Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A New Release

I'm delighted to announce that the ebook of The Last Free City has been re- released today as an ebook with Thirst eDitions - who also re-published Dragonchaser earlier this year.  A publication day is always exciting, but what's doubly so about this one is that it's being released alongside MFW Curran's barnstorming The Secret War, an old school historical fantasy adventure. I've known Matt Curran for several years; we are the only straight fantasy writers to have been published by Macmillan New Writing, so it's a pleasure to be published alongside Matt with Thirst eDitions.

If you're over here on ::Acquired Taste you're probably already familiar with my novels, but you may be less so with Matt's.  If you have a Kindle, why not get both books, and still have change from the price of most paperbacks and ebooks.

Things have been quiet over here lately.  Unfortunately that doesn't mean I have a new novel ready for you all.  Instead I've been preoccupied with some major family health issues which have taken most of my time away from writing.  Instead my leisure time has been spent reading (never a bad thing for a writer on sabbatical to be doing) and trying to decide which of my nebulous ideas I will start fleshing out when I return to writing at full speed.

My book of the year so far, for those looking for something to read, is Phillip Kerr's Prague Fatale.  It's the latest in Kerr's series of novels about Bernie Gunther, an honest cop in 1930s Berlin.  The translation of this instalment to Prague reinvigorates the series, and gives us wonderful locked room mystery with a cast of real-life Nazis and a tip of the hat to Agatha Christie.  Highly recommended!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Furst Among Equals

You all got the ebook of Dragonchaser while it was free, right? (If you didn't, it's now £1.53 so it shouldn't break the bank).  You might be wondering now what to download and read next.  I can't recommend anything else free, I'm afraid, but you could do much worse than pick up Alan Furst's WWII espionage novels, starting with Night Soldiers.

 

Furst is at the John le Carre end of the spectrum rather than Ian Fleming.  The novels are quiet and understated, much of the drama internal (although when the external world intrudes, it's often with shattering effect).

Furst's protagonists are pragmatists, not ideologues.  They are looking to survive in a world whose rules they did not write, and which often they don't fully understand.  The mechanics of the 1930s Soviet Union, where your friends are far more dangerous than your enemies, and "recalled to Moscow" is always a one-way trip, are especially well realised.

These novels are not for everyone.  Palates jaded by the helter-skelter pace of contemporary thrillers may find themselves asking "where's the beef?" (witnessed by some uncomprehending Amazon reviews), but once you've adjusted to Furst's calm prose and measured plotting, there's much of interest in store for the attentive reader.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Get Dragonchaser - free!

Monday 23 April marks the launch of the Thirst eDitions ebook of Dragonchaser, alongside the promised excellent volumes from Aliya Whiteley and Ian Hocking.  The Thirst eDitions website will tell you plenty more about the authors and their work.

Even better, for the first five days all these ebooks will be FREE!

How can we afford to give our work away?  It's simple - we wrote it so that you could read it.  Download it, try it - and if you like it, maybe you'll buy some of our paid-for work, or recommend us to your friends.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Coming Soon - a New Edition of Dragonchaser

The word 'exciting' is grossly overused in publishing.  I am allowing myself a frisson of anticipation, however, at the news that Dragonchaser will be re-released as an ebook on 23 April.  That's not the exciting bit, though; that date marks the launch of the new electronic publisher Thirst eDitions - run by writers for writers.  On the same day there will be a special promotional launch of Aliya Whiteley's Mean Mode Median; Roger Morris' The Bridge That Bunuel Built; and Ian Hocking's Proper Job.  This is amazing company to be keeping, and there will be others following soon after, including Frances Garrood's new novel Basic Theology for Fallen Women.

To mark the occasion, Dragonchaser will have a new cover, at the moment looking something like this:


A bonus point for anyone who can tell me the name of my illustrious, if unwitting, cover artist.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interview and Review

If you feel that the one thing you need to while away your lunch hour in peace is an interview with me, it's your lucky day; blogger and writer Donna Hole has provided you with just that, throwing in a review of The Dog of the North too.

If you are in the rather larger camp that neither knows nor cares where my next interview will pop up, Donna's blog has lots more entertaining material, and you need not stint yourself simply because you've already heard everything I have to say on the narrow and self-referential topic of the writer's journey.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Danish Invasion

During the Dark Ages, with the Vikings at their belligerent high-water mark, the English used to pay the Danes to stay away: Danegeld.  These days, it seems, the boot is on the other foot.  Now we pay them to come over here - or at least to send us their best television.  The two series of The Killing are among the best crime dramas in recent years; and last weekend saw the final episode of something even better: Borgen, a compelling and incisive study of the insidious effects of power, starring the magnetic Sidse Babett Knudsen.



Knudsen plays Birgitte Nyborg, the leader of a minority Danish party who, to the despair of her spin-doctor, throws away her script and speaks from the heart.  This moment makes a connection with the voters, and she scores an unexpected electoral success which makes her Staatsminister (Prime Minister) heading a fragile coalition.  She soon finds, however, that gaining power is the easy part; as the series unfolds, she is forced into a series of compromises and betrayals that take her ever further from the idealism which swept her into office.

You may have difficulty in believing that a subtitled drama about the intricacies of Danish coalition government can travel.  But Borgen uses this backdrop to explore themes of Shakespearean breadth: the nature of power, the corruption of ideals, loss of trust and betrayal.  Any temptation to soften the ending is resisted: the finale is bleak, and the price of power is exacted in full.

If you only watch one subtitled programme this year, make sure it's Borgen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Attention!  Are you a really cheap person?

Do you begrudge paying £12.27 for The Last Free City but find £9.20 an altogether more attractive proposition?

If so, this special offer from Lulu is just for you.


Simply follow this link before 31 January, buy the book and enter the promotional code LULUBOOK305 at the checkout for a 25% discount.  It also works for all my other books except The Dog of the North - that's The Zael Inheritance, Dragonchaser or any of the omnibus editions.

What's keepin' ya?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Pop over to Macmillan New Writers...

...where a number of us are displaying extracts from our recent works - including an excerpt from The Last Free City which you will only have seen if you've bought the book.

Why not nip over and have a look?