A technical interlude

I’ve got a few ongoing production problems with the trade paperback edition of BLACK RUN at the moment. Copies that reached me yesterday had paper warping issues (i.e. the pages have a ripple and the book won’t lie flat when closed) as well as variations in cover reproduction that I’m pretty sure can be improved. The paperback will be temporarily unavailable while I get those things fixed. I’ve altered elements of the cover to compensate for what I think the repro problem is and sharpen up the type and image (matt finish covers can be a challenge because of the filter effect of the coating) but the design’s the same. It’s just technical tweaking at the file level.

For the technically minded, the gradients and effects on the cover type worked fine for GOING GREY (also a matt finish) but just didn’t fly at all this time around, despite going through exactly the same process. I’m unpicking that at the moment.

If you’ve bought a trade paperback of BLACK RUN and you’re not happy with the physical quality of your copy or you’ve returned it to the retailer, let me know so that I can feed back the information to the printer. The cover artwork is mostly in my hands until I hand over the file, but the printing and binding isn’t, so all information is useful.

In the meantime, the Kindle and iTunes versions are immune to that sort of thing, so if you can’t wait for the paperback, there’s an alternative. If you don’t use iTunes or Kindle apps to read your digital books, I’ve made sure that the e-book can be run through Calibre to convert it to the format you need. Read More...

Black Run, and those lost

After a very long delay and numerous false starts of extraordinary length, BLACK RUN is finally on sale. To all of you who’ve been waiting patiently for the book – thank you. Your patience and understanding has helped a lot. The book was written long before certain events overtook me, and it’s proved sobering to compare personal reality with the fictional perspective that preceded it.

If you’ve been following this blog, then you’ll be aware I had things to attend to that mattered more than writing. My father had been ill for some time, and he finally passed away at the end of last month. I was very close to my dad, and I’ll have something more substantial and fitting to say about him in March, but for the time being, I’m coming to terms with a changed landscape.

A couple of months earlier, I also lost a dear friend, Sean Baggaley. It was a sudden death at an unfairly early age. Sean was one of the best writers I’ve ever known, a genuine polymath and a kind, funny, patient guy, and he’s very much missed. Again, I’ll have something more measured to say about him in a proper obituary in a few weeks.

I have no idea if I’ll ever return to the old schedule of three or four books a year, but I’m picking up speed again. Some people stop writing after life events: some write more. I appear to be in the “more” camp, but we’ll see. I’m working on a new comic series – more of that later – which is something of a departure for me because it’s traditional fantasy, albeit it with an untraditional twist. There’ll be another Ringer book next year as well in the shape of SACRIFICIAL RED. In the meantime, I might also write some shorter novels in various series that I’d put on a back burner, including some full-tar science fiction and even a fantasy.

Twitter, for all its flaws, became a very quick and painless way to stay in touch with at least some of my readers over the last couple of years when I lost the inclination and the time to blog. I’m going to have another stab at blogging regularly and see if this time I actually manage to mean it.

But for now, buy BLACK RUN, and enjoy.