Friday, 28 August 2015

Opening the Lazarus Gate

Today was a momentous occasion in my writing career. I guess many people wouldn't totally understand the thrill of receiving a carton of books in the mail, and just how exciting that can be. This, however, was no ordinary parcel for me.

More than two years in the making, from sketches on the back of a notepad to getting physical copies printed, The Lazarus Gate author samples have arrived.

I feel a bit like a proud dad today. No matter how the book is received or how it sells, having a debut novel in print (especially with that awesome cover, designed by Julia Lloyd at Titan Books), really is the culmination of a boyhood dream. Sure, it's not the first time a product has been released with my name on it, but it is the most special to date by a country mile.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about future blogs, particularly because The Lazarus Gate is nearing it's October 2nd launch date (UK - the USA gets it a week earlier). I'll be presenting some blogs later this year about the writing and publication process, as well as some excerpts and outtakes from 'Lazarus'.

Fantasy Con
I'm also pleased to announce that I'll be at Fantasy Con 2015 in Nottingham, where I'll be appearing on a panel (Friday 23rd October) about writing in other worlds (i.e. franchised properties, such as Sherlock Holmes). I should also be doing a reading, possibly a signing, and hanging around the bar. Details to follow. It's my first con, so please do swing by and say hi!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Can't Stop, I'm Double Busy!

Just lately I've taken on a few commissions from one Osprey Publishing, who I'm sure many of you will know from their military history series. What you may not know is that they also produce a series of 'fictional-non-fiction' books called Osprey Adventures (exploring the lines where fact and fiction meet), and a tabletop wargames division.

Contributor copies of the first two products that I've worked on dropped through my letterbox on Saturday, and I'm very pleased with the results.

The first is the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow - a book exploring alternate history, assuming that Washington Irving did battle with the eponymous Horseman, and took up a sideline hunting their ilk. Illustrated by Alan Lathwell, it's out in September, and you can pre-order it here if you're of a mind.

The second is Tales of Frostgrave, an anthology of fantasy short stories set in the world of the Frostgrave game, which is taking the wargaming community by storm. It's an atmospheric setting, in which a lost city steeped in powerful magic has resurfaced amidst a permanent snowstorm, attracting bands of adventurers from across the world to find fortune in its ruins. This is a lovely little book, featuring stories by myself, Mat Ward, David A, McIntee, Graeme Davis and others. Tales of Frostgrave is out now in both physical and digital formats.

Not only that, but the next book I've done for Osprey - Bug Hunts - has also just gone up for pre-order here!

So, a busy old time, hence I've been neglecting blogging a fair bit. In fact, I have two other Osprey books in development - both wargames - so more on that in the future...

Edit: Just a day after posting this blog, another parcel arrived. This time it was the Cthulhu Britannica London box set from Cubicle 7, to which I also contributed. Everything's coming out at once!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Finally Facing My Waterloo

It's quite a momentous day in history today (18 June 2015), as today marks the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, one of the most pivotal battles in European history. Events and re-enactments are set to continue until the 21st.

Waterloo holds a special place in my heart, not least because of the tabletop wargame I wrote back in 2011. Though sadly out of print, to this day it stands as one of the largest and most comprehensive Napoleonic rulebooks published, and I'm very proud of the final product - for its history section, artwork, photography (by Matt Hutson of White Dwarf fame) and intro to the hobby, as much as the rules themselves.

When Warhammer Historical came to an end and the book dropped out of print, a few players were left hanging, as there was a fair amount of promised content that was never forthcoming. I went some way to rectifying this last year with the Russia Army List, and now, finally, I've completed the set, much belatedly. If you're one of the stalwarts who bought and enjoyed the game, and perhaps still does, then I present to you the Austria army list.

Austria Army List Link.

And yes, I'm fully aware that Austria weren't at Waterloo. However, the bicentenary has given me the motivation I needed to finish the job I started back in 2011. My Waterloo.

But that's not all! As this is a celebration, I decided to offer something up a little less conventional, just for fun. If anyone has been following the wonderful BBC drama Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, you'll have seen some pretty inspirational Napoleonic battle scenes, featuring Strange - Wellesley's magician - performing his magic in the peninsula and at Waterloo. The Hougoumont scenes were particularly well done, I thought. And so, I present to you also the rules for fielding Jonathan Strange, England's Second Magician, in your British army. Well, it is a Warhammer Historical book, after all...

Monday, 15 June 2015

Do Not Adjust Your Sets...

I've been neglecting the blog of late (bad Mark). This is not due to laziness - quite the contrary - it is down to being extremely busy. The Lazarus Gate has taken up a goodly chunk of my time of late, as the revisions have come in (and are still being batted back and forth). As this is the first time I've been on the receiving end of major edits, a blog about the editing process will probably follow in the near future! On top of that, I have several other projects to deliver, some of which are Top Secret, so expect news on those at a later date.

In other words, do not adjust your sets: Normal service will resume. In the meantime, don't forget to follow me on Facebook for more regular updates.