Sorry I’ve not been keeping on top of things recently, news-wise. Of course I’m going to blame Monty, who takes up all my available spare time and then some. No one ever tells you how long you spend with small children doing nothing except making faces and stupid noises at them. I wouldn’t make the effort, either, if Monty didn’t find it all so damn amusing.

Anyway, the main news is that I’ve just completed and handed in a first draft of Worldstorm. It’s a big old manuscript, weighing in at a hefty 200,000 words. Simon The Editor will no doubt pare this down in his skilful scalpel way to a somewhat more manageable size. Then again, there’s a lot of story and a lot of essential descriptive detail in the book, so I don’t expect there’ll be too many cuts (fingers crossed).

It turns out that Worldstorm may well be the first in a trilogy. There are certain characters and plotlines which seem to be crying out to be followed up on, and I already have basic outlines in my head for the two subsequent volumes. We shall see how it goes. In the meantime, I’m already gearing up for a new book, doing all the groundwork and storylining stuff that, for me, is truly the fun part of writing. I’m not going to say much else about the project as I’m very superstitious. If I talk about it now, I might not have anything to write when I sit down and begin on it.

As for actual books published, my second Barrington Stoke book (for reluctant readers) has just come out: The House of Lazarus, a substantial rewriting of the short story of mine which previously appeared in the Peter Crowther anthology Destination Unknown and my own collection Imagined Slights. The sales of its predecessor, Wings, have been startlingly good and to judge by the pre-publication uptake this one looks set to continue the trend.

And next month Gig is going to appear, courtesy of PS Publishing. I’m excited about this for many reasons but largely because the jacket is going to be fantastic and because PS have really got behind the concept of the book and are doing everything right with the design and packaging. Start saving your shekels now! I assure you it’s worth every penny of the cover price.

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• Filed under News • 13/10/2003 •