Gollancz have been sending out ARCS (Advanced Reader Copies) to some authors to read and hopefully say a nice thing or two. The above picture was posted on twitter by the awesome Gavin Smith, author of THE BASTARD LEGION amongst other great Sci-Fi epics. The great Pete McLean of PRIEST OF LIES also posted a picture.
Now I've known for nearly 18 months now that my book is published and yet there's something amazing at actually seeing it in the flesh as it were, a real thing. It's kinda freaky. I can't imagine what it'll be like when I actually hold a copy myself. Hopefully they'll be winging their way to me soon...
My book is available on Netgalley for reviewers now and I've already had my first review. Amanda said "Very detailed and graphic storyline. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the world building surrounding the culture of the shulka. This is bound to be a hit." It doesn't get much better than that...
I finished checking the page proofs of WATD last night. This is what 160,000 words of monsters, mayhem and magic look like. I really enjoyed reading the book again — which has to be a good thing. I found the odd typo here and there but the big thing I caught was a whole page missing!
Book 2 is so close to being done. I wasted a lot of time last week going on a story detour that I ended up scrapping when I realised I'd been an idiot... still onwards....
I'm in the end run of writing book 2 before it goes off to my agent and editor. It stands at 160,000 words at the moment and I think I have approx 20,000 to go, making it without a doubt the biggest book I've ever written. I'm super happy with it at the moment after a long struggle at times.
I'm also going through the page proofs of WE ARE THE DEAD, looking for any mistakes that might have snuck past everyone. I've found a few so it's a very worthwhile exercise...
And not long now before it goes out into the world... eek.
There are a few characters in WE ARE THE DEAD. One of them is a teenage psychopath called Dren. I like him a lot (even though I shouldn't). He likes knives, bombs and has no time for authority.
It's out in the world at last. The cover to my book. People will see this on the shelves. They will hold it in their hands. They will read what's within. In four months' time. EEEEEEK!
It's been a long process getting here but it's been so worth it. Created by the design team at Gollancz, I really love it. A little bit scary for sure but oh so memorable... One day, when the kids are older, I'll have this framed on my office wall...
Finally, after months of long-distance familying, I'm back with the clan and in Vancouver. To say I'm happy is an understatement. As fun as Dubai was, I'm very excited to be somewhere more culturally right for me. It's even snowed to give me an extra special welcome.
Plus there are loads of very cool cafes to write in. This one does a mean hot chocolate for cold days:
Book 2 is touching 140,000 words now. I had to go back and tweak a few things that came from the copy edits of Book 1 but I'm storming forwards now. It's going to be a long book when its finished and I expect to get very heavily edited afterwards but that's all part of the experience working with a great team at Gollancz.
It's only 4 months now before WE ARE THE DEAD is out in the world. Hard to say how I feel about it. Excited. Scared. Disbelieving? I was in a cool sci-fi/fantasy book shop called White Dwarf in Vancouver on Sunday and it was crazy to think that my book will be on similar shelves soon...
I'm back in Dubai for a few weeks, just closing off the last of our lives here. It's been an amazing place to live but too much of a rollercoaster ride at times. I'm looking forward to some stability in Vancouver when I return in February.
I'm also about 130,000 words into book 2. There's a momentum behind my writing which is good and I'm getting my word counts done despite some pretty horrible jet lag.
I'm staying in a nice hotel that has a great lounge to write in that helps.
I'm trying to get fit again and I've been out for a few runs. I'm still coughing my lungs up though which kind of takes the fun out of it — a memento from my two bouts of pneumonia I've had over the last few years. I need to find a solution as I love running and I want to run a half marathon in May in Vancouver.
I'm very happy too that there is a new series of Punisher on Netflix. I've watched three epsiodes so far and enjoying it a lot.
On 13th June 2019, WE ARE THE DEAD will be in the shops in the UK. Unreal to think so but it's happening. Exciting times ahead!
I'm making steady but slow progress on book 2. I'm now at 120,000 words with lots of revising to do on earlier chapters. I've a horrible feeling the book could be nearer 200,000 words when it's finished but let's see...
What an amazing year it's been and I couldn't be more excited about the year ahead. It's still hard to believe that next year I'll be abe to walk into a book store and see my book on the shelves. It's a dream come true and I'm a very lucky man.
I've still got lots of writing to do on Book 2 though between now and next year so, until then, have a fab time over the festive season and have a wonderful 2019 too.