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A Whirlwind Tour of

This Sunday morning, I’ll be making my second appearance on Kids’ WB. As much fun as I had the first time around, this time was even better…

...though I have to admit, I didn't expect to make such a spectacle of myself.

…though I have to admit, I didn’t expect to make such a spectacle of myself.

Last time I was on (which you can read about here and here), this site saw a huge spike in traffic. So in advance of that, I thought I’d write up a post to say ‘Welcome!’ to all the new visitors.

And if this is the first time you’re visiting, you may be curious about exactly who I am and what kind of books I write. Thankfully I haven’t had to write up a big piece explaining all of that, because in one of my earliest posts on this site I wrote all about my background and influences, which you can read here.

Of course, that’s not to overlook the About and FAQ pages, which should also help shed some light on the enigma that is me. And if all that hasn’t helped, there’s always the Links page where you can find links (well, what else would you find there?) to some interviews I’ve done.

But that’s enough about me. After all, as far as people go I’m really kind of boring. Maybe you’re here because you’re curious about this “Vanguard Prime” thing and you want to learn more about it.

Well, in short, Vanguard Prime is the name of the series of books I’m currently writing. It’s also the name of the world-famous superhero team that teenager Sam Lee joins when he suddenly develops mysterious powers. You can read more about the books on, appropriately enough, the Books page.

But if you don’t want to go wading through all that, let me share some of the highlights with you, including this rundown on all the members of the team. The Books page also has a link to an extract from the first book, Goldrush, which you can read here.

You’ll also find on the Penguin website that you can buy the book directly from them, as well as a variety of online sellers listed (once again) on the Books page, but my favourite option is to visit your friendly neighbourhood bookshop and ask for it from them directly. You can even get the second book, Wild Card, at the same time.

But maybe you’re still unconvinced. Maybe you need to be bedazzled by some awesome reviews. Well, you can find links to the reviews the series has received, once again, on the Books page. But seeing as I’m in a bit of a scrapbooking mood, here are some of my favourite quotes;

– “Steven Lochran’s first novel is a fast-paced action text…the plot remains tense and the sense of drama and excitement are maintained until the closing pages. Lochran has created interesting and complex characters with plenty of scope to develop them further and will appeal to readers in the 10 to 14 plus age range.” – Children’s Book Council of Australia

– “Pacy…plenty of teenage humour…Lochran’s thorough approach to constructing his superhero world pays off.” – Fiona Purdon, The Courier Mail.

– “Think CHERUB, Alex Rider and Artemis Fowl all rolled into one…then you’ve got Vanguard Prime!” – DMAG.

– “Vanguard Prime: Goldrush is a funny, stylish and action-packed read.” – Jack Heath, author of Money Run, Hit List and the Agent Six of Hearts series.

– “[Wild Card is] a book that, like the Percy Jackson books, combines quick-draw pacing with intelligent, self-aware humour and a wonderful sense of the humanity that is underscored by its super-human characters…Brimming with imagination and wit and with pacing so fast that you’ll be in pain from the G forces, Wild Card is a overall thoroughly enjoyable addition to the superhero genre.” – Read In a Single Sitting.

But maybe you’re looking for something a little more cerebral. Maybe you’re a writer yourself and you’re wondering what goes into the creation of a book. Well, I’ve written about that too in various places on this site, like this post on what music inspired my writing, or this post on what books were direct influences on Vanguard Prime. And that’s to say nothing of the series of posts on what it takes to create a superhero character, which you can find here, here and here.

Of course, you might just like pretty pictures, in which case you’re also in luck! Illustrator Chad McCown has done an amazing job with the cover imagery for the Vanguard Prime series, which you can enjoy by simply clicking on the images below.




'Wild Card'

‘Wild Card’

And finally, if you don’t mind subjecting your ears to potentially harmful noises, you can listen to the Vanguard Prime theme song I cobbled together on my laptop…


Well…that’s just about everything I can think of to share with you. Of course, there’s plenty of other posts I’ve written that you can dig through the archives to read. And should you have any questions, or if you end up reading Vanguard Prime and want to let me know what you think of it, you can either email me here or you can find me on Twitter.

Make sure to keep track of this site in the months to come, as Book 3 in the Vanguard Prime series will be getting released in September this year, along with a free digital novella which will feature an all-new adventure for the Vanguard Prime team.

And that’s it. I’m tapped. I hope you’ve enjoyed this whirlwind tour of as much as I’ve enjoyed conducting it. Actually, I hope you’ve enjoyed it more than I’ve enjoyed it. But I’ll settle for ‘as much’ if need be.

‘Til next time.

Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down

It feels like these days I’m simply posting updates on what I’ve been writing about on Inside a Dog. Probably because that’s all I’ve been doing. My residency there will be wrapping up this week, with the very next post to be of great interest to Vanguard Prime readers…especially those who want to learn more about Wild Card (aka Vanguard Prime Book 2, for those people out there googling those terms!).

In the meantime, you can read my argument on how Boredom = Excitement, get some tips on writing dialogue, learn what a Tomato Surprise is and find out what music to listen to when looking for inspiration.

‘Til next time.

Dogs and Solitaire

I’m still blogging at Inside a Dog, and covering topics that I’ve been wanting to write about for ages. One is a list of links that includes Ian Irvine’s post on The Truth About Publishing. As I mention in my post, the article pulls no punches but the comprehensive information it offers was invaluable to me when I was looking to get published.

I’ve also explained what a Chekhov’s Gun is and extolled the virtues of mining old material for new ideas. Hopefully I’m not getting too preachy. I like to think I’m simply passing on some of the things I’ve learned along the way.


The last two weeks I’ve been busily working away on the edit for Vanguard Prime: Wild Card. My editor and I are scrutinizing every sentence to make sure that each one works, and that they add up to make a satisfying (and logical) story. Of all the new characters in it, I’m most excited to introduce you guys to Solitaire. I can’t wait ’til you get the chance to meet her.

And with that tease of what’s to come, I’ll sign off for now.

The Adventures of Links

I’m currently working on two new blog posts, both of them part of The Ideas Shoppe. They’re also both on the wordy side, so they’re taking a bit more time to complete than I’d like, especially as I’m aiming to have a new blog post up every week. So in the meantime, I thought I’d provide some updates of what’s been going on Vanguard Prime-wise.


The September issue of DMAG has a review of Vanguard Prime: Goldrush, while the September issue of K-ZONE has an interview with me in it. Hopefully I’ll be able to provide some scans soon. Vanguard Prime: Goldrush is also reviewed in the latest issue of Magpies magazine, a publication for librarians and teachers, where they have a lot of positive things to say about it. Check the Books page for quotes!


Penguin’s Off the Shelf magazine has a double-page spread on the Vanguard Prime team, which you can see right here. The best part is that it separates out the characters so you get to see Chad McCown’s awesome illustrations unobscured. Adelaide’s Sunday Mail also ran an interview with me that featured the members of the team, which you can read here. And the Goodreads entry for the book is sprouting more readers every week, with a couple of really insightful reviews up as well.


I handed in the manuscript for Book 3 a couple of weeks ago now and have started work on Book 4, though I may be getting ahead of myself as Book 4 isn’t currently contracted. If you’ve read Goldrush and want to see the series continue, make sure to tell all your friends and family about it! Nothing sells books like good word of mouth!


And finally, I think it’s worth mentioning again that I’ll be at Dymocks Southland on Saturday 22nd September from 1-3pm. Come and say hi!


‘Til next time.

A Launch, Some Links, and a Little Movie Talk

On Wednesday night, in the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, we had the official launch for Vanguard Prime: Goldrush. It was a great night, which you can read about here, as well as see photos like this one, where I swear I’m less stunned than I seem to be;

And that’s only the first of more events to come. Make sure to keep an eye on the Events page if you want to have me scribble in your book. Also, while I’m on the subject, thanks again to everyone who came out to show their support! I can’t express enough how much it meant.


The reviews for Vanguard Prime: Goldrush just keep on comin’! Check out what Emily Gale has to say on the Readings website, and if you’re curious about the VP team and want to learn a little more about them, take a look at this post on the Penguin Teachers’ Corner blog. The PDF they link to contains a bio for every member of the team, with exclusive information that wasn’t covered in the book! You know this is exciting because I’m using exclamation marks!


The more I think about The Dark Knight Rises, the more I realised I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man more. I still fully intend on seeing TDKR a second time, however, as the first viewing wasn’t done on an IMAX screen and I need to know what that experience is like. I did, however, see Amazing Spider-Man in 3D, which wasn’t as thrilling or immersive as I expected it to be. My fiance, however, thought the 3D was great, which was surprising given that she usually hates 3D.

Of course, there was three big superhero movies this year, with Avengers being the big winner. My experience of watching The Avengers was a curious one. As a fanboy, I loved it. As a writer, it frustrated the hell out of me; not because the script bothered me, but because there were quite a few overlaps with my book, which was in the editing stage at that time.

The end credits hadn’t even started rolling before I was thinking of all the rewrites I’d have to do to differentiate it from this multi-billion-dollar-earning movie. The good thing is that it all worked out for the best. Vanguard Prime: Goldrush ended up being a stronger book due to the rewriting I had to do, even if I had a small heart attack at the prospect.

We’re about to start editing Book 2. I’m keeping a close watch on the multiplexes.