Saturday, 30 June 2018

Gav Thorpe - Newsletter

A newsletter from the author Gav Thorpe...
Sci-Fi Artwork from Gav's Website
  • Hello!
  • Crown of the Conqueror
  • Q&A - Story Outlining
  • Bonus Competition!
  • Upcoming Events
  • Blog Round-Up
  • Submissions Alert - Clarkesworld
  • Kickstarter - Atomic Robo
  • Hard Drive Hot List (or, My Current Projects)
  • Bi-Monthly Competition
Gav drinking a cup of tea


Firstly here's a quick update on my work. Our Martyred Lady (a four-part audio drama) is done and dusted, with all rewrites completed and sent back to the editor at Black Library. This was one of the trickiest projects I've had of late, and when I get time, I'm going to blog about the importance of having a good synopsis agreed before you start writing...
After a productive meeting at Black Library yesterday about my new Age of Sigmar series, I shall be starting book one imminently.  I'm still in the research phase, and will be sending a detailed synopsis to Black Library later today (see comment above...).  The deadline for this will be the end of summer, and then it's straight onto my contribution to the Seige of Terra, which I'm hoping to have finished before Christmas.
I also had a meeting with Warlord Games at the Rebellion Offices in Oxford, to discuss the Strontium Dog tabletop game I've developed with Andy Chambers, along with potential future projects from the 2000AD universe. Most exciting.
I've had a couple of people poke me about the progress of Big Stompy Robots (thank-you!).  I've made some mental changes to the rules, and want to get those down in writing before I playtest the next iteration.  It's taking a back seat at the moment while I concentrate on paid work, but I'm hoping to get back to it after the summer.
And now on to the most exciting news from the last month. Using the traditional medium of Lego, I asked Kez to make an honest man out of me. She said yes, in case you're wondering. Sammy helped me put the Lego together, hence the inclusion of the red ninja. I'm just waiting for the call from OK! magazine, but don't worry, I shall tell them that newsletter readers get exclusive photo rights to the wedding.
Lego Wedding Scene (with added Ninja)
Sammy starts school in September, so we've been trying to pack in lots of day trips in term-time before we have to battle the crowds at weekends and school holidays. We had a great time at CBeebies Land at Alton Towers, and couldn't pass up the opportunity to pay homage to Flop (every parent aspires to have Flop-like levels of patience).
Bowing down to parenting god Flop.
Cutting Sprue's With Sammy
I'm also pleased to announce that after a nervous couple of years where Sammy only took a passing interest in board games and miniatures, he is now well on his way to having a very expensive hobby. He has put together his own Plague Marines and the Blood Angels from Space Hulk, and having chosen his colour scheme he'll no doubt be creating a painty mess all over the kitchen table soon. Yippee!

The Crown of the Conqueror

Last month I talked about The Crown of the Blood - book one in my original fiction Empire of the Blood series - and today we take a look at book two, The Crown of the Conqueror.
Writing a trilogy is always tricky as you have to make sure that the story justifies three novels, and the time investment you're asking of the reader (we've probably all read trilogies where the middle book just feels like filler).
You can click the link below to read my blog about a few of the different approaches I've taken to writing 'the difficult second album'.
Cover of The Crown of the Conqueror by Gav Thorpe
I was really pleased when the good reviews started coming in for The Crown of the Conqueror, and it somewhat calmed my imposter syndrome that had kicked in for the release of my first original work.
A solid and thrilling read from start to finish with lots of great twists and turns that builds on all the successes of the first book and none of the disappointments. This one is just as much a must read as The Crown of The Blood.
~ The Founding Fields
You can read the beginning of The Crown of the Conquerorhere.

Newsletter Q&A

Blank pages of an open notebook
Brett askedI’ve been working on some of my own projects and my ideas and characters are developing nicely but I’m having trouble with outlining. Would you have any tips or suggestions (or even some templates) for outlining? I usually start off with some scene experimentation but once I feel good with my characters, I want to get an outline down so that I can have some direction and make myself a schedule so that I can make progress.
I usually start by scribbling down ideas for scenes and plot points - moments of character arc, cool dialogue or set pieces and so forth. I also always have an ending to move toward. Armed with these I start rearranging things into something resembling a plot, bearing in mind certain structural elements.

At this stage it's up to you. You can start writing if you want - there's nothing that says you have to begin on page 1 and keep going until the end, you can just accumulate scenes and then edit and rewrite them into sense. 

Or you can flesh out the notes into an actual synopsis, perhaps a scene-by-scene or chapter-by-chapter breakdown.

Either way, I highly recommend Scrivener - a brilliant program designed for drafts and redrafts. You'll still want to edit in something like Word, but Scrivener is built to rearrange scenes, keep track of characters and places, even import reference materials, hyperlinks and all that if you want to go crazy. It's changed the way I write - well, made it so much easier to work the way I do...
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.

Bonus Competition!

At WarhammerFest I chatted to a very lovely fellow by the name of Clark, who had just purchased a copy of my Corax: Soulforge novella, to replace his existing copy that had been ever so slightly damaged*.  He offered me his original copy to pass on to a fan that might like a copy, but I didn't get the chance to do so that weekend. 
*There's a small wrinkle on the spine of the dust jacket.
Cover of Corax: Soulforge by Gav Thorpe
So, lucky newsletter readers, we have a bonus competition this month.  To enter, simply reply to this email by 7th July, completing the following sentence:
"Clark is awesome because..."
My favourite entry will get this generously donated signed copy winging their way to them.

Upcoming Events

  • 6th October 2018, Writer's Event, Nottingham (details TBA)
If you are coming to any of these events, do come and say hello.
My weekend time with Sammy will be even more precious once he starts school, so I'm looking to scale back on the events that I attend from next year.  I've already been contacted about a couple of dates in 2019, so you'll need to get in touch soon if there's something you'd like me to be involved with.

Blog Round-Up

Fan Art of Gyrinx Alorynis chilling on Eldrad's couch
Once again the blog is a barren wasteland, so a huge thank you to Eunice Tan for this appropriate depiction of Alorynis (from Rise of the Ynnari) chilling on Eldrad's couch.

! Submissions Alert !

Cover of Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 141
Clarkesworld Magazine is a Hugo, World Fantasy, and British Fantasy Award-winning science fiction and fantasy magazine that publishes short stories, interviews, articles and audio fiction. They have published stories from the likes of Pat Caddigan, Cassandra Khaw, and Aliette De Bodard to name a few.
They are currently looking for short story submissions up to 16,000 words, and are paying 10¢ per word for the first 5,000 words, 8¢ for each word over 5,000.
Make sure you read the guidelines - as well as being crucial for making it to the slush pile, it's also pretty funny.

Kickstarter - Atomic Robo

This month I really wanted to find an obscure but quality project to back -  something different from the blockbuster sets that can often dominate Kickstarter. You know, go back to the idea of funding a start-up or fresh idea. Unfortunately, the projects I found that might need such help had either such bad graphic sense or poorly written overviews they gave me no confidence in the final product, while some weren't within the timeframe and others seemed to be doing rather well on their own anyway. I'd love to help someone with a cool concept make their game a reality, but I guess this month it wasn't to be.
Instead, in a purely selfish move, I'm going to promote the latest Atomic Robo Kickstarter.  I've got the previous hardcovers, which were all funded through Kickstarter, and obviously want the next installment in my collection.
Atomic Robo is an online comic about the adventures of a robot action scientist.
"In Atomic Robo and the Spectre of Tomorrow, Robo has to grapple with his greatest foe ever — The Jornada del Muerto Homeowners’ Association! Oh, and there’s freaky secret cyborg doppelgangers running around covertly overthrowing governments or something."
Atomic Robo
The project has already nearly funded, and ends on Friday July 13th.
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


 Bi-Monthly Competition

All subscribers to my mailing list are entered into the bi-monthly draw to win a personalised, signed copy of one of my books. The winner of the July prize will receive a signed copy of Empire of the Blood.
Cover of Imperator: Wrath of the Omnissiah by Gav Thorpe
Cover of Ashes of Prospero by Gav Thorpe
Cover of Ghost Warrior by Gav Thorpe

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