Mogzilla are about to release the first three chapters of Haywired in PDF format.
It should be available from their website soon, but feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you a copy directly.
On another note, Rewired is going really well!
Here’s a photo of me at the Mogzilla stands at the MCM Expo taken by the highly talented Sarah McIntyre.
I certainly have a face for the radio, but people weren’t too horrified and over 50 copies of Haywired were bought! As you can see in the photo were down to our last five at this point on Saturday and we were in danger of running out!
Thanks to all those who picked up a copy. I am eternally grateful and I hope you enjoy it!
Just thought I’d say, that your book is seriously awesome, I was reading it on the tube and train back from the expo, and I almost missed my stop o___O glad I bought it :)
Cameron (one of those dudes at the expo)
— Thanks Cameron, that’s really good of you to say!
I came across this quote through Paul Krugman’s blog today:
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
It nicely sums up my attitude towards her writing.
One trap that I’ve noticed quite a few wannabe writers fall into is the poor use of the first person perspective. Personally, I would avoid writing in the first person like the plague as it’s incredibly easy to do it badly. I’m not saying avoid it altogether as when it’s done well it’s fantastic (see Jane Eyre), but new writers have a habit of turning their protagonists into active characters in a story, which I think can be tremendously damaging.
I came across this comment by Murakami in an interview for the Paris Review:
Almost all my novels have been written in the first person. The main task of my protagonist is to observe the things happening around him. He sees what he must see, or he is supposed to see, in actual time. If I may say so, he resembles Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby. He is neutral, and in order to maintain his neutrality, he must be free from any kinship, any connection to a vertical family system.
The important point here is “neutrality” and “The main task of my protagonist is to observe the things happening around him.” This is how a first person novel can be done well: when the protoganist is not aggressively active in the story. When I’ve read pieces by those trying to get published for the first time and they’ve written in 1st person, but the characters play a more active role, the narrative really suffers. It makes the story seem to be about the author, as if they are trying to live out their fantasies on the page and we are just meant to watch. It comes across as self-indulgence and incredibly boring, and the protagonist (author) very self-aggrandising.
PS There’s a lot a great 1st person novels out there, but I’ve noticed that a lot of new writers go for writing in this perspective and I think it damages their stories somewhat. I’m not criticising first person perspective generally.
There’s quite a long interview and review up at Tall Tales & Short Stories here. Thanks, Tracy!
Also, I contributed on an author perspective thing on Bookzone for Boys on Roald Dahl here. I loved Dahl when I was younger (and probably still do but I haven’t picked up anything by him in years).
Lastly, it’s been confirmed that I’ll be attending the MCM Comic and video games Expo next month as well! Very excited about this. Come and say hello if you’re there.
Last weekend I went to the Asylum Steampunk event in Lincoln. I had a really good time and was very impressed by the effort people made in their costumes.
The bath in the first photo was full of free gin!
Haywired has finally been released!!
So far it seems to be doing quite well, and I’ve even spotted it in my local Waterstones in Camden! Getting it onto a shelf in a proper bookshop feels like I’ve actually “made it”, so I’m over the moon about this!
In terms of other things going on, the most exciting has been a conversation between Mr Philip Reeve and me (I?) on his blog, The Solitary Bee, here. I also owe Mr Reeve a blog piece (Confessions of a One-Off Archaeologist part II), but I’ve written and rewritten the thing so many times and it’s still dreadful! I think I’m getting a bit overly conscious of writing with a favourite author as the audience.
Rewired is going well too. I managed to get a good chunk of it done last week and I’m very happy with it. Personally, I think it will be better than Haywired. The story is more focused and it tells you a bit more about the backstories of a lot of the characters, especially the Captain.
Finally, I’m off to Lincoln this weekend for the Steampunk event being held there (I’ve even bought a new pair of brown trousers to get in the spirit of the thing). If anyone is going to be there, come and say hi! I’ll be in the author’s corner on the lawn being totally overshadowed by Robert Rankin.
I think that’s it.