Oct 17, 2006
Welcome to what I hope will be a monthly news update which I envisage as a kind of combined blog and report on work in progress. My wife, Kate, upon hearing this resolution immediately pointed out that a blog is for someone who does interesting stuff: you don't. Such is a writer's life, which is misconstrued by 90% of the people I meet as being an exotically romantic existence. Reality is a little more mundane, face it, all a writer actually does is sit by themselves in a room typing for eight hours a day.

Anyway. A big thanks to everyone who bothers to leave a message in the guestbook, a large number of which mention a general lack of information on my current work. At this point I'd like to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to Martin and Jeroen who between them run this website. They don't get paid, they spend their free time updating it when they can, and ward off spam attacks. Thanks guys, much appreciated.

Okay, so the work in progress bit. I'm currently writing The Void trilogy, which is set 1,500 years after the end of Judas Unchained. According to my contract I'm supposed to deliver volume one, The Dreaming Void by this Christmas 2006, and still hope to do so, though I've admitted to my publisher it might be January. At which point you might reasonably ask if he's just been sitting there for eight hours a day typing how can he be late? Well five months ago my son Felix was born, who although a complete delight does take up a lot of my day. At the same time we were having an extension built on the house, which proved a lot more stressful and time consuming than I'd like. I don't know what planning authorities are like in the rest of the world, but trust me speed is not part of their portfolio in Rutland. And of course the construction itself wound up obeying Murphy's Law, that everything costs more and takes longer.

However, all that is now behind us, and I'm happily installed in my new stereotype author's shed at the bottom of the garden without a phone or internet connection so I won't suffer any more distractions.

I won't be doing spoilers concerning The Void, apart from saying that some characters from Pandora and Judas are still around, albeit in an altered form. Elsewhere on this site is the timeline which links the two periods of the Commonwealth. In addition there is a short story, Blessed By An Angel, which also provides a connection between the two, which is to be published in an anthology The New Space Opera by Eos, edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, with publication scheduled for June 2007. It concerns the convoluted birth of Inigo, one of the main protagonists in The Void.

Some good news from my point of view, my UK publishers, Pan Macmillan, have signed up Jim Burns to paint the cover art yet again. Jim's just about the best artist around in my opinion, and I'm glad to have him on board.

And that's about it. Delivery in a few months. Publication autumn 2007. As to word length, I think they'll be shorter than the last two books. I'll let you know for sure when I've finished and run the word count.

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