First of all, a little bit of Space: 1889 & Beyond news. Once again, the series dominates the Top Ten Best-Sellers List on Untreed Reads Store; that makes five months in a row now. And, as a result, all four titles can now be bought direct from Untreed Reads with a 25% discount throughout February. The perfect time to introduce your friends to this smash hit steampunk series!
Now for something really cool! I was recently interviewed by the Comic Guru himself, Kristian Barry, for his ongoing YouTube vlog. For those of you who do not know me beyond my writing, this will be a nice little insight in to the person I am – the pure cheek of me! Check the interview out below, and please feel free to share it around.
Mid December something quite significant happened in the world of Doctor Who. No, they didn’t hire me to write an epic steampunk reinvention of the Cybermen! Yeah, sorry to be a downer. But they did discover two previously ‘lost’ episodes of the classic series. Part three of Galaxy Four, starring the original Doctor, William Hartnell, and part two of The Underwater Menace, starring the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton. They were lost during the massive clear up of the BBC Archives in the ’70s. Still 106 episodes are missing from Doctor Who during 1964 and 1969, and for a long while hope of ever finding them had also disappeared among the higher echelons of Doctor Who fandom. Now that hope has returned… as witnessed by episode four of Comic Guru TV!
Well, this is it, the end of 2011. It’s been a rather interesting year for me personally, and a brilliant year for my career – although, even that is only a stepping stone to bigger things. Roll on 2012, I say!
Big thanks to all my loyal supporters!
To wrap the year up, here’s a rather amusing episode of Comic Guru TV (stay for the end, that’s hysterical!).
A very good thing happened on 24th November, I met with a publisher. The result of said meeting was an interest in picking up The Garden saga of novels, beginning with book two. This will, of course, be great news to those who’ve read Seeker and eagerly await the second instalment (which, I’m happy to say, is at least 98% of the readers – always the first question I get asked is ‘when’s the next book?’). This also means I need to write, and so I am deep in the world of Jake, Sam, Celeste and the upyr once again. The book also needed a new title, and that has become Augury – a portent, an omen, but of what? Tune in next year to find out. 😉
Seeker has also been featured in this week’s Comic Guru TV. The Comic Guru is one of the premiere comic shops in Wales, and is based in Cardiff. The owner, Kristian Barry, has been a supporter of Seeker since it was released back in March, and has, over the last six months or so, become a very good friend indeed. So big love and thanks to him for the continued support, and the wonderful comments in the webcast.
And now, just for you followers of this blog, a very exclusive treat. The first scene of Augury…
Jake was in a good place.
True, life could still be as tough as nuts, but he’d made it. Not to say his life was now perfect, it was far from that, but he was at least in a space he could call good. Well, compared to the two longest weeks of his life back in March. He tried not to dwell on those weeks too much now, but once in a while the memories and accompanying feelings would come around and smack him in the face.
‘You still there?’ Conrad asked.
‘Yeah. Yeah, sorry, guy,’ Jake said into the phone, his ubiquitous Californian lilt as affected as ever, as he opened the front door. It was all Conrad’s fault anyway. They had been talking about how much things had changed since they’d first met, a topic that was always bound to bring back certain memories. Still, good place, he reminded himself. ‘Come on, Curtis!’ he yelled up the stairs, and said into the phone in a softer voice, after hearing Conrad’s hiss of annoyance, ‘ah, sorry.’
‘Right, ’tis cool.’
Jake could hear Conrad’s smile in his voice. Sometimes Jake reckoned that if Conrad was any more laid back he’d spend his whole life on his back. Jake grinned at the mental image that brought forth.
‘So, yeah,’ he continued, dragging his mind out of that particularly dirty gutter, ‘we’re heading off to the station now. He should be there soon.’
‘Looking forward to it?’
‘I guess. Haven’t seen each other in what seems like forever.’ Jake paused. He couldn’t back down now, either way. ‘Curtis is eager to see him, so yeah, should be fun.’ As soon as he mentioned Curtis’ name, the toddler came bobbing down the stairs. Jake didn’t even bother with the safety gate that Willem had installed anymore. Curtis was walking so much better these days, full of the bubbly life a three-year-old was supposed to have. He’d changed a lot since Jake and Lawrencia had come to their ‘agreement’. Jake smiled to himself; Will would be very happy to see his nephew, too.
‘What about you?’
‘Huh?’ Once again Jake was miles away. He seemed to do that a lot these days.
‘Are you eager to see him?’
Jake didn’t answer straight away. Sure, he was looking forward to it, but there was a part of him that…
‘Okay,’ Conrad said, cutting into Jake’s thoughts, ‘look, Jake…’ He stopped abruptly, and Jake could just about make out someone trying to get Conrad’s attention. Probably his sergeant. ‘Yes, sir,’ Conrad’s muffled voice said. ‘I need to book,’ he continued to Jake, ‘so text me soon, yeah? Let me know if tonight’s defo on.’
‘Sure thing,’ Jake said, and ended the call.
Curtis stood at the bottom of the stairs, wearing the jumper Jake had bought him for his birthday last month. He had told Curtis it was from ‘undle’ Willem, and Curtis had corrected him saying it was uncle. Getting the kid into playschool was paying off for sure. And since it was a present from his missing uncle, Curtis had decided that the jumper was his favourite and thus had to be worn almost every day. Or at least the three days he stayed with Jake, since Jimmy refused to allow the boy to wear it. Merely because it was ostensibly a present from Will.
‘You ready, champ?’
Curtis shook his head. ‘No. I get cold outside.’ He stretched up for his coat hanging on the rack by the door, but couldn’t reach.
Jake lifted the coat off the rack and held it higher. Curtis started jumping for it, but Jake kept moving the coat around, making Curtis jump and run around in circles. Laughing. Jake loved it. Such a happy kid now.
‘Come on, let’s wrap you up,’ he said, and knelt down next to Curtis. As he zipped up the coat, Jake asked; ‘Where we going?’
‘We going to Paddytum, and get some mamylade for my toast for breakfast before school tomorrow.’
Jake grinned. ‘Yeah, kind of.’ They were certainly going to Paddington, that much was true, but not to get marmalade. Jake had already secretly stashed some in the glove compartment to give to Curtis later. The kid would never know. They were going to meet someone. A very special someone, and already in his mind Jake could see the big smile on Curtis’ face when he saw who it was.
Curtis reached out for Jake’s hand, and he took the chubby brown hand tightly. Curtis smiled up at him. Just before closing the door Jake glanced across the passage to the kitchen beyond. The house, Will’s house, had his own touch to it now. He wasn’t sure how Will would like it.
Soon I shall be releasing all kinds of fun news about the upcoming Space: 1889 & Beyond series, but before then, a guest post from Joe Glass…
I write to you now from my bedroom with a glass of wine!
The Pride is a six-issue mini-series that hopes to expand the diversity of superhero comics, by featuring an all LGBT superhero team who figh for everyone. They fight to improve representation of their community, but that doesn’t mean they are just gay heroes. They are heroes for everyone, who just so happen to be LGBT.
It all came about because I was sick of seeing what few LGBT characters there are in comics relatively stuck in the background. They’ll come in, make a big statement (usually about them being gay or whatnot) and then will barely be seen again, whether through repetitive delays and cancellations of their books, or literally by appearing in the background, with little or no lines or action in the story. LGBT characters became an ‘issue’, trotted out now and then to seem current or relevant, and then quickly discarded when there was too much attention.
Similarly, most minorities face the same kind of backlash in comics. Look at how many reacted to the recent announcement of the new Ultimate Spider-Man. Minorities are sorely under or misrepresented, and when they do appear it’s to extremes of spectacle and negative reactions that are borderline or outright offensive.
The Pride aims to be diverse and open. The heroes are here, and they are queer, and they don’t give a damn ’cause they’re still gonna save the day. It’s about showing that you’re just as good as anyone else, and taking pride in who you are.
At the moment, the comic series is set to start with issue one out November 2nd, and we’ll be published through Deadstar Publishing.
We’re looking to improve distribution and marketing though, and to do this, we need help. We have set up on Indiegogo, and are looking to raise money to market the series and also increase and improve distribution so the message gets out further, wider and louder. It’s also a great way to preorder your copies, especially if you’re based outside of the UK. You can find us on Indiegogo at http://igg.me/p/37384?a=216477&i=shlk
Also, me and my co-writers on my other project, Stiffs, will be appearing at Cardiff’s Comic Guru for a signing Saturday, August 20th 2011. We’ll be signing a special, limited edition Stiffs/The Pride preview comic which features an original The Pride story!