Saturday, February 19, 2011

As One Door Closes, Another Opens...

I have to announce that, with regret, work on The Fall of the Fireduke is halted indefinitely.  I hate canning a novel 20,000 words in, but more than one agent has advised me that, given the disappointing sales performance of The Dog of the North, no publisher in their right mind will take on further works in the series.  In the current risk-averse climate, that is clearly a realistic understanding of how commissioning editors are thinking.  While I don't write primarily for publication, and have had a lot of satisfaction--and good feedback--on novels which have been self-published, I don't have the fortitude to write a novel which I know from the outset has no chance of  attracting a commercial publisher.  So to those of you who were looking forward to more Mondia books, I can only apologise.  Unless there is commercial interest in these books, the series is at an end.  (All the more reason to buy The Last Free City when it comes out).

That's the bad news out of the way.  The good news is that I am actively working on a new project, with a grand total of 122 words of first draft written.  That, admittedly, is some way short of a complete novel, but a lot of the thinking and outlining (if that's not overdignifying the process) is already done.  What can I share about this new work?  At such an early stage, much will change.  Nonetheless, I can give certain hints.  First we have a title: Shadow Puppet.  Then--of course--we have a map:


Shadow Puppet is closer to science-fiction than anything I've written since The Zael Inheritance, although it has elements of urban and dieselpunk fantasy too.  Overt influences are Jack Vance--of course--Len Deighton's Bomber, Battlestar Galactica (although the main points of similarity were already fleshed out before I started watching it, so this is parellel evolution rather than influence), Budapest, Phillip Kerr, Fatherland, Bladerunner, 1984 and Raymond Chandler.  As this list suggests, it's not a romantic comedy...

I think progress may be slow on this one--I'd got very used to reaching for the tropes of Renaissance fantasy--but I've been carrying the idea around since September, so there's every chance it's got legs.  Keep dropping by for progress reports.

10 comments:

Elfy said...

Tim, it's a shame to hear that there won't be any more tales in the world of Dog of the North and disappointing to hear that it didn't sell well. I've seen works of lesser quality go on to far greater success. However I am pleased that you're still working and have a new project. I hope to see it soon.

C. N. Nevets said...

It could only be a romantic comedy if it included puffins.

The new project sounds like lot of fun, Tim, and I hope you enjoy reading it. I'll always be excited for more Tim Stretton to read, regardless of the fictional world in which it takes place.

I still hope some American publisher catches onto the Dog of the North someday and breathes life into a series that should, by rights, be in the library of nearly every fantasy lover out there.

Tim Stretton said...

Thanks for the kind words, chaps.

For lovers of Mondia there is still The Last Free City to look forward to.

I hope that the new project will attract new fans without alienating existing ones!

Aliya Whiteley said...

Everyone should be very excited about The Last Free City. It's my Hubby's fave book in the last five years. He is gutted that there will be no more Mondia.

I, on the other hand, am determined to be positive. I'm really excited about your new project, particularly from the diverse influences involved.

I wouldn't involve puffins, if I were you.

Frances Garrood said...

Tim - I'm so sorry you're having to ditch the WIP. How disappointing. The current climate really is a bugger, and seems to be pulling the plug on a lot of writers' work. But very good luck with the new novel - I really, really hope this works out for you.

Tim Stretton said...

Aliya, I think there's lots to be excited about!

Frances, as you say, it's not a great time to be writing at the moment. But I suspect writers have always said that...

Mitch said...

Tim, for a Mondiafan, this is sad news indeed - I was looking forward, to see the Fireduke in action one day.
On the other hand, I've nothing to complain about the setting that you're currently working on (sounds like fun) and wish you all the best for this venture.

Tim Stretton said...

Mitch, your sentiments as a reader pretty much parallel mine as a writer...

pecooper said...

I bought Dog of the North in a bookstore in the US, but it was apparently brought into the county from Canada, so I guess it doesn't count. I was surprised that it never got picked up by a US publisher, though. I'm sorry you are droping Mondia for now, but I'm looking forward to your new book.

Matt Curran said...

Sorry to hear this Tim, but it's a sensible decision and one that isn't irreversible either. I've had to make the same decision with the Secret War books (publishers don't tend to pick up series in the middle) but I'm hoping they'll get a second life via the Kindle later this year, just like The Last Free City.

Good news about Shadow Puppet - like everyone hear, it sounds exciting!