Book Events over the next 2 months – shenanigans!

Accurate representation of me, lording it up at a book event

Accurate representation of me, lording it up at a book event

Well here we are in 2016 and already I’m losing track of where I am and what I’m supposed to be doing. So:

a) I’m on Earth still. Good.

b) I’m writing a new book.

Right, good. Aside from that, there are a few events happening over January and February that I will be popping up at, so here’s a quick run down (as much for my benefit as anyone else)

On Tuesday the 19th of January at Blackwell’s in Holborn, Ed Cox and myself will be on hand to help celebrate the launch of Den Patrick’s third book, The Girl on the Liar’s Throne. The last book in the Landfall trilogy, you will want to get your mitts on this work of gothic fantasia, and I’ve heard rumour there will be wine and chat also. Ed will be signing copies of his own excellent books, The Relic Guild and The Cathedral of Known Things (and giving out hugs, if I know Ed) and of course I am always happy to sign books and draw dragons in them (it’s likely too early for copies of The Silver Tide, but there will be Copper Promise and Iron Ghost books around for the grabbing). The event is free but it’s helpful for the bookshop if you book a ticket.

On Saturday the 23rd Ed, Den and I will be taking our crazy show on the road to Southampton, where there will be more signings and shenanigans in Forbidden Planet. I will actually be leaving the confines of London! Crazy times.

If you want as much excellent fantasy book action as possible, the very first Super Relaxed Fantasy Club of the year is on the 26th of January. Reading for us will be the wonderful Liz de Jager (her new book in the Blackhart Legacy series, Judged, will be out and in your face!) and our very own Den Patrick. Get your butts to the Sky Bar and celebrate a new year of excellent fiction.

Skipping forward to February and it’s Silver Tide time! On Tuesday the 23rd of February, I’ll be reading at SRFC– I’ll also be doing a Q&A, but if you’ve witnessed me doing this before, you’ll know not to expect any particularly useful (or even coherent) answers.

Then on Thursday the 25th of February, we’re launching The Silver Tide at Forbidden Planet! It’s the last outing for the Copper Cat and her cohorts so I intend to celebrate in a fashion that would make Wydrin proud, which is a statement that should strike terror into the hearts of all right-thinking people. I would love to see you there!

Do click on the links for times and further details, and I hope to see a bunch of you over the next two months. Onward!

Launching at Blackwell’s, and a Smattering of Other Cool Things

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Gosh, it’s been a busy week.

Last night, Den Patrick and I were interviewed by the marvellous Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch as part of our joint launch for The Boy with the Porcelain Blade and The Copper Promise. Enormous thanks must go to Blackwell’s of Charing Cross Road for hosting, and to Sophie Caldwell for also organising the drinks afterwards (which included themed Martini’s – a little coin and a tiny sword in each! A drink based on my book! Probably my proudest moment in my career so far). Thanks of course to Den for being the classy one as usual, and to Jared for giving us excellent questions and encouragement, and huge thanks to everyone who came along to listen to us waffle on. It was so lovely to see such a big crowd out to support two debut writers.

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Gollancz have popped up a little summary of the evening, which is very handy because most of the actual talking I appear to have wiped from my memory. When there’s an event coming up where I know I will have to talk to people, I normally go through the following stages:

In the weeks leading up to the event, pretend it is not happening.

On the day of the event, freak out enormously and have a general panic. Swear that I will stop doing these things because WHY.

Actually sit down and do the event, have a bit of a chat, and thoroughly enjoy myself. Resolve to do more of these things.

Finish the event, and realise that my short term memory has wiped everything I just said.

Consequently, I can’t remember any of my answers to Jared’s questions last night, but I’m fairly sure I managed to reference Superman, Dragon Age and Farscape at least. Mainly though, I have a brilliant time, chatted to lots of lovely people, and now have a small pile of coins on my writing desk that look suspiciously like pirate gold. Wydrin would be proud.

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Other things that have been happening this week; firstly the fab Vicky Hooper has interviewed me at Fantasy Faction, where I talk about a little more about the book, video games, and writing.

There have been a number of reviews that I am dead proud of, although I hesitate to put them all in one post in case you think I’ve turned into some raving egomaniac, stroking a cat whilst sitting atop a throne carved from the bones of my enemies… no wait, that’s just on Thursdays. Anyway, here’s a quick clutch of Copper Promise reviews:

Over at Reader Dad book reviews, they find the book “fast-paced and wonderfully-realised”

Jet Black Ink talks about the inclusiveness of The Copper Promise, and is so enthusiastic I was essentially grinning about it all day.

Starburst magazine gave it ten stars!

And there are a load more reviews over at the Hodderscape project!

Also, stuff like this has been happening (with thanks to Waterstones Milton Keynes). How cool is that?

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So pleased! 😀

The Best New Things: The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick

There are a number of lovely things about being a writer – two of my favourites are getting to read new books early (I am nothing if not mercenary when it comes to reading) and meeting and making friends with cool people within the SFF community. Den Patrick was someone I met around about the same time that Juliet Mushens, Super Agent and Queen of the Selfie, was reading through my manuscript. It was a nerve-wracking time, and Den kindly bought me a giant hot chocolate and talked me down from my panic. He’s also one of those writers who has an interesting list of past jobs to put on his author bio – if you ever need advice on painting tiny model orcs or how to put a spreadsheet together, he’s your chap.*

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And now I’m lucky enough to have an early copy of Den’s first novel, The Boy with the Porcelain Blade, a book which pleases me on many levels – for one thing, it demonstrates the unique breadth and variety of the fantasy genre. While my book is all dodgy taverns and dusty tombs, TBWTPB takes you somewhere quite different: it’s a little bit Renaissance Italy, a little bit Gormenghast, with a dollop of the X-Men thrown in for good measure, and the resulting mixture is the sort of unique tale I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else. It concerns Lucien de Fontein, a boy born with a strange disfigurement and fostered into a noble family, while growing up in a world of intrigue and tantalising strangeness. Lucien is an Orfano, one of a group of mysterious foundlings with strange disfigurements and abilities, treated with both fear and awe by the inhabitants of Landfall. Lucien, already trying to make his way in a world filled with unknown dangers and secret agendas, stumbles across something he shouldn’t have, and the repercussions for himself and for the Kingdom of Landfall will be enormous.

There is a game Den is playing with the reader here, where glimpses of this world generate more and more questions, until you are tearing through the book to get to the answers. Lucien too is an appealing character full of self doubt and vulnerability, the next in the great line of fantasy’s outsiders, those characters you come to side with and then care about deeply – the FitzChivalry Farseers and the Tyrion Lannisters. Den’s writing is lean and atmospheric, taking very little time at all to immerse you in the unsettling shadows and miasmas of his world, while his use of flashbacks in alternating chapters give Lucien’s journey an extra layer of meaning. It’s a debut novel that’s going to knock your socks off, and I reckon it will grow to be one of the most original fantasy series out there. So don’t say I didn’t tell you.

On Monday the 10th of March, Den and I are appearing together at Blackwell’s Bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where we will be interviewed by the alarmingly clever Jared from Pornokitsch. There will be book chat, witty pondering on the nature of the fantasy genre (probably) and Den and I will compete to see who can wear more items of black clothing. Do come along!


* I did try with the spreadsheets, honestly Den, but I got distracted by the colour coding.

The Next Month in Book Events – come one, come all! And so on.

There’s so much going on in the next few weeks that I’m going to have to sum it up in a blog – not just for Useful Informational Purposes, but because I feel like my editing-addled brain might just forget something, and it would be fairly embarrassing to forget to turn up for my own launch. But it’s not all about me and my mead-fixation! A number of very cool books are about to smack you in the face with their awesome… Firstly though:

Wednesday 19th February The Copper Promise Launch at Forbidden Planet posting coverCome and join me (on my birthday, no less) in one of my favourite places in London as I launch my first ever book. Expect an awkward reading, progressively untidier dragons scribbled in copies of the book, and then later on, my tearful lurching out of the pub, possibly hugging a copy of my own book and telling passers-by how I’ve had a dream come true and it’s all amazing and where can I get a burger around here?*

Tuesday 25th of February The Super Relaxed Fantasy Club meet-up

Come to the Royal Festival Hall and hang out with like-minded genre fans, while we discuss/chat/gossip about everything going on in the SFF community at the moment. Assuming I don’t have a chest infection this time round (ye gods no) I will be doing a reading from The Copper Promise and then possibly answering questions about it. (Please note: I do not mind if these questions are of the “Would you like a drink?” variety)

Thursday 27th of February Banished by Liz de Jager launches at Foyles

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Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s living with her unorthodox cousins and sharing their strange lives. Especially since their home-schooling includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons. But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies. As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.

Liz is my agent bro and a very cool lady, and her first book is going to knock your socks off.

Thursday 6th March The Burning Dark and Hang Wire by Adam Christopher DOUBLE LAUNCH

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In The Burning Dark, Idaho Cleveland has one last mission before early retirement – decommissioning the Coast City, a distant research outpost orbiting the toxic star Shadow. Once there, Ida’s only contact with the outside universe is through his ham radio—which begins to tune itself to the banned and sinister dimension known as subspace. Fighting isolation and paranoia, Ida hears and records a disturbing transmission over the radio—a woman’s thousand-year-old mayday call. But, when the voice on the recording begins speaking to Ida just as the station is attacked by mysterious forces, Ida realises he is about to face an enemy far more evil and insidious than anything he’s ever faced before.
In Hang Wire, Ted Hall is worried. He’s been sleepwalking, and his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer. Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously, the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has starting talking to his vintage machines, and the new acrobat’s frequent absences are causing tension among the performers. Out in the city there are other new arrivals – immortals searching for an ancient power – a primal evil which, if unopposed, could destroy the world!

Adam is writing books unlike anyone else at the moment, and this evening is the perfect opportunity to check out the sheer crazy variety of his books – from ghost story space opera to serial killer thriller – and get him to sign them for you.

Monday 10th March Den Patrick and Jen Williams Debut Fantasy Author Talk at Blackwells – featuring The Boy with the Porcelain Blade and The Copper Promise new Blade imageAn ornate yet dark fantasy, with echoes of Mervyn Peake, Robin Hobb and Jon Courtenay Grimwood, The Boy With The Porcelain Blade is a beautifully wrought story of a young man finding his way through the dark heart of fantasy state not unlike a Renaissance Italian city state. There’s an intriguing back story, terrifying levels of deceit and a horrifying secret at the centre of it all but the star of the piece is the brilliantly engaging hero: Lucien. Lucien de Fontein has grown up different. One of the mysterious and misshapen Orfano who appear around the Kingdom of Landfall, he is a talented fighter yet constantly lonely, tormented by his deformity, and well aware that he is a mere pawn in a political game.

Another debut fantasy author you’re going to want to get to know, Den Patrick’s The Boy with the Porcelain Blade comes out on the 20th of March, but you can pick up early signed copies at this event, as well as listen to us answer questions and waffle on. Hooray!

 

Well, that’s my social calender sorted for the next month. What will I see you at? 😉

 

* Not really, I promise to behave. And I know exactly where to get a burger.

The Boy with the Porcelain Blade/The Copper Promise Event Palooza!

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I don’t know really, I just wanted to use the word palooza. Paloooooza…

Exciting week this week! The Copper Promise is out on Thursday, would you believe it, and if you’ve pre-ordered then a brick-sized chunk of sword and sorcery could be winging its way to you now. Terrifying and thrilling in equal measure.

I also get to tell you about an event I’m doing on the 10th of March with the marvellous Den Patrick, over at Charing Cross Road Blackwell’s, a jewel of a bookshop on one of my favourite roads in London. Den has written a book that’s going to storm the fantasy world and kick it firmly up the pants – The Boy with the Porcelain Blade is out on the 20th of March, but if you come along to Blackwell’s you can get it early. Believe me, you will want to do this as I am reading it at the moment and it is a corker – think The X-Men meets Gormenghast in a darker version of Renaissance Italy. See what I mean?

Den has also written three War Fighting Manuals for Gollancz, as well as a whole clutch of excellent short stories, and he’s a thoroughly lovely bloke who is bound to have lots of witty and wise stuff to say about books and writing (which will handily distract from me chewing my knuckles off and looking terrified).

Do come along, it would be lovely to see you all, and you’ll be supporting what I have just this second decided to call the New Weirdy Wave of Fabulous Fantasy. Possibly.