Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
And it was bloody great.
Let's start at the beginning. It is Sunday, the Day of Days, the dawn of Games Day UK 2012. Imagine, gentle reader, that you're standing in the foyer of the internationally famous and renowned* Hilton Metropole NEC after a boozy night and a great dinner with the BL staffers. Lo, The Writers begin to congregate. That's right, The Writers. Capital "T", capital "Writers". Up they shamble to join the walking bus over to the convention centre.
And who was first?
Then there were all the lovely people that couldn't fit into the Abnett Maze, which we simply called 'The Queue'.
I was glad to be sitting at the head of it, although I did stand at the tail for a minute or two, just for the hell of it. Yes, I stood in my own queue and asked who we were queueing for. And people told me, bless 'em.
Then they did a double take.
I am such a rascal.
I'm not going to claim that my hand got as tired signing stuff as other people's feet got shuffling about in the Maze, but I did kill three Sharpies. Count them... THREE!
I also wore out a bit of shoe leather getting up and down to have my picture taken with some of you lovely folks. There is mucho evidence of this on FaceBook and Twitter.
Some of the time I wasn't allowed to stand. Some of the time, I was forced to remain seated.
I was, of course, more than happy to stand for the Tanith when they turned up, first one at a time,
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
I had immense fun at the 2000AD Birthday Signing at Forbidden Planet London this past weekend, and I imagine that everyone (everyone who lives and breathes Warhammer and 40K, anyway) is now girding their loins for Games Day UK. Pariah will be out... the first few copies are already floating around.
One questions... how are loins girded exactly?
Oh, and this is simply great. If it doesn't make you smile, then... well, it doesn't...
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Go and look at it! Go on! Now!
What are you waiting for?
(Are you still here?)
Monday, August 20, 2012
That's right, Magic, ladies and gentlemen! It's a new anthology of original fiction from Solaris, and I've got a story in it (among some illustrious company). But don't just take my word for it... or rather DO, because that blather segues rather neatly into this link, which will take you to the first of my new batch of recently recorded video-blogs, answering your latest round of questions. Many more chunks to come, but this one starts the ball rolling with a chat about Magic, and other forthcoming projects.
Thanks for all the questions, by the way. They were great and various and very probing. You should all be interrogators for the Holy Ordos. I'll be posting up new vlog segments every few days, so stay tuned.
Friday, August 17, 2012
I thought many people would like to see this. The wonderful audio book version of Embedded produced by the splendid people at Brilliance. End of September release date, as I understand it.
Second of all... I'm going to be doing some more video blogging, so I need questions to answer... or at least to use as prompts from which to ramble indiscriminately for half a fething hour until I remember the point of what I was saying.
Please send them in. ASAP!*
*Please note "Why did you kill Bragg?" is not a question.
Monday, August 13, 2012
"Why haven't you blogged for SO long, even by your immensely lackadaisical not-to-mention actually crappy standards of keeping a blog going?" they asked, in addition. "Have you been sick? Missing in action? Lovelorn? Off on a path of self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment? Lost down the back of the sofa?"
Yes, all of those things, probably. I've been working. Working very hard. It's no excuse, but I have. It's well established that I keep myself inhumanly busy (or am, alternatively, just one of an army of clones) so for me to admit that I've been working very hard... that's something. That probably means it's a big deal.
Not only have I been too busy to blog properly, I also haven't been able to talk about some of the exciting things that have been keeping me so busy. Three or four (or five) of them, actually. That will change soon. Announcements of unrivalled sexy-ness are coming. Until then, you must walk the line and stay patient, just a little while longer.
But never let it be said I don't give you stuff. The first of the new season's big excitements is here... in advanced form, at least. I invite you to... look at this
Nice, huh? I'll blog about it soon to whet your appetite. May I also take this moment to direct you to The Hypernaturals (from Boom!) and The New Deadwardians (from Vertigo) which are both getting rave reviews from all quarters.
And it may be as busy as Piccadilly Circus during the Olympics Opening Ceremony on the work front, but here at least are a few places you're going to be able to find me over the next few months. If you want to, that is.
2000AD - 35 years of Thrillpower
The Black Library Expo, Chestermere, Canada
The Black Library Weekender
The 2000AD signing is going to be a blast, and we hope to see you at one of the nationwide signings... and the BL events are going to be HUGE, so try not to miss both of them.
Right. Back to work. I won't go missing in action for quite so long this time, I promise.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
... one of the comics you'll be able to pick up for free this Saturday is The Hypernaturals, the new cosmic book Andy and I have created for Boom!
We're really excited about this - which we developed at the invitation of the lovely people at Boom! It isn't just new characters we're inventing, it's a whole new universe. If you liked what we did with the Legion at DC, or cosmic books like Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy at Marvel, you'll love this. The difference is that we can do stories here that we could never do elsewhere. There are always going to be constraints when you're operating inside the marvel Universe or the DCU: stories that just can't work because they clash too badly with established continuity. With The Hypneraturals, we're making our own rules, and they're going to make for some epic stories.
We're flattered that Boom! has such faith in this book that they've made it their Free Comic Book Day showcase: it's quite an investment. This isn't an advance print of the first issue, this is a whole sixteen page prologue that we've created especially for the event, and it won't be reprinted in the series (expect to see it in the trade collection). And it's not just sixteen pages of strip either, there's back-up material (a feature we intend to run through the series), helping to build up the universe. There's a preview feature here.
Enjoy Free Comic Book Day, and support your local store... and enjoy The Hypernaturals too! The series debuts in July, and we've got some awesome characters and storylines planned for you.
BTW - if you pick up your Hypernaturals FCBD issue from your local store, and your local store happens to be The Grinning Demon in Maidstone, tell Graham behind the counter if you want yours put aside for me to sign!
Speaking of the Grinning Demon, the convention they ran - DemonCon - was fabulous, and I urge you to attend the next one. It was small but perfectly formed, and I'll write up a report and share a few pics later if I can.
Speaking of signings, I'll be posting soon with advance notice of some big ones later in the year (including Canada!), but for the time being you should know that Graham, Aaron and I will be at the Dublin GW store on Saturday the 26th of May for a mega-signing!
Monday, April 09, 2012
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Mr I. N. J. Culbard and myself, along with colourist Patricia Mulvihill and letterer Travis Lanham, wish to thank everybody very much for the enthusiastic and positive reception that has been afforded to the first issue of our new publication - The New Deadwardians. The first issue was published this week, and it’s already prompted a very creditable reaction*
We’re simply delighted with the response, as is our editor Will Dennis and everyone at Vertigo, and we hope you’ll stay along for the ride as the series continues, and maybe even spread the good word too. If the series is a success, we’ve got other Deadwardians tales we’d very much like the opportunity to tell.
To celebrate this occasion, it’s time for another blog competition, and a dead posh one it is too. Mr Culbard and I have signed, with our own fair marker pens, two copies of the first issue - the standard version and the variant cover. I will happily send them to the winner.
What do you have to do? Just post a link here to the blog (or email the site) with the most amusing or exotic place you’ve been able to place the phrase ‘The New Deadwardians’. A camera phone snap or a screengrab will do. Have you put it in your Facebook status? Have you spelled it out in magnetic letters on the side of your fridge? Have you written it on a sheet of paper and held it up in front of you on the beach in the Maldives? Have you painted it on the side of Big Ben (okay, don’t actually do that last one)? Entries will be judged on originality and amusement, and our decision will be entirely mercurial and whimsical. Good luck. Entries in by the last week in April, please (in time for the second issue!).
Now I’m off to take Mr Culbard to get the cure, as he’s been showing distinct tendencies of late and the next issue mustn’t fall behind.
Good day to you!
* I can usually tell because of the overnight bump in Twitter followers ;)
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
By rights, and with an infinite number of damn fine monkeys at my disposal, turning out word-counts to order should be easy as peas. Picture me (and I’m sure you do, having no better ways to fill your time*), and I’m certain you picture a one-man manufacturing process, like something from the peak period of the Manchester mills, streaming out vast yardage of words that are pneumatically wound onto bales and then taken to Liverpool by dray for wholesale use in a million everyday knick-knacks, such as novels, superhero comics, shopping lists and emails.
All the while making a deafening clickety-clackety noise.
Well, it’s not like that. For a start, a lot of my time is taken up with secondary but vital parts of the writer’s craft, such as hunting for tea-bags, and inventively swearing at telemarketers (“Cock the fuck off, Arse-bag!”). Also, staring out of the window with a rope of drool depending from the corner of my lip takes a fuck of a long time, okay?
It’s also worth noting. No, seriously, it is. Really useful, I’ve found.
The thing is, writing [insert stupid number] novels doesn’t hone your craft. It just multiplies the ways you can find to write books. It’s not like I got to [insert smaller, but nevertheless still stupid number] novels and thought, “that’s it, then. That’s how it’s done. That’s The Method.” Each one has been a different experience. There’s not a single trick, tip or shortcut I learned writing any one of those [insert original stupid number] that proved to be remotely helpful with the one after.
The novel writing process used to be all about productivity, and charging along, milling out words while heading for the glorious horizon. Plots were like napkins at the drive through. You take them, even though you won’t actually need them unless there’s a seriously messy upset.
Nowadays, writing is a lot more thinking up front. Thinking, and notes. For weeks, even months. Then there’s a frenzied, almost feverish period of writing. That’s how Know No Fear was. I’m wondering if that’s how Pariah will be. The me that wrote Necropolis or Riders of the Dead would in no way whatsoever recognise the me writing Pariah. Or my process. The process is like a live snake. Every time I add another book to the [insert stupid number and add one], it squirms around to find a new way to slip out, a new way to break free.
I don’t blog enough. There! I knew there was a point to this. I don’t blog enough. It ought to be really easy to put out a few hundred words every few days, especially given my mill full of monkeys. I should barely notice a blog. But it doesn’t work like that, and I’ve worked out that it’s because of the process. I think of myself as very disciplined, focused and regimented, at my desk early, working away, but in truth every book, every day is the start of an mysterious adventure. Adding in something else like Write A Short Blog Every Day to the "To Do" list, and it’s just one more thing that, at the end of the day, you can look at and sigh, “Shit, that didn’t happen.”
Nik’s managing to blog every day. It’s incredibly impressive (I’m referring to the frequency of the output, but the blog itself is also impressive and I urge you to check it out). I look at myself and see that the monkeys have written Could Do Better in red in my margin.
So I wrote this blog post to tell you that I’m absolutely not going to be writing a blog every day. Writing a blog saying I’m going to try to write a blog post every day is tantamount to failing before you even start. It’s tempting fate.
But let’s see if I can do it slightly more frequently, shall we?
*Standard irony engaged, Captain.