Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Video

Just uploaded a new promotional video I made for The Shadow Project to my Author's Page on You can view it and see the whole Author Page at

(If you're reading this blog entry on the Author Page already — since blog entries are syndicated there — then it's on your right.)

The important thing about all this is that the cat who makes a brief appearance is The Wobber. (He wanted me to tell you that.) The stone circle is on the front lawn of my home in Ireland. The camerawork and voice over were both by my gorgeous wife Jacks. And, as you might imagine, the video was enormous fun to make.

Now let's hope it sells a ton of books.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Done that then.

The Faeman Girl is finished! A smidge under 91,000 words emailed to my agent yesterday and scheduled for publication by Bloomsbury next autumn. Bloomsbury U.S. are already working on the cover, which they want to have a strong family resemblance to the first four of the Faerie Wars books. Actually the first four, Faerie Wars, The Purple Emperor, Ruler of the Realm and Faerie Lord are really a single story stretched across four volumes while Faeman (the term denotes a faerie/human hybrid) is a stand-alone book set in the Faerie Realm about sixteen years after the time of Faerie Lord. But there are still some familiar faces in Faeman including Blue and Henry, Madame Cardui, Chalkhill and Brimstone and an important bit of Lord Hairstreak. Can't wait to see it in print.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Spent a delightful afternoon at Wexworlds Sci-fi and Fantasy Fiction Festival yesterday. Driving force behind the three day event, the first of its kind in Wexford, Ireland, was Eoin Colfer who was officially listed as its patron, while James Bacon was the organiser backed by a volunteer team. (Eoin tells me he's currently working on another of his fabulous Artemis books, incidentally — something virtually every kid on the planet is eagerly waiting for.)

The town was buzzing when Jacks and I arrived. A lot of the emphasis was on allowing readers to meet up with their favourite authors and I lost no time in beelining a few of mine. Apart from Eoin himself, there was my old mate Andrew Donkin who'd flown in from the U.K. to talk about the graphic novel adaptation of the first Artemis Fowl book and there was another old friend, Dave Donohue, author of the Speazelbud books, giving the kids one of his fantastic backwards spelling performances. But I also had the pleasure of meeting for the first time Michael Carroll, who was mobbed by fans of his New Heroes books, Oisin McGann, who's just published The Wisdom of Dead Men (great title!), Ian McDonald, who must be positively embarrassed by the number of major science fiction awards he's won, Bob Curley, who both creates, publishes and sells comics, and Sarah Rees Brennan (no relation) who's just started to hit the headlines with her first fantasy novel, published last June.

I must confess I wasn't looking forward to my own small contribution to the show. Last time I did a book signing in Wexford only one person turned up... and I was married to her. But this time my adorable agent (Sophie Hicks of Ed Victor Ltd) had gotten involved and Byrnes Bookshop was packed, so I talked and read and signed like a Trojan, then went off to White's Hotel for tea and a panel discussion on sci-fi career guidance. Great fun. I hope they do it all again next year. (And invite me back.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shadow Project looms on the horizon

The HarperCollins publicity machine has started to grind into gear for my new book The Shadow Project which has an official publication date of January 2010, but will actually be in the shops just after Christmas, 2009. So far, I've shot a three-minute video for the book itself and made a lengthy podcast. HarperCollins then selected the book for their Awesome Adventures promotion, so I recorded another podcast by phone and made another video, using something called a Flip camera which they sent me. (Dinky little thing and quite idiot-proof.) Not sure when the actual promotions will start, but close to publication date would make sense.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the book has already become a Junior Library Guild selection. The Guild sent me a gold certificate 'suitable for framing' and a lapel badge, which I thought was very sweet. They mentioned that Guild selections, often made before publication, might be seen as a bellwether of future success. I'd never heard the term 'bellwether' before but I looked it up and hope they're right.

Tomorrow I have to do a reading at the first WexWorlds sci-fi and fantasy festival in Ireland. Won't be Shadow Project, unfortunately, since it's a U.S. publication and not available this side of the Atlantic (yet) so I'm planning to do sections from the Faerie Wars series. Talking of which, The Faeman Child, now retitled The Faeman Girl, is almost finished. Faeman is a stand-alone novel set in the Faerie Realm tracking a particularly tricky adventure of Princess Mella, the only daughter of Henry and Blue from the previous Faerie Wars books. Bloomsbury U.S. have already started working on the cover: they're hoping to publish in autumn, 2010.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Various odds and sods

Famous last words about updating more regularly, written December 6 last year and we're now in the middle of summer. Where does the time go to? Kate Thompson says it leaks through a hole in space.

Right, if any of you are interested, here's my latest update:

The Shadow Project, book 1 of a new series for HarperCollins in the U.S., will be in the shops after Christmas this year. But only, so far, in the States since it hasn't found a U.K. publisher yet and my German publisher turned it down because I mentioned Hitler. (Honest!) I've spent the last week making a little promo video for the book, which was great fun. There's already been the first hint of movie interest, which is nice; although these things move so slowly I'm not holding my breath.

Just completed The Doomsday Box (working title) which is the second Shadow Project book. My literary agent, Sophie Hicks, loves it and is taking it to my publisher in New York this week where she will discuss the future structure of the series.

Started work on The Faeman Child, a new stand-alone novel set in the Faerie Wars universe. I hit the 10,000 word mark a couple of days ago: the significance of this being that if I can make 10,000 I can usually finish the book. Which may be just as well since I've spent the advance.

Framestore have renewed their movie option on Faerie Wars and have, I believe, now decided to focus their energies exclusively on this and one other movie project, which is heartening news.

Finally, I'll be submitting my dissertation this week. Bits of it might be useful for a non-fiction book I'm ruminating on about the placebo effect. Or I could use much of it as the basis of another (spooky) project I've been considering called The Whisperers. That's if I can manage to plug the hole in space Kate Thompson was talking about.