Incoming in March

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.

Going continental

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.