Buses. That's me. Like buses, this blog is. And so I've decided to post two blog entries, post-dating one for next Monday because I like to be difficult. Monday's blog entry will be the awaited review of Gareth L Powell's Silversands, with Paul Meloy's Islington Crocodiles to be posted before the end of the month.
The reason for this slack-arsed and very irregular blogging is in the writing. It's been a busy ol' summer, you see. After 6 weeks of intensive editing, The Black Hours was finally put to bed, or rather printed and posted to my agent. I'm quite pleased with it, more pleased than during the earlier drafts which my editor at Pan Macmillan had read; hopefully my agent will be just as pleased and the next editor to come my way will embrace with gusto (and maybe a nice fat contract!).
The filthier shade of publishing aside, the work on The Black Hours and then the almost instantaneous decision to leap into writing PURGATORY, has left me with little-to-bugger-all time to spend on blogging, and not just blogging but visiting other people's blogs. I really have been quite the hermit recently, physically as well as mentally. Last Tuesday's get together with writing pal David Budd was just one of very few evening's out and made me realise that I've been neglecting myself socially both in the pub and on the internet. Another casualty of this has been this weekend's Fantasy Con which I had plans to attend but other matters have intervened, and as a result I won't be going to Nottingham. It's all rather annoying, and partially down to the more and more precarious day-job; a day-job that I would love to shed like a caterpillar emerging from a very damp chrysalis. I don't think many of the impacting issues are going to be resolved anytime soon, so blogging will remain something I nurse over the increasingly cold months until - hopefully - I can get the time to do this more regularly again. We'll see…
On a big positive note though, the new book, PURGATORY, is writing well (40,000 words and counting) and should be done by next summer. By then I'll hopefully have a steer as to what's happening with the Secret War books. With the Spanish translation out this month (La Guerra de Secreta - Solaris Fantasia/La Factoria de Ideas) and the press release intimating the rights to Horde of Mhorrer are being discussed, the Secret War books certainly have a future. The first draft of The Traitor of Light is complete and there is a detailed chapter synopsis for Fortress of Black Glass, so it's all there waiting to be written, it's just a question as to when. As always, any big news will be published here and on the website so watch this space.
And just to close this blog entry, Aliya Whiteley and Frances Garrood have posted a list of ten favourite books they would recommend for this Autumn/Winter (maybe a stocking present or two) so here's a list of mine, in no particular order:
The Book Thief - Marcus Zuzak (because it made me cry)
The Last Reef - Gareth L Powell (because it was awesome)
Weaveworld - Clive Barker (because it took me to another brilliantly realised world and held me there for the longest time in my life)
The Kraken Awakes - John Wyndham (because it's Wyndham - and you know it will be good)
Candide - Voltaire (because he is timeless - and bloody funny too)
Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury (because his science doesn't have to be confounding, but his philosophy is profound).
Perdido Street Station - China Mieville (because he has returned the weirdness of fiction back to the bookshelves with steam and plenty of grease).
The Last Amazon - Steven Pressfield (again because it made me cry, but also cheer)
Mort - Terry Pratchett (because I almost weed myself laughing)
The Death of Grass - John Christopher (because I almost weed myself with dread)