forbidden planet

(Probably) The Greatest Halloween Signing Ever…

Yes, it’s not quite Halloween, but what’s a couple of days between friends?

Come along to the Great Halloween Signing in the Forbidden Planet Megastore in London tomorrow (Saturday 25th October) and hang out with Actual Proper British Horror Writers (and me. Who will be basking in the reflected glory and trying really hard not to grin like a loon.)

We’ll be signing between 1pm and 2pm, and afterwards there’s a BFS Open Evening taking place in the nearby Bloomsbury Tavern.

I’m there as a contributor to ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! ENDGAME, the third of the ZA! series of mosaic novels.

9781472106421

If you’ve not come across the series – or any other mosaic novels before – think of it as a cross between an anthology of short stories and a novel in dossier form, with each contributor taking one aspect of it. (One of my favourites is the zombie-related app store, complete with developer comments.) My “story” is the diary of a teenager caught up in the zombie outbreak – the catch being that she wasn’t one of the lucky ones. So if you’ve ever wanted to know what goes through a teenage zombie’s mind…

 

Launching the Rebellion

It’s a strange thing, launching a book. A lovely strange thing – but a strange thing nonetheless. You see, when you launch it, you take it from being something that is yours (and, grudgingly, your editor’s. Grudgingly.) to something that belongs to… everybody.

Well. I say “everybody”. More truthfully it’s “anybody who cares to pick it up”, because let’s be sensible here.

So it’s exciting and nerve-wracking and brilliant and terrifying, and ohgod will I lose the power of speech halfway through my reading and will I fall over and what if someone asks me a question and I don’t know the answer and it’ll be just like that time in Maths in the 2nd Year all over again and…

You get the idea.

It still feels very special to launch a book at Forbidden Planet, because it was where I went to my own very first signing (Neil Gaiman. Predictably.) It feels like my tribal home, in a lot of ways. It means something. And this time, we brought BAKED GOODS!

biscuits

Those beautiful biscuits are the work of Mutherfudger, who not only made them and iced them but decorated every single one of them with the sigils of the angelic choirs.

Michael’s is the orange one (being of a fiery temperament…) while chilly Gabriel is blue. Raphael’s was clean white, lucky Barakiel’s was green – and newcomer Zadkiel’s was an enigmatic silvery grey.

And yes, people did rummage for their favourite angel. I certainly have fewer left of some than I do others – and as an entirely unscientific experiment, that was interesting!

Biscuits aside, I read a short chapter from early on in REBELLION called “Dancing on Pins”, which was Michael and Zadkiel on fine form, and we had a brilliant time talking about angels on book covers (Angel Dude’s Revenge!), the devil and which of them is the biggest badass of all (tricky).

And there was this:

dave badge

I don’t think there’s any doubt whose team my lovely copy-editor David is on, do you? (He’s actually made me my own badge too: I’m now an honorary member and angel-wrangler. YEAH BABY.)

Thank you to everybody who came along, and to MadNad for the biscuits and to Forbidden Planet for having me back. It meant a huge deal and I had a great time.

I ended the evening in a basement bar drinking a cocktail called “Blood of the Scribe” with Kim Curran. It felt appropriate, somehow. It wasn’t the Halfway, granted, but Mallory would have approved…

Apart from the launch, there’s several tabs which need closing, so here we go.

First: there are three signed copies of REBELLION up for grabs on Goodreads. All you need to do is pop over there and enter – nothing complicated! That’s a worldwide giveaway.

Secondly: Sci-Fi Bulletin has the first review of REBELLION (spoiler: they liked it) which makes me very happy indeed.

Thirdly: I’m on something of a blog tour over the next few days, so you may well end up seeing quite a lot of me (as it were). To kick things off, I talk about the use of scent in the BLOOD AND FEATHERS books – again, on Sci-Fi Bulletin, and let slip 5 secrets about the books over on Fantastical Imaginations.

That’s it for now. Other than dealing with those leftover biscuits. And when I say “dealing with”, I naturally mean “eating…”

And just for the hell of it – to say thank you, and because it’s one of my favourite songs (and certainly one of my favourite videos) and because I’d quite like to be even half as cool as Dave Grohl when I grow up – have some Foo Fighters.

Bite the Rebellion

If you’re coming to the Blood and Feathers: Rebellion launch at Forbidden Planet this Thursday, we’ve got an extra-special treat in store for you.

Now, as well as being able to pick up a copy of the book ahead of its official publication date, you’ll also be able to show your allegiance to the angelic choir of your choice thanks to the fantastic Mutherfudger – codename @Madnad – who will be providing us with some of her amazing baked goods.

Exactly what the Mother of Cookies has in mind is a surprise for now – and I’m far too scared of her to let it slip… but come along on Thursday evening and find out.

The angels are coming. And they’re bringing biscuits.

Second Book Syndrome

We’re launching!

I will never get sick of saying that, I don’t think. My author copies of Rebellion arrived last week, and as I opened the box I wondered whether anyone ever could get tired of the way that feels. All those words, all those hours, all that work (and not just mine: in any book, there’s the writer, there’s editors, copy editors, artists, publishers, PR guys, printers, warehouse guys…).

And suddenly, you’re holding a book. I’ll come back to that.

Anyway. Yes. Launching.

Blood and Feathers: Rebellion is published on July 9th. However, Solaris and Forbidden Planet have been awesome enough (for which read: I’m driving them crazy with the “YAY!” and the “WOOOHOOOO!” and my generally excited demeanour) to arrange a launch event on Thursday 27th June, at the Forbidden Planet Megastore in central London. There’s also a Facebook event page, which you’ll find here.

This means that anyone rocking up to the launch will be able to get a copy well before the actual proper publication day.

Which is on the one hand fantastic, and on the other (for me, at least) terrifying. Because the other lovely thing about the box of author copies is that they’re among the first ones that exist. It’s a kind of grace period, if you like: I get to cuddle my brand-new book without yet having to panic about what everyone else will think of it.

That bit comes later.

And it will come. I’m expecting it any time now, as it happens.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe, having done this once, I thought I’d be calmer about it.

No.

(Alright, Dean. Dial it down a notch, yeah?)

I am just as neurotic about the whole thing as I was before. Possibly more so. Because I’ve done this before.

There’s something about being a debut novelist. You’re all shiny and new and untested – and you have no idea what’s coming. All this in itself is worth something, and it’s wonderful. But you only get to do it once. After that, you have to earn it. More than that, you have to convince people that not only was the first thing you did worth their time and money… the next one is too. And the one after it. And the one after that…

Daunting?

Give me a second…

Yes. Daunting.

So your grace period is not only filled with “Ohmygodwillpeoplelikethis?”, it’s now mixed in with a healthy dose of “OhmygodhaveIearnedthis?”.

Of course, not only is there the knuckle-chewing neurosis, there’s the ridiculous excitement.

(No, Dean. There is no pudding.)

Because while Second Book Syndrome is just as nerve-rending – if not more so – than the first time round, you still wrote a damn book. And someone published it, and now it has a spine and pages and a cover. A cover! Someone took your crazy and actually bound it! And then put a pretty picture on the front of it!

And maybe more even than that: you remember.

You remember how it felt when the first book was fresh out there in the world, and the first person told you that they liked it; that they got it. And it was like the best kind of drug.

Am I nervous? Yes. Am I excited? You bet.

Will I ever get tired of doing this, neuroses included?

Never.

BLOOD AND FEATHERS launch

So, Thursday happened. And when I say “Thursday”, I mean, obviously, “the launch of BLOOD AND FEATHERS and the slightly excitingterrifying reading and signing at Forbidden Planet, no I wasn’t nervous I always twitch like this when I’m relaxed. Totally.”

I won’t lie. I was nervous. A lot nervous.

You see, I went to my first ever “proper” book-signing at Forbidden Planet, to see Neil Gaiman. That was where this whole thing started – so when Thursday came and it was my turn, it was just a little… odd.

Beforehand, I met up with my agent, Juliet, who gave me the most ridiculously cool present (It involves a hip flask, whisky and – to my undying joy – Jeremy Renner. You can all just ponder that for a while.) and attempted to soothe her gibbering, twitching, hyperventilating client before we hopped in a cab to Forbidden Planet.

There, the amazing Danie, who organised all this (and whose very own book is coming out soon…), whisked me off through a magic “Staff only” door (I’ve always been a sucker for one of those) to sign a few pre-orders… and then it was time to go and Do Stuff.

I read a couple of pages from the book and answered some great questions – and then signed copies. Even saying that brings a stupid grin to my face. Seriously.

 

I still can’t quite believe that quite so many people turned up! It was wonderful to see some familiar faces from Twitter and to finally get the chance to say hi, albeit briefly. I’m just extraordinarily grateful to everyone who came; to Solaris and to Forbidden Planet for inviting me. It was genuinely one of the best evenings I’ve ever had, and it was so lovely to see so much support for the book.

Huge kudos to Jenni Hill – who turned up wearing this:

I heart this very, very much. And yes, that badge does say: “CEO of the official Mallory fan club” And she’s TM’d it, too, so don’t get any ideas!

So there we go. The book’s out. The angels are loose. Thank you so much to everyone who came to the signing, and to everyone who’s sent me messages saying they’re reading it and enjoying it. You have no idea how much it means to me, because I just can’t quite seem to find the right words. Being a writer and that.

 

Before I go: congratulations to Bridgette Roundtree from LA, who won a signed copy of BLOOD AND FEATHERS through our Goodreads giveaway: the book will be on its way to you today. Thanks to everyone who entered: we had an insane number of entries so hopefully we’ll do another one soon!

 

Launching BLOOD & FEATHERS

Just a quick one to set you up for the weekend: I’m absolutely thrilled to say that we’ll be holding the official launch for BLOOD & FEATHERS at the Forbidden Planet megastore in central London, on August 2nd (which, as luck would have it, is publication day)!

It means an enormous amount to me to be launching my first book in FP – after all, Forbidden Planet was where I went to my first ever book signing: Neil Gaiman, in (I think 2007) and where I queued for hours in the rain with a bunch of people who were both fantastic in every way and – equally – quite as mad as me. Oddly enough, I wrote my first published short story – “The Cloth of Heaven” the very next day, so I can’t think of anywhere more appropriate.

If you’re in town, and fancy coming along, we kick off at 6pm.

(Further details are on the Facebook event page, and even if you can’t make it, you can order a signed copy via the Forbidden Planet site and I’ll sign one for you on the night…*)

 

*Get me, being all professional and writerly with the signing. Me! I know, right? I still can’t really believe my luck…