All posts in Interview

Tonight: Interview at the British Fantasy Society, Phoenix Artists’ Club, London!

Later today I’m heading down to London, where tonight I’m the guest of the British Fantasy Society at their open night. There’s a lot going on tonight, including an anthology launch, the launch of DieGo Comics Publishing, and the announcement of the shortlists for the British Fantasy Award.

And there’s also an interview with me, conducted by Gollancz Publishing Director Gillian Redfearn, which should be fun.

There’s also an entirely free raffle, and I’m bring a fair pile of books to throw into it – including some limited edition hardcovers.

Full details are available at Angry Robot and the BFS website. The open night is completely free to attend whether you are a member of the BFS or not. You don’t need any tickets, and things officially kick-off at 7.00pm. The Phoenix is on Phoenix Street, just off Charing Cross Road. You can find directions here.

See you there!

Deadlines! I have them!

Apparently you’re not supposed to open a blog post to apologise for not posting anything for ages, because the chances are you’ve lost the inclination to blog, and your site will be nothing but a succession of excuses scattered sparingly across the months and years, before your site is finally mothballed.

But in this instance I’m going to break that rule, because I’ve got a pretty good excuse for not posting anything for a while.

I’ve been busy.

Which is probably not news to anybody, but, so it goes.

I’ve been working on:

  1. The Machine Awakes – which is now at the final read-through before I send it off to my agent.
  2. Secret project 1 – which I can’t talk about.
  3. Secret project 2 – which I also can’t talk about.

The Machine Awakes is the second in the Spider Wars sequence, following from The Burning Dark. It’s not a sequel, it’s another standalone set in the same universe. I think it’s pretty solid currently, but it’s going to go through the wringer with both my agent and editor before it gets to anything like publishable. Which is all part of the process!

I guess I can drop some clues about the other two projects. One is a novel. One is not. Both of them will be out next early next year. Both of them should be public knowledge in the next few months, which will be great, because I really can’t wait to talk about them. They’re both completely different, and they’re both dream projects.

All of the above, secret or not, have deadlines, which is why I’ve been busy.

So there’s a lot of stuff that has popped up here and there online, and I’m not going to try and cover all of it at once (because writing this blog post is less time working on one of those deadlined projects), so I’ll try and post a few links now and again.

Today’s round-up is all about interviews!

  • I was interviewed over at Bleeding Cool about The Burning Dark.
  • I spoke to Mur Lafferty on her podcast I Should Be Writing about books, writing, writing habits, and the importance of… I Should Be Writing!
  • I was interviewed by My Bookish Ways about The Burning Dark.

Last weekend I was also the feature interview in my local newspaper, The Sentinel, based in the nearby city of Stoke-on-Trent. By complete coincidence, The Sentinel is also the newspaper in the Empire State

SentinelYou can read the interview online here.

 

SFX Magazine feature interview!

Off to London tomorrow for a couple of days, so there might not be much happening on the blog until next week.

But, a couple of things:

Issue 245 of SFX Magazine hit the newsstands today – turn to page 78 and you’ll find a feature interview with me!

Thanks to Mark Nelson for the snap:

Bfu70EZIcAA-k2h.jpg-large

Tomorrow is the official UK release of Hang Wire, although it’s actually be out in most stores for the last week. Don’t forget that you can still enter the increasingly inaccurately named pre-order contest until April. All you need to do is buy Hang Wire and send me the receipt, and you could win a pack of thirteen signed books.

See you next week!

 

 

HANG WIRE is out in a week, or… what the heck happened to January?

Hmm. 2014 seems to be speeding by. This is alarming.

Hang Wire is out in the US and in ebook in one week! Yikes! I mean… yay! Coolness.

To whet your appetite, here’s a couple of new snippets that have come in.

Reviewer Bane of Kings takes on Hang Wire at The Founding Fields, and he says that it is:

An excellent read, Adam Christopher once again reminds us why he is your go-to writer for awesome urban fantasy as he crafts an unputdownable tale that makes Angry Robot’s 100th Novel an excellent read!

“Unputdownable” is about a big an accolade as a book can get, so I’m pretty happy!

Over at BRSBKBLOG, reviewer Pete Sutton says:

Being an Angry Robot book you expect it to be pacy and intelligent with good plotting and Christopher really delivers. Recommended.

There’s also an interview with me there, in which I talk about editing two books at once, working with Angry Robot and Tor Books, and also about a couple of future projects for this year.

With Hang Wire just a week out, don’t forget to enter the pre-order contest, in which you could win a rather alarmingly large parcel of 13 signed books. You’ll find details of the contest here, and a selection of pre-order links here.

And I’m also starting a newsletter – the first instalment will drop on January 28th and there’s going to be an exclusive excerpt of something new, along with a giveaway open only to newsletter subscribers.

That’s me telling you to subscribe, btw.

 

Ten questions about THE BLUE BLAZES, by Chuck Wendig

Here’s the thing – Chuck Wendig is a good friend and runs a crazy-good blog dispensing authorial advice honed from his own experience as a full-time writer. He also grills fellow writers about their work, but when it comes to his own material – well, he can’t exactly interview himself, can he?

So today I’m pleased to turn my blog over to Chuck, to answer ten questions on his new book, The Blue Blazes, which is out today in the UK. I was lucky enough to read it earlier this year, and I absolutely loved it – I think it’s Chuck’s best book yet, and I’m glad we’re going to get some further adventures of Mookie Pearl.

Without further ado…


1. Tell us about yourself: who the hell are you?

I’m a strapping young beardsman with a taste for adventure and a penchant toward deviant pornography. I run a monkey rodeo with a family of three centaurs. I love beer, whiskey, and artisanal honey made from rare corpseflowers. I once killed a man in Reno not so much to watch him die but because he had a taco and I wanted that taco.

Above all else, I am a liar. Which I translate into writing novels and my penmonkey blog, terribleminds.com.

2. Give us the 140-character story pitch

Mookie Pearl and his rebellious daughter stand at the crux between the criminal underworld and the mythic and monstrous underworld.

Or, even shorter:

MAN AND GIRL DO CRAZY OCCULT DRUGS AND PUNCH MONSTERS BELOW THE STREETS OF MANHATTAN.

Or, even shorter:

MAN EATS MEAT, FIGHTS HELL

3. Where does this story come from?

Stories have a curious lineage, don’t they? This one starts when I was a wee kid doing things a wee kid isn’t supposed to do – they say, “Don’t look at the sun,” and the first thing the kid does is look at the sun.

I used to press my thumbs against my closed eyes to see the firework shows behind the darkened lids – blue streamers and curtains of light – and then one time I did it and hallucinated a lion on our front lawn. I still see the lion clear as day in my mind: reclining and queenly as if having just fed.

From there the seed planted that has been spawning vines and flowers ever since: the idea of having an unseen world that is only revealed upon performing some task – and in this case, it’s what happens when you do the mystical drug known as Cerulean, AKA, “The Blue Blazes.”

The impetus to actually write this book comes from being asked to join an anthology called The New Hero, Volume I – Robin Laws said he wanted stories about iconic heroes who did not change themselves but instead changed the world, and from there, the story of Mookie was born. That anthology features Mookie’s first appearance, telling the story of how his daughter dupes him into clearing out a nest of goblins so she can take over the Blue trade in that part of town.

But I wanted Mookie to change (I find characters who change more interesting than those that don’t), and so I set out to continue his story.

Hence, The Blue Blazes was born, where Mookie continues to fight the Great Below beneath his feet while also trying to fend of attacks from his own daughter while still hoping to make peace with her.

4. How is this a story only you could have written?

I have a special love for damaged characters who, at a cursory glance, you should pretty much hate. I liken it to being a stunt plane pilot where you take the plane and plunge it toward the earth as the onlookers look on—dive, dive, dive—and just as they think, Well, this is it, it’s over, no way he can pull out of this, you suddenly jack back on the stick and the plane shoots up out of the deadfall and flies back up into clear blue skies.

I like doing that with the characters – you think, oh, no way I can get behind a character like this. But then (ENGAGE NEW METAPHOR: “Fishing”) you yank back on the rod-and-reel and set the hook. Wait, weren’t we talking about planes? I must be high on a mystical drug. Like, say, the Blue Blazes. Or the Red Rage! Or the Golden Gate, or the Green Grave, or the Violet Void…

5. What was the hardest thing about writing THE BLUE BLAZES?

Well, doing all those mystical drugs was tricky. Especially since mystical drugs don’t exist, so I was basically like, mixing cocktails of drain cleaner, floor sweepings, gunpowder, and hobo blood to get the right effect.

NO I KID, I KID. I don’t do drugs, and neither should you, kids. Stay in school.

The hardest thing for me was that this book was very, very worldbuildy. Lots going on: street gangs and crime families and hell-born monsters given over to an infernal subterranean hierarchy. It’s got strange drugs. It’s got charcuterie. It’s got Manhattan in all its sewage and splendor. So, lots of research, lots of worldbuilding, and in ways I’d never done before. The trick was to not let the worldbuilding be the story driver – the world I built had to serve the story I wanted to tell, not vice versa. It’s tempting to come up with hundreds of awesome things and just cram them into the book but that only clogs the pipes.

To give a sense of how worldbuildy the book gets, some folks have said it’s like a conglomeration of Goodfellas, Lovecraft, and the D&D Monster Manual.

Which is not entirely inaccurate.

6. What did you learn writing THE BLUE BLAZES?

That I could actually write a big honking fantasy epic. Most of my books before this were fairly lean and mean – 70,000 word prison shivs. This was a different book for me, much more of a long, slow crash of a sledgehammer.

7. What do you love about THE BLUE BLAZES?

I love that the book has a lot to chew on. I love that people are telling me that they not only love the characters (a couple folks have told me the ending got them weepy! Score), but that they’d love to play a pen-and-paper RPG or a video game in this setting. I like that it feels inhabited. And layered. And – pun intended, given Mookie’s predilection toward artisanal butchery – meaty.

8. What would you do differently next time?

I would drink less drain cleaner. Because now I pretty much have to have all my food fed to me intravenously. Turns out, the warnings on those bottles actually mean something. I thought it meant like, for kids? Nope. For adults, too.

Also, I would take it more slowly. I wrote this 100k beast in like, two months – and I don’t think that harms the book, to be clear, but it certainly harms me in that my brain feels like it’s a lager that’s about to foam over. In a perfect world I’d get a few more months with it just to savor the taste.

9. Give us your favourite paragraph from the story

I’ll break my own rules and cheat a little bit – I’m fond of the very opening of the book in terms of describing Mookie Pearl, the protagonist of the book:

This, then, is Mookie Pearl.

He’s a high wall of flesh stuffed into a white wife-beater stained with brown (once red), a man whose big bones are wreathed in fat and gristle and muscle and sealed tight in a final layer of scar-tissue skin. At the top of his ox-yoke shoulders sits a head like a wrecking ball with black eyes and shorn scalp and a mouth full of teeth that look like white pebbles fished from a dark river. He’s got hands that could break a horse’s neck. He’s got Frankenstein feet and a Godzilla hunch.

He’s built like a brick shithouse made of a hundred smaller brick shithouses.

Mookie the Mook. Mookie the Meat-Man. Mookie the Monster.

Butcher. Bruiser. Breaker of legs. Some legs human. Most not.

10. What’s next for you as a storyteller?

I’m an insanely busy little penmonkey – I’ve written three books so far this year, and have miles to go before I sleep. (Though I do have some time to take a breather, now.)

Next up for me is my first official foray into young adult fiction – the first book of my Heartland trilogy, Under the Empyrean Sky. It’s the sunniest dustbowl dystopia you ever did see, a world where the Heartlanders toil in endless miles of blood-thirsty corn (no, really), where young Cael McAvoy finds a secret garden and loses the love of his life and has to decide what to do about both. It’s got hover-boats and a secret hobo cabal and “piss-blizzards” (aka pollen drifts) and lording over it all are the masters of the sky, the Empyrean in their giant flotillas.

John Hornor Jacobs suggested that it’s a mash-up of Star Wars and The Grapes of Wrath, and I like that suggestion just fine.


Chuck Wendig: Website / @chuckwendig

The Blue BlazesAmazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | B&N | Indiebound

 

Interviews! Sword and Laser! 89 Chapters! And a big old competition!

I’m up to my eyeballs in synopses this week, having handed in The Burning Dark on Monday, and then I dashed down to London for Lauren Beukes’s book launch for The Shining Girls (more on that later) and was then back in time to hang out with Veronica and Tom at Sword and Laser – this interview (streamed live on YouTube, no less!) was a lot of fun, and can be watched here. Or, if you want to hang on for the proper podcast, you’ll be able to hear it next week. I’ll post up a link when that’s ready.

Sword and Laser are also running a competition! You can win a limited edition hardcover of Empire State, and a limited edition hardcover of The Age Atomic over at Goodreads. It’s open worldwide, and you can enter right here.

Finally, last week I was a guest on 89 Chapters, Pakistan’s premier English language radio book show, where I chatted for a couple of hours about books, writing and music. You can now listen to the whole show here. For those interested, this is the complete tracklist I chose for the show:

  1. The Duke Spirit – Surrender
  2. Ladytron – Mirage
  3. The Cure – A Japanese Dream
  4. The Pixies – Hang Wire
  5. Sleater-Kinney – Youth Decay
  6. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Caterwaul
  7. Prince – Electric Chair
  8. PJ Harvey – You Said Something
  9. Veruca Salt – Seether
  10. The Bird and the Bee – Polite Dance Song
  11. The Warlocks – It’s Just Like Surgery
  12. Giant Drag – Messif My Face
  13. The Corin Tucker Band – Newskowin
  14. Joy Zipper – If I’m Right
  15. The Dandy Warhols – Talk Radio

I’ll do up an iTunes/Spotify playlist for that later this week.

New release: THE SENTINEL episode 1

VS Comics #4 is out now, and so begins my first comic, The Sentinel!

The Sentinel is a crime/urban fantasy set in Prohibition New York (you can probably sense a theme here), and is about a rookie cop who is killed and resurrected as an Egyptian god of vengeance. With art by Nathan Ashworth, letters by Mike Stock, and edited by Ned Hartley, The Sentinel is pulp adventure in 6-page bites, and alongside episode 1 there’s an interview with me where I talk more about my writing and the comic. All that, and three other stories, for £2. Grab it!

Couple of links have popped up recently:

This Saturday I’m on 89 Chapters, the book show on CityFM89 based in Karachi, Pakistan. Hosted by the wonderful Mavesh, we talked for an hour about books, writing and music, and I had a blast. The show airs 2pm local time, which is 10am Saturday in the UK – you can listen to it live on air, and afterwards the show will be available to stream from the 89 Chapters website. I’ll put the link up for that once I have it.

THE AGE ATOMIC: New reviews, interview, and a book giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who came to the UK launch of The Age Atomic last Thursday night at Forbidden Planet – I really appreciated it, particularly considering the snow, and the fact that the Central Line decided to pack up about an hour beforehand. I’ll post some photos later this week, but it was fun! The limited edition hardcovers of The Age Atomic and Empire State are gorgeous – if you snagged one, make sure you take off the dust jacket and check out the foiled spine!

Some new reviews of The Age Atomic have popped up:

 Christopher provides a fast-paced novel which juggles high stakes and personal quests with great aplomb
A wonderful novel, The Age Atomic proves that Adam Christopher can write sequels just as well as anyone. The most fun read of 2013 so far, and one of the best.

The Age Atomic is a glorious and joyous ode to the pulp science fiction of old. Awesome fun, from start to finish, just straight up, pure entertainment.

There’s also a new interview with me up at My Bookish Ways, where I talk about The Age Atomic, my writing process, and my favourite books. They are also hosting a giveaway for both The Age Atomic and Empire State – you have two days left to enter, and it is open to residents of the US, Canada and Europe. Full details after the interview!

THE AGE ATOMIC hits the US in paperback and in ebook worldwide!

Today is the first P-day for The Age Atomic – if you’re in the US, you can pick up the paperback from the usual spots! If you prefer it in ebook, you can buy it in all territories from today in all the major formats – including as a DRM-free ePub from the Robot Trading Company. You’ll find an updated list of order links here. UK readers who are after a print copy will need to wait until Thursday April 4th… although rumour has it that Amazon.co.uk have stock and are shipping already.

Publication weeks are always busy ones, so here’s a link round-up:

…a blast for sci-fi fans… Christopher has let his imagination run wild, with some fantastic results.

You’ve got political intrigue, super heroes and villains, and a cracking good mystery. What’s not to like?

This is a must read for fans of superhero and sci-fi fiction.

And… rest!

There’s plenty more to come this week and next – including the reveal of the Empire State variant cover for Forbidden Planet’s exclusive limited edition hardback – so stay tuned. Don’t forget the UK launch of The Age Atomic is being held at the Forbidden Planet London megastore on Thursday 4th April at 6pm, where you’ll be able to snag the limited edition hardcover. If you can’t make it, you can still order the hardcover of The Age Atomic here, and the link for the hardcover Empire State will be up shortly.

 

SFFWRTCHT transcript, new EMPIRE STATE review, and the 2013 Campbellian Pre-Reading Anthology

So there I was just a chapter away from finishing the latest edit on The Book Formerly Known As Shadow’s Call, and I get sick with a dose of the flu that knocks me out for a week. Good timing.

While I clamber back to normality, a couple of links:

If you hadn’t noticed, award season is upon us, and there are a couple of useful resources available:

Finally, just a reminder that I’m eligible for a slightly more obscure award – the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, handed out by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand. Nominations for these close on 31st March, and anyone can nominate. My list of eligible works (and qualifying categories) is here.