Friday, 27 June 2008

Monday's Puffin Party

I had my first event as an 'author' on Monday. Met up with my agent Sarah and off we went to the Tate Modern, for Puffin's annual shin-dig. Here's a piccie with me lurking in the background with a lot of people who's names I should know. I'm just over the shoulder of Francesca Dow, the Puffin MD and all round excellent human being.
Very noisy, very crowded and very glamourous (well, to me anyway who's only ever attended events dominated by hairy-arsed builders, I doubt there was a hairy arse anywhere that night, apart from mine. Not that I hung out in the loos checking. Or anything. Lets move on, shall we?). Awesome view over the city, especially as night fell. Saw a few of the great and the good (Charlie Higson, Lauren Child and Meg Rosoff to name but a few) and excellent chatting to some of the other debut writers.
The key thing was how everyone LOVES what they do. Long talk with Anne, the Puffin art director and Lins (my super editor, now muscle bound from a week of house moving and such) and it's great being in an industry that ultimately is about passion and the love of the product.
No doubt I'd say this about any publisher who was on my book, but there's something very cool about being with Puffin. You remember being in the Puffin club and getting the newsletter (when you're a kid letters in the post are an EVENT) and counting the pennies to work out what you'd get and all that.
So a big thanks to Francesca, Lins, Tania, Anne and everyone else I stared at (bewildered and amazed that I was even there) for the invite and a fantastic evening.
Also, Kirsten, I have seen you before. Your photo was in Bookseller recently, wasn't it?

Saturday, 21 June 2008

My desk

This is where I work. I'm sitting at the kitchen tabel writing this. I'll talk you through what's on the desk.
2 books on punctuation and writing style (Strunk and White's Elements of Style and the Penguin Guide to Punctuation).
The concise Oxford Dictionary and the Collins Thesaurus. Two books on the Knights Templar, one book on the history of the Middle East, one book on Islam. One book on Witchcraft and one on Alchemy. Guide to the Temple Church. My Sony mp3. My mobile. Another guide to Temple Church. The annotated ms from Puffin (the work in progress). The Puffin notes. My biographies on the Templars, Billi, and Michael (key protagonists). My small leather bound 'writer's' notebook (I never leave home without it). Various pens, including a red one. A map of Middle and Inner Temple which, err, fell off the wall when I visited it. On the floor just off the bottom left of the photo is an encyclopedia, a book of quotations, and the Morte d'Arthur, the one with the Beardsley artwork. I hope to eventually allow my family to eat at this table, but not quite yet.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Lindsey Leavitt...Princess for Hire

A sibling seedling at Greenhouse has just got herself a THREE BOOK deal, at auction, with Hyperion. Lindesy's based out in Alabama and she's written PRINCESS FOR HIRE and it has landed, big time!

Lindsey was in the amazing position of having a horde of agents chasing her, but she went with Greenhouse, and the rest is now history.

Lindsey explains more on her vblog thingie (I don't know, it's too technical and I've only got dial-up) so check it out.

Hooray for Lindsey!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Backstory, how much is too much?

Where to begin? I've written a VAST backstory to the book, but am in the dilema regarding how much is to actually appear in the book. Rather than leave my editor to sort it out (hi, Lins!) I'm going back and forth, putting stuff in, taking stuff out, moving it and shaking it all about.

Have crossed the half-way point of the rewrite, but will revisit a few key scenes to spice it up a little (actually, a lot!). I think I've just got a tendency for melodrama. I'm not for quiet moments of self-denial and whistful looks. If you want characters moping around feeling sorry for themselves, look elsewhere. Thunderstorms, divine heartbreakers, demonic killers, the fate of the world, destiny, revenge, swordfights and violence. And more swordfights. These are a few of my favourite things!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Do you remember the first time?

That feeling of anxiety before you started? Trepidation as you ventured into an unknown world, a world of fubbling, confusion, bizzare rules and unbelievable excitement? How did you set it up? Candles, dim lighting, a few snacks, maybe incense?

Then afterwards, the exhileration of it, of having done it. You just couldn't wait to tell everyone, but deep down you knew they'd never really understand what it meant, what it felt like unless they did it themselves. Even now, years later, when you'd thought you'd be cynical and blase, there's still that tingle, isn't there?

Yes, I mean the first time you played Dungeons and Dragons.

Just back from Orcs Nest (my friendly local roleplaying shoppe, though why they shrink wrap books I don't know) with the 4th Edition triple pack (PHB, DMG, MM). It's been years since I've played, but it's D&D, God damn it! It's in my Geek DNA.

(Note to my editors- I'm not going to waste time reading them this month, I know I have a deadline.)