Clayton Graham was born and raised in Stockport, near Manchester UK. He graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Salford University in 1966 having attained a Student Apprenticeship with English Electric Aviation.
He settled in Victoria, Australia in 1982. He is a retired aerospace engineer who enjoyed working in the field of efficient lightweight structures and watching them fly around the world. He has always had an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within the universe we know and love. He loves the ‘old school’ science fiction written by authors such as HG Wells, Jules Verne and John Wyndham.
Milijun is his debut novel, but there are further adventures to come.
Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural world and is a member of Australian Geographic.
When he is not writing, walking, travelling, or gardening, Clayton enjoys fine food with family, friends and five energetic grandchildren.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia? As an aerospace engineer I have worked in the UK, USA and Australia and been lucky enough to visit France, Germany, and Indonesia through the auspices of work. We finally settled in Melbourne, Australia [I was thirty-nine years old] and eventually retired on the Mornington Peninsula. The Peninsula is where my family is, and where we relax among the beaches and wineries. It is pleasant, not too crowded outside the holiday seasons, and well looked after by its residents.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I have written since my early twenties, on and off, and always loved science fiction. The works of HG Wells, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham enthralled me. They were an escape from the backstreets of Stockport, UK, where I grew up.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I’m from a ‘working class’ family in the UK. Cobbled streets, fish and chips, bread and dripping, after World War 2. Reading was no doubt an escape into different worlds. Not sure if it was an advantage but I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Hard to say exactly, but probably around ten years ago when retirement was approaching.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? That’s an easy one. Just finishing and recently self-publishing my first novel ‘Milijun’.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Considering how difficult it is for a self-publishing author to get reviews – just received my first pending review on Goodreads. Four stars – so I’m quite pleased with that. Hopefully more to come.
How many published books do you have? Just one, published early 2016.
Please list the titles of all your books: Milijun
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Around half way through. It had a different title before that. It’s an aboriginal word.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is Science Fiction, though not the really hard Star Wars type. I love writing about different worlds and how people would live and interact within them. It’s an escape, but it’s also an infinite universe, so anything is possible.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? Coming out of a short story into a novel. It seemed the obvious thing to do. The only thing to do. Almost an overnight moment. I find that the characters in the book control the story, where it goes, what happens.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write what you want, when you want. It doesn’t matter if you never use it.
Who is your favorite author and why? Dean Koontz. A master at making the paranormal believable.
It is Australia in 2179.
On a moonlit Nullarbor night, Laura Sinclair and son, Jason, witness aliens descend to Earth. The extraterrestrials endeavour to form a symbiotic relationship with humankind, and Jason is chosen as a genetic link in a bizarre trial involving the impregnation of human females with hybrid embryos and exploration of spiritual compatibility.
Laura crosses swords with Major General Sebastian Ord from the Australian Defence Force, Eucla and Uriel, the enigmatic head of Milijun, a reclusive research facility in the outback. Following a disastrous armed attempt to capture aliens at Cocklebiddy Cave and a fierce confrontation at Eucla, Jason is abducted by an alien swarm.
What follows tests the resolve of Laura to the core. Caught in a relentless web of frightening new technologies and alien mystery, spurred by the undying love of her son, she gains a strength of character she never thought possible.
All she has to do is save herself, Jason and several women and unborn children from the scheming plans of man and alien alike …
Some would call Laura a reluctant heroine, but she is a heroine, nonetheless.
How It Came to Be:
Milijun actually started as a short story. The birth of the alien RNasia occurred in the short story, and when they decided to wing their way to Earth I knew it could not end there. They seemed to want their universal journey to be worth something; they wanted their mission fulfilled. So I decided to oblige them.
The book is about more than an alien incursion into the Australian outback. It asks questions about our place in the universe, or multiverses (as we are now led to believe may be a possibility).
The novel explores the relationship between a mother and son. How far can it be stretched before the links break? How far would a mother go to save her son? Would she be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, or undertake actions she would never have deemed possible prior to the alien incursion?
Above all, Milijun explores the question what would mankind do when faced with an intelligence it cannot understand? It’s a good question, for it may happen someday. We are not currently prepared, of course, we are light years away from understanding how we should behave in such a circumstance. Milijun challenges our mindsets through the eyes of a mother and son, and as such is perhaps more powerful and meaningful than if that challenge was through the eyes of the United Nations or the President of theUnited States.
In the end, Milijun probably asks more questions than it answers. But it does raise the questions. We cannot relax on Earth forever, ignorant of our cosmic surroundings, idling our time away, creating a mirage of prosperity, which appears to create an equally ferocious misery.
Writing Milijun was a labour of love. It was not easy, but neither was it hard. Science Fiction is a love of mine, has been since I was a teenager, escaping to new worlds in the back streets of Stockport, England, where I grew up as a child. Halcyon days, when education and school milk were free, and summers were real summers. We didn’t have much, but we had enough.
Milijun my debut novel, and for me the realisation of a dream.
Mankind has always had a fascination with extraterrestrials which dates from ice-age cave walls, ancient Egyptian carvings all the way to milijun by Clayton Graham.
This well written novel explores our deepest darkest fears that as a planet we are not ready for an alien incursion, in fact we pretend our intellect can save us. However, in Australia 2179 AD main character Laura Sinclair is faced with the unimaginable when she and her son Jason witness aliens descending to earth.
It is earth’s exploration and mining on the lunar surface that begins the conflict that ultimately results in the alien incursion into the Australian outback. Laura and her son Jason are faced with alien-driven technology that severely tests a mother’s love and resolve to protect her offspring at whatever cost.
It is my intent to share a quote to show you the author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “It was almost 6:30 pm when Laura came across what would later be called the Rawlinna nest. The sun was dropping in the western sky as she staggered wearily to the top of a modest incline and surveyed the collection of old aluminium shacks spread out before her.
She dropped to the ground, partly to avoid detection but also from sheer fatigue. Her face was covered with sweat and there were several dirt marks down both cheeks where she had attempted to clear bothersome flies from her face. Closing her eyes briefly, she sat in silence, not wanting to act in haste but acutely aware that time was crucial. Earlier, she had made a brief stop to drink water from the choppa’s emergency rations but now felt the need for more. She quenched her thirst then nibbled at a foul tasting energy bar as she thought through her next move.”
I invite you to the Australia outback where things are not as you might imagine.
Milijun is a striking name for this novel. I dare you to find its meaning. It is an Australian aboriginal word which also has a Serb-Croatian context.
Cold Coffee Press Endorses ‘milijun’ a science fiction debut novel by Clayton Graham. We were given this book in a Kindle/PDF format for review. The review was completed on April 9, 2016. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press http://www.coldcoffeepress.com