A Swift Update

Having been up in the night on the usual three occasions to change Tom's nappy (my duty and my joy), I'm now preparing to head into London for the first of four days of storylining as part of an actual writer's room, for a brand new TV series.  I've always been a supporter of the writer's room format, but never had the chance to participate.  So this is going to be interesting.  And it'll be great to have Tom to come home to.

The first date in my London Falling tour is tomorrow (Wednesday) night.  I'll be the guest at this month's BSFA London Meeting, reading from the book and being interviewed by Roz Kaveney.  I'm a regular at these get-togethers, which are always warm and friendly, an ideal introduction for any newcomer to SF fandom.  And I always like a pub venue with a closed-off bar for the fans to gather in.  Please do come along if you can.  I'll be raffling the first actual copy (as opposed to advanced review copy) of the novel to be let out into the wild, plus other goodies.

Another way for you to get hold of the book, as I mentioned last time, is by entering this Tor contest, where you can win everything my publishers release in December.  You've still got time to join in.

And finally, the Development Deal feature at CBR has been kind enough to think about what Saucer Country would be like as a TV series.

I go now to shave, ready to march out into the darkness and possibly have a nice coffee somewhere before meeting my fellow writers.  Cheerio!


Win London Falling and Everything Else from Tor

Just a couple of things to mention to you among my usual round of typing and poo.  I thought I might actually write 'the end' on the sequel to London Falling today, but it was not to be, and I'm ahead of the deadline there anyway, so that'll happen sometime next week.  I'm now getting so used to changing Tom in the middle of the night that I'm never certain these days, when I wake up, how many times I've done it.  It's getting to be an unconscious process, like a US Marine assembling their rifle.  'There are many babies like him, but this one is mine...'  We had a family outing to the 100th Aylesbury Sci Fi Meet Up last night, and it was great fun as always.  Although it did give me my first experience of changing Tom in a public toilet, and let's just say he made sure it was a baptism of fire.  ('How did he get it on his shoulders?!')

I was pleased to see this very positive write-up of London Falling in the Guardian as part of Damien Walter's survey of fantasy books with London settings.

I've done a new interview, largely about the book, for the Ginger Nuts of Horror blog.

And if you'd like to have a chance to win not only London Falling, but every other book Tor releases in December (including novels by Cherie Priest, Douglas Adams and Peter F. Hamilton), then take a look here.

Lots of stuff happening next week, including my appearance at the BSFA on Wednesday.  Until then, Cheerio!





Wolverine and Saucer Country

So all the details are now out in the open: I'll be writing the new Wolverine series for Marvel, starting with #1, out next March.  And, to my great delight, the artist will be Alan Davis.



You can read about our plans for the series in two interviews here and here.  There'll be more forthcoming.  One thing I should address that I mention in the interviews without explaining: I'm going to have Wolverine refer to himself as James Logan.  I know that's not the name he pays his taxes under.  But it's his chosen 'human name' (as Cyclops would put it) now, for reasons that are meaningful, and which old-time readers may well be able to work out quite easily.  Having said that, the new series will be entirely new-reader friendly.  You don't need to know a thing about the world or the characters going in.  I'm very much looking forward to March.

Meanwhile, in other comics news, today is the day when the first trade paperback of Saucer Country, 'Run', is in book shops and comic shops everywhere.  You can order it from Amazon (who insist the publication date is December 4th), or, if you're in the USA, you can take advantage of this generous offer. Trade waiters, the wait is over!

And finally, the latest edition of The SF Squeecast is out now, in which I talk about Quatermass, and things get quite out of hand.  Cheerio!

This Time Next Year Game Update

A single point is added to the tally of one the players in our year long prediction game as Psmithsonian correctly guessed that One Direction would have a number one single this year.  This means our new league table looks like this:


L.M. Myles: 11
Paul F: 11
RHeitzmann: 11

Soru: 10

Fizzle: 9
Liz: 9
Phil Hansen: 9
Uther Dean: 9

B-Guymer: 8
Matthew Hyde: 8
Michael Lee: 8

C.A. Young: 7
David Bishop: 7
Nick Pheas: 7
Penny Heal and Jason Stevens: 7
PSmithsonian: 7
Tom: 7

Dean Hazell: 6

Jennifer Kelley: 5
Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: 5

Ads: 4
James Fairlie: 4

Kendersule: 3
N.J.: 3
Run Iago: 3

Adam Short: 2
L.L.: 2

You're all doing very well!  Cheerio!

Snikt!

So yesterday night, iFanboy ran this promo image as an exclusive...


Apart from confirming that I am, indeed, the Cornell concerned, and adding that, while being excited to work once more with my old comrades at Marvel, on something that truly kicks arse, I will continue writing Saucer Country for Vertigo... that's all I can say.  Expect more detail early next week.

Today I got the first box of proper copies of my new novel, London Falling, through from Tor (oh, that new book smell, so much better when it's your own!), and of course, there's loads of stuff happening about that, so to update you...

I've written a new blog for Forbidden Planet International in their Director's Commentary series, about the writing of the book.

And in the latest issue of SFX Magazine (#229) I'm interviewed, and you can read a sample chapter from the novel.


It's a great write-up, and I really like the photo of me (by Rob Monk) that goes with it (I so rarely like photos of myself).  All in all, the SFX team have done me proud.  Thanks, guys!  Mind you, there are some spoilers for the book, my own fault, in that I was interviewed before I'd decided what I was going to hold back.  It only applies to the first third or so, though, so you won't lose any plot twists.

Another date's been added to my London Falling signing tour.  On December 11th I'll be appearing at Waterstones Reading Oracle at 5pm, before heading onto Waterstones Staines later that same evening. (Details for both on the same link.)

I've started an Amazon Author Page (which is very US-specific, being a US Amazon service), which lists all my available books, and features other goodies besides. You can find that here.

And I've done a new interview, specifically about Saucer Country, with Tor.com, which you can find here.

The other comics thing I've done this week which has caused some reaction is a big moment for The Shining Knight in the latest issue of Demon Knights.  You can read a little commentary on what happened, get some context for it, and hear my reaction here. It's sort of a parting gift from me, for an audience who were already clued-in to one aspect of the Knight that hadn't yet been quite said out loud.

And as I promised on Twitter... baby pictures!


Look out, Caroline, look out!


Snorf.


I feel I would enjoy an expedition.  Arrange it.


I may have miscalculated.

Until next time, Cheerio!

The Next Big Thing Meme

So there's this challenge being passed around the British SFF novelist community, and, kindly,Danie Ware tagged me to take part.  It's about what we're working on right at the moment.  So here we go...

What is the working title of your next book?

I'm afraid that right now I'm going to have to just call it London Falling 2.  I have a title in mind, but my editor and I haven't had a conversation about that, so I don't know how she feels about it, and besides, I don't want to give it away early.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted a straightforward twenty-five words or less backbone for a simple story that would serve to expand greatly the world my heroes work in.  I've always been interested in the industry and mythology of Jack the Ripper, rather than the murders themselves, and I wanted to write something that took that stuff apart in a modern way, that recognised that straightforward depictions of that material are pretty meaningless nowadays.  This is the continuation of the story of my undercover London police team who accidentally become able to see the supernatural.  Their numbers this time are... altered.  There's loads of wry copper humour, but it's really a very dark book.

What genre does your book fall under?

Urban fantasy.  With rather an SF approach to it, mind you, in that my police heroes always dissect the nature of the supernatural, rather than take it at face value.

What actors would you choose to play the parts of your characters in a movie adaptation?

I think this is a bit of a trap, because I want readers to inhabit them, not to have the distance between them and the characters that always thinking of an actor playing them would give.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

'Jack the Ripper is back, but this time he's killing rich white men.'

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It'll be published by Tor in the UK in 2013, in the US (presumably) in 2014.  I'm represented by an agency. This is really two different questions.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About eleven months, starting almost as soon as I'd finished London Falling.  I deliver in December, and I'm confident of doing that.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That's really tough.  I think most of us working in a genre try and make our work as distinct as possible from that of others.  If you like Ben Aaronovitch, I guess you might like this, but we really do very different things, albeit using some of the same ingredients.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Some of it's informed by anger at what's happening in the world right now, from Jimmy Saville to attacks on the BBC to various horrors within the fan community.  The great thing about writing modern police-based urban fantasy is that you get to talk about the real world right now, and yet use the great metaphorical thump of fantasy to do it.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Well, most people won't have seen London Falling yet, so it seems weird to say 'if you liked that...' But there is one thing I'd like to tease.  There's a celebrity guest star in this one who's given me permission to have them appear 'as themselves'.  It gives a certain frisson to various parts of the book, and I'm terribly grateful they allowed me to do it.  You'll be hearing more about that, I daresay, in the coming months.

For next week's NEXT BIG THING I hereby nominate five of my compatriots, in whose company I am proud to be.  You're tagged, Liz Williams, David Barnett, Sophia McDougall, Jaine Fenn, and Simon Spurrier!

There, my duty is done.  There is also some other news to report.  In your comic shops today (and in digital form around teatime) are Demon Knights #14 (where there's a big character moment for the Shining Knight, which may get reported elsewhere) and Saucer Country #9 (the second part of the 'Reticulan Candidate' arc, of which I am very proud).  You can see a preview of the latter here.

And I'd like to mention Aces Weekly, the digital only comic from David Lloyd, featuring an astonishing list of talent.  You get an enormous weekly issue, full of great new strips, plus supporting material, for about a quid.  It's an incredible bargain, and a great new platform for comics.  They're now several issues in, and it gets better all the time.  Do give it a look.

More bloggage at the end of the week.  And, I think, baby photos!  Cheerio!

Win London Falling and Doctor Who!

Well, not all of Doctor Who, of course, that would be silly.  We'll get to that down the page.  Two new events have been added to my ever-growing tour to promote London Falling: on 11th December, from 7.30pm, I'll be appearing at Waterstones in Staines (tickets cost £3, available on the door).

And before that, on Wednesday November 28th, I'll be the guest at the regular BSFA Open Night, in the cellar bar of the Argyle pub in London, where I'll be interviewed by Roz Kaveney.  It's there where you can win an advanced review copy of the novel, before the launch date, as a prize in the raffle, all profits going to the BSFA.  (I'll throw in a Saucer Country collection and some other goodies too.)

I have two announcements on behalf of others today, the first of which is very important.  Jac Rayner, the writer who adapted Love and War, is running a contest where you can win said audio, plus other Doctor Who and Merlin -related prizes.  It's all in aid of spreading awareness about M.E., the terrible condition that the forthcoming Bernice Summerfield anniversary celebration, Many Happy Returns, is also going to give its profits toward fighting.  I think you'll see that Jac's gone about doing that in a very clever way.

And for those of you who miss Captain Britain and MI-13, the good news is that some of the characters are returning to the Marvel Universe!  As revealed here, in November, writer James Asmus and artist Diogenes Neves (from Demon Knights!) will be responsible for Faiza Hussain and Pete Wisdom showing up in the new story arc of Gambit.  Worth your time, I'm sure.

More news later this week!  Until then, Cheerio!

Friday Update

I must admit, I'm knackered.  Last night, thanks to dear old Tom, was rather a sleepless one, but I'm happy to do that if it means he's content and full of milk at the end of it.  But despite that, or maybe, hormone-wise, because of it, I've managed my first ever 10,000 words of prose week.  I'm getting to the end of the sequel to London Falling, and I love it when plot threads come together and conclusions are drawn, and that's pushing me along too.  But still, as they say, if you want something done, give it to a busy person.  As we speak, Caroline's getting some well-earned sleep.  Tom's latest favourite thing is now The Fascinating Cushion from our sofa, which has a check pattern; babies like strong contrasts.  Indeed, his spectrum of stuff, from excellent to worst thing ever, and I think this is a complete list, now goes:  milk...having his tummy rubbed...the fascinating cushion...music... getting to look around...being burped...sleep...having his nappy changed...weeing in his own face.

But you don't want me going on about my little one all the time.  There's a lot happening as the clock ticks down to the launch of my first urban fantasy novel, London Falling, on December 6th.  As I've already mentioned, on that day you can come along and see me read from the book and sign copies at Forbidden Planet in London's launch evening.  On December 11th, I'll be signing and reading in Reading and Staines (links to follow next week).  On December 12th, I'll be in Bath, and on December 13th, Ben Aaronovitch will be talking with me about the book as we become the Pornokitsch Christmas Party.  And there are still more events to come.  If you'd like me to come along to your local book shop, have a word with them, and get them to drop Tor a line.

But the big news today is that you can now get a flavour of the book yourself in two ways. Tor.com have just put up the first chapter for free (complete with the cover of the US edition, which is out in April), or you can see me read from later chapters onstage at this year's Eastercon.  (For those looking at the website version, I've pinned these two up on the right.)

If I've managed, in my crude way, to convince you of the merits of my venture, you might see fit to pre-order the book itself from Amazon, Blackwell's, Waterstones or any good book shop.  The e-book version will be available, DRM-free, on the same day as the print edition, and I'll let you know when there are links.

In other news, there's a new interview with me up at Newsarama, dealing entirely with Saucer Country, the title in which we're currently in the midst of what I think is some of my best comics work.

And here's a preview of Demon Knights #14, my penultimate issue on the title, again an arc of which I'm very proud.

Oh, and I've now joined the very wonderful Fantasy Faction forum. Come and say hello in the Introductions section.

There'll be more announcements about London Falling shortly.  Until then, have a good weekend, and Cheerio!

A London Falling Christmas Party... with Ben Aaronovitch!

The second big event in support of London Falling has been announced (after the launch)!

On Thursday December 13th, from 6.30pm, at the Charing Cross branch of Blackwell's, I'll be talking about the book with Ben Aaronovitch, with the good folk from Pornokitsch supplying Kraken rum and festive cheer.  It promises to be a bit of a party, with a signing taking place after the conversation.  And of course the book will be available.

It's free to go along, but if you're planning to do so, do drop a line to events.london@blackwell.co.uk first, because they like to know how many attendees to accomodate.

Those of you with Facebook can check out the details of the event and add it to your calendars here and those without can see all the info if you scroll down to the correct date here.

There's going to be some more of these soon, and every Friday I'll do a round up of what's happening.  Thanks very much, all, for your support, and I look forward to thanking many of you in person at one of these events.  Cheerio!

The Launch of London Falling

Okay, the big day is approaching!  On Thursday December 6th, from 6pm, I'll be reading from and signing London Falling at London's Forbidden Planet.

You can see all the details here (plus there's a quote about the book from George R.R. Martin, bless him), and that's also where, if you can't make it, you can also order signed copies to pick up later.

This is only the first of many signings and events that'll be announced in the next couple of weeks.  If you'd like me to come along to your local book shop, ask them to get in touch with Tor, and I'll visit as many as humanly possible.  (Perhaps while wearing a small baby on my chest.)  One such signing has been in place for ages, being at Topping and Company in Bath on December 12th.

It's brilliant to finally be into the business of getting the book to readers.  The question I'm most asked is 'will it be out on Kindle?'  and the answer is yes, and on all other ebook readers, on December 6th, just like the print edition, and it'll be DRM-free, so honest purchasers like yourselves will be able to move it between devices as they wish.

The novel is 'The Bill do Buffy', as a bunch of modern London undercover coppers find themselves having to tackle a terrifying supernatural threat.  There's loads of dark police humour, but it's a serious book, an emotional book.  I like to think it whizzes along, but has an oomph to it too.  You can see me reading from it here.

I hope to see as many of you as I've ever seen at FP on December 6th.  Those of you who know me mainly from my Doctor Who work, I think London Falling is me returning to the voice of Love and War and Human Nature, and it feels great to be back.  Any help you can provide in getting the word out would be much appreciated.  This is very much what I'm meant to be doing, and with the sequel nearly finished, I'm taking continual joy in doing it.  I hope that communicates to the reader.  I hope to see you on December 6th (and there'll be many more blog posts about exciting LF happenings along the way).  Until then, Cheerio!