Author Archive

Progress Report February ’23

Finally, I actually produce a progress report when I’m supposed to. We’ll have to see whether that continues…

I had a discussion with my UK and US editors about the state of The Devils thus far – three quarters of it, that is, and I think we’re all feeling broadly positive, though there’s a lot of work still to do. Of course the first thing is to thrash out some version of the final quarter, and actually get to the end of a draft, before going back and cutting and coaxing the mush into a coherent story. To that end, I’m pleased to say I’ve been writing quite a lot since the new year (which some might consider a minimum standard for a writer), and I’m now about 45,000 words into that final part, wrestling manfully with a ludicrously complex and extravagant final action climax to put in the shade the ludicrously complex and extravagant action climaxes in the other three parts. It’s that kind of book.  Good thing? Bad thing? I guess, sooner or later, you can be the judge, but I’m pleased that it’s feeling distinctly different in tone and structure to my First Law stuff, albeit within the same character-based, gritty and violent fantastic wheelhouse. You wouldn’t want the acorn to fall too far from the tree, after all.

I’m hoping to get to the end before March is out, though the end when it comes to writing a book is always a tricking mirage, receding into the shimmering heat haze even as one tries to grasp it. The very next thing will be to spend a couple of weeks (possibly more, depending on the state of it) rewriting, adding, subtracting, improving, and generally hacking that final part into shape so I can send it off to my editors and we can sit down to discuss the entire thing. Hopefully at that point it will be clear (or more clear) what the book’s about, what the arcs of the central characters need to be, and I can set about the key task of imposing some order on the slightly chaotic first draft, refining the voices of the characters to suit their journeys, pruning the whole like a piece of topiary to produce a marvellously coherent and propulsive second draft exploding with vivid action, personality and excitement. Or something. That’s really when the book starts, for me, to get good, or at least when I start to feel good about it, anyway.

The rough aim is to get the first draft done around April, so I can hopefully turn the second draft in around August/September, so I then have a few months to tackle the detailed edit, and my own rounds of further revision focussing on character, setting and language, with the ultimate goal of having finished text around the end of the year that can then be sent out as ultra-exclusive advance copies to the lucky tastemakers of the fantasy fiction world. Publication for the general reader, you say? Oh how gauche, we don’t discuss such matters in public! Not yet anyway…

Read more | 25 comments | Posted in process, progress

2022 In Review

Another New Year’s Eve rolls around all too soon, and we all know what that means. Happy birthday to me! 48 today and STILL a fresh new voice in this GODDAMN GENRE. This time last year I was crossing my fingers for better times ahead as the pandemic faded in the rear-view mirror. Hasn’t quite […]

Read more | 34 comments | Posted in announcements, film and tv, games, progress

Progress Report November ’22

I blink and it’s been 5 months since I did a progress report, god damn it, so HERE IS ONE. I’ve finally finished part 3 of The Devils, and sent it off to my editors. We shall see how they respond. Hated it while I was writing it, which isn’t entirely unusual, but somehow always […]

Read more | 48 comments | Posted in news, progress

Progress Report June ’22

I’m conscious that my progress reports have been few and far between lately. I’ve got a lot going on but not that much that I can actually announce or discuss, which makes progress reports every two months a bit of a pointless exercise… The first draft of my next book The Devils is grinding on, […]

Read more | 13 comments | Posted in announcements, news, progress

Curious King Limited Editions

Very pleased to announce that UK specialist publisher Curious King has just opened up the preorder book for a high end limited edition of that seminal subversive fantasy classic of the mid 2000s The Blade Itself. I’ve been pretty thoroughly consulted (and made as much of a pain in the arse of myself as you’d expect) on […]

Read more | 12 comments | Posted in announcements, news

2021 in Review

What’s that you say? It’s New Year’s Eve, I must be 47 goddamn years old today, and ANOTHER year passes under the bridge? Those bastards keep coming, don’t they? And this one has, I think it’s fair to say, been particularly hard work on the whole. I don’t think any of us really imagined a […]

Read more | 29 comments | Posted in announcements, appearances, film and tv, games, news, progress

Extra Events for The Wisdom of Crowds

Due to various unforeseeable circumstances, such as the Swansea branch of Waterstones flooding the evening before I was due to arrive (seriously, you can’t make it up), we had to shift the three extra Wisdom of Crowds events back a couple of weeks. Obviously it’s bad that the shop flooded, but the UPSIDE is that […]

Read more | 11 comments | Posted in Uncategorized

The Age of Madness Facts and Figures

Finally reaching the end of a big ass trilogy like this seems a good moment to look back and take stock. It just so happens that for much of this project I kept a lot of tedious records of when and how it was written, so – for the tiny minority of people for whom […]

Read more | 30 comments | Posted in process

The Wisdom of Crowds – Out Today

And so The Wisdom of Crowds is published in the UK (by Gollancz) and the US (by Orbit) this very day in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook read by the magisterial Steven Pacey. Always a bitter-sweet moment for an author, like dropping your kid off at college and hoping they’ll get on okay without you, but […]

Read more | 20 comments | Posted in announcements, news, reviews

Wisdom of Crowds Tour – Update

With the book coming out in a mere 4 days (I know, so exciting) a little update on events: London Piccadilly is now sold out but if you’re in London you can see me the following day at Forbidden Planet. And the Virtual event with Steven Pacey is now going to be on Monday 20th at […]

Read more | 10 comments | Posted in announcements, appearances, news