In many ways I should look back on 2013 as a shit year. It challenged me in ways I could never have imagined. But in reality, I think it was actually a really good year. The universe decided to throw everything it possibly could against me… and it lost.
Leggedon was a defining moment and I surprised myself with how I reacted. If I’m being honest, I would have pegged myself as someone who when faced with overwhelming adversity would have turned away. But I didn’t (probably more out of stupidity than courage), and in doing so discovered some inner strength I didn’t know I had.
This came at the same time as a second draft of the sequel to Four Realms seemed to collapse on me. As much as I like to use fate, destiny and divine providence as a storytelling device, it’s not something I really believe in. But if the fates really wanted to try and stop me in my tracks they made a bloody good attempt in 2013. But I still won.
Anarchy Books is running a promotion between 25th and 30th December where you can download a copy of The Four Realms and four other of its titles for FREE. Please tell everyone you know to ‘buy’ a copy (even if they don’t own a kindle) as it not only helps my Amazon sales ranking but it in turn will help with future book sales. Full press release after the cut.
Read My BSFA Article In This Sampler Issue
I only half apologise for talking about it again (as I’m secretly quite proud of this article) but Alex has emailed me to let me know that the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) has put together a sampler of the latest issue of Focus where, amongst other things, you can read the article about my personal experience with writing groups on the way to becoming published.
If you’re looking to get published then it’s definitely worth checking out. The BSFA provides a number of excellent resources for unpublished genre writers, including Focus and their Orbit Writing Group.
I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately. This is partly because Wolf Hall is proving to be the slowest book I’ve ever read – that book is like rich Christmas cake, unable to be devoured and instead eaten in small, well-spaced, delicious slices. This weekend I read a book I received as a Kickstarter reward on chasing tornados and then found myself, almost inexplicably, diving into several books on the self-publishing market.
Just a quick note to say that there’s an article on myself and The Four Realms inside this week’s Bracknell News, including a suitably dodgy picture of said author. If you live in the area, be sure to pick up a copy!
Read All About It!
I’m not very good at drawing so I’m always a little bit in awe of those who can. I love a really cool piece of art, and love it even more when it’s based off of one of my stories. Mark Phillips sent in this piece of art he drew of Joseph from the Four Realms. Love it! If any more readers have art based on the book they’d like to share then I’ll gladly feature it here.
My editor and publisher, the esteemed Mr Andy Remic, sends word that he is doing a sponsored run tomorrow in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, and you can help support him and his nominated charity by purchasing books from the Anarchy website tomorrow (Sunday).
Guest Post: All About Maureen
It’s very clear that one of the things readers are in unison about is the character, Maureen Summerglass. An 82 year old lady seems an unlikely choice for a heroine, but it appears to be one that has worked with readers and for that I’m really glad.
I did a guest post for A Fantastic Librarian where I talk a lot about the origin of Maureen and how she became one of the novel’s lead protagonists. If you’ve enjoyed her in the book, I think you might find her origin interesting.
I’ve been loving the reviews The Four Realms has been getting. Even the ones that have had criticisms have been thoughtful and honest. I keep worrying that inevitably there will be one I don’t love, that will hit some previous unknown painful truth. WarpcoreSF have published their review and have said some very nice things such as “Maureen Summerglass is my favourite old lady character since Granny Weatherwax” and “a thoroughly enjoyable mystery that mashes up modern urban fantasy with [Minor Spoiler] and a more traditional fantasy world that’s in a state of gradual modernisation”.
The review does give away a minor spoiler but I know just how hard it is to talk about the book without mentioning it. I also don’t think the minor spoiler ruins the read so much as gives you an idea of the scope of the over-arcing story I want to tell across four books.
Check out Ros’s excellent review here