Wednesday, 23 April 2008

What to read, and why?

I don't belong to a book club, so don't have the pressure to read anything beyond what takes my fancy. But it did lead me to an interesting point. Why do you read books, and what makes you choose a particular book? Author? Reviews? Cover? Blurb on the back? Celebrity endorsement? It's written by Jordan? There's a couple of books I've picked off the shelves completely at random, then ended up ABSOLUTELY loving. The three that spring to mind are:

1. Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. I liked the cover, read the blurb and needed to buy a birthday present (at least 75% of all presents I buy are books). Probably my favourite book from last year.
2. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. The first one was going for 99p. That's why I picked it up. Then I bought the rest (full price) because they're bloody brilliant.
3. One of the Eagle series by Simon Scarrow. Celebrity endorsement in this case (no, not by Jordan), but by Bernard Cornwell. There's a quote of his on the front cover. Also it's about Roman legionnaires, which I love.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

The Devil's Kiss in German, and French and...

The marvellous Alex of Rights People has been busy bashing the drum over my book. If it felt surreal before, now it's really Alice in Wonderland...
Some very nice people in Germany have bought both The Devil's Kiss and its sequel. I met with my new publisher, Urban, last week at the LBF (which was an adventure in itself) and I think it's going to be a blast. That put a big smile on my face on Tuesday.
On Wednesday I found out that Italy have bought both books, aswell as France. To round up the week, I've now discovered The Devil's Kiss will also be in Greek! My grin is so wide it's wrapped around the back of my (extraordinarily swollen) head.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Worse...much worse

If there's one law to writing it's make you're character's life as hard as possible, and then make it harder still. I'm a big of Bernard Cornwell and the Sharpe series and was watching one of the Sean Bean dvds last night, Sharpes Command (I think). So, we have our hero, Captain Sharpe. In the opening scene he's lost his sympathetic commanding officer, Lawford (forgive the slight inaccuracies regarding names, it was late and I was making notes simultaneously). New boss hates him and turns up with his arch enemy, Sargeant Hawkswill.
1. He loses his captaincy, back to being a lieutenant.
2. He loses his command of the Green Jackets.
3. His right hand man (Harper) is flogged and made a Private.
4. His lover is a spy trapped in a city with their new-born daughter (who he hasn't seen) being beseiged by the British.
5. Hawkswill has the hots of his lover and is a cruel and trecherous bastard.
6.The only hope for promotion is to lead the Forelorn Hope, which is a sucide mission.
7. Wellington won't let him lead it anyway.
Cornwell suggest that if you want to be a good writer, take a book off the shelves relevant to you and analysis it. Break it down and see how it all fits together. You could do worse that try it on the Sharpe series. Twenty+ published and still going strong. He's obviously doing something very right!
Ok, I'm off to see if I can add a seige into my book...

Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Devil wears Prada= Star Wars

In the spirit of how there are only & stories in the world, I've noticed a high level of similarities between these two films, basically how tDwP is about a hero's descent and temptation to the Dark Side. Anne Hathaway is both Luke and Anakin, while Meryl Streep is the Emperor. In essence tDwP is ALL SIX of the Star Wars films, wrapped into one!

Also Stardust= Conan the Barbarian (except not as good!). Especially the end where you have the helpless maiden strapped to the altar about to be sacrificed until our noble hero comes along and rescues her from the hideous witch. That was a cliche in the 1930's, guys!

Jon joins Greenhouse Literary Agency

Dear Jon,

I'd like to take this opportunity to say CONGRATULATIONS and welcome, brother from another mother!
You're in for a tremendous time, Sarah's going to stretch you to the utter limit.

Welcome to my new blog!

The one available on my website's become a shambles do to lack of security and spamming. So I'm going to try this one instead.

I'm really sorry about this, there was a lot of interesting stuff building up, but consider this the 'Batman Begins' version, leaner and meaner than the last.

At some future point it'll all become quite seemless, so do bear with me for the time being.