Friday, 28 September 2012

(On the way to) Fantasycon 2012

Perhaps a little late to be mentioning this, but I'm going to be at Fantasycon 2012 in sunny Brighton (or, touch wood, at least not torrentially rainy Brighton) this weekend - in about, oh, thirty minutes to be exact.  I'll be there in a work capacity, of course, because despite what some people will try and have you believe, writers and editors and publishers all getting drunk together at the seaside is most definitely work.  But asides from all that professional networking, I have a couple of official things doing:

Firstly, and most exciting, there's the UK launch of Crown Thief at 4 PM on the Saturday.  I'll be signing with other Angry Robot authors Adam Christopher, Mike Shevdon and Gav Thorpe, and since Crown Thief isn't actually out in this country until the 4th October, it will be an opportunity to pick up an advance copy.  These will probably be worth more on e-bay in twenty years or something, so you'd be mad to miss the opportunity to pick up such a unique piece of Tallermanalia*.

Secondly, and most intimidating, I have my first solo reading at 11 AM on the Sunday morning.  This, of course, is extremely early for something like that, so it's hard to say how coherent I'll be.  I'm either going to read a new short story or an extract from Crown Thief, depending on who turns up and in what quantities they do it, so there's an exciting element of randomness there.  I might even put it to a vote if there are enough people to formulate a properly democratic decision ... so why not come along and have a say?

* A word I may have just invented.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Crown Thief Now Out

Party poppers and silly hats, people!  My second novel, sequel to Giant Thief and second of the Tales of Easie Damasco, is now out to buy in print in the US and in e-book everywhere in the universe.*

Which is undeniably cool, because I'm convinced as I can be that Crown Thief is a fun read for new and returning readers alike.  Picking up from the end of Giant Thief, it isn't long before our titular thieving scoundrel Easie Damasco has discovered that the man he hates most in all the land is now running a significant portion of it - and all that knowledge gains him is a killer beyond compare out to end his miserable life.  As if that weren't bad enough, his only hope for escape lies with Guard Captain Alvantes, who despises Damasco for his countless past misdemeanours, and in a trip to visit the king in far-distant Pasaeda that's bound to end in yet more trouble.  Meanwhile, Damasco's only ally, the gentle giant Saltlick, is too caught up with his own giant-sized problems to help.  Could it be that for once Damasco might have to return the favour?

I don't have many reviews yet to back up my own high opinions of Crown Thief, but the couple there are are enthusiastic enough to do the job: Rebecca Lovatt at The Arched Doorway called it "an engaging, fast paced and riveting tale", while Book Bloggery praised it as "a very enjoyable and fun read that made me chuckle more than than once."

So in theory, things are looking pretty rosy, right?  Only I've been reliably informed by those in the know that conventional wisdom says no one actually buys sequels - even when they tell standalone stories and have been lovingly written with new readers in mind - and therefore that they don't get talked about much or invited to dinner parties.  Now, conventional wisdom probably has a point; I for one would be hesitant to pick up the second book in a series, whatever anyone might promise me, (with the definite exception of free drop bears).  Still, it's a bit of a gloomsome truth to come to terms with on the eve of your second novel coming out.

Therefore, it seems to me that the one thing - or at least, the Damascoesque thing - to do when conventional wisdom tells you your new book is doomed from the start is to ignore the hell out of conventional wisdom.  (Or, in Damasco's case, perhaps try and steal it.)  I have a few long term plans up my sleeve right now - watch this space! - but in the short term I'm just going to ask nicely for your help.  If there's anything you can do that will help spread the word on Crown Thief coming out, it would be great if you could do it.  A link, a tweet, a Facebook share, would all be more than fine.  And if you happen to pick up a copy, please review it, however briefly, somewhere where other people will read it.

Last up, there's a sample you might like to read here, and below are the links to where Crown Thief is currently available (in the US) are where it will be available (from the 4th October) in the UK:

 US Print & Ebook | |  

UK Print & Ebook | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith 

DRM-Free Epub Ebook On-sale September 25th from the Robot Trading Company

* Except, for complicated legal reasons mostly relating to the pastorage of sheep, the island of Bishop Rock.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Not the Final Version...

I recently ran up a couple of print copies of the first draft of Prince Thief so that me and my proofreading chum had something to work off.  As much as I'll fight tooth and nail to keep it, I fear the cover may change a little between now and the final release, so I'd thought I'd better share my version while I can:

Shrill, purple clad eighties pop midgets, beware!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

More Power to the Electric Velocipede

In plenty of ways, Kickstarter might have been designed with the publishing industry in mind; or perhaps modelled after it, since the whole subscription concept is pretty much based on trying to sell your product before it comes out.  I've noticed Kickstarter being used quite a lot by the small press, and even the odd professional zine, and the results always seem to be positive.  It's interesting and a little exciting that something like that has come along to help our always-slightly-beleagured industry and that so many people are embracing it.  It's going to be interesting to see how this one goes, whether it's the beginning of a sea change in how magazines are funded or whether it'll peter out to nothing in a couple of years, like so many internet fads before it.

Anyway, the last time I talked about Kickstarter, it was in aid of an editor and a project I had plenty of time for, and that's equally the case this time around.  Electric Velocipede has had a troubled time over the last couple of years, with a lengthy hiatus while it shifted over from print to electronic status - but through all that it's remains one of the best and most deservedly Hugo-nominated magazines out there, under the editorship of John Klima and recently with the able assistance of world's bestest copy editor Anne Zanoni.  It very much deserves a new lease of life, and based on the results so far, looks set to get it.

Now, as usual I have a degree of bias here, since John published my story Dancing in the Winter Rooms not so long ago, and Anne hunted down and sorted out every last one of my dumbass mistakes and wild logical inconsistencies in Crown Thief while wearing her other, freelance copyeditor hat.  Still, that should only be taken as more evidence for the fact that EV is great and deserving of having money thrown at it.  And hey, if you pledge a thousand dollars, you get to travel back in time and witness the crucial and formative events in John's life that led to him becoming an editor in the first place.*  How cool is that?

* Sadly, not true.  Electric Velocipede in no way condones the abuse of time travel.