Location of the most recent breach into Malifaux, Latest area to be occupied by the forces of Cryx, Stronghold of the Dark Legion, Homeworld of the 'Night Reapers' Space Marine Chapter, Council of Seven allocated Deadzone and the lair of some opinionated git called GMort who they let hang out with them...when he's not distracted by Steampunk, Gothic culture or Cosplay...
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Busy, busy busy, breaking my spellchecker. Yes, that means I’m writing an eldar novel and accidentally spelling the names three different ways throughout. Good fun, but a pain in the bum to edit. Also I have been adding ‘skein-‘ to the start of everything to make it more eldar-y.
In all truth I’m up against the rockface at the moment, mostly self-inflicted with a slow start a couple of months ago and agreeing to things I most likely don’t really have time for. But that’s the nature of the freelance life. Feast and famine. Writing for Black Library smoothes out the bumps, and fortunately an extensive back catalogue now mitigates against potential famine, but work still tends to come in clusters.
I’m terrible at organising my time – not accounting for writing newsletters, for example. Actually, that’s not quite true. I can organise really well, I’m just lousy at sticking to the plan. I let things slip a little too often. Two thousand words a day is a steady pace to schedule with (bearing in mind I only work a half-day and look after Sammy on the other half for much of the time). Yet I let myself get away with 1,500 words on that first day, after spending an hour composing a new playlist. Day two is 1,800 words, and I promise myself I’ll make it up on day three. After all, this is a two month project, loads of time to catch up...
Which is how I end up with a daily target of 4,000 words a day while having to come up with synopses for two short stories and writing another original SF short...
And it’s not the typing time that’s the problem. Start at nine (ish) and work through until lunchtime gives me a thousand words an hour to type, which is pretty much my standard pace. In fact, that’s a bit of a canter really.
It’s the head-space that suffers. The time to consider the next scene before committing. The ‘writing’ bit that has to be done before typing begins.
So we soldier on, doing extra bits here and there, writing newsletters and blog posts and synopses when I’m a little too burned out on names ending in –ith and –esh.
Exciting things have been happening on the gaming front, which I’ll be telling you more about next month. I’ll have to, because I’ll be adopting radio silence on my next couple of Black Library projects due to their unannounced nature. All I can say is... Actually, I can’t even say that.
Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan
This month saw the paperback release ofAsurmen: Hand of Asuryan, the first book in the Phoenix Lords series (I'm currently writing book two).
"The Phoenix Lords are demigods of battle, warriors whose legends span the stars. They are embodiments of the warrior nature of the eldar, and each walks his own path. The first, and greatest, is Asurmen, the Hand of Asuryan. Since he led his people from destruction at the time of the Fall, he has guided his children, the Dire Avengers, in defending the remnants of the Eldar as they plan their rise back to galactic dominance. A superlative warrior and peerless leader, Asurmen is one of the greatest hopes of the Eldar race."
I was absolutely thrilled that my novel Path of the Warrior, was the first book to be added to Black Library's new Hall of Fame, nominated by super nice guy, David Annandale.
“I adore Gav Thorpe’s entire Eldar trilogy, but I must choose one book, and so I’ll choose the first: Path of the Warrior... As a reader, I was delighted by the experience. As a writer, I am agog with envy and admiration.”
The last comment in the above quote was referring to my use of hexameter triplets for the speech of the Exarchs - I'm really pleased it was recognised, it made all the hard work writing them worthwhile!
Congratulations also to Graham McNeill whose novel The Ambassadorwas the second title to be added, nominated by David Guymer.
Dalibor asked via Facebook: I have been looking into the Khazalid language from the Warhammer universe, and I am going to have some custom work done with inscriptions. For that I really need to know how to say Grudgebearer in Khazalid. I know that grudge is Damnaz, but I failed to find how to say bearer in Khazalid. Do you think you could help me out please?
Having a look at the lexicon pages in Grudgelore tells me that khaz is an underground hall, khazunki is cavalry (literally 'carried warrior') and khazakan is dwarfs or hall-dwellers. I would therefore suggest a variant on khaz. Perhaps Dammazkhazi as -i suffix is used to denote a singular person.
If you want to ask a question, just reply to the newsletter and I'll get back to you as soon as my schedule allows. I'll pick a question to go in the next newsletter, and combine them all into a blog post for the website. Click the button below for the full Q&A round-up for August.
This month something more wordy to recommend. Ragnarok publications have already created several great anthologies through Kickstarter, including Kaiju Rising and MECH: Age of Steel.
Their latest offering is Hath No Fury, a collection themed with kick-ass female protagonists in the vein of Black Widow, Lara Croft and Imperator Furiosa, by authors including Django Wexler, Gail Z. Martin and Seanan McGuire.
Do come and say 'hello' if you're attending any of these events.
! Submission Alert !
I'm often asked how someone can get published by Black Library. Being a previously published author is something that can get your work noticed over and above the normal BL open submissions window, and one way to achieve this is to get published in an anthology. So if you're a budding writer, don't confine yourself to Warhammer 40k or Age of Sigmar, and take a look at this submission alert from Meerkat press forBehind The Mask: A Superhero Anthology.
"Behind the Mask is our next themed anthology and it’s all about superheroes! But not how they saved the world this time. We’re more interested in the ordinary day-to-day challenges facing these extraordinary individuals: growing up, growing old, relationships, career struggles, parenting. How they cope with that age-old desire to fit in when, let’s face it, they don’t.
We want superhero stories with originality, diversity, and strong character development that celebrate the genre but manage to push its boundaries as well. Fun, quirky, serious, happy, sad: any tone will do, and we plan to have a nice variety. But bring us something fresh and relevant to this crazy world we live in today."
The deadline is 15th September, so you'll have to get cracking if you want to submit.
One of the perks of subscribing to my mailing list is that you get entered into the bi-monthly draw to win a personalised, signed copy of one of my books. The next draw will take place in September, and the winner will receive a signed copy of the new paperback edition of Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan, which was released in August.