I seem to be all over the BL Facebook page at the moment, which is both exciting and oddly terrifying. The period just before new books comes out is a mix of, well, excitement and terror. You want them to do well, to hit the right notes, but by this point there’s nothing more you can do to help them – they’re on their own, out in the wild.
Anyway, enough of my insecurities. The interesting thing, regarding this poll, is that my audio drama The Sigillite seems to be making some waves. This caught me on the hop a bit: I’ve been so consumed with the Space Wolves books and caught up in the razzmatazz of the Blood of Asaheim launch that I’d almost forgotten about it. That’s the thing about writing schedules – they fool you.
So, to make amends, here are some thoughts on what was going through my head when I wrote it. Obviously Malcador is the main interest here, but he’s a tricky character to handle. He’s one of those elements of the Heresy that really needs to retain some mystery, so I was keen not to give an exhaustive account of him that blew all the secrets and speculations. In addition, though he’s a psyker of incredible power, he’s not really a warrior (the primarchs were created for that), so I didn’t want to have him feature in lots of combat action.The story of the Sigillite revolves around other things. We get glimpses, rather than extended reveals, into the world he inhabits. We learn a little more about what he’s doing on Terra while Dorn is rebuilding the Palace walls (he hasn’t been just kicking his heels waiting for Horus to turn-up). Some bad things have been happening under the Palace foundations which are only going to get worse, and Malcador has a major role to play in resisting them.
One other objective I had was to shed just a little light on what the Loyalist command is thinking at this stage in the Heresy. Quite understandably, we’ve had a lot of material in the novels expanding on the Traitor motivations, to the extent that the ‘bad guys’ come across pretty well. We’ve had slightly less coverage of what Terra was thinking, which has the unfortunate effect of making their intentions rather hard to fathom. Don’t expect masses of information in The Sigillite, but there are some pointers there, and I’d expect more to made of this kind of thing as the series progresses.
As ever, I hope people like it. Malcador is one of the really intriguing elements of the Heresy drama, and I’m sure there will be plenty more outings for him as the action gets ever closer to the Throneworld.
It’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).
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.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.