All posts in Hell Space

EMPIRE STATE review, honourable mention, and some links

Here’s a list. I like lists:

  • Still editing Hell Space, which – after an initial round of very heavy cuts (from 106,000 words down to 94,000) – is now cruising back towards 105,000 words. Oddly, when I’m writing something, I aim for 2,000 words a day. Sometimes this is easy and I can write more. Sometimes it’s a struggle. But when I’m editing, it’s less about words and more about getting something done on time. Yesterday I added about 4,000 new words to the manuscript to fix a couple of problems, and didn’t think anything of it. Hmm.
  • Speaking of words, Nanowrimo has started. I don’t take part myself, but my own November routine is to listen to Stephen King reading his memoir/writer’s guide, On Writing. At over eight hours, unabridged, that usually sees me through the month. I recommend it! Seems I reminded Lauren Beukes about it too.
  • I realised the other day that I just missed the one-year anniversary of submitting the first five chapters and synopsis of Empire State to Angry Robot (21st October, 2010). I’m not really one to keep track of such things, but when I mentioned it on Twitter, Eric Lundqvist pointed out that 21st October, 2011, was the date on which Angry Robot made the eARC of Empire State available to reviewers. Well, fancy that!
  • And, appropriately enough given the whole book-deal-via-Twitter-thing, the first review of Empire State has appeared – on Twitter! Brian Lindenmuth (private feed) said: “Empire State by @ghostfinder – an eclectic mix of influences come together winningly in a heady pulp mix. Recommended.” Thanks Brian!
  • Empire State also made Fantasy Faction’s list of books to look for in 2012, where Angry Robot mention that it is their fiftieth published novel. Yay!
  • Out today is the new issue of Focus, the magazine of the British Science Fiction Association, in which you’ll find an article by me about how I was signed by Angry Robot and the role Twitter had to play.
  • Finally, while I’m off to New York to give Empire State a US launch, I’m also planning something for London. More details as I have them!

Revisionland Hotel and a red lizard man in a cape

A few friends are on the agent/publisher hunt at the moment, and someone pointed out this nice little blog post from Erin Morgenstern from about 18 months ago. Of course, since then, Erin’s career has taken a rather dramatic leap, with her debut novel The Night Circus spending so far five weeks in the New York Time Bestseller list. Her old blog post is a nice reminder that writing takes a lot of work, and everybody starts somewhere.

I’ve currently checked into what Erin calls “Revisionland Hotel” myself with nothing but the manuscript of Hell Space and an endless supply of tea. A month and half to go on this thing, and so far, so good.

Like I don’t have anything else to do, I also started up a Secret Project the other day. It’s actually quite nice, because it gives me something else to tinker with when I have Hell Space fatigue. Anyway, indulging in some research for it I came across what might be the worst panel of modern comic art I’ve ever seen:

However… I actually quite like it! It’s rather sweet, and was pencilled by Mart Nodell. Nodell was the creator of The Green Lantern back in 1941, and by the time he drew the above panel (from Green Lantern #19, the 50th anniversary special from 1991) he was 76 years old and had been retired for 15 years.

I’m very tempted to get that panel on a t-shirt, actually!

SFX Weekender 3

The official website hasn’t been updated yet, but as mentioned in the new issue of SFX magazine out yesterday, I’m a guest at the SFX Weekender 3, being held at the Pontins holiday camp in Prestatyn Sands, North Wales, next February. It’ll be the first convention where Empire State will actually be out, and I know there will be some Angry Robot signing action going on. Incidentally, SFX magazine, bless them, describe me as a “hotly tipped debut author” on page 48. Just don’t ask me which horse is going to win the 3.30 at Cheltenham…

Meanwhile, work continues on Hell Space. Due to an alignment of the stars, I’ve found myself with a couple of weeks to devote to the edit, which means I can get a big chunk done. Every edit is different because every book is different, and for Hell Space I’ve found I’m making so many notes on a chapter-by-chapter, scene-by-scene basis that once I’ve made the initial pass, I’m actually going to re-import the manuscript into a brand new Scrivener file and start to work in there. There’s a lot of backstory and new material to add to the first half of the book, and Scrivener’s scene splitting/re-ordering functionality is going to make it a heck of a lot easier than trying to wrestle a single 500-page Word document.


Empire State delivered, more blurbs, and introducing Hell Space

Yesterday I handed in the final, copyedited manuscript of Empire State, and boy, does that feel good. I had about three weeks to take in the revisions, and I needed every day of that (bearing in mind I also hold down a day job, and a week of that was spent in Brighton!).

So there we go. Empire State, delivered. Next step is typeset and proofreading, and I should be able to see a PDF of the finished product pretty soon. The ARCs have also been printed and shipped, I believe!

Rounding off the last couple of weeks, I’ve updated the main Empire State page with three new blurbs!

“From the first explosive rat-a-tat-tat of bullets to the very last twist and turn, Empire State surely cannot be a début novel. Adam Christopher must be playing with us, as this bears all the skill and patience of an experienced master craftsman at work. The fantastical dreams of Verne and Wells mixed with the noir reality of Spillane or Chandler, this is a book that doesn’t play by the rules – and is all the better for it.”

— Tony Lee, Doctor Who comic writer and New York Times Bestselling Author.

“Adam Christopher maintains a punchy, bestseller prose style that keeps the action rocketing along, and protagonists that seem right both in their own setting, and appropriate to what we already recognise as super heroes. Empire State is an excellent, involving read, and it fully deserves to be the start of a new universe.”

— Paul Cornell, writer of Action Comics, Stormwatch and Demon Knights, and Doctor Who scriptwriter

With his debut novel, Adam Christopher creates a dark and gritty world, complete with with Prohibition-era gangsters, Tommy guns, and superheroes. Empire State is a story deeply rooted in noir tradition that hits you in the throat like a sucker punch.”

— Matthew McBride, author of Frank Sinatra in a Blender

With that all done, I took a much needed day off yesterday (the copyediting on Empire State ended with five 16-hour days, so I was a little beat), and today am due to start the edit on The Novel Formerly Known As Ludmila My Love.

Or, as it is now titled, Hell Space.

Hell Space is a horror space opera, with strange stars and ancient evils and forgotten histories. This is a project I’m really excited about, and I’ve given myself plenty of room to work on the edit.

So… time for coffee, and a fresh Word document, and it’s back into the story of Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland and the U-Star Coast City