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The Tools of My So-Called Trade

So, you imagine that all a writer needs to get the job done is some ideas, a wordprocessing package and a keyboard, right?  Wrong.  Writers are fragile, delicate creatures who require far more in the way of equipment to armour themselves for the daily, soul-destroying struggle with the blank page.  Or just to distract themselves from it.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Digging Up the Story

People ask me all the time how I write. It’s not just aspiring writers either. Story craft seems to mystify the average Joe too. “How do you do that?” they ask.

Well, I can’t speak for other writers, but today I’m going to tell you how I do it. Kind of.

But first, imagine for a moment that I am not Jaye Wells, author and bon vivant. Instead, picture me in an kicky fedora and wielding a spade (the shovel, not the playing card). That’s right, my friends, today I am Jaye Wells, international archeologist of mystery. If this were a movie, it’d be titled  Indiana Jaye and the Book of Doom. Read the rest of this entry »

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Strong Women, Child Soldiers and Geniuses

I went and got myself tagged by Kate Constable. Kate posted six things which inspired her writing in general, and then asked other writers to reveal six things that inspired their work.*

I thought I’d specifically post about the Moorehawke Trilogy. So here they are! Read the rest of this entry »

A Day in the Life of an Author…

…or a day in the life of Jeff Somers at least.  If you haven’t already spotted it on his site, see below for a glimpse of an artist at work. Seem familiar to anyone?

Only days left to vote on both Gemmell and Locus Awards …

There seems to be plenty of award talk going around at the moment, with the Clarke Award lists of nominees out, British Fantasy Society Awards longlists released and the BSFA only a few weeks away from its own Awards announcements. Perhaps these represent the first signs of Spring for the genre community…

But currently more pressing than all of the above are the imminent voting deadlines for the David Gemmell Awards (a few days away, with voting closing at the end of March) and the annual Locus Awards ballot (closing 1st April). The David Gemmell Awards are designed to honour the memory of David Gemmell and also to raise the profile of fantasy fiction in the UK, and this will be their second year. The whole team is crossing fingers for all our authors on the Gemmell longlists, including those down for the Legend Award for best fantasy novel here. You can also vote by following that link – and see above for the cute mini-Snaga that Brent Weeks was awarded last year for his shortlisted The Way of Shadows (UK I US). Also included within ‘the Gemmells’ are the Morningstar Award for best fantasy debut and the Ravenheart Award for best fantasy cover art.

The Locus Awards are in their 40th year and their longlist is the prestigious Locus Recommended Reading List of works published in 2009. So as well as crossing fingers for the Gemmells, we are also holding our collective breaths for Orbit authors in various Locus categories (this could get complicated!). Orbit nominees are  Iain M. Banks, Walter Jon Williams, Daniel Abraham, Gail Carriger and Charles Stross.  You can vote for the Locus Awards here.

Cover Launch: THE COMPANY MAN

Mr. Shivers, the debut novel by Robert Jackson Bennett, has been getting some fantastic praise around the review circuit, with a lot of comparisons to Stephen King + John Steinbeck, which is pretty awesome in my book. The Company Man is not a sequel, but if you liked Mr. Shivers, you will definitely like this one. It also takes place in an alternate history of America, and I would say this one, to me, feels like H.P. Lovecraft + Chinatown (the movie) happening in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. If that doesn’t sound cool to you, well, then, I don’t know what else to say. Haha.

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Defend your Orbit Favorites to the Death!

A bunch of Orbit books have been included in the “Fourth Annual BCSreview Tournament” and I expect you all to go vote. I think the competition is paltry, and should be easily trounced, but still, go vote.

Book Cover “Mind Meld”

I know you guys are big fans of hearing about covers and design from the artists/publishers side, so I thought I’d send you guys over to SciFi Signal, where they just posted a “Mind Meld” (dorks) on recent scifi/fantasy bookcovers.  I was asked to post, and in fairness I excluded all our books, but it was great to see so many Orbit books getting a mention! Here was the question:

Q: It’s generally well accepted that a book cover’s primary responsibility is to sell the book. But artistically speaking, what makes a successful sf/f/h book cover? Which recent sf/f/h books had a cover that blew you away?

Which makes me ask you guys….what’s your favorite ORBIT cover? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious.

The Midnight Mayor is here!

Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels wowed us all last year with its imagination, magic, and inventiveness.

We got exclusive CCTV footage of Matthew Swift himself in London back in 2009– check it out on the youtubes!

Now, Matthew Swift is back in this stunning sequel– say hello to The Midnight Mayor.

It’s said that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, then the Tower will crumble and the kingdom will fall.   Resurrected sorcerer Matthew Swift is about to discover that this isn’t so far from the truth. . .

One by one, the protective magical wards that guard the city are falling: the London Wall defiled with cryptic graffiti, the ravens found dead at the Tower, the London Stone destroyed. This is not good news.  This array of supernatural defenses – a mix of international tourist attractions and forgotten urban legends – formed a formidable magical shield, one that could protect London from the greatest threat it hasever known.  But what could be so dangerous as to threaten an entire city?

Against his better judgment, Matthew Swift is about to find out. And if he’s lucky, he might just live long enough to do something about it . . .

Kelley Armstrong tour dates confirmed

Event dates are confirmed for Kelley Armstrong’s UK visit:

Tuesday 23rd March – Forbidden Planet, London

Wednesday 24th March – Waterstone’s Deansgate, Manchester

Friday 26th March – World Horror Con, Brighton

As a special treat, paperback copies of the beautifully re-jacketed Frostbitten will be exclusively available to buy two months in advance at the bookshop signings!

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