Friday, 31 October 2008

Whitby welcomes Gothic guests

If you have a thing for Dracula (or vampires in general), or you're what might be termed as a Goth, or you're even just a fan of the North Yorkshire fishing town of Whitby, you might be interested to know that this weekend is Whitby Gothic Weekend.

Having visited Whitby a couple of times myself, I know how much Dracula-themed stuff is available there on a daily basis and the place is certainly something of a Mecca for fans of Bram Stoker's eponymous blood-sucker, so God-only-knows what it's like at the feast of Halloween.

The reason I mention this event in particular, however, is because two-thirds of Human Nature (my latest Pax Britannia adventure, out in December) is set in and around Whitby. The majority of places mentioned in the book also exist in real life, so if you can't get there this weekend, why not wait until the book's out and then check out the locations mentioned in the novel? And yes, there are a couple of nods to Stoker's Dracula, of course.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Where the magic happens

This week I travelled up to Oxford to meet with the guys at Abaddon Books to talk about all things Pax Britannian. I had a good chat with editor Jon Oliver during which we discussed the next Ulysses Quicksilver novella, and story arcs for the next (censored!) books in the series. We also met with head honcho Jason Kingsley and talked about a possible Pax Britannia (censored!)! It was an inspiring conversation indeed.

Where the magic happens

While I was in Oxford I also took the opportunity to do a little research for the story I'm going to be writing next - yes, I do research my books, you know - which took me to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. If you've not been, you really should. It's an incredible building with some interesting exhibits, including one all about the Oxford Dodo. And even better than that, it is attached to the Pitt Rivers Museum (although that part closed until 2009 for refurbishment, as I only discovered when I got there on the day).

The main exhibition hall of the OUMNH, with a statue of the Prince Consort in view, along with the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex

The Gentleman's Emporium

If you fancy yourself as something of a Neo-Victorian dandy (rather like the hero of my Pax Britannia stories Ulysses Quicksilver), then you might like to check out the Gentleman's Emporium, to get hold of your own Victorian and Edwardian outfits.

The Gentleman's Emporium - authentic products and old-fashioned service.

Mysterious Malaysian Mermaid

Act One of the forthcoming Pax Britannia adventure Human Nature is entitled 'The Curious Case of the Whitby Mermaid'.

Well what you see here is a mermaid supposedly washed up in Teluk Bahang, Malaysia. Or should that be a supposed mermaid? Personally I've seen more convincing monsters on Doctor Who, but I'll let you make up your own minds.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

A Gentlemen's Duel

A gentlemen's duel, with Steampunk stylings, from Blur Studio, who also happen to have done some work for Warhammer Online. Enjoy...

Monday, 13 October 2008

Expect the unexpected

Having put Human Nature to bed, I'm now preparing to get started on my tenth - yes, tenth! - novel, the fourth of Ulysses Quicksilver's Pax Britannia adventures and the culmination of the first story arc. (Yes, there is a master plan behind the whole thing!)

And it's not only me who's been getting ready for the next alternative history Victorian-esque action thriller; ace Abaddon cover artist Mark Harrison has as well. He's produced four cover roughs for the next book Evolution Expects (out April 2009), featuring three very different characters from the book.
The powers that be at Abaddon Books and myself have mulled over Mark's designs, throwing ideas back and forth, and have settled on one, but I won't say which one just yet. However, I can give you a glimpse of each of the four cover concepts. (Mark's comments spoken by the various characters had me in stitches!)

On top of that, Mark has produced a concept sketch for one of the characters from the book which is phenomenal - good enough to be a cover all by itself, as it stands! And in time I hope to reveal more here, but again, not just yet.

In the meantime, it's certainly going to help me when it comes to having some visual reference when I come to write the relevant sections of the book.

So cheers, Mark!

Important note: Abaddon Books, the Pax Britannia setting, all text and artwork from the novels are © & ™ Rebellion A/S and reproduced here with kind permission.

Human Nature is coming...

At 11.45pm Friday night I emailed my editor the completed manuscript of Human Nature - my third Pax Britannia adventure, ninth novel and twenty-first book!

But now it's Monday morning and it's back to work. There's a new novel to start, short stories to plot and pitches to write, but for the moment at least I'm basking in the warm afterglow of knowing that it's another job well done. (It also means that, come December, I will have passed the 1.3 million published words mark!)

Human Nature is out this December from Abaddon Books. You can reserve your copy here.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

What every fashionable Magna Britannian is wearing this season

Do you consider yourself something of a steampunk aficionado? Do you revel in the idea of living out the adventures of your personal steampunk heroes? Do you ever dress up as said characters? Would you ever consider doing so?

Well, if you would like to know more about steampunk fashion, why not pay a respectful visit to
Lt. Regan T. McAllister's Steampunk Fashion blog?

Thursday, 2 October 2008

What is Myrrh Anyway? Released today!

Yes, it's like all your Christmases have come at once - What is Myrrh Anyway? is finally released today!

It should be in all good bookshops now or, failing that, you can buy it online.

And in case you're new to this blog and wondering where the title of the book comes from, click the video link below.