Aylesbury woman releases first novel - a unique Sci-Fi thriller

She believes she has come up with a unique concept, and is already working on the second book in the series

By James Lowson
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 9:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 10:04 am

An Aylesbury woman has released her first novel a science fiction thriller, she believes is different to anything else on the market.

Janet Humphrey, who was born and raised in Aylesbury has released her first work of fiction, it's called, Dust.

Dust, is the first in a series of books Janet is releasing independently, telling the story of eight infected strangers who are brought together through circumstance.

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Dust by Janet Humphrey

All of them suffer after becoming infected by this dust-like substance, but none of them die from their illnesses.

Their breathing stops, but their hearts continue to beat.

The book chronicles their struggles to work out what is happening to them and what is going on with this unknown dust.

What makes this dust different from the horrible substances that contaminate everyday life, is its sentient.

Janet Humphrey

It wants to live even if its (unknowing) host is in a situation that would normally lead to death.

Dust's synopsis reads: "Sixty tonnes of cosmic dust fall on the earth every day

"What would happen if some of it was more intelligent than us?.

"What if it wanted to live, even if you were dying?

"Jed, Ezake, Cheri, Samir, Marilyn, Barry, Joshua and Brian. Eight people connected by a unique event."

Janet who is halfway through writing the sequel told the Bucks Herald: "I started off with this story that was rattling around my head.

"I went away with my husband on a short break to Exeter, and during that holiday we spotted two lads who were doing a Parkour jump from one side of the car park to the other.

"And this thought just popped into my head about one of them falling down, but not actually dying. Which is not the sort of thing I normally think about (laughs), but this story started rattling around in my head.

"I thought, I'll write it down and see what it becomes, four months later it's published and it's doing very well indeed."

Dust is available to download now online in plenty of places, including on Amazon, a paperback book launch is planned for later in the year.

As well as writing the second book the former Aylesbury resident has plans to release a prequel, focusing in on one of her eight main characters.

The story will chronicle the background of Jed, one of the more troubled characters in the Dust series.

Janet was keen to state the people in her story are alive and not undead zombies, offering a new slant on a popular science fiction genre.

She added: "I've never seen anybody else write anything like it, so I thought I'd see if anyone else would like to read it, and it's proved very popular so far."

To turn one idea, into a fully-fledged novel in under four months, Janet sets an alarm before work each morning, to get her best ideas out onto the page.

By setting a decent amount of time to get her writing done in, more often than not she can meet the rapid deadlines she's set for herself.

Currently, Janet has been writing prolifically, while continuing with her day job as a finance assistant.

"I was always very fond of English Language and English Literature at secondary school, certainly", Janet says.

"In fact my father actually won the Quarrendon parent's storybook prize that they had for a couple of years. In the end he was actually disqualified, because he was one of the only people who bothered to enter.(Laughs)

"He sent me the story very recently, and it was a good short story, with a very good twist at the end. I imagine that is where I get it from.

"My family are very supportive. My mum and dad have both been avid beta readers with the first book. Every time I speak to my mother she's asking, 'have you finished it yet?' When [book two] is finished there will definitely be at least one person who wants to read it."

One thing that has inspired the first-time novelist to keep going with her increasingly expansive, Dust world, has been the positive feedback she's receiving as more people tuck into her first story.

She said: "I've had some very good reviews left on Amazon, I've also had some on Google Play. I've actually had emails and comments from people, some of which are my original beta readers, who really enjoyed the story.

"If they've enjoyed it, maybe others will as well."

When asked which characters and themes the most people have responded to, Janet put forward one of her main eight.

She added: "A lot of people I've spoken to [about] the young man, Samir, who's of Pakistani origin, he grows up in a very strict school. I went to school [in Aylesbury], with a lot of children of Pakistani origin.

"Who were in the catchment area for my school and I made some very good friends, so that community, I've tried to tap into a little bit."

The book is available to purchase with all major e-book retailers.

People have purchased the book online as far afield as New Zealand and India.