They Are Here (28/2/2009)

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The first printed copies of The Adamantine Palace arrived in the post this morning.


Twitch, twitch (24/2/2009)

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Almost down to three weeks to go. Still no printed copies.

Have bought new bookcase in anticipation.

Order of the Scales definitely past the half-way mark now (67k). Have been killing off characters to relieve tension of impending publication day. Am slowly running out. May have to have extended dream-sequence in which most of cast are massacred and then turn out not to be dead after all.

A Blisteringly Well-Written Tale (16/2/2009)

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The Adamantine Palace is a month from publication, and chez Deas, the air is filled that thick cloying electric air that comes before a storm as we[1] wait for the printed copies and, perhaps more important, the printed reviews.

So thank you, Sci-Fi now, for A blisteringly well-written tale and An inspiring debut and, most importantly, the Must Read Now! sticker. I now await the rest of the reviews with a little less trepidation.

Sci-Fi now comes out on the 19th (I think). For the three people who read this blog who didn’t already receive the excerpt via The Grand Master, it’s on page 82. For the rest of you (Simon, Jon), Order of the Scales continues to hum along (61k words) and the dragons are starting to be really fun.

[1] When I say we, I mostly mean I. I sense a certain amount of tension from my other half, but that could easily be an adverse reaction to having a tense author prowling around the place. Or it being half term.

Tumbleweed (10/2/2009)

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All of a sudden, nothing is happening. After the frenzy of activity in January… quiet. My attention is… wandering.

Order of the Scales progresses (56k words).

Big Ships and Zombie Mayhem (8/2/2009)

Posted in Critical Failures

So far this weekend I’ve been avoiding doing anything useful by sketching out the structure of the next ten books to follow Order of the Scales (a slightly more prosaic way of saying I’ve been twiddling my thumbs and staring at my navel), the ubiquitous internet surfing and by actually reading books by people who aren’t me, a pleasure I’d almost forgotten.

I have dim memory of someone once either telling me or declaring to the world that fantasy and ships didn’t mix, that ships were just too constrained a setting for the genre. Well I’ve started reading The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert Redick, in which ships and fantasy mix perfectly well, thank-you. So far it’s very, very good, up there with the best. The secret? Make the ship very, very big…

And then there’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yay. Just what possibly the best book of all time needed – a zombie makeover! Ultraviolent zombie mayhem is pretty much the literary equivalent of cinnamon, after all – a pinch of it improves almost anything and I shall take myself a piece of that sweet sweet undead marketing pie myself one day. So Hurrah! Truly the world is a better place, and I will sleep more easily at nights knowing that this exists. Not.

OK, OK, it made me giggle and grin for a minute, and apart from the cover I don’t actually know a thing about it. Truth be told, I like zombie books and I like the idea. It’s the sort of thing I might have thought of in an idle moment. And then I’d leave it alone. I’ve read a few spoofish zombie books and I’ve yet to find one that was as amusing to read as it was to talk about. World War Z is possibly the exception.So someone else wholikes both Austen and zombies please read it for me and tell me if it’s really worth more than a quick snigger over a pint. In the meantime, if you want to go straight for the publicity-gimmick jugular, I leave you with:

The Old Testament – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. But bright was the mysterious radiation from Venus. And a strange plague did infect the land. And though he was slain, Abel arose once more. And great was his hunger for brains. And Lo, he did chase his brother Cain into the land of Nod. And there Cain did find the Holy Chainsaw and did mince Abel into itty little bits. And much gore was strewn across the land. And Cain, who was a tiller of the land, did see that the flesh of his brother did make good fertilizer. And Cain did turn away from the sight of God and did take up a career in zombie-slaying.

Signings and Snow (4/2/2009)

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It’s been a bit of a slow few days. I’ve had lots of fun moving chapters of OOTS from one place to a different place, looking at them from all angles, trying them out somewhere else, but actually writing new words… no, not much of that. I never used to write like this, with all this moving stuff around malarkey. I was strictly a start-at-the-beginning-and-keep-going-until-the-end sort of writer. The rot set in with King of the Crags, so when my editor comes back and tells me it’s all a dog’s breakfast and can I please rewrite it from the bottom up, we’ll all know why… And I’m hoping this will now be sooner rather than later on account of the Snow and Simon being stuck at home with nothing else to do, along with most of the rest of London.

I did write a short piece lamenting the demise of the dragon from iconic monster to fluffy cuddly toy. Curse you Anne McCaffery (but only a teensy little bit, because I thoroughly enjoyed Pern when I was younger and it was new).

I’ve had several mails now asking where and when books can be sighed. I caught myself yesterday rolling my eyes, thinking oh no, not another one. And then I took myself outside, gave myself a good slap and stuck my face in the snow until I woke up and remembered how awesome it is that anyone at all is even asking. So: There are no hard plans for any signings at the moment, but I will be at Eastercon. If anything else is arranged, you’ll hear about it first here, and when it’s definite, I’ll put it up on the home page. There, is that fair?

Builders Breakfast (1/2/2009)

Posted in Critical Failures

In the absence of having done anything particularly constructive for a while, I’m going to rant about the most exciting thing that happened to me in the last ten minutes, namely a packet of crisps. Walkers Builders Breakfast. This comes as part of some great quest to bring a new flavour to their range, and we can all hope and pray that its arrival will finally deal a crippling mortal blow to anything even vaguely related to prawn cocktail flavour (which is probably called langoustine melange or some other pretentious bollocks but still tastes like fishy puke in vinegar. But I digress).

Builders breakfast is an absolute marvel in flavour engineering. It really does carry the flavour of fried eggs on buttered toast. You can taste that it’s butter, not hydrogified vegetable spread or cow-tongue-scrapings or whatever else gets put on bread these days. It doesn’t taste of bacon, it tastes of the ghost of bacon, that residual taste your bacony tinge that eggs get from frying them last because there wasn’t enough space in the pan for it all.

It’s so well done that the sudden realisation that I was eating crisps and not a proper fry-up was something of a disappointment and made me want to throw them away and run for the eggs and the buttered toast instead.

Damn but I’m hungry now. Whoever put this flavour together, it’s a masterwork.