Friday, 29 September 2017

Gav Thorpe - Newsletter

The latest news from the author Gav Thorpe...

Fantasy Artwork from Gav's Website
In this newsletter:
  • Hello!
  • Twenty Years of Gav - Track of Words
  • GoFundMe - #BrandsWolves
  • Lorgar: Bearer of the Word
  • Blog Round-Up
  • Upcoming Events
  • Submissions Alert - Angry Robot
  • Hard Drive Hot List (or, My Current Projects)
  • Newsletter Q&A
  • Bi-Monthly Competition Winner
Gav drinking a cup of tea


There was a skill that my years at Games Workshop taught me, that I've really appreciated since going freelance - project management.  Working in the Games Development team, and with several product lines on the go, meant that you could be starting concept work for a new codex, while writing another, and maintaining the support on a third that had just been released.  You had to juggle priorities, and step into the world of a different faction on a daily basis.
As a freelancer with bills to pay, I don't have the luxury of working on just one project at a time.  As an example, my current workload is:
  • Giving a reading and moderating a panel at FantasyCon this weekend
  • Horus Heresy short story to be delivered Monday
  • Re-writes on Imperator: Wrath of the Omnissiah due Tuesday
  • Expanding synopsis for Wild Rider (Rise of the Ynnari Book 2) into Scrivener
  • Continuing work on Strontium Dog Skirmish game
  • Writing campaign rules for Big Stompy Robots ready for Derby Worlds - 7 October
  • Liaising with two video games companies about potential work
  • Liaising with tabletop games company about potential work
  • Arranging interviews to promote Conquest of the Nu World (Cryptid Clash series)
Lots of clocks
And of course there are all the smaller jobs - writing pitches and synopses for future books, giving interviews, book signings, writing the newsletter, writing blog posts, doing the accounts, social media, etc.
If you've ever had to wait some time for a reply from me, you'll now understand why...
Although some level of organisation is needed to keep all these plates spinning my reason for highlighting the above is that you also need to be able to mentally switch between projects and their associated 'worlds' very quickly.  As another example, I've been preparing to finish my next original fiction novel between October and December - it has been on the planner since June.  Last night, to accommodate work on another project, I've had to switch novels and will now be writing Wild Rider instead.  I've had to go from a byzantine world of assassins, to elves in space in less than 24 hours.
Being able to swiftly switch your brain like this is a skill that most authors develop on an even smaller scale too.  You have to step into the shoes of each character so their actions and dialogue are uniquely theirs.  It's one of the reasons you sometimes hear authors say that a character did something unexpected, because when they put the character in a situation, they (the author) were able to really inhabit the character and  offer the unique response the character would give. 
And now I really should get on with some of those jobs...
PS: If you're going to FantasyCon this weekend do come and say hello.  I shall be reading from Ghost Warrior at 1.20pm on the Saturday in the Reading Room (Sandringham).  I'm also moderating a panel on 'Other People's Playgrounds' at 3.30 in Panel Room 2 (Althorpe).
Track of Words
September 2017 is a special occasion for me, as it marks 20 years since my first published story – Birth of a Legend – appeared in issue two of Inferno! magazine, back in 1997.  The story has been included in the 'Forgotten Texts' series on the Track of Words blog - you can read it here.
"Gav Thorpe’s first ever Black Library story, first published twenty years ago, Birth of a Legend is an old-school Warhammer story featuring an early incarnation of one of the setting’s greatest characters."
I blogged about that very first manuscript, including a scan of the first draft with the editor's comments - complete with red pen
Brace yourself - it's not a pretty sight.
"As you can imagine, receiving eleven pages of that much red pen dents even the hardest of egos."
You can also read an in-depth interview reflecting on the last 20 years, over on the Track of Words blog.
"When I get a bit of time I’m going to sit back and plan out a proper new three-book arc with the Last Chancers and a bit of shenanigans to see what I can do with the end ofAnnihilation Squad."

GoFundMe - #BrandsWolves

I'm not highlighting a Kickstarter this month, instead I'd like to draw your attention to a GoFundMe for 12-year-old Brand, who has been diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma - a rare soft tissue cancer.  The fundraiser has been set up by friend of the family Alan, to help alleviate some of the financial burden on Brand's parents.
Brand is a huge 40K Space Wolves fan, and the community has already rallied around sending him books and video games.  He also had a hospital visit from this big fella!
If you can spare a few coins for a Son of Fenris, click on the button below.
Brand receiving a visit from a Space Marine

Lorgar: Bearer of the Word

The general release of my Primarchs novel Lorgar: Bearer of the Word, is available to order in hardback, eBook and mp3 tomorrow.
Cover of Lorgar Bearer of the Word
"In cahoots with (former) series editor Laurie Goulding I pitched a story that took everything right back to its roots, to the world of Colchis where Lorgar was found and raised by the fanatical priest Kor Phaeron. This was the origin of the Word Bearer and, by extension, the very start of the seeds of the Horus Heresy itself. If the approach proves popular hopefully it will open up the possibilities of other novels yet to come."
Click the button to read more in my author's notes.
If you want to delve even further into my new book, you can also listen to my interview with The Imperial Truth podcast.

Blog Round-Up

The more observant among you may have noticed a lack of activity on the blog this month.  It turns out that the end of our building work didn't mean the end of the disruption, and the last month has seen more visits to Ikea, and less time writing.  Big bag of Daim bars and some Swedish meatballs anyone?
The new office is nearly set up, and I'm hoping normal service will be resumed shortly.

! Submissions Alert !

If you don't have an agent most publishers won't even consider your manuscript, and getting an agent isn't always easy.  So how do you get published?
On 1st November, Angry Robot (publishers of my original fiction series Empire of the Blood) are opening their doors to un-agented authors, and are looking for science fiction and fantasy novels between 70,000 and 130,000 words.  The Open Door period ends on 31st December 2017, so you've got three months to finish and polish your manuscript.
Angry Robot Publishers Logo
Envelope with "Top Secret" stamped on it
One of the most common questions I get asked is "What are you working on?", so here's my (sorry, sometimes cryptic) list of works in progress, plus future releases.

Hard Drive Hot List


Newsletter Q&A

Did I mention I've been busy lately? I'm really behind on responding to questions, and haven't had time to put together the Q&A blog this month. 
Apologies if you're still waiting for a response - I'll get to them as soon as I can.
Picture of a clock

 Bi-Monthly Competition Winner

All subscribers to my mailing list are entered into the bi-monthly draw to win a personalised, signed copy of one of my books. This month's winner is Justin Gray from the UK, who will receive a copy of Ghost Warrior. The next draw will be in November - book to be announced.
Cover of Lorgar by Gav Thorpe
Cover of Conquest of the Nu World by Gav Thorpe
Cover of Dark Son by Gav Thorpe

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