Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pants on fire

Yes, I lied when I said I’d start blogging more often, though not deliberately, so maybe you’ll forgive me. If there’s anybody still here, that is. I could hardly blame you for wandering off to find something more interesting. Anyone there? Anyone? (Listens to sound of tumbleweed).

Excuses then. Australian-flavoured jet-lag (a week and a half of actually feeling sea-sick rather than tired). A (splendid) trip to Gen-Con in Indianapolis, during which Marc Gascoigne and I set the world to rights AND planned my next few tomes for the Black Library. You’re going to love what I’m going to do over the next year or so.

Then, of course, there was Ravenor Rogue. It went to bed at about noon today, after a long, ugly battle. I’m very proud of it, and I think the effort was worthwhile, though I’m aware that its a) late b) fifteen thousand words longer than it should have been, and c) kept me from blogging. And, you know, sleeping and things.

I hope you’ll all enjoy it. Though it’s not the last Ravenor book I intend to write, it’s the last one for a little bit. It ends off the story cycle about Molotch, Slyte and everything else that has played out through the first two books. It also has a lot of continuity threads tied back into the Eisenhorn stuff. It is, I’d like to think, a rip-snorting adventure, but it was a devil to write because of the need to keep track of all those threads. It’s got BIG action, gribbly monsters, treachery, deceit, intrigue, more action, heartbreak, romance, shocks, twists, “I don’t fething believe he just did that’ moments, and a cast of villains as cool if not cooler than the good guys. And did I mention the gribbly monsters? They’re monsters, AND they’re gribbly.

Perhaps the most interesting thing it does is it manages to make Ravenor and Ravenor Returned better. By that I mean once you’ve read Rogue, the sheer scale of the story told in the three book is revealed. Minor, apparently dead-end plot lines and characters from the first two books suddenly become important again. It’s satisfying, that’s what it is. My hope is readers will say “Oh, wait a minute, now I see why that matters!” and then “Now I see what the writer fellow is up to!” and then “Bloody hell, that’s cool!”

Either that, or I’m tired and need a lie down.

What else? Well, my daughter Jess just got her GCSE results back, and it turns out she’s got a bigger brain than the Mekon. I cannot even begin to brag too much about her. I told Andy (Lanning) how well she’d done and he said (I quote) “so, what’s she hoping to do when she leaves school, then? Apart from ruling the world?”

Speaking of Andy, he and I MAY be doing some more stuff for Marvel, and we’ve just started work on a Texas Chainsaw Massacre comic for Wildstorm. I kid you not. They’ve got the franchise, and they asked us because... well, I don’t know why. I don’t even watch horror films. So I watched TCM, loved it, then watched the modern remake, loved that too, and I thought “why not?” What appealed was the total lack of supernatural elements. We’re writing it in a documentary ’true crime’ style, and New Line apparently loves the first script. I think the fact that Andy and I are horror film virgins means we’re coming at it at a successfully oblique angle. I am shocked at our capacity to think of disgracefully horrible things to do to people. More on that in later posts.

What else? Well, due to Rogue, Double Eagle 2 has slipped back a bit. There’ll be another Gaunt first. I’ll also be able to tell you what my next two books are going to be... soon. They are departures for me. I think you’ll get as excited as I am about them when I spill the beans. In 40K terms, however, BL just told me that my Iron Snakes novel will be released next year, late spring, I think. That’s the Iron Snakes SPACE MARINES. Marco suggested they market it simply with the line “Dan does Space marines at last”, though I pointed out that some of you are filthy minded ninkers and might take that the wrong way.

What else? Oh, Watford. Hello Watford! Are you ready to rock? I said, are you ready to- What? Oh, well, then we’ll wait for you. In your own time. No rush.

If you ARE ready to rock, come to Watford Games Workshop store on Saturday the 9th of September from one thirty. You’ll get me, Graham McNeill AND Jim Swallow, in in one big signing frenzy love-in, plus a talk with slides, and tea and cakes, fireworks, and also dancing girls. Okay, I might have lied about some of those details, but still... Abnett, McNeill, Swallow. What more could you possibly ask for? I mean, how much better does Watford get? Even on a saturday? We’ll see you there.

Thinking about it, there may not actually be any dancing girls, but Graham may dance. If he doesn’t, I will. If I don’t, Jim will. To summarise, then, Jim’s dancing. Come and watch. And point.

Right now, I’m off to recharge in the clone banks stasis tubes with Alizabeth Bequin and a copy of the Fortean Times. I will blog again, and I promise, this time, it will be soon and it will be regular. Honestly. Behold, not even a hint of combusting underwear.

PS - could we all try not to use words like ‘w*nker’ on this board? Oh sh*t, I just typed ‘w*nker’. Oh sh*t, I just typed ‘sh*t’ AND ‘w*nker’. Oh feth it all. Anyway, just asking. Please, folks? There are kids around. And ‘wronger’ is a word if I say it is.