Month: March 2003

Lovegrove = Culture. Official.

Spring is sprung, the birds are on the trees, the birds are on the other birds, and I’ve just completed a first draft of my next book, Provender Gleed. I’ve knocked this one out in (for me) record time, something like five months, partly because, once I started, I built up momentum and couldn’t stop, but also because I wanted to produce a book that had greater-than-usual pace and energy and the best way of doing that, I decided, was to write it with pace and energy.

Provender Gleed is SF, it’s alternate-history, it’s a detective story, it’s a suspense novel, it’s satire, it’s a sustained wordgame, it’s even a romantic comedy. I’ll reveal more later, when the dust in my head has settled, but I will say that I’m cautiously pleased with it. Its tone is in marked contrast to that of Worldstorm, a darker and much more serious novel. I probably needed to write it as an antidote, a piece of entertainment to counteract Worldstorm‘s violence and sombreness. By the way, if I haven’t mentioned it already, Worldstorm is out in hardback and trade paperback this September.

I must acknowledge here the grant I received from the Arts Council UK which gave me breathing space and financial wherewithal to finish Provender Gleed. Their help and sponsorship were invaluable. I now know I’m not merely a jobbing author, I’m culture!

Finally, for those still awaiting publication of Gig … so am I. There’s been a small production hitch at PS Publishing but I’m assured that the book is on its way and should be out imminently. It may even be available by the time you read this.

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News Round-up

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything new on here since November. Bad James. Naughty James. Slapped wrist.

What’s been happening is… well, not a lot, in fact. Just the usual daily grind of writing — did I say “grind”? I meant wonderful, happy, joyous, breathless process of writing. I’m about halfway through my next opus, maybe a little further than that, and it’s developing into a dark and dense and labyrinthine (but none of these in a bad way) meditation on racial difference and class distinction, among other things. Fingers crossed it’ll be done by the summer, autumn at the latest.

Meanwhile, Untied Kingdom is due out in less than a month’s time, and so far, confidence is high. I’ve received my first two author’s copies, one hardback, one trade paperback, and they’re looking swee-eet. I’ve also completed a couple of magazine interviews via email, one with Mark Greener for Matrix, the other with Sharon Gosling for Dreamwatch. Both journalists asked good and pertinent questions, and the result is two sets of wonderful perspicacious pearls of wisdom from yours truly which should be appearing within the next month or so.

Two other publications due out this year: The House of Lazarus, which is my second Barrington Stoke book for reluctant readers and a rewriting of the short story of the same name which appeared in Imagined Slights; and Gig, my dual-novella effort, which is getting the signed, limited-edition, slipcased, so-gorgeous-you-just-want-to-hug-it-and-treat-it-to-a-Chinese-meal treatment from PS Publishing. The former is scheduled for August, the latter for the end of this year.

Somewhere before either of those lies Junior’s scheduled appearance. According to the twenty-week scan, “it” is most definitely “he”, and Lou and I have been mulling over names and have come up with… Oh, but we’re not telling anyone until after the baby arrives. Just in case he doesn’t turn out to fit the name we’ve chosen. It happens, you know. My cat Nermal was called Isabel to start with (my five-year-old niece’s suggestion) but after a few weeks proved herself to be more annoying cartoon kitten than pretty, girly type. A rechristening wasn’t just desirable, it was necessary. And same principle may apply here. Better to be safe than sorry, eh?

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