Friday, 19 December 2008

Wrapping up 2008

The latest revision of DEVIL'S KISS went off to Hyperion yesterday and I'm officially on holiday. So this is the last blog of 2008.

Gosh, really not sure what to say that's not already been said. Even if you've only flicked through the other blogs you've got a good enough idea of my opinions on the things that matter. Like Christian Bale.

Given the bloggers involved in this are other writers, I've got a mini-checklist together of things up and coming. You probably know about them already, but what the hell. I'll try not to sound like a life-coach.

1. SCBWI British Isles are doing another Undiscovered Voices in 2009. YOU MUST ENTER! Check their website for details,

2. They're doing lots of other things too, Agents' party, Masterclasses and their legendary Professional Series. My agent Sarah Davies will be doing one on 26th February.

3. Buy my book. 7th May. Got that?

4. Don't be realistic with your ambitions. What's the point? They're ambitions, they should be sky high.

5. If in doubt, double it. Twice as many words, twice as many submissions, twice as many rejections. Means you''ll get to your goal twice as fast. It worked for me.

6. 7th May, you won't forget, will you?

See you in 2009!

Saturday, 13 December 2008


OMG! Whilst searching for more videos of Christian Bale on Youtube I came across this, a trailer for MY BOOK!

I was told that when the ms has been accepted and the copy-editor's happy, the real fun begins, and it has.

Now I know that it should all be about the art and then work and the slaving away, but trailer! How cool is that?

Also...the US editions will have very different covers to the UK's. Hyperion will be using models on the front covers for both Devil's Kiss and Dark Goddess. The girl they've picked for Billi and the boy they've chosen for Ivan are, in the words of Zoolander, really, really ridiculously good lookin'. Alas, I was not invited over to New York for the photo-shoot.

Major reworking on The Dark Goddess about to commence. There's been a bit of a brainstorm with Ari, Lins and Sarah on Book 2, so we're retaining the best bits about Devil's Kiss and raising the bar. I'm ashamed to say that their idea was better than mine. Not that they'll receive any credit. What's great is that's it's freed me from feeling pretty stuck, so the book's suddenly received 1000mg of pure adreniline.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Books of 2008

So, the lists are starting to appear. Might as well add mine to the mix.

Strangely I've not read half as much as I'd hope to have. Now I'm not commuting there's a serious chunk of the reading day gone. Also, whenever I sit down to read I feel I should be writing.
Ho hum.

Anyway, in no particular order...

1. This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson. A huge brick of a novel but a work of genius. It's about Robert Fitzroy, captain of the Beagle, and his life, coinciding with Darwin, the battle between Faith and Science, between Empire and Independence, and between honour and advancement. If Bernard Cornwell calls it a 'masterpiece' you have to take a serious look at it.

2. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Utterly chilling and very moving. A classic coming of age tale and Charles's reflection on Chapter 39 is what it's all about. "Our hour is short, eternity is long. With this knowledge came pity and mercy". Too many horror books dwell on the shock, the passing fright and creeping dread of a thing, a monster, that can be beaten. This book's goes way, way beyond that.

3. Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell. Part of a trilogy of his reimaginings of the Tale of Troy. Heroic fanatasy as it should be. A perfect balance between the thrill and terror of war. The battle scenes are full of fire, because he allows you to love and care for the characters. Working through Shield of Thunder right now.

4. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville. A real 'get your teeth into' fantastical fantasy. Too many 'fantasy' novels are terribly mundane. This isn't. Has a real Alice in Wonderland/Wizard of Oz vibe, what I love is that the conventions are played with mercilessly. The Unchosen One, indeed! Dare I say it's better than Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere? It is, IMHO.

5. Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera. Lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this and must admit, I approached it with soem trepidation. It's about 15 yo Khalid, a British born Muslim who gets kidnapped whilst on holiday to Pakistan and ends up spending two years in Guantanamo Bay. It's a hard but important read. Find out how the War on Terror's being fought. Khalid's brilliant and I've rarely got so involved nor felt such a part of a character. It's out in Feb 2009 but I do recommend it BIG TIME.