As ever, there’s an element of hard work, guess work and luck involved in planning out the future, but what I can tell you about the next 12 months is that there’s a lot of new stuff coming.
According to timelines popping up in Amazon and other online venues Sign of Glaaki is going to close out 2013, being released right around Christmas with an official 23rd of December release date, which I suspect means it’ll make it into stores in the first week of January 2114.
Monk was still sitting in the chair they had left him in, but his eyes weren’t pennies in wishing wells now; they were glazed and incapable of focusing on anything. There was an open film canister at his feet and he clutched a reel of film to his chest like it was the most precious thing in the entire world. His whole body trembled violently, gripped by tremors that verged on seizures, and his mouth opened and closed again and again though he seemed to have little control over it or the word that he kept repeating over and over and over again. Just one word. It took Wheatley a moment to distinguish the syllables and differentiate the word from the rolling clack clack clack of sound:
Glaaki Glaaki Glaaki.
Clack clack clack…
He had heard that sound—that word—before. Realization sent a cold shiver down the ladder of his spine one bone at a time…
The Sign of Glaaki is an all-new novel set in the Arkham Horror universe. Written with my partner in crime, Steve Lockley, The Sign of Glaaki is our first massmarket collaboration. It pits history’s most esteemed escape artist, Harry Houdini, and his friend, bestselling novelist, Dennis Wheatley, against ancient evil in the small New England town of Dunwich.
When an actress is brutally murdered on the set of a high-profile horror film, the list of suspects seems endless. After all, the movie’s ambitious young director has assembled an unsavory cast of circus folk and misfits, any one of whom might have committed the vile act. But when other bodies begin to appear, someone – or something – far more sinister than a mere murderer is clearly at work. Now, it’s up to Houdini, Wheatley, and a cast of characters from the beloved Arkham Horror board game to discover the truth!
But Glaaki is far from my only release of the year, hot on the heals of it comes my debut as Alex Archer, Grendel’s Curse, which is set in my native Sweden. A sword of legend in the hands of an extremist…
Skalunda Barrow, Sweden, has long been rumored to be the final resting place of the legendary Nordic hero Beowulf. And there’s something of Beowulf’s that charismatic and zealous right-wing politician Karl Thorssen wants very badly. Intent on getting his hands on the mythical sword Nægling, Sweden’s golden-boy politico puts together a team to excavate the barrow. A team that American archaeologist Annja Creed manages to finagle her way onto. She wouldn’t miss this possible discovery for anything.
With Nægling at his side, Thorssen could be invincible…a Nordic King Arthur. What his followers don’t know—and Annja is beginning to suspect—is just how far Thorssen will go to achieve his rabid amibitions. When Thorssen marks Annja for death, she quickly realizes that this is much more than a political game. And the only way to survive is to match Thorssen’s sword with her own.
Grendel’s Curse debuts in May 2014. My second Alex Archer novel, The Treasures of Britain, featuring the legendary matter of Britain will follow towards the end of the year.
If that wasn’t enough, proof that I have no life would be the release of a brand new YA science fiction novel, 2084, by Cambridge University Press around August time. There’s lots that makes 2084 special, not least being as it’s the first original fiction published by CUP since King Henry VIII gave it the royal charter over 500 years ago. 2084 was inspired by the Raspberry Pi initiative, and will have an interactive website for Coding Club puzzles devised by Chris Roffey that tie into the novel so as Cal Jones finds out just how dangerous the man who brought peace to Britain after the second Civil War really is readers will be able to pit their wits against all sorts of problems and puzzles matching Cal’s adventures. We don’t have cover art yet, but as soon as we do, I’ll have the reveal right here.
In terms of original novels there are a couple of big ones on the horizon, not least of which is the long awaited sequel to Silver, Gold, which has taken a lot of twists and turns to get this far but is on the way now… as well as Crucible, which covers the origins of the team…and Immortal, another science fiction novel, which I’d probably describe as a cross between The Road and The Walking Dead, will debut this year as well.
Fans of the Jack Stone stories Northern Fire and Northern Grit aren’t being ignored, either. Northern Soul, the first full length Jack Stone novel is debuting early in the new year. It’s Jack’s most ambitious case to date, by far, involving old scores and the search for a 1960s cabaret singer, Sindy Nightingale. This one will be the first paperback release for Jack as well, making it doubly special for us.
And for readers of the Albert ‘Prodigy’ Johnson collaboration H.N.I.C., which was Library Journal pick of the month for African American literature in July of this year, there’s a special treat, a full length novel, Ritual, coming from Akashic towards the end of 2014, again written with Prodigy, the lead singer of the legendary hip-hop band Mobb Deep. This one’s all about Prodigy’s fascination with the Illuminati and secret societies. Word is I’ll also be adapting H.N.I.C. for the big screen.
The final offering of the year is a Crusades based novel for Paradox Games in their Crusader Kings line, which I’ve just signed up to write.
So, yes, 2014 promises to be one very busy year with a lot of new stuff hitting the streets.
I’ve been chatting with Guido Henkel, the creator of some of the best RPG games of my youth, including the seminal Realms of Arkania which pretty much changed everything – without Realms, no World of Warcraft, simple as that, since his Thorvalla project. As Guido himself says “If your heart sings at the memory of classic computer role-playing games, such as “Realms of Arkania,” “Wizardry” or the “Might & Magic” series, this project is for you!” And I couldn’t agree more. Check out the video of this golden age of RPG game and tell me you don’t love it.
One by one they are disappearing
Friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers
When they return they aren’t who you think
They look the same. They sound the same
But they are no longer the same…
The most unholy of spells incanted,
Undead fire burns in its victims’ eyes…
The Nethermancer has spoken
His was the last voice they heard…
Before they were perverted into monsters with familiar faces
In a world without heroes
Who can you trust?
In a world where the dead are rising
Who can you turn to?
No one is safe
Can you save the world from everyone you ever cared about?
That, my friends, is the promotional snippet for Deathfire, designed to whet your appetites…
Why am I excited about it? Because if the game goes to gate I’m the guy writing the novel, and believe me this is one novel I really want to write… so check out game’s website here and if you’re already a flutter to back it, dive in here.
Every now and again I’ll stumble over something, be it a reader in Turkey who loves Silver, or someone doing a tattoo… but this is the first time I’ve ever come across a fan creating his own youtube channels to do unofficial audiobooks of my old Warhammer stuff, voices and all.
You can listen to his reading of Inheritance here:
And Dominion here.
As far as I can tell he hasn’t finished the series yet, but I hope he will.
What you hopefully see above – if the links to Youtube work -is a very cool trailer for HNIC put together by NQ Media – who are run by Neil Mann, one of my oldest friends who survived Ewell Castle with me… I love it especially the way he blends the rap of Prodigy with the elements of the novel… Check it out.
I freely admit to being useless when it comes to Twitter, I’m more of a Facebook chap, mainly because I get to wind up friends about football – which comes from having a legion of mates with terrible taste, yes I’m looking at you Mr. Logan – but I’ve been trying to make more of an effort. So, imagine my surprise when a gent called Chris Evans posts “Just reread the vampire wars series again was defo the right thing to do when I got some of it tattooed on my chest#dedicated”.
I had to read it a couple of times, and even then I couldn’t quite believe it, but you read that right.
I think it’s a right of passage for an author. Not just someone saying your work is one of their favourite books, but wanting to commit something that came out of your head onto their flesh forever. I was stunned. I mean, if you know me you’ll know that I don’t think of myself that way – I find it incredibly humbling when someone reacts to my work. One of my favourite possessions is a letter from a young Primeval fan who wrote to me and enclosed pictures she’d drawn of new dinosaurs, another is a letter from a young woman who had just lost her mother and had read the book during the week leading up to her funeral and she wanted to thank me for helping her get through such a tough time. Even thinking about it now I still don’t know how to react, because my only thought is ‘no, thank you.’ Every day I doubt, every day I feel like I’m not good enough or not getting it right, I just have to take that letter out and know it doesn’t matter if I never get it right again. For one person they found what they needed when they needed it most.
The words in question were: “Die rienste Freude ist die Schadenfruede” which is Reikspeiel for ‘The purest joy is the joy we feel when others feel pain’. The vampire wars stuff is cheery reading, honest. I asked Chris for a pic, I mean I wanted to remember this. So, for Chris, thank YOU. You made my day. My week. My month. I’m humbled my warped imagination lives on your skin.
So, for the ‘stuff’ – right now I’m part of something called Story Bundle, with some great thriller authors, Christopher Golden, Zoë Sharp, Sean Black, Joe Nassise, Jon Merz, and more. The idea behind Story Bundle is that you can pay what you consider the bundle of eight books is worth, and a percentage of what you offer goes to two very worthwhile charities Girls Write Now and Mighty Writers who are doing excellent work. My offering is the entire Ogmios Origins series, Solomon’s Seal, Lucifer’s Machine and WarGod. Right now they retail on Amazon for 10 bucks individually.
And last weekend I was one of the guest as Fantastika, a genre convention in Sickla, just outside of Stockholm, where I got to sit and talk Doctor Who and horror with a lot of very talented people. I make no secret of the fact I don’t particularly enjoy conventions, I tend to find them lonely places and end up sitting watching the world go by and wondering what I’m doing there. But that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is when I go home because often I’m reminded of the friends and life I left behind when I emigrated. Lots of the guys I meet up with have been there for the majority of my writing life, working their way up with me. So the real loneliness sets in when I get home. This was a bit different though. This was in my old backyard. I was back in Sickla for the first time since leaving Stockholm, having coffee in my old coffee shop, chatting with Tomas and Stefan, two of my oldest friends, having dinner with Michael and Johan, setting the world to rights, briefly hugging Sara Bergmark-Elfgren who I seem to miss every time we try and do something but who was absolutely delighted when HNIC was brought up by one of the moderators, and new friends like Ian Sales who was excellent company. The highlight, however, was a chap called Socialist Simon who came storming out of the banked seating to give me a hug in the middle of a scary story…
The Silver relaunch kicked off this week, and I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s actually been fairly staggering – for a start over night it took me to the 44th bestselling Thriller Writer currently on Amazon in their new obsessive author rank thingymagig. That all by itself is pretty impressive to me, but more so was the fact it sold 700 copies yesterday alone, moving it up to the #2 spot in Historical thrillers behind Nelson Demille, and the #2 spot in assassination-focussed thrillers behind James Pattersson. Other familiar names in the terrrorism list include Brad Thor, Fredrick Forsyth, and a couple of spots behind Silver, Lee Child. Yeah, I have no idea how that happened either, but it’s quite a buzz to see the brand new cover side-by-side with these fantastic thriller writers I’ve been reading for years.
As relaunches go, I’d say this one is very much a case of hit rather than miss. There’s a long way to go, but for a book approaching its fourth birthday, it’s boding well for GOLD. One thing that always disappointed me was that the book just didn’t sell in the US, despite being a runaway success in the UK. I’m hoping what we’re seeing here is the small acorns from which a US beachhead can grow.
I’ve often wondered if the series struggled in the US because my heroes were European, my best character an ex Spetnaz Russian operative, and the action all took place on my side of the pond? It’s possible, but I’d like to think terror is universal.
So to everyone who has helped with this relaunch and is stopping by here for the first time, I’d just like to say thanks. Each and every one of you, you rock. You roll. But you don’t RickRoll. (Do people still do that?)
Of course, if you already own Silver and you’re cursing that this 2nd edition has 100+ pages of GOLD previewed in the back, do not despair – delete it from your kindle, reload it, and bingo, you have the second edition. Like magic, eh? Gotta love this technology. I mean, think about it. Silver’s 3 years 9 months old, and sold more copies this week than it has done in the last six months in the US. There’s something incredible about the way Amazon and ebooks are almost singlehandedly doing away with the traditional lifespan of books. Back when I started out, you had about 10 weeks on the shelf, then if you weren’t a bestseller, you were dead… Not any more. Now you can relaunch in preparation of the series continuing, in celebration of getting your rights reverted, and suddenly it’s like you’re brand new.
Lucifer’s Machine is the fourth in the Ogmios Team novels, and the most recent release. Now it’s graced with a wonderful Russ Wells cover and that great Matt Hilton blurb.
During the basking summer heat a university-based archaeology team uncovers an ancient box bearing the image of Baphomet. They are on a remote French island with strong links to the Knights Templar story. The image of Baphomet itself goes a long way to proving those links as far as the team lead by Dr Kytain are concerned, especially as the Templar were accused of devil worship during their trails. Could this box-a crude yet sophisticated machine centuries ahead of its time-be a vital link to discovering the true nature of the knights relationship to the horned devil?
Before they are able to decipher the box’s secrets the entire team are butchered horrifically, and all indications are that an extremist group, Al Aler’eyh, are behind the slaughter. A second linked murder in the hallowed halls of Cambridge University tips off Control to the threat.
Enter Sir Charles Wyndham and his Ogmios Team.
Tasked with finding the Lucifer Machine and putting an end to this particularly fundamentalist wing of the terror organisation, Noah and Orla find themselves in the adult playground of Dubai, fighting for their lives…
Now, something you might consider exciting news… a surprise is coming tomorrow. I’m saying nothing more. My lips are sealed. Waterboard me, it won’t work. Uh hunh. Not a word. Not a peep.
The new designs are rolling out, here’s the third in the series, WarGod, with Lucifer’s Machine to follow really soon along with a surprise or two… like, maybe an unannounced Ogmios Team novel on the way? Could it be true?
It’s the middle of the night. Ronan Frost receives a plea for help from his former commanding officer, Tony Denison. Denison is running for his life. An outspoken opponent of globalization and fascinated in Arthurian lore, Frost’s old comrade is the target of agents of the New World Order, a shadowy conspiracy trying to prevent him from finding the Crocea Mors, the sword of Caesar, and perhaps the very blade that King Arthur pulled from the stone to win his kingdom.
Frost is sceptical, most of what Denison claims strikes him as bullshit, plain and simple, but there’s no denying that someone is trying to kill him.
So he’s going to help. No matter the risk. That’s just who he is.
Across London, Sir Charles Wyndham, leader of the Ogmios Team, dispatches Konstantin Khavin to learn the truth behind the attempted assassination…only to discover that the British government wants Denison dead at all costs. And because Frost is with him, Sir Charles is forced to make a choice—abandon Frost, or lose Ogmios for good.
It’s not a choice he ever wanted to make, but he’s going to have to cut Frost loose.