Would you like to be immortalised on my website? (Disclaimer: may not actually make you immortal)

If you like the Liars series, post a comment in this thread on Facebook or this one on Twitter. Then I can quote you on the preorder page for The Truth App!

And if you (or the preteen in your life) wants to read a book about a small-town kid who invents a lie detector app and then gets targeted by organised crime...

Then I suggest you preorder The Truth App right now.

Other news:

I've struggled to write lately. It's been a bit hard to concentrate while my house is surrounded my smoke and the rest of the country is on fire. (Thanks to everyone who contributed to the #AuthorsForFiries campaign with me, and to everyone else working on recovery and prevention.) Also, Steph Bowe, an author I admired, recently died, much too young. You can read my tribute to her on Facebook.

But... *deep breath* I did manage to submit Stunt Kid, my first comedy for age 9+, about a kid forced to do risky stunts for his talentless but enthusiastic filmmaker Dad. We've confirmed an illustrator, which is exciting.

Next I'm writing Kid President, my second comedy for age 9+, about a kid who becomes president after the real president misspells his own name on the ballot paper.

Then back onto Hideout (Hangman 3) which is coming along nicely. Blake eats more people, but feels super bad about it. You'll love it.

Am I allowed to tell you about the Escape From series yet? Not sure, so I won't.

I can probably tell you about 200 Minutes of Mystery, though. It's just like a DANGER book, but mysteriouser! Should be out this year. I'm editing it right now, so it doesn't contain any words like "mysteriouser." Cover reveal:

Even more news:

I submitted a short sci-fi story called Pork Belly to Aurealis magazine, and it's been accepted for publication! Pretty exciting for me, because I love the magazine, and stories are blind-selected by a panel of judges - they didn't know who I was when they decided to publish it. Nice to know I've still got it.

I've been thinking about a making short film starring Timothy "Hangman" Blake. Should I kickstart it? Would you watch it? There's no business rationale to do this, but I think it would be fun.

I know, I know, you're only here for the freebies. I'll give you a short story in a second. But first, indulge me with a privacy notice (seriously, read it).

I've always prided myself on how little information I collect about my email subscribers - just your email. Not your name, not your age, your gender, marital status, nothing. I think our loss of privacy - and targeted ads in general - could be the downfall of society, if climate change doesn't drown/burn/poison us all first.

But this means I send a lot of emails encouraging you to buy books you can't actually buy in whatever country you're in (which must get annoying.) And I've recently noticed that mailchimp - which sends these emails - tracks the IP address of people who sign up for mailing lists or click links in the emails, which means I can tell what country you're (probably) in, unless you use a VPN or some other skullduggery. (I don't really understand what VPNs are, but I'm sure they're skullduggerous.)

The IP address thing doesn't appear to be a feature I can turn off, and to be frank, I'd quite like to use it, so as I'm not advertising Australia-only books to my American readers and vice-versa. (Where was this feature when that bloody book with two different titles came out?!) So I'm going to start tailoring the emails a little more, so as you're not getting "buy now" links that don't work. This is the first one. The book up the very top of this email should be one which is available to pre-order in your country.

I hope that's OK with you. If it's not, let me know. I'm not sure what I can do to fix it - maybe set up a special list for people who get every version of every email, not just the one tailored for their country? Or an RSS feed for the emails, so you can unsubscribe but still get notified of them and read them? - but I'm sure we can work something out. Your privacy matters to me. That sounds like a lie, because companies say it all the time, and it's almost never true. But I wrote five books about a kid invents a lie-detector app and compromises everyone else's privacy, with disastrous consequences. I wrote another book about evil social media companies that know too much (it wasn't published, but I wrote it.) Ask my friends - I'm a tinfoil hat-wearing privacy nut. I regularly Google things I have no interest in, just to corrupt the algorithms. As far as Facebook knows, I work at Maccas. I've post several different versions of my birthdate around the internet. This stuff is important to me (and it should be to you, too.)
Cool. Have a short story, as always, written in seven minutes.

"She's worthless," Gerig said.
He didn't look at Rachel as he spoke. But he could feel her looking at him. Devastated, despairing, desperate.
He kept his voice even. "No-one will buy her. She's a waste of food and space. It will cost you a fortune to fly her back to your system, and you'll never recoup the costs."
He heard a sob from Rachel's corner. Her manacles rattled.
The slave trader grinned, showing long black teeth. "I don't believe you," she said, her voice grating through the translation box. "You hacked your way through eighty kilometres of uncharted jungle to find her. She clearly has value to you."
Gerig conceded this with a nod. "To me - but only to me. This is your one chance to offload her."
"This is YOUR one chance," the trader said, "to get her back."
Gerig picked up his cash bag, knowing that he didn't have enough. Knowing that the trader would just kill him, then take Rachel and the money.
"Here's my offer," he said. He reached into the bag, and pulled out a grenade.
Stay awesome, friends. More soon.
Copyright © 2020 Jack Heath, All rights reserved.

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