Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Novella

Buruuuuuuu

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So, a little while ago I announced there would be a LOTUS WAR novella released later this year, and it would be available for pre-orders with KINSLAYER. A lot of folks have been asking for details, and so at last, I give them to thee:

The novella is entitled THE LAST STORMDANCER. It’s set 100 years before events of the current trilogy and tells the story about . . . well, hell, here’s the jacket copy:

__________________

Your blood-red skies are filled with smoke. Your bleach-white histories with lies. You walk sleeping. Wake senseless. Breathing deep of toxic blooms and forgetting all that has gone before.

But I remember.

I remember when two brothers waged bloody war over the right to sit in their father’s empty chair. I remember when orphaned twins faced each other across a field of crimson and steel, the fate of the Shima Shōgunate hanging in the poisoned sky between them.

I remember when a blind boy stood before a court of storms and talons, armed only with a thin sword and a muttered prophecy and a desperate dream of saving the world.

I remember when the skies above Shima were not red, but blue. Filled with thunder tigers.

I remember when they left you.

And I remember why.

Let me tell you, monkey-child.

__________________

THE LAST STORMDANCER will be bound up as a real bonafide book and offered as a preorder incentive – I’ve not really heard of this happening before, so it’s kinda fucking cool. US and Canadian folks will be able to use a receipt upload tool to send in your preorder confirmations. It’ll look kinda like this (obviously, you will get no nailpolish. Alas.) Once you fill out the form you’ll be mailed the free limited edition booklet of the novella. That easy.

I’ll publish the actual form on this blog and my FB page when we have it.

Yes, US and Canada only, folks. For everyone else, it sucks, I’m sorry. Read on for the good news.

Please note this is the ONLY CHANCE to get this story in print and free; otherwise, you’ll have to wait and pay for it when it’s released in ebook form in August. Everyone will receive their booklet before the ebook version goes on sale. So when we say exclusive, we’re not shitting you.

You can pre-order KINSLAYER here or here.

Here’s our tentative timeline:

May 17th: KINSLAYER cover reveal

exact date TBD: Preorder promotion begins (probably the same day as the cover reveal)

August 6th: STORMDANCER Trade Paperback on sale

August 12th: Last day to send in pre-order receipt to get novella (this date may change, but we’ll run with it for now)

August 13th: THE LAST STORMDANCER enovella on sale

September 17th: KINSLAYER HC on sale

In other news

I’ve just seen the final artwork for the KINSLAYER cover. I will say only this:

MY

FUCKING

GOD

Reveal on the 17th. There will be ARCs. And prints. And other loots. It’ll be awesome.

Much love to everyone who came out to see me at Melbourne and Gold Coast Supanova! Hopefully I’ll see some more of you in Sydney 😀

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Stick a fork in me

Kanji

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A trifling thing, but perhaps worthy of note.

Copy edits on KINSLAYER are now compleeeeeeeeeete.

I started writing this book in around December of 2010, back when STORMDANCER was still at auction (trivia – the working title for KINSLAYER was EARTHCRUSHER). I  looked through the synopsis I sent my agent when I started writing it, and the actual book that you guys will be reading in September bears absolutely no resemblance to that synopsis whatsoever.

Seriously, if these two books bumped into each other in the street, they would have no idea they were related. KINSLAYER would be all “Goodday sir, how do you do? It seems you were written by an author with exactly the same name as mine. Strange coincidence, eh?” and EARTHCRUSHER would just bash its head into the lamppost and dribble like the red-headed halfwit stepchild it was.

People often say second books are difficult. They’re not kidding. You have your whole life to write your first one, after all. KINSLAYER is around 160,000 words, but I suspect I wrote about 400k to get it to the point its at now. It was a killer process. It was bloody and brutal and scary and relentless. But goddamn, I’m proud of this book. Reading it over during edits for the 700th time, there are still scenes that give me goosebumps. Still moments that just punch me in the gut.

It’s the best book I’ve ever written.

I can’t wait for y’all to read it.

PS: kanji above is for the three acts of the book, once again designed by the incredible Araki Miho. They are ASHES, TEMPEST and SKIN.


SUPANOVA

Let's hug it out, bitch

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SO I did my first SUPANOVA on Saturday at Melbourne Showgrounds (Gold Coast and Sydney folks, I’ll also be appearing at yours) and I’ve gotta say it was fucking awesome. I’ve never really been a convention goer – I’m not sure why, tbh. Heading along to Manifest last year and now Supanova, I kinda feel like I’ve been missing out.

First off, doing the author thing there is awesome fun – meeting a bunch of readers, turning on a bunch of new readers, signing books and just hanging out and talking nerdy stuff. Meeting other authors and talking about the book business is super cool too. It’s really interesting to watch the way people interact with books on the shelf or stand (particularly when its your book but they don’t know it’s yours). You start to realize how important covers are, and how people consider book purchases in tiny fractions of time – I won’t dribble about it here though, I’ll do a blog post about it soon.

The cosplayers were amazing – I dunno who half of them are dressed as, but the gear was incredible nonetheless. I think my favorite shot of the weekend was catching a bunch of dudes from the Night’s Watch hanging out with a pack of jawas.

I also met the Hoff, which was kinda odd. I always thought he’s be taller.

Anyways, shots and commentary below. Many thanks to the awesome folks at Dymocks for having me along!

omgqueueThis is the queue to get in. It stretched for about 17 miles. I walked right past it and through the front doors. BAM.

before

This is what the insides looked like before 14,000 people walked in and wrecked the joint.

dominos

This was the queue for pizza at around 1pm. It was so big, it broke the space/time continuum. Fortunately, there were 400 people dressed as Doctor Who on hand to fix it.

Not joe

This man is not Joe Jusko. He is just sitting in Joe Jusko’s seat. The bastard.

nightswatchjawa

Greatest cosplay pic ever taken imo.

scarybunnies

I dunno what the deal is with the scary bunny people. But they were scary, so I shot them. I think the garbage bin in the bg is a nice touch.

KITT

This is KITT from Knight Rider. If you’re old enough to remember Knight Rider, daaaaaaaaaamn, you OLD.

(Yes, I remember Knight Rider….)

pillows

These pillows were the scariest thing I saw all weekend.

terrifying

I dunno who this is. Anime character? Suit must’ve been hella sweaty. I think I saw him passed out from heat exhaustion in a corner at one point.

villainess

Disney villainesses. Is that the plural of villainess? Is there such a word as a villainess? Fckd if I know…

phoenix

My buddy’s fiance. I’m not sure marrying a psychotic, planet-destroying elemental force in the guise of a human woman is such a hot idea, but he’s a mate, so what can you do…

joker

There were about 1,600 Jokers present over the weekend – this dude was the only one brave enough to wear a nurse’s outfit. So he wins.

tankwars

Huge crowd at TANKWARS. Apparently its a thing. Who knew.

twocopies

Only two copies left at the end of the weekend.

See you @ Gold Coast and Sydney.

MUCH LOVE PEOPLES!


Awards

awsm

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Some awesome to report this week. It’s apparently awards season in the literary world and STORMDANCER is up for a couple. 😀

First off, STORMDANCER has been named as a finalist in the Best Fantasy category of the Aurealis awards, which are Australia’s premier SF/F fiction awards. Previous nominees include incredible writers like Sara Douglass, Lian Hearne, Garth Nix and the amaaaaaazing Margo Lanagan – I’m actually up against Margo in the Fantasy category, so maybe I need to sacrifice something small and fluffy to the Blood God before the show. I’ll be heading up to Sydney for the gig, say hey to some folks I’ve only met on the interwebs, and hopefully sign some books somewhere. This is cool!

Second, STORMDANCER is also a finalist for the Compton Crook award, which is presented to the best first English language novel of the year in the field of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror by the members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc. It’s judged at Balticon, and while the thought of roaming the city of Baltimore looking for the convenience store Omar got shot in is a tempting one, the chances of me making it to the show are sliiiiiightly smaller than hitting the Sydney Aurealis show 🙂 Still, this is also cool!

Award shows are funny beasts – ten years working in advertising will teach you that. But still, it’s a real thrill to see STORMDANCER listing in these shows, up against some amazing writers and amazing books. I know it’s a cliché to say it, but I’m very honoured and humbled and excited just to be listed. So, huge thanks and Big Scary Hugs to the lovely folks on the Aurealis and BSFS panels!

In other news, the LOTUS WAR novella I mentioned last week is finished and handed in to the Editors of Doom – remember you’ll get a free copy if you pre-order KINSLAYER (some links for you here). Plans are proceeding for the KINSLAYER cover reveal (super exciting) and I’m back at work on some Sekrit Projectz™ while I await copy edits on KS.

Once more unto the breach, dear bitchez…