It’s not out for another three weeks, but Phil Norris over at Fantasy Faction has posted a cracking review of The Shattered Crown which you can read here. “If you like your fantasy full of guts and glory and with a clever plot then this is for you.” I think he liked it!!
I mentioned last month I would be narrating a short story by the extremely popular Mark Lawrence, author of the Broken Empire trilogy and the forthcoming The Red Queen’s War series. Well here it is for your listening pleasure. It’s quite long, just under an hour, and it gave me a great insight into the whole voiceover process. I certainly have much more appreciation for David Thorpe, who narrates my own novels quite brilliantly.
Anyway – enjoy!
So, as 2013 draws to a close I’m sitting back to think on a year with some pretty steep highs and lows. Most of the lows are on a personal level, and I’m not going to bore you with them here, but work-wise things have been going pretty bloody well. Herald of the Storm came out in March to some pretty stonking reviews. It’s sold pretty well for a début epic fantasy in a very crowded market and the four foreign translation deals are nothing to be sniffed at. Book two in the Steelhaven series, The Shattered Crown, is now completed, edited and typeset and copies should be winging their way to book shops early in the new year.
The most satisfying news I’ve had recently is to learn I managed to sneak on Fantasy Faction’s Best of 2013 list at number 13 – it’s true, just take a look! Yes that’s me rubbing shoulders next to Daniel Abraham and Brian McClellan. Go me!
This month I also nabbed the opportunity to do my first bit of voice over work! You wouldn’t think that a dopey sounding Yorkshireman would be anyone’s first choice for narration, but it doesn’t seem to do Sean Bean’s career any harm. Consequently, Mark Lawrence chose me from a very talented bunch of individuals to narrate one of his short stories, which will be available for free, right about as soon as I’ve had the chance to record my dulcet tones.
So that was 2013, and 2014 is set to be just as good a ride. See you there.
As many of you will know, this weekend was World Fantasy Con, held at the Hilton Hotel Brighton. I went along on the Friday and Saturday and met lots of jolly nice people who all seemed to be politely ignoring the fact that I was rather more than three sheets to the wind on both days.
I spent most of Friday in the bar, where to begin with I happened to be standing next to Nathan Long, of whose work I am a big fan, particularly his Blackhearts novels. Paul Wiseall of J-For-Jetpack later introduced me to Daniel Polansky, whose Low Town novels are currently at the top of my to-read list, and who I was relieved to discover feels much the same as I do about this whole social media malarkey. Later on, as I waited in the bar, none other than Muriel Gray came and sat next to me. Go figure.
After a bit of a wander I got to meet Stephane and Alain who are the chaps behind Bragellone, who will be producing the French translation of Herald sometime next year. And marvellous fellas they are too.
At the various publisher dos I hooked up with a number of people I’d only heard about or communicated with online. These included Stefan Fergus and Doug Smith who have both said very nice things about my books, and who were both as nice in person as they are on the interwebz. I may also have pre-emptively wandered into the Gollancz do, where various people looked at me funny and Gill Redfearn gave me a well-deserved telling off (just for the record I am now terrified of her).
Later in the evening my editor John Wordsworth and I retired to the bar once more where we sat down and chewed the fat with Tim Lebbon, Christopher Golden and James Moore until getting on for 2am. We chatted about all sorts, from comics to dodgy agents, and for the record I’m still convinced I’m right about the Dredd movie and the US/UK divide between Batman and Superman (don’t ask).
Okay, so on the Saturday I didn’t so much attend the con as go and watch the rugby then rock up for the after parties, but I was more than there in spirit. Firstly was my agent John Jarrold’s soiree where I got to chat with Dave Bradley of SFX along with his lovely wife. I also managed to bore Mark C Newton stiff and was suitably gushing towards John Gwynne after his Gemmell Award win on Thursday.
Then it was on to the Headline do in the Globe pub just around the corner from the main venue. Things were getting a bit fuzzy around the edges by then, so simultaneous apologies and hellos should go to Mathilda from Head of Zeus, the legendary Tad Williams (who I managed to collar on the doorstep of the pub in extreme high winds), publisher-sis Jen Williams and Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch who I forced to be in a picture with me, whether he wanted to or not. Special mention should also go to Ben Willis, one of the tireless publicity guys at Headline, for putting all the promotional cover prints of my books where no one could see them. I don’t think I mentioned it to him once.
All-in-all it was a bloody good weekend, and if I’ve forgotten to mention anyone then I’m sorry, but then I was very, very drunk.
Yes, that’s right, Steelhaven Two: The Shattered Crown now has a cover (pause for applause). Here’s the wraparound that will be used for the trade paperback version (clicky for a larger version):
Unfortunately, due to the vagaries of the book industry, it doesn’t look like book two will receive a hardback edition. This is as annoying for me as it will be for those of you who would like a full set of hardbacks, but there’s some things even I can’t control. Anyway, it’s the words that matter, and the latest draft has just been sent for typesetting with a view to a March 2014 release – ooh exciting!!
Those of you in possession of a sensitive nature (and let’s face it, if you’re here the chances of that are slim) will probably not want to read this review by, erm, BookCunt. I’ll let her do the talking.
Lovely news in the form of not one, not two, but three new translation rights deals this week. In addition to the Spanish deal already sealed, Herald of the Storm will soon be available in French, Bulgarian and Italian. Full details are on my agent John Jarrold’s website here. So it’s Nasdrave, Santé and Salute from me!