The Plantsider Book Blitz: Review + Q&A

Hello my little munchkins. How are you all doing today? I am doing well. I am tired but hey I am about to leave to go to YallWest on the 2nd so, who can really complain? I am ready to finish up all of my homework for the next couple of weeks because I would rather get ahead then get behind. Also there is a giveaway one international and one UK so don’t forget to enter that.

Anyways, Why don’t we get into the post???

Author bio:

Author Image-2
G J Ogden studied Physics at UMIST, but spent more time writing for and later editing the University magazine, GRIP. This was the stepping stone into the first of his careers in IT journalism. He created and launched Custom PC magazine for Dennis Publishing Ltd, the most successful enthusiast PC magazine in the UK, before later moving into technology PR and marketing. A proud nerd and sci-fi geek, he has had a lifelong love of computers and technology. The Planetsider is his first novel.

Author links:


“Several generations after ‘The Fall’, the scattered clusters of civilisation that grew in its wake live in ignorance of the past. No-one wants to know what caused such devastation or why. No-one, except Ethan. 

Ethan used to believe in the guardians; mysterious lights in the sky that, according to folklore, protect the survivors, so long as you believe in them. But the death of his parents shattered his faith and forged within him a hunger to know more. One night, a light grows brighter in the sky and crashes to the planet’s surface. Ethan then embarks on a heartbreaking journey in which harrowing discoveries unveil the secrets of the past, and place him at the centre of a deadly conflict. 

Powerful, thought-provoking and emotionally absorbing, The Planetsider is a gripping, post-apocalyptic thriller that will keep you hooked until the very end.”


  • I would first like to start of with I either love a Sci-Fi book or hate it. There is no in-between for me as they can either do it correct in terms of not coming of as a cliche or they can go into all the cliches and add in information that didn’t need to be in the book.
  • However, in this case I genially for most of the part enjoyed the book.
  • The characters all had a reason to be in there and they all had a story arc that was both internal and external.
    • A thing though that I didn’t care for was how the use of sexism was brought up a lot and it was almost as if the same sentence was being repeated over and over again.
      • I am all for this discussion but it really felt like it was just playing into a trope.
  • The description was for the most part extremely vivid and wonderful but there was a couple times where it felt like I was reading a textbook instead of a novel however as we progressed throughout the story that started to happen less and less.
  • The whole entire plot was fantastic and kept you wanting to turn the page to figure out what would happen next.
  • The pacing in the beginning was a little too slow for my taste but one we had all the characters being introduced to each other and the situation is picked up fast and smoothly.
  • All-in-All this is one of the better Sci-Fi books that I have read even if there was a couple things I didn’t care for personally.

3.5/5 stars


What is your writing kryptonite?

Temptation! As much as I love writing, there’s always the temptation to do something else, like watch a movie, read, play a game or waste time on social media. But, unlike Superman and real Kryptonite, I can overcome it!

What made you want to write this book?

I wanted to be a sci-fi author since I was at school, but it never felt like – and I was never encouraged at school to believe it could be – a realistic goal. It was more of a pipe dream. I was steered towards an academic education and career at school, and ended up studying Physics, believing I would end up designing warp engines, but the reality was that studying Physics at university was nothing like Star Trek, and so I gravitated back to writing, initially for the university magazine, and then as a technology journalist when I graduated. But by this point life just got in the way and there never seemed to be the time to write as well as work and do everything else that ‘life’ entails. In reality, there probably was time, I just didn’t set aside this time for writing. As I’ve gotten older, it has become more and more important to me to get back to what I originally wanted to do as a kid, which is write novels.

If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to fail – failure is a great teacher. And don’t worry so much about what others think. Be brave enough to just be you.

Have you ever had difficulty coming up with an idea for your story?

No, ideas have never been a problem. I wake up in the middle of the night with a random story idea rattling around my brain and, if I’m awake enough, I’ll write it down, or email it to myself.

As a writer what would your spirit animal be?

I have to admit that I cheated and took a, “What is your spirit animal” quiz online for this one! The result was The Owl, because I am wise and have strong intuition. I quite like the idea of an Owl perched beside me as I write!

What Hogwarts house would the main character of your book be sorted into?

I think the Sorting Hat would really struggle with Ethan. In many ways, he’s a clear Gryffindor, because he’s certainly brave, courageous and adventurous, and he also stands up for others and is noble in intent, but not perhaps always for the right reasons. He is also driven by his own selfish needs and ambitions, and this affects his judgements and choices. So I think the Sorting Hat would see the heart of a Gryffindor, but one that is dangerously tainted by Slytherin.

While you were editing your book what were some thoughts that were going through your mind?

I actually started The Planetsider over ten years ago when I was still in my twenties, and so it’s only recently that I finally set my mind to it. I think a big reason why I managed to finish it now and not then (not just the writing, but publishing and marketing the novel too) is that I’m much more comfortable now with who I am, and what I want to be. Back in my twenties I was perhaps too career driven, and too intent on achieving a certain status or recognition within my industry. So when I was re-reading some of the very early drafts, which only ran into a few chapters at the time, I could see my old self in the pages. And this actually helped me finish the story, because the protagonist also grows and changes and becomes wiser and more mature by the end, just as I have (I think!).

Do you google yourself?

No, though I did recently to see if there was an old photograph of me online somewhere from when I was a magazine editor. I found it, but I look so ridiculously young in it that I couldn’t in all seriousness use it, so I took a new photo instead.

What word would sum up your book.


Do you believe in writer’s block?

I believe it can be a problem for many authors, though because I spent six years writing and editing print magazines, where you have to produce copy without fail, week in, week out, I’ve perhaps trained myself early on to overcome it.

What is your writing process like?

I think it’s still something that I’m figuring out and trying to refine. I definitely need a plan, though it doesn’t have to be elaborately detailed. I don’t need to map out every character in intricate detail, because I like to explore who they are as I write. But I need strong signposts and character traits and motivations. Then once I’ve got these steps in my head, I sit down and see where it all leads.

What advice do you have for other writers?

I’m a debut author, so I think there’s relatively little wisdom I can impart to others at this point. But, to aspiring writers, I would say, don’t put it off. Don’t say, “I’ll start it next month”, or “I haven’t got time”. If it really matters to you then find the time, even if it means giving up something else.

When did you decide that you wanted to become a writer?

I think it was at school, perhaps around 13 or 14, or basically the point at which the school first starts encouraging you to think about a future beyond school. I remember making a list of things I wanted to be, and one was astronaut (Star Trek had a heavy influence on my childhood!) and another was PC Games Reviewer, because who doesn’t want to get paid for playing and writing about games? I knew I wanted to write, but I never thought it was possible, or practical, to be a novelist at the time. But it’s always been there in the back of my mind.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write on a computer. I’ve been a computer nerd for as long as I can remember, starting with a 4KB Tandy computer and working up through Spectrum and Atari ST, before getting into PCs with a 386SX that I built from spare parts my dad no longer needed.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

For me it’s taking an idea to the next stage. I have a lot of ideas, but working them into proper story arcs takes a lot of time and effort, and I can’t start writing without that plan in front of me. But once I have these waypoints, I can start.

What is the easiest part of writing that you consider?

I’m not sure I’d describe any part as being easy, but when I get to a key point in the story, and I know where it’s going to go and the impact it will have on the characters and the rest of the story, this is when I write most freely.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

The Planetsider is my first completed novel, and I started it over ten years ago, so that is probably not a great example! But, in reality, it took me perhaps six to nine months, writing as often as possible, while also working full-time. Hopefully, one day I can write full-time and complete a book more quickly than that!

Any tips on how to go through a dreaded writer’s block?

Get up and go and do something else, completely unrelated, like go for a walk or watch some YouTube videos or make a drink and let your mind wander. Don’t think about the book at all. The trick is to switch your brain into another mode for a while, and then come back and try again. It’s like resetting a computer, it clears out all the fud that’s clogging up your memory and messing around with your CPU.

How did you decide to pick out your book cover?

I had a very clear idea of what I wanted the cover to be, and it’s actually based on a scene in the second chapter. I created a rough mock-up on my computer, using stock images and my very limited photo-editing capabilities and gave this to a proper designer to re-create.

Do you think the cover plays an important part of the buying processes?

I think so, as it’s the first thing you see. You have perhaps a couple of seconds to get someone’s attention and make them interested enough to want to pick up your book, or click on it to see more, so the cover does matter.

How do you market your books?

Initially, I’m focused on trying to get reviews, both customer reviews and reviews from bloggers, hence this blog tour! I also have a website at and have started to blog there about my experiences with writing and becoming an indie publisher. I was a technology journalist for nearly seven years in the early 2000s, so it’s perhaps a little strange that I’ve never blogged before, but I’m enjoying it! I’m also going to do some giveaways in selected Goodreads groups, and perhaps elsewhere.

I am also running Amazon AMS ads and will run targeted Facebook ads a little later, once (hopefully!) the book has picked up a solid number of positive reviews. And as I’m currently enrolled in the KDP Select program, I’ll run some Kindle Countdowns and combine these with a Bargain Booksy or similar.

Why did you choose said route?

I spent a lot of time researching book marketing online, looking into what other authors have done and piecing together a plan based on what these authors considered to be successful. I have worked in marketing for many years, so I have experience of AMS, Facebook advertising and also PR, some of which is transferrable to book marketing, though I’ve still needed to learn a lot, and also experiment. I also read Successful Self-Publishing and How to Market a Book, by Joanna Penn, and I’d certainly recommend these to other aspiring self-publishers!

What is your favourite quote of your book?

Some of my favourite parts might be a bit spoilery, but I like this:

“Losing something means there’s a chance of finding it again,” said Ethan, lowering his gaze. “What I’ve lost, I can never get back. And now I don’t think I belong here anymore.”

How can your readers discover more about you and your work?

The best place is on my website at

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

I can certainly see indie publishing becoming bigger and more accepted, especially as ebooks are increasingly popular. If you look at video, you can already see how the trend has moved away from regular TV to independent creators, via YouTube and Twitch, and on-demand services like Amazon Video and NetFlix provide much more flexibility for smaller independents to get their work seen. I think publishing is going the same way.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included.

No, thank you for the great questions!

Book links:

Amazon UK:

The Planetsider giveaway

Prize 1: Signed paperback of The Planetsider (UK only)
Prize 2: eBook copy of The Planetsider (International)

 href=”; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”bf633057176″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_tb33ew4y”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

2 thoughts on “The Plantsider Book Blitz: Review + Q&A

  1. Pingback: April Wrap Up

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