Helen Ross Writes – supports Australia’s talented self published authors, small press publishing and independent publishers
On Monday I chatted with the talented Simon Haynes. Simon self-published three adult/teen novels from 2001-2003, was trade-published (four novels) between 2004 and, and is currently in the middle of publicity for his latest self/indie published title, Hal Junior: The Secret Signal.
If you missed Simon’s journey, please click on the direct link at:
As promised, here is my review of Simon’s latest release:, Hal Junior: The Secret Signal. A fun read!
By Helen Ross
Hal Junior: The Secret Signal
Author Simon Haynes
Published by Bowman Press
Hal Junior lives aboard a futuristic space station. His mum is chief scientist, his dad cleans air filters and his best mate is Stephen ‘Stinky’ Binn.
As for Hal … he’s a bit of a trouble magnet. He means well, but his wild schemes and crazy plans never turn out as expected! (taken from the book’s back cover).
Simon Haynes weaves humour, adventure, basic science principles, baddies, an interesting plot, enough twists and turns and a likable hero in Hal Junior to create an entertaining, page turning children’s novel. I was entertained all the way, and will even admit to some laugh out loud moments. I virtually read it in one sitting. I loved it.
The adventure traverses at a nice steady pace. The humour is very appealing and a little quirky at times, which will certainly amuse the book’s target market (upper primary age and beyond).
I loved the character of Hal Junior. He is quite bright in his own way, and means well, but mayhem tends to follow him. He certainly has a way of driving his ‘teacher’ and adults around him a little crazy. Yet you just can’t help falling in love with him. Hal’s best mate, ‘Stinky’ is also very likeable. Furthermore, Simon has a non-geeky, unobtrusive way of embedding basic science principles into the novel. I’ll leave it up to Hal and Stinky to show you.
This novel will appeal not only to upper primary aged children but also teens and adults who like science fiction, and adventure with a mix of quirky humour. It is a great book to lure the reluctant reader into the world of science fiction and the magic of books.
A fun read!
Simon’s website address:
Books can be bought from:
Hal Spacejock ebooks: http://www.spacejock.com.au/Hal1Shops.html
You can find book reviews at:
Please note that I will no longer be accepting offers to review books. I am just swamped with work and wish to pursue my own writing projects. However, if I have promised to review a book I will still be doing so (hopefully in the near future). But with that said, if I do come across a great book by a talented Aussie author (like Simon Haynes’ Hal Junior ), and I wish to scream the author’s talents to the Universe, then I will certainly ask the author’s permission to write such a review.
However, I will continue to interview talented independently published Australian writers.
All the best!