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Catching up…

27 October, 2013 24 comments

Scars CoverThings have been apocalyptically quiet around here over the past few months. That’s entirely due to being busy with a whole swathe of projects, most of which are nearing the end now. The serialised run of Scars is now over, which has been a really fascinating experience. Thanks to all who enjoyed it and got in touch here or on Twitter to say so. For all those who’ve been waiting for the hardback edition, my current info suggests it’ll be available from January next year. It’ll eventually be issued in all the usual formats, including audio. Aside from things like a Dramatis Personae and author’s afterword, the book versions will have the same content as the ebook episodes.

Stormcaller CoverAlso, Master of Dragons snuck out somewhere amid all the White Scars hoo-hah, and is now available for sale. That’s Part II of the War of Vengeance series that I’m writing with Nick Kyme. Lots of High Elves and (as you’d expect from the title) dragons. Had a great time writing that one, so hope people enjoy the read.

Finally, I’m back with Space Wolves again, penning Stormcaller, the follow-up to Blood of Asaheim. This is keeping me very busy all the way up to the BL Weekender II, which I’ll be at too. Hope to see lots of people there! After all that, I may even try to find some time to blog properly again…

BL-Weekender-II-logo

Gods, what a monster

8 February, 2013 10 comments

Blood of AsaheimIt’s finally landed, and it’s a big beast indeed. Forgive the repeat posting about Blood of Asaheim – it’s my first hardback release, and I’m still quite excited about it. There is something special about hardbacks, after all – the size, the weight, the solidity. It feels like you’ve created something that might last for a while, and that’s a nice thought to have. I’m biased of course, but I think it looks fantastic, especially Raymond Swanland‘s gorgeous cover art. Fancy picking up a copy? There’ll be plenty for sale at BL Live, which is now less than a month away. Last time I looked there were only 30 tickets left, so might be worth hurrying if you want to come along.

Incidentally, there’s also a teaser right at the back of the book advertising a short story called ‘Wulfen’. Wonder what that’s about?

Other than that, I’ve done a little housekeeping around here, adding links to some recent stuff that’s come out recently or will do soon. Apart from the mighty Blood of Asaheim, the 40K page now has an entry for the Advent short Failure’s Reward. I’ve also added The Sigillite to the Heresy page.

Sadly, as many of you will know, Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review stopped publishing new pieces a while back. I’ll miss the site: I enjoyed Graeme’s reviews and thought he always had interesting stuff to say. I’ll leave the link up, as there’s loads of material still up. I don’t read nearly as many reviews as I used to, but I did notice that the British Fantasy Society is publishing reviews of a lot of BL books recently, so I’ve added a link to their site.

Not before time, I’ve also added three new BL authors’ websites: David Annandale, who penned the recent Chains of Golgotha and Lord of Death, real-life Boba Fett Josh Reynolds, author of the new Gotrek and Felix novel Road of Skulls, and fellow south-wester Guy Haley, whose Baneblade and Skarsnik are out soon. Nice to see such new blood writing for BL (though it does remind me, rather depressingly, of when I could claim to be a newbie too).

Incoming in March

29 January, 2013 Leave a comment

That's a knife

That’s a knife

It’s been a bit quiet around here lately, mostly due to writing two (two!) books at the same time at the moment. That’s not quite as insane as it sounds, as the projects are spread out a bit in the schedule, but it’s still a tough balancing act at times. The first of these is Master of Dragons, the sequel to Nick Kyme’s The Great Betrayal. This is over halfway there now, and has been a lot of fun to write. Nick’s book focussed heavily on dwarfs; mine, as you’d expect, does the opposite and spends most of its time in the company of High Elves. Except to see plenty of detail on the Caledorian dragonriders and high politics in Ulthuan – two of my favourite things. The dwarfs do get a look in, of course: there are some very big armies out there in the Old World that must be written about. I have become a big fan of Hammerers.

The second projects is something of a departure for me in both subject matter and format. Can’t talk about that in detail yet, but I hope the clouds will lift a little soon…

In the meantime, March is a fairly big month for me, as I have two (two!) titles hitting the shelves. The first is Blood of Asaheim, my Very First hardback release for BL. Copies of this have, I’m informed, been spotted in the wild at a few events in Nottingham, but it’ll be a while before it becomes available elsewhere. I hope people like it once it reaches the shelves; I had a great time writing it. Fenris is beginning to feel (worryingly) a little like home.

Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational

Oh, I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when Horus gets here

The other release is my Very First purpose-written audio drama, The Sigillite, which I’m yet to get hold of myself but am assured does exist. This is now my third Heresy title, following Rebirth in Age of Darkness and last year’s novella Brotherhood of the Storm. Grappling with the sprawling Heresy timeline has always been something of a challenge, but with each release I feel like I’m getting slightly more of a handle on it. The Sigillite has the advantage of being a standalone tale, set in the mainstream Heresy storyline but not dependant on any particular part of it. It was a chance to (partly) flesh out the character of one of the most enigmatic figures in the saga. I hope it makes him a bit more interesting, but there’s still plenty of mystery left – above all, Malcador needs to remain mysterious.

If you fancy getting your hands on either of these releases ahead of time, you have at least two chances: the first is BL Live on 2 March up in Warhammer World. This promises to be a really fun event – I’ll be sharing the author stage with Dan Abnett, Jim Swallow, Nik Vincent, John French and many others, including some exciting new BL names. If this year’s Live is anything like past events, it’ll be an unrivalled opportunity to chat to authors and editors in a relaxed and informal setting. It’s a bit less frantic than the massive Games Day and Weekender shindigs, but all the more charming for it, I think. I’m really looking forward to this – hope to see it as bustling as last year’s event. Tickets are available from the BL website here.

Second, if you’re based in the south-west of England, you could also come along to GW Cribb’s Causeway on 23 March, where I’ll be signing books and generally hanging around to chat about all things BL. The details should be going up on the store’s Facebook page shortly. I met the guys last year and was lucky enough to see their unbelievable model of Averheim, taken from Swords of the Emperor. I’m told it’s even bigger now, so that’ll be worth coming to see on its own.

Any other signings, etc., and I’ll post the details here. In the meantime, thanks for all the tweets and messages about recent books – it’s always nice when people get in touch to say they’ve enjoyed something.

Right, enough bloggage; I have two (two!) books to write.

Phew

14 November, 2012 13 comments

The last few weeks, it’s fair to say, have gone by in something of a mad rush. Following the wonderful BL Expo at the start of October we had the equally wonderful BL Weekender at the start of November. Both were superb events and a privilege to be part of. The Weekender was particularly good on Saturday when there seemed to be plenty of time to chat to people about all things 40K, Heresy and Warhammer. As ever, good to catch up with old friends and excellent to meet new ones. Roll on BL Live.

All of that took a bit of a toll on the writing schedule, so it’s nice to be back at the keyboard again. It’s been especially pleasing to get such lovely feedback for Brotherhood of the Storm, which was on sale for the slender window of a single week back in October and has now (I hope) reached everyone who ordered a copy. The nice messages on Twitter were much appreciated – if I didn’t reply to all of them, apologies (I blame the Weekender, and being rubbish).

Brotherhood was an interesting project. It’s something of a challenge writing a limited-edition story within an ongoing series. Since some people won’t have a chance to read it (at least until it’s reissued in a couple of years or so), I was keen not to have any revelations in it that would impinge on the main novel line. Equally, I didn’t want to write something that had no interest other than a few combat scenes. The approach I went for in the end was to show three different characters on a quest to ‘find’ the Khan, who is as elusive in the fictional world as he has been in the real one. It’s as much about introducing the White Scars as a distinctive Legion as anything else. As a result it’s perhaps more introverted than most of the stories I’ve written, and purposefully leaves a good deal hanging at the end to be taken up in other stories, but it’s been great to see so many readers appreciate what I was trying to do with the mysterious Sons of Chogoris. Rest assured, there will be more of the Khan to come.

Otherwise, October also saw the release of Swords of the Emperor, the hefty omnibus containing my books on Schwarzhelm and Helborg. I have to say, I love the way this one looks. Fantasy books ought to be massive on the shelf, and this one is a proper bloater (although not as obese, I discovered, as the Sundering and Sigmar omnibuses, which are monstrous!). As it happens, Swords got a really nice review in SciFiNow recently, which you can read here. And if that’s not enough, there’s another one here. And one here, too. Thanks to all.

You still looking at us?

So what’s next? Well, I’m currently writing the second book in the War of Vengeance (or Beard, if you’re after my way of thinking) series. Nick Kyme’s epic The Great Betrayal concentrated mostly on the malodorous, short-sighted and unreasonable dwarfs, whereas my instalment, Master of Dragons, focusses on the fragrant, level-headed and magnanimous elves. The title, as will be obvious to anyone who’s read the first part, refers to Imladrik, whom Nick portrayed marvellously in his story and who goes on to form the centrepiece of mine. It’s early days at the moment, but I’m enjoying this one enormously (High Elves, dragonriders, laying waste to large chunks of the Old World — what’s not to like?).

Away from Fantasy, I do have a few other things in the pipeline, one of which is the Space Wolves. Expect to see some more bits and pieces from them in 2013, alongside the full-length novel Blood of Asaheim in March. Incidentally, I was asked a lot whether Aj Kvara, the character from my e-short Kraken, will be making a return appearance at some point. For a long time my answer to that was ‘no’, but after getting so many enquiries it’s gradually turning into ‘why not?’. I don’t yet know whether we’ll see more of the sullen Lone Wolf, but it’s certainly something I’m thinking about. Moral of the story: it is worth collaring authors at conventions with requests (as long as you’re nice to them).

Going continental

14 April, 2012 2 comments

L'homme armé

Something different today. In the interests of international peace and goodwill, this post will mostly be in French.

Aujourd’hui, ce blog sera en français, en l’honneur de la nouvelle édition de «Les Épées de l’Empereur: Schwarzhelm». Mes excuses à tous les lecteurs natifs français: mes compétences linguistiques sont terribles – je aurait dû me concentrer davantage à l’école (heureusement, Google est là pour aider).

«Schwarzhelm» a été initialement publié en anglais sous le titre Sword of Justice, et est le premier volume d’un dyptique racontant l’histoire de Ludwig Schwarzhelm et Kurt Helborg. Je suis très friands de ces livres, et ces personnages. J’avais déjà écrit un livre pour la série des «armées Empire» appelée «La Compagnie de Fer» (qui est également disponible en français), mais Sword of Justice a été le premier de mes livres où j’ai eu le sentiment de vraiment avoir compris l’Empire et de sa culture.

J’espère que les lecteurs français aimeront ce livre – je suis sûr que le traducteur, Sébastien Delmas, a fait un excellent travail. Voici un court extrait:

Raghram se montra enfin. Son suaire de ténèbres s’évanouit comme une nappe de brume dispersée par le vent. Il se redressa de toute sa hauteur au-dessus de la silhouette robuste de Schwarzhelm. Le monstre était vieux et gigantesque, et le dépassait de plusieurs têtes. Il puait la mort et la corruption. Ses mains burinées tenaient une hache aussi grande qu’un homme. Quatre cornes imposantes ornaient son front, et sa gueule balafrée était garnie de crocs énormes. Il portait une cuirasse et des épaulières dentelées en fer. Ces protections grossièrement forgées étaient décorées des runes des dieux sombres.

Ses yeux injectés de sang laissaient transparaître une ruse animale et toute la rancœur accumulée au fil des siècles par les créatures les plus malveillantes de la forêt. Toute l’aversion d’un monde primitif envers la civilisation des hommes se lisait dans ce regard. Cette créature ne ressentait rien en dehors d’une haine que seule la mort de ses ennemis pouvait apaiser.

Raghram se débarrassa des derniers lambeaux de ténèbres qui l’entouraient en rugissant, puis chargea. Ses gors le suivirent sans hésiter. La nuit était presque tombée. Les chevaliers tinrent leur position imperturbablement et se préparèrent au choc; Schwarzhelm rejeta sa cape en arrière. Il leva son épée, et tout ne fut plus qu’ombres et tumulte.

Together at last

2 March, 2012 7 comments

You looking at us?

That’s Schwarzhelm and Helborg, looking suitably grim and purposeful. What a wonderful cover – very different from the original Warhammer Heroes line, but equally impressive. Swords of the Emperor is out in October, and will be my first Omnibus from BL. I’m excited about this – it’ll be a very big book when it’s back from the printers.

Some other stuff to report: the Wrath of Iron edits are all but done, and BL have put up an extract from the book on their blog to whet your appetite. Look out for this in July.

Luthor Huss continues to pick up reviews. Here’s one from the Lincolnshire Echo which was short but sweet, and a longer one from the I Will Read Books blog. Thanks to both!

Finally, a quick plug for the BL Weekender event in November. This is shaping up to be a huge event, with a whole swathe of authors and artists already confirmed. I’ll be there, and will look forward to chatting about all things Iron Hands, Space Wolves, Warrior Priests, and perhaps other stuff too.

Wrath edits, Huss reviews

17 February, 2012 9 comments
Image

Warrior Priest

Hmm. It’s been so long since I blogged that WordPress has changed its editor while I’ve been away. This is slightly disconcerting. There’s now a live preview, which shows a post as it’s being composed – typos, malapropisms and all. It’s very clever, but it does expose how haphazardly my mind works.

Anyway. Despite being snowed under with edits to Wrath of Iron, it’s been nice to see Luthor Huss get some attention in various corners of the internet. Kodanshi has made a wonderful recording of one of the opening sections – you can listen to it here. This was interesting for me, since I haven’t (yet) done an audio drama for BL. I wouldn’t have the first idea of how to create one either, so I’m very impressed with Kodanshi’s effort, and it was very nice to hear my words being performed.

A few reviews of the book have popped up, too. Graeme Flory over at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Reviews has given it a write-up, which you can read for yourself here. He always has interesting things to say about the BL books he covers, so it was good to see that he liked it. I was also very pleasantly surprised to see that he’d included Sword of Vengeance and Dragonmage in his favourite books of 2011.

Prolific reviewer for The Founding Fields, Bane of Kings, has also penned a review, which is here. All very much appreciated. In other news, there’s an interview with the Bloghole here – thanks to Shadowhawk for setting it up.

What else is new? Well, expect to see a new Space Wolf story from BL soon. It’ll be called Kraken, and will be available from the website only. I’ll be blogging about that in more detail soon. I’m currently very busy on a novella, which I’m really enjoying – more on that soon.

In between all that, I’m finding time to read extracts of Nick Kyme’s marvellous upcoming tale, The Great Betrayal. Let me tell you, Dwarf (and Fantasy) fans: you’re not going to want to miss this one. I’ve been working with Nick for a while on some of the ideas for this series – I’m only halfway through the current draft, but already the book is bursting with cool revelations and epic battles. All good stuff!

Sadly, I wasn’t able to make the SFX Weekender this year as I’d hoped to. However, I am hoping to be at Adepticon in the Spring and the BL Weekender in November, so it’ll be good to catch up with folks then.

Finally, a quick shout-out to exceptional writer and expert editor Nicola Vincent-Abnett, who has been chronicling her remorseless rise to literary fame and fortune in her new(ish) blog over here. Proof, if it were ever needed, that success and general all-round niceness need not be strangers.