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2015 end of year round-up

Turns out 2015 was pretty busy for me, and included a number of firsts! So here’s a quick run down of what happened…

I had three books out this year:

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Elementary: The Ghost Line came out in February, and was my first tie-in novel, for one of my favourite TV shows. One to tick off the bucket list! Two more Elementary novels are on the way, with the second one – Blood and Ink – out in April 2016.

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The Machine Awakes was out in April, the second in my three-book space opera series. The final volume, The Dead Stars, is out in Summer 2017.

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And this was the big one – Made to Kill, the first book in The LA Trilogy, came out in November. A lot of stuff happened with that book – it was an Indie Next Pick for December and I did two book tours on that back of it. You can read more about the adventures of Made to Kill here.

This year also saw my first pro comics work, with the first issue of The Shield dropping in October from Dark Circle Comics, the superhero imprint of Archie Comics.

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The Shield is co-written with Chuck Wendig, with art by Drew Johnson, colours by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and letters by Rachel Deering. Issue two is due early 2016, and hopefully we’ll be on a more regular schedule after that.

Writing-wise, I was so busy this year I kinda lost track. I know I wrote Elementary: Blood and Ink, The Dead Stars, and the first novel in another tie-in trilogy I can’t talk about yet, as well as issues of The Shield with Chuck, and about a dozen or so pitches and proposals for other comics. It was all a little crazy and nearly broke my brain, but hopefully that work will all pay off.

As I mentioned, a lot of stuff happened with Made to Kill, which resulted in a number of other first-time experiences and some amazing opportunities. In July, I went on my first book tour to support the book – which was still five months away – starting with the Locus Awards in Seattle, travelling down the West Coast, and ending up at my first San Diego Comic Con.

Me and Daryl Gregory and our Hawaiian shirts at the Locus awards.

That trip was amazing – I met booksellers and toured their stores, I signed roughly five billion ARCs at the American Library Association expo in San Francisco…

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…having negotiated my way through the amazing pride parade (the Supreme Court having just ruled the ban on same sex marriages unconstitutional, so you can imagine atmosphere and the crowds!), and I had the most incredible SDCC experience.

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Actually, SDCC was probably the highlight of my year. I was braced for sheer insanity and a mind-numbing volume of bodies… and I loved every minute. I had a Made to Kill ARC signing with a queue that had its own queue. I was on an SF panel in a ballroom packed to standing. I was on the Dark Circle Comics panel. I met hung out with Mixmaster Mike…

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…I was pushed out of the way by Guillermo del Toro’s bodyguards, and I met loads of friends I had only ever known online, and me and Chuck got to admire The Shield in person. Kinda.

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Oh, and I saw Rey’s speeder!

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But it was also a very businessy con – more than I had expected. I did at least four interviews, two of which were on video, one of which was for the SyFy channel. I had meetings on meetings, including one scheduled for midnight as that’s how busy everyone was.

I think I’m hooked for life.

In November, I did a second book tour, this time hitting the East Coast. Made to Kill was published on November 3rd, and we kicked it off with a joint Shield/M2K launch party at KGB in NYC. Then I headed up to World Fantasy in Saratoga Springs, before a multi-city tour that included my second television interview (this time on the breakfast news on CBS6 in Richmond, Virginia) and bookstore events with Max Gladstone, Chuck, and Mur Lafferty.

And to go with the tours and all the Made to Kill goings-on, my publisher created my first book-specific website, and even made a trailer!

And I’m forever grateful to them – my editor Miriam and my publicist Patty, and everyone else who supported Made to Kill, for the opportunities that came along. Book tours are increasingly rare, and the efforts that went on behind the scenes to give this novel the best launch possible were gargantuan. I’m very lucky, and I know it.

Finally, I rounded off the year with another little book deal, this time for a novella for Tor.com – Standard Hollywood Depravity, a Ray Electromatic Mystery, will be out around September/October 2016, and will set the scene for the second novel, Killing is My Business, which is out in January 2017.

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So that was 2015. What about 2016?

The first bit of next year is going to be busy – if not busier – than 2015 was, but one of my goals is to slow down a little. This year was too busy, and there are a couple of upcoming projects I need to stretch my legs on. If I can hit the middle of the year and have stayed on target, then it’ll be golden.

I have three books out in 2016:

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  • Elementary: Blood and Ink is out in April.
  • Also out in April (I think) is the first of another tie-in trilogy that I can’t talk about yet, so you ain’t seen me, right?
  • October/November is the Tor.com novella, Standard Hollywood Depravity.

I also have some more comics coming:

  • The Shield continues, with issue 2 coming in the early part of the year, and then, as mentioned, hopefully we’ll hit a more regular schedule.
  • I have another one-shot on the way. Can’t talk about it.
  • I have two other projects on the go, both creator-owned. I’m not entirely sure either will appear in 2016, but I’m hopeful. And no, I can’t talk about those either.

Writing-wise, there’s a lot to do – a novella, at least five novels, however many comic scripts, a rewrite, and a half-done novel to resurrect and finish. Err, yeah, should keep me busy. With that in mind, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more organised – I am quite well organised already, but there is more I can do in that regard.

I’ll also be travelling a fair bit – I’ll be at Phoenix Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con, and if I can swing it, New York Comic Con. I’m not sure about UK events yet, although EasterCon is practically on my doorstep next year so I might go along.

Phew! I hope everyone has a good New Year’s Eve, and I’ll see you in 2016!

Drew Johnson joins THE SHIELD and I return to the Brooklyn brownstone for ELEMENTARY book #2!

Comic Book Resources broke the news in an exclusive yesterday – we’ve had a change of artist on The Shield, and I’m rather delighted to say our new chap on the job is Drew Johnson.

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Drew is a superb artist, well known for his work on Wonder Woman. Just check out that promo image he conjured up to go with the CBR announcement, with brilliant colours by Kelly Fitzpatrick.

The switch does mean that The Shield #1 has been pushed back to July – full details, including updated soliciations, are at the link.

In other news, I’m happy to confirm what was really a not particularly closely guarded secret – I’m back to write the second Elementary tie-in novel. Yay! And I can’t wait to get stuck in – the book doesn’t have a title yet, and the release date is what you might call “up in the air”, but I can promise another rip-roaring New York adventure for Sherlock and Joan.

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Huzzah! More info on that title as I have it. In the meantime, if you’re curious about the first book in the series, The Ghost Line, you can read a wee excerpt here, and then you can jump here for some order links.

And for any Holmes fans heading to the SherlockeDCC night during San Diego Comic Con, hosted by the wonderful Baker Street Babes – I will see you there!

Kicking off 2015 with THE SHIELD

Helloooooooo 2015! You look great. Seriously, I love what you’ve done with the place.

I don’t really make New Year Resolutions, as they tend to drift away after a short while even with the best of intentions, but I do like making lists and plans and giving myself challenges for the year ahead. One of those challenges is to blog here more often. So that starts today, and it starts with the reveal of Robert Hack’s Grindhouse-inspired variant cover for The Shield #1:

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Robert Hack is the artist on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which I recommend you check out. You can find Robert on Twitter and you can see his variant covers for The Fox and Black Hood over at ComicBookResources.com.

I’ve also put this up on Adam and Chuck Make Comics – which I promise (eep!) to try and keep updated, at least on a weekly basis.

Exciting December round-up of pretty great stuff!

The year is almost over. I still have tonnes to do! And… I haven’t blogged much, because BUSY.

But there’s some cool stuff happening, and I’ll have plenty to talk about soon — when I’m allowed to talk about it! — so in the meantime here’s a collection of link to some neat things me and my friends are doing:

  • The Burning Dark gets a nice mention in the Tor.com reviewer’s round-up of 2014! Huzzah!
  • Brisk Money, the novelette prequel to the forthcoming LA Trilogy, has been included in this year’s Best of Tor.com short fiction! This anthology of selected stories from the site will be out in January, and it’s absolutely 100% free! I’m delighted to be included in it this year — I kinda love Brisk Money, and this is one thing to tick off the writerly bucket list.
  • Free Comic Book Day 2015 is scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd, and Dark Circle Comics will be a part of it with a special preview sampler, featuring The Fox, Black Hood, and The Shield. And… that’s another bucket list item checked! I’ll also be doing a FCBD event, details of which I’ll post closer to the time.
  • Speaking of The Shield, co-writer Chuck Wendig and I recently spoke to Women Write About Comics about the book.
  • And just yesterday, Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater did a Reddit AMA and answered questions about all corners of the Archie universe… including Dark Circle. He revealed that The Shield #1 is due for April 2015, and I popped in to say I’d be at the San Diego Comic Con International in July!
  • My friend Paul Cornell has started his annual 12 Blogs of Christmas, something I look forward to reading every year. His post about Fortean photographs stirs a part of my brain that was terrified as a child by Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers, and he’s also broken the news that his first collection of short fiction is coming next year from NewCon Press. I’m looking forward to that!
  • And if you’re not listening to Emma Newman‘s Tea and Jeopardy Advent Calendar 2014, then you need to rectify the situation. This daily mini-podcast has become a highlight for me, and if they don’t win the Hugo Award for Best Fancast in 2015 then I shall be very cross.
  • Finally today, one of my favourite bands, The Bird and the Bee, have released their Christmas tunes online for free — their version of The 12 Days of Christmas (with a new chord progression at each verse repetition) is well worth a listen.

And that’s it for now. See you soon for some news…

Ninja SHIELD poster signing at Thought Bubble!

The Thought Bubble comic con is happening this weekend in Leeds, England, and I’ll be there on the Saturday as a regular attendee. I’ve been going to this con for years now, and it’s a firm favourite of mine. The guest list is pretty spectacular.

Among those over from the US is Kelly Fitzpatrick, colourist extraordinaire who is working on the Dark Circle books, including The Shield. Kelly will be stationed at table 18 in the New Dock Hall.

And if you go and see her, or find me wandering around the con, say hello and pick up a free double-sided Dark Circle Comics poster, signed by me and Kelly!

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Supplies are limited! See you on Saturday!

The state of the writer, autumn 2014 edition

Phew. Not dead, just working. And maybe pining for the fjords just a little.

So, WorldCon (and Nine Worlds and Fantasy in the Court) happened about a million years ago and was Fun Times and included highlights such as seeing my book cover on a cake…

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…then meeting David Tennant…

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…before escorting Gail Carriger to the Hugo Award ceremony…

©2014 John O'Halloran johno@tyedye.org(photograph ©2014 John O’Halloran, used with permission)

And with convention season a distant memory, it’s time to take stock of what I’m actually working on at the moment:

  • Writing the first book in The LA Trilogy, about a robot “detective” in 1960s Hollywood. I say “detective” because… well, you need to go read the prequel novelette, Brisk Money, which is up on Tor.com. The events of book 1 – which has a title, albeit one I shall keep to myself a little longer – follow from this, indirectly, and will be out in September 2015.
  • Copyediting The Machine Awakes, the second book in the Spider Wars sequence, following on from The Burning Dark. It’s not a direct sequel, but what happened in the first book certainly had repercussions. The Machine Awakes will be out in April 2015.
  • Writing The Shield with my co-conspirator Chuck Wendig. While everything is swathed in secrecy at the moment, I think we should be able to give you some more info and even show a little artwork very soon. And in the meantime, you can find us at our shared comics tumblr, Adam And Chuck Make Comics.
  • Editing the big secret novel. I’ve been dropping hints about this for about three months and it still hasn’t been announced, but hot dang, I’m looking forward to being able to talk about this book. It even has a secret cover. More on that when I’m allowed to spill the beans.
  • I’ve also got a comic short on the boil – this is something of a long-term project with a good artist friend of mine. Alas, nothing I can talk about yet. Again.

All of which is keeping me pretty busy, but in a rather exciting kind of way. I’m off to London tomorrow for two days of meetings, but I’ll be back later in the week to post more info on some of the above projects.

 

Say hello to THE SHIELD, coming from Dark Circle Comics in 2015!

TheShieldYou may have seen last week (also here, here, here, and hereArchie announcing that their superhero imprint, Red Circle, was rebranding as Dark Circle, with a slate of new titles and creatives teams ready to rejuvenate one of the oldest superhero universes.

Well, as USA Today has unveiled, I’m delighted to say that the secret comic project I’ve been working on with Chuck Wendig is part of Dark Circle – we are writing The Shield, with art by Wilfredo Torres, colours by Kelly Fitzpatrick.

And just take a look at that design – she’s amazing. She looks like a real woman.

She looks like she will kick your ass.

More to come over the next days and weeks, of course. The first issue of The Shield will drop from Dark Circle in early 2015. In the meantime, Chuck and I have a comic-related tumblr, and you can also follow Chuck on Twitter (which you should be doing already!) – he’s also given his thoughts on the project over at his blog. You can also find Archie Comics and Dark Circle on Twitter too.

So, it’s been a long time coming… but damn, I’m excited. Roll on 2015!