John K. Irvine

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John K. Irvine

Goodreads Author

in Bristol, England, The United Kingdom



Member Since
January 2015


Hi, I am the author of 'The Smith Chronicles' series of Sci-Fi books:

The Golden Circuit (2013)
The Guardians Of The Oort Cloud (2015)
Sempre's Return (2016)

I have also had poetry and short stories published in: Poetry Scotland, Open Mouse, Blinking Cursor, Essence, Ink, Sweat & Tears, A Handful of Stones, South and Streetcake Magazine, amongst others.

Find out more at


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John K. Irvine The 'tone' of the book was something I thought a great deal about before I started writing 'The Smith Chronicles'. I wanted to write a book that was…moreThe 'tone' of the book was something I thought a great deal about before I started writing 'The Smith Chronicles'. I wanted to write a book that was very quirky, slightly satirical, scatologically funny and yet, at the same, have a strong emotional core. Being a sci-fi and fantasy fan, I already knew what was out there in terms of this style of book (ie. not alot!)

'The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy' was a model, for sure. Somewhere where anything could happen, no matter how fantastical. Jack London's books 'White Fang' and 'Call of the Wild' too, how London writes: the gloriously long sentences, the thought processes of his characters, how nature is more powerful than man - that we are part of it, not outwith it or above it. The 'Back To The Future' film trilogy is also a massive inspiration. That kind of zany, hip humour is right up my Stratis.

So, I would say that 'tone' is really where the ideas come from, keeping that feeling going, bubbling under, on the backburner - it fuels the writing. It makes your book individual and that's what we're after, in the end.

John K. Irvine Hi Wendy, I've only just seen this question on my Goodreads page, so apologies for the late reply. First off, thanks for asking the question! It's…more Hi Wendy, I've only just seen this question on my Goodreads page, so apologies for the late reply. First off, thanks for asking the question! It's quite a thrill to have someone ask something about the books.

The idea for 'The Golden Circuit' came from a short piece of free-writing I did in 2013. It was one of about 5 such things I wrote one day, randomly picking a topic and writing freely. One piece was about a tough, young girl thinking about her life, while she was in class at school. Just a short sketch of internal thoughts. One of the other pieces was a paragraph or two attempting to imitate the language of 'space -opera'. These ideas combined to create the Mikita Smith story and the Captain Jameson story. I gradually came up with the basic premise of the book through developing these ideas.

The plot took a while. It needed a lot of work to get the events to work out properly, but also making sure that everything work chronologically. Everything happens over 4 days, so distances travelled needed careful thought. How long would it take then to travel from Tapi-36 to one of the moons? Would it take the same time in different kinds of space craft? These things kept me up at night !! But the main method for ideas was simpy to ask questions like: where do they go now? what's the weather like? who do they meet? does this character have a family? friends? what is her ambition? And gradually ideas come into your head, and some kind of direction comes out of it, eventually, if you keep writing enough, a 60,000 word book appears! However, when I presented the first draft to my editor (my wife, who is a pro TV writer) she cut my first chapter! I was devastated (I still am, LOL). It was 2,000 words down the pan! She said I didn't need all the background stuff, it made for a slow exposition. She was right of course, but I did manage to sneak some of the text back in at later points! So, Go Me!

The writing of the book took about 4-5 months, with another 2 months of editing. As it was my first book, there was a sharp learning curve going on at the same time, this I found was more to do with plotting and discovering the nuts and bolts of prose writing, than writing dialogue and such-like. Technical things like not repeating words too close to each other in the text (like at the end of Chapter 1 where I alternate 'lift' and 'elevator'), when to write the name of the character and not 'she', or when to leave off tags like 'said Polo' or 'said Mikita' after speech... These kinds of things that can really disrupt the flow of the narrative.

Anyway, my apologies again for the delay in replying, and I hope that answered your question. I'm so happy that you enjoyed the books.

All best,

JKI (less)
Average rating: 3.91 · 23 ratings · 7 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Golden Circuit (The Smi...

3.69 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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The Guardians of the Oort C...

4.43 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2015
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Sempre's Return (The Smith ...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings
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The Golden Circuit The Guardians of the Oort C... Sempre's Return
(3 books)
3.91 avg rating — 23 ratings

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“The Shraken-nurse turned on the nozzles for each of the drips, and the contents began to work their respective ways through his system. The left drip had a chill to it that made him feel like he was bathing in a ice-bath pumped full of extra strong Earth-based mint; while the right hand fluids were warm and fuzzy, like he was four years old and sleeping in a barrelful of teddy-bears on a hot summer’s day. They quickly found their way up to his brain, and collided there in a meeting of hot and cold that, had the encounter happened in the atmosphere, would have produced the biggest cumulus cloud in the cosmos.”
John K. Irvine

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