Who, Where, What, When?

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I don’t collect stats for this site so I have no idea whether anyone reads these posts or pays a blind bit of attention to anything I write here. I mostly imagine myself writing into the void; which is as it should be. Most of what I have to say, I say better in my books. Still, maybe now and then there’s some sense i putting up a post that says where various projects are at. So . . .

The dragons and the thief-taker.

The second dragon trilogy (Dragon Queen, The Splintered Gods, The Silver King) has started to make its appearance in the UK. There’s no sight of a US publisher for this or for the Thief-Taker series but both should be available via online retailers at some point via the US distributor Trafalgar Square. They do all appear to be available from Amazon. Dragon Queen came out in trade in August and will follow in paperback next spring, I think. The Splintered Gods is into the later stages of the edit process and should come out in June, I think. I haven’t really got going on The Silver Kings but it should be delivered in six months or so as planned. And that, I’m afraid, is going to be it for dragons for a while. If they’re ever going to make a return past The Silver King, they need to sell a lot more. I would like to go back to Deephaven and the Ice Witch and that part of the world a little more. We shall have to wait and see.

Nathan Hawke

There are no firm plans and many tentative ones for more from Mr. Hawke. Doubtless it will depend a bit on the sales figures come the end of the year. There has been talk of some sort of omnibus. I’m frankly slightly miffed with Mr. Hawke. He’s had very little review coverage but he’s getting more positive attention on Amazon than me. Grrr. As with the later dragons books, there is no US publisher but it’s available from online retailers. And dear American friends, thank you for the online review love.

Gavin Deas

Looks like this is going to be the pen name for my SF collaborations with Gavin Smith  that are coming out next year. Irritatingly I can’t give dates for reasons that I can’t talk about. More grrr. But all three books are done, mine and Gavin’s, and in the later stages of the edit process.

What comes next? I don’t know.

Book Giveaway: The Crimson Shield (19/11/2013)

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I didn’t go a giveaway last week because I’m buried in NaNoWriMo and writing a series of articles for Fantasy Faction about it (you can read the latest of them here if you like). In future, it’s likely that whenever I have the urge to go have a rant about something relating to books, it’ll be over on Fantasy Faction. I’ll put liks up here for anyone interested.

Right now I’m in the midst of draft the second English Civil War detective story for Headline and at the same time plotting out the last of the dragon books for Gollancz and preparing proposals for What Comes Next. The last dragon book is going to be a bit of a pig because there are rather a more ends to wrap up than I’d quite realised.

What I want to know is: where’s the love for Gallow? So this week’s giveaway is a copy of The Crimson Shield by Nathan Hawke (i.e. me with the letters rearranged). No words, no title, no name, just Angry Man With Axe.

cover lo-res

Usual deal – comment on this post before November 24th  and I’ll randomly select a lucky victim for a free copy.

This week I’d like to hear your stories about jackass drivers. No names, please, and to enter the competition, you don’t have to tell a story, you can just say hi; but if you want to get something off your chest, here’s a safe place to do it (Note – Vent anything you like but I’ll not tolerate any comments on comments that attempt, in my arbitrary and biased view, to start a debate, nor the explicit naming of anyone for being a jerk. My intolerance will manifest as deleting or editing comments. This week is about having a bit of a rant, not debates or potential libel. Thought if you just want to get it off your chest about, say THE LIVING DISASTER OF JACKASS LANE-DISCIPLINE AT THE MIAMI ROUNCDABOUT IN CHELMSFORD and the COCKHEAD in the Ambient Aroma (0r something similar) van, registration VU61 something-something, then you should be fine. And yes, I know I’ve mention this before. Anyone out there with an old they’d like get involved in low-speed prang to get it written off at the expense of someone else’s insurance, it’s definitely the place to go).

You can enter as may times as you like but I’ll count the first two entries – the rest are just for fun and showing off.  Extra points for humour and originality and I’ve still got the Angry Dragons mug if you make me laugh, smirk or otherwise amuse me.

Although, though no one has yet complained about how long it takes me to get to the post office and post things, it can take a while and if you live abroad then it can take even longer (like weeks). Sorry about that, but they do get there eventually. Well, so far. Past winners, everything has been dispatched.

NaNoWriMo (12/11/2013)

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Hi everybody!

<Hi, Doctor Nick!>

I’m doing NaNoWriMo through the whole of November and so news on the site here is going to be sparse because I’m writing up progress as it goes over on Fantasy Faction. Links to each post will be on the home page. see you all in December.

Name That Spaceship: (04/11/2013)

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Last week: polishing off the penultimate rewrite of Bulldog Drummond and the Faceless; editing Empires: Extraction; going to World Fantasy Con. I’ll put up another extract from Empires later this week. This week I’m working on the sequel to The Royalist as a NaNoWriMo project. To follow my progress and/or find out what the hell that even means, you need to hop over to the Fantasy Faction site. Here’s the starter.

This week’s giveaway is a bit different. One of the nice things about conventions is that you get to see all sorts of people when they’re a bit tipsy and more pliable than usual to be tapped up for favours. If you follow the acquisitions news from Gollancz, you’ll already know that when the Kickstarter funding drive for Elite: Dangerous was launched, Gollancz bought the rights to publish three tie-in novel titles. In theory, then, there are three Gollancz novels coming out next year set in the Elite universe. If you’ve been following with *particular* interest (say because you happen to be a Gollancz author who pitch in to the Kickstarter, not that that actually narrows us down all that much, it turns out), you might have noticed that there haven’t been any announcements as to who will  be writing them and when they’ll be coming out.

Naturally, from my position of privilege, I shall not be sharing the INSIDE INFORMATION I have on the subject. What I will share, however, is the opportunity, acquired during the World Fantasy Convention for one of you to name a spaceship in one of the elite tie-in novels. Any thing you like provided is doesn’t break some other copyright and isn’t likely to cause offense (both Gollancz and Frontier would have to be OK with it). The ship is currently a Diamondback called the Sword of Alexander and exists in the narrative as something for the protagonist to ostentatiously have a fight with (I believe it puts in a good show for itself before it goes down). There is the possibility that the name might make its way back into the game database for the Elite universe, but I absolutely can’t say anything definite one way or the other about that.

To enter, you have to comment on this post before November 10th AND you have to finish this sentence: “Officer, I crashed into the space-station because…” The author who’ll be using your ship name will choose a winner by some opaque process not subject to any scrutiny next weekend. Enjoy.

New books for 2014/2015 (1/11/2013)

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I have just signed a contract with Headline books to two historical fiction novels to be published in late 2014 and 2015 respectively. These will be published in parallel with my work for Gollancz (the Splintered Gods will still come out as planned next year and so forth).

The novels are set towards the end of the first English civil war and feature the former royalist William Falkland, who has been co-opted by the Parliamentarians as a sort of roving investigator. Falkland, who has seen more than his share of battles and death in the last five years, has lost any idealistic notions of King and Country he might have carried in to the start of the war and is simply trying to get home but Parliament has other ideas; yet behind the dry, bitter and cynical exterior, Falkland clings to his notions of what is right and decent and remains and man of principle and result makes him reminiscent of the cynical heroes of noir thrillers. So there it is: noir detective stories set in the English Civil War.

The novels will be entirely separate standalones centred around Falkland and a small handful of recurring secondary characters, the only ongoing storyline being Falkland himself. In the first novel (The Royalist), Falkland is sent to the winter camp of the New Model Army in Devon to poke his nose into a trio of unusual suicides that are, of course, nowhere near as simple as they first appear. In the second, the sister of John Milton (Paradise Lost) has gone missing.

Th first of these, Th Royalist, is due for publication in November 2014.