I am taking part in The Writing Process Blog Tour, which is a fun way to introduce you to writers from far afield. Each author will offer brief insights into their writing processes and, in turn, they will introduce you to three more authors. I was invited to participate by Richard Ellis Preston Jr, steampunk author of the Romulus Buckle adventures. (In an earlier post, I persuaded Richard that my home city of Manchester is the steampunk capital of the world). Read more
Australian author Mark T Barnes has recently released The Obsidian Heart, second in his Echoes of Empire Trilogy, and I’m delighted to introduce you to this breakthrough author in epic fantasy. He has just arrived back in Sydney after speaking at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton. Mark and I are both published by 47North and in our little chat, here, we compare notes on world-building, opening scenes and short versus long form fiction.
It’s four weeks since 47North released a new edition of A Calculated Life and I thought I’d mark the occasion by doing a round-up of all the recent guest posts and reviews I’ve written. It’s been manic, but a great deal of fun. I really appreciate the massive amount of support I’ve received from other 47North authors and the good wishes from readers. Those all-important reviews are coming in and it’s pretty encouraging so far. Read more
Neve Maslakovic switched from being a research engineer to being a fiction writer. Both professions are creative endeavours, she says, but in science fiction you don’t have to stick to the Rules of the Universe. The ink is now drying on the manuscript of her third novel. In this conversation, we explore are similar backgrounds, discuss our different paths to finding a publisher, and find we share a love of writing dialogue. Read more
Kate Maruyama and I are ‘book-twinned’ because 47North released our novels on the same day, yesterday. I’m an avid reader of her blog Annotation Nation, which invites authors to explain how they’ve honed their craft by examining other writers’ works. So I asked Kate to write a guest post about one novel that helped her to write Harrowgate.
One step closer! I’m thrilled to show you the cover art for the new edition of A Calculated Life, which is now available for pre-ordering on Amazon.
It’s been a wonderful experience having my self-published novel signed by 47North and the team has done a sterling job. The new cover, by theBookDesigners, has an echo of the original (I was surprised by that). And the paperback format is brilliant because the artwork wraps around the spine, with fragmentation of the image on the back cover. Just gorgeous. Great typography, too! I hope you like it.
My editor David Pomerico presented me with several covers. There was a clear consensus on the final choice!
As well as working with the 47North team, I’ve been carrying out research for a new writing project. I’ll tell you more once I’ve progressed beyond scribbles, post-it notes and chaotic bashing at my keyboard… Read more
Nine Worlds GeekFest explored sexuality and gender in science fiction in a fascinating range of debates including Why Is The Future So Binary? This super-packed-out event witnessed a lively exchange between the author-panelists and the attendees, who shouted out examples of gender diversity in SF literature. The event successfully drew together a list of fictional worlds featuring gender non-conformity as opposed to the usual girl-meets-boy scenarios. (More books for the To Read list!)
Alex Dally MacFarlane pointed to the classic example – Ursula K Le Guin’s novel The Left Hand of Darkness, set in a world without gender. ‘Le Guin pokes at gender binary,’ said MacFarlane. And chairing the discussion panel, Tori Truslow told the audience, ‘We need more! SF writers seem to think, “Le Guin did that so we don’t need to do it.”’ Read more
Science fiction writers are getting ‘carried away with fear,’ according to author Tricia Sullivan. ‘There’s a failure to imagine a positive future. As a writer it’s harder to build things up than blow things up… Finding an element of hope really does mean disabling all my instincts as a science fiction writer.’
Sullivan was part of a four-author panel debating the question Is Our Future Utopian Or Dystopian? at Nine Worlds GeekFest 2013 in London last weekend. Her remark came in response to a challenge from Tom Hunter, director of The Clarke Awards, who chaired the event. He asked: ‘How do we find an element of hope?’ Sullivan quoted from Oscar Wilde: ‘The basis of optimism is sheer terror.’ (From The Picture of Dorian Gray). Read more
I’ve signed a book deal with David Pomerico of 47North, Amazon Publishing’s science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint, for a new edition of my dystopian novel A Calculated Life.
How sweet does that sound? I can barely believe it.
The 47North team is based in Seattle and over this summer they will create a new cover for my novel, copy-edit and proofread the manuscript, including changing the text to American spellings (!), and release the new edition in mid-September 2013.
The original edition of A Calculated Life, with British English spellings and the great Mack Manning cover, will be available until the release of the 47North edition.
I’ve read some excellent feedback online from authors about their working relationships with Amazon Publishing and I can’t wait to get started. Read more
The last of my blatherings on Hay Festival 2013; I’ve saved the heart-breakers until last.
NoViolet Bulawayo and Meike Ziervogel both delve into national traumas in their recent novels and both do so through a child’s point of view. On the final day at Hay I attended their emotionally charged event, which was introduced by Gaby Wood.
In NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, 10-year-old Darling lives in a shanty named Paradise and, through her eyes, we glimpse the turmoil of Zimbabwe’s recent history. According to the author, ‘A child’s eye view depoliticises events and suspends my own belief. You have to tone it down; readers can easily be put off. But it was also fun because it allowed me to return to my childhood. It was a celebration.’ Read more
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