years into the past, two weeks into the future and a good percentage of the landmasses of the planet.

With nods to Michael Crichton, Isaac Asimov and Stephen Baxter but with a style all of his own, Dan Ladle draws on experiences from his life, along with new scientific developments and a vivid imagination. He is an exciting new author with a brain full of ideas. Dan is not a scientist, nor is he a historian or indeed a savant or a polymath. However, he is interested in the world and how it works and is always trying to find outlets for his fizzing neurons.

Dan lives in Perth, Western Australia with his wife, his son and their cat, Snuggles.

This is Dan’s first book!

Jump by Dan Ladle

Jump by Dan Ladle


A couple of months ago my writers group meeting was about getting published.
A couple of the attendees had self-published on Amazon and said that it was relatively easy and was actually making them a few dollars.
I went home and checked out some of their work and, excuse me if I’m biased but, I think mine is of an equally high standard!
This got me thinking and so the past week or so I’ve been setting myself up on Kindle Direct Publishing. As they suggested it wasn’t super difficult, the only tricky bit being the American tax declaration you have to do because the big A (Amazon) is in the big A (America).
Once I got all the paperwork out of the way I started putting the details together to actually publish my book.
They make it shockingly easy, offering advice at every step and even offering a cover designer, which I used and seems to give pretty good results.
I’m still writing a synopsis and “author bio”, which is harder than you might think. Then the final step is to do one last read of the book to make sure it makes sense. After that I just need to upload it and hit the publish button.
But for now I’ll leave you with my current cover design (which may well change before publication) and get back to my editing.


Hard Copy

This morning I dropped my young ‘un off at school then headed to a small warehouse near my house, to collect a parcel which no one was in to receive yesterday morning.

I had a vague suspicion I knew what it was, but wanted to wait until I had it in my hands before getting too excited. After a bit of faffing about the company found the box and I signed for it, chucked it in the car then came home and ripped it open.

This is what I found inside…

Jump by Dan Ladle

Jump by Dan Ladle

Yep, that’s a paperback copy of the book that I wrote! Sadly it’s not a “published by a publisher” copy, I found a special offer to upload for free on a site called Feed-A-Read some time back and this is the result.

It’s actually not that expensive to get a couple of copies printed out, although the postage to anywhere in Australia is a bit steep. However, having a hard copy of all the words I wrote is, as the advert goes, priceless.

Oh, stop thinking about sex. – Jump

Ten points if you can recognise the quote in the title.

If you write a book it may be the case that you have to face the prospect of writing a scene which is set in someone’s bedroom and may have allusions to matters of a sexual nature.

I thought a fair bit about how I was going to approach this scene and decided that discretion was the better part of valour, so I wrote the scene around a conversation about how the time machine works, which was handy because one of the characters is the physicist who invented it, the other is not a scientist in any way and so it has to be delivered in laymans terms, which is a useful way of writing it so the reader can get  a handle on it. Also so I could figure out, while I was writing, if it all seemed to make sense or not.

I did vaguely mention the fact that the two people may be partaking of exciting, personally gratifying activities, but being a bit of a prude myself I couldn’t bring myself to consider writing about the deed itself!

If you find it in any way titillating I do apologise!


The small lamp on the bedside table didn’t really cast enough light to read by, it was just bright enough to make everything look like it was in soft focus, which Emily considered was just as well. She was lying next to Michael, who had his hand across her stomach. The light covering of hair on his arm was tickling her, but she was quite enjoying the sensation so hadn’t attempted to move. She was absently surveying the room, while they were talking about whether it was a good idea to reveal what they had just done, obviously not in detail, to the other members of the team. They decided against it, on the grounds that it was probably best to be discreet until they actually knew what was going on with the team and the project.

They lapsed into a contented silence which Michael broke, asking if she would like anything else to eat, ‘No thanks, although I’m quite thirsty, I might get myself a drink of water.’ Michael was off the bed, into, then out of the kitchen before Emily had a chance to tell him not to worry and that she would get it herself. He apologised once again for the lack of appropriate crockery, handing her a pint glass three quarters full and placing another down on his own bedside table. After drinking enough to slake her thirst and watching him do likewise she asked, ‘What’s the tattoo?’

Michael craned his neck in a failed attempt to look at his shoulder blade, where there were numbers, mathematical characters and symbols which obviously denoted something. Although some of the characters were from languages she understood she had no idea what to make of the overall design. ‘Oh yes, I’d kind of forgotten about that. I got it when I was certain that my calculations were right. It’s the mathematics that run the Jump Box. Do you like it?’

Emily stared at the intricacies of the physical equation and was lost in thought for a while, ‘It’s amazing. Is that really what makes it work?’

‘Well, you obviously need the relevant hardware but without these numbers it couldn’t function. When I finished working on the equation I was impressed by how it looked. I’d always wanted a tattoo so I figured, why not? The other nice thing is that I have a dated photograph and a receipt from the place that did it. Which means that I can, at least, prove it was my discovery.’

‘I never knew physics was such a cutthroat world?’

‘It’s not really, I was just trying to give myself another excuse.’

‘Well I like it, you’re right it does have a certain symmetry, or maybe that’s not the right word, perhaps I mean elegance. You could put it on t-shirts and people would pay good money for it.’

Michael climbed back under the covers and Emily rested her head on his shoulder. ‘Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, I suspect the equations will never be released though. I’m the only one who knows them in full. Celia has a fair idea but she’s more interested in the application and theory of the measurements. All I want is to make sure it works right.’

Emily moved her arm, took his right hand and suggested something unrelated to physics. They agreed the conversation had reached a suitable place to adjourn.




How To Write A Newspaper Article? – Jump

If you checked out my last post you’ll have seen a few of the scenes from my book. Now the word scenes here is a bit of a misnomer as the word scene suggests that there will be people and action and all those other things that a “scene” would normally entail, but if you look closely you’ll have noticed that scene 2 was actually a newspaper article.
As with the rest of the initial sections of the book this was a scene setter, giving a bit of information about the terrorist group who are the antagonists for the whole thing. However unlike the rest of the writing so far this one had to be written in a particular style, rather than my own style.
Throughout the book there are a few newspaper articles, mainly to give a piece of information which was pertinent to the story but not easy to write into another scene or a conversation.
The first thing I had to do was decide on a newspaper, I was living in the UK at the time and so picked from the publications available there. I used different papers for each one, to give a slightly different tone for different parts of the book, this one was written as if it was taken from the Guardian, mainly because we used to buy that on a Saturday for the TV guide and because it was a little more balanced than a lot of other papers (from my point of view at least).
Because I read the paper quite regularly it means I didn’t have to think about it too hard, but it was still a bit like trying to produce a work document as there was a specific statement which I wanted to put forward with it and a particular way I needed to write the thing.


Originally published in the Guardian newspaper.

Eco-terrorists threaten climate change negotiations

…however events have come to light regarding the Environmental Assistance, Rehabilitation, Training and Health (EARTH) Force. This band of previously harmless environmental activists has recently taken to staging more elaborate, and in some cases disruptive, action which has interfered with a number of high profile events, including the EcoBuild2021 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and the more recent World Summit held in Birmingham, resulting in the recall of the 23 representatives from the USA and Ghana.

This may have set back talks on climate change by up to ten years. Stephen Smythe, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management from the University of Western Australia, one of the attendees at the conference, told the Guardian, ‘If these people are trying to improve matters for the planet they are going about it the wrong way…



Planning – Jump

After writing out my character profiles I started creating the scene by scene plan for what was going to happen. This was an interesting process as it started off seeming fairly simple, but as I got further in I had to keep cross referencing my eleven characters parts in the story and checking that they all took place in the right chronological order and didn’t encroach on anyone else’s happenings.

I was vaguely surprised to find that I had produced about 107 scenes, all of which seemed to make some kind of narrative sense and actually added to the story. However after checking it a few times I managed to get this down to a magic 100. I was quite pleased as this gave me a goal of producing 1,000 words per scene so that the book would end up at about 100,000 when it was done.

Below I’ve included the first two chapters’ worth of rows from the spreadsheet, mostly scene setting and information for the reader to get them up to speed with the background of a few of the characters and the version of the world this is happening in.

Of course to anyone but me most of this stuff probably makes no sense at all, but then I had previously spent quite some time writing a potted history…and future, I guess, of each of the people I’m talking about here, so I knew exactly what I was doing, kind’a!




Chapter Scene Scene Detail Character/Media
One 1 Teleportation breakthrough Michael Cooke
2 EARTH (Environmental Assistance, Rehabilitation, Training and Health) Force story – who are they? What are they? Newspaper Article
3 In café reading newspaper (above) Oliver Cornell
4 “Alan” is “dropped off” and starts looking for EF Ian Brookfield
5 Discussion of teleportation device and special forces involvement, who to “get” for the team Robert Masterson, Roberts Brigadier, General and Minister of Defence
Two 6 Unidentified individual sits in room Googleing, “EARTH Force”, “EF contacts”, etc. “Non-confrontational” in results, etc.! David Moulder
7 “Alan” meets Jonny at Natural History Museum – Minerals Gallery Ian Brookfield, Jonathan Dent
8 Contact with military – “I need an assistant” Michael Cooke, Robert Masterson
9 Reading CVs to find assistant – ???concentrate on Celia’s??? Michael Cooke



Who Is Michael Cooke? – Jump

The next stage in the Snowflake process (that I used, you can pick and choose. It’s not prescriptive!) Was to start creating my characters.

I decided to start with the main protagonist, Michael Cooke. I don’t recall where his name came from, possibly a slight reference to my Dad, Mike. But as I recall the name just jumped into my head one day and seemed to fit.

Planning the characters allows you to sign them physical features, but also let’s you plan out their role in the story. It let me get to know the people I was going to write about and also helped me start putting the meat on the story.

Before I did this I didn’t really know how the plot was going to proceed, but once done I felt like the story might actually work.

I’ve removed the last line in case you ever get to read it so it’s not completely spoiled!

Please excuse any spelling, grammar or nonsense as the whole thing was a bit of a stream of consciousness/brain dump/note to self. If you can make sense of it then you’ve obviously been following my ‘blog too closely, for which I thank you.


Michael Cooke
Appearance – 5’11, attractive, athletic (obvious six pack), very short hair colour indistinct, blue eyes, tattoo across his left shoulder blade which is the equation which allows the matter transporter to function, wears short sleeved shirts and jeans. Only uses surnames!
Doctor of Physics, Thoughtful and intelligent with an ability to think outside the box. Spent ten years working alone on the idea for teleportation before perfecting the technology, then due to an accident (involving a freshly brewed really hot cup of tea???) he found that objects could be transported through time as well as space.
He was contacted by military intelligence not long afterwards and offered resources to complete his research and development but only asked for a small grant and the chance to hire an assistant, he found Celia Jones.
It took him three months to find Celia while carrying on his work and a further six months to turn the accidental discovery in to a theory followed by a practical working prototype. This was then developed with the military (commanded by Robert Masterson) in to a version which could transport larger objects such as trucks or…weapons.
BSc from Exeter University, PhD from Cambridge in the Quantum Matter team at Cavendish Laboratory getting a job at a small company funded by an unnamed benefactor which allowed him to spend the time he needed developing the technology.
His main driver for the idea was to be able to transport items around the planet without the usual environmental and monetary costs of shipping and handling and therefore allow third world and developing nations the same access to technology and human resources (engineers, doctors, etc.) as first world countries.
As the Jumps proceed Michael becomes worried that the issues which are becoming apparent are man-made rather than caused by some issue with the machine and on his persuasion the team make the Jumps back to investigate.
When an offender with an ulterior motive is surmised Michael takes it upon himself to investigate further and identify the perpetrator. He finds out that David Moulder is part of an underground eco-terrorism group who believe that all problems with modern day environmental issues are purely caused by humans and have come to the decision that if the human race could be extinguished that all other animals and plants would be safe.
He reports this to Robert who gets Ian to infiltrate the group (six months previously!?) and find out everything he can about them and their plans to destroy humanity.
Meanwhile Michael and the team (including David so as not to arouse suspicion) head back to fix the problems, two Jumps are made without incident but by the third Jump Robert has decided it is time for David to be dismissed, so accompanies the team and ‘disposes of him’.



Paragraph Activity

I’ve been to a writers group tonight, in which we talked about dialogue. It was very interesting but means it’s now past my bedtime, however before I go I thought I’d follow on from yesterday’s post, with the expansion of the one sentence summary into a one paragraph summary of the whole novel.

Having that little extra bit of space does mean that you get a bit more room to play with, but condensing an entire book’s worth of story into a few lines is still pretty tough.

A good idea when writing this is to imagine it’s going to go on the back of your book, to tell people what it’s all about. Although looking back at it now I think I could probably make it a bit more personal, by using some names instead of just stating what the characters do.

I’ve also noticed that it could possibly do with a bit more punctuation (and grammar!!! (and less repeating of the word “time”!!!!!) , but what’s a few commas between friends!



A physicist creates teleportation device which can also travel in time. This is used by the government to gather data on environmental and physical conditions over time but has unforeseen negative impacts on current planetary conditions. The team running the expeditions have to travel back to a number of key points through time in order to make amends for the upsets. However it is discovered that an eco-terrorist has already been in the same time/place and has purposefully made changes which will alter the present to bring about the end of the human race. The team have to race to discover the identity of the terrorist in the present and repair the damage in the past.