Mallory

Rebellion breaks out in the UK

Running in very quickly (because you’re almost certainly sick of me going on about it) to say that BLOOD AND FEATHERS: REBELLION is officially out and in the wild in the UK, and you should now be able to find it in all places that books can be found – especially, seeing as it’s Independent Booksellers’ Week in the UK, in your local indie. Here’s the Hive link for Rebellion, if you’re wanting it…

I’ve been incredibly busy doing some guest posts and interviews for some lovely blogs, which I’m linking to on the “Interviews” page as they go live, and which I’ll probably also collate into a single Lou-a-palooza blog tour post once they’ve all gone up. Huge thanks to everyone who’s been kind enough to ask me to come and chat for a while. It’s enormously appreciated.

I put a couple of the photos from the REBELLION launch at Forbidden Planet onto my Tumblr (yes, I have one of those too. I’m everywhere. Like, umm, dust bunnies) in case anyone’s interested. I may or may not put some more up, depending on how goofy I look in the rest. If these are anything to go by, the answer will be somewhere on a sliding scale from “slightly” to “incredibly”. So it goes.

As a release-day game, I’ve also got an experiment for you. Over on my Pinterest (like I said: dust bunnies) I have a board called – rather enigmatically – Faces. Most of these guys have served as an inspiration for characters in either BLOOD AND FEATHERS or REBELLION (some both). One or two aren’t taken – yet. If you’re at a loose end, take a look and see if you can match up the face to some of the characters whose fantasy casting actor is on the board. You’ll definitely find Michael, Gabriel, Zadkiel, Castor, Rimmon, Xaphan, Brieus, Pollux and Lucifer on there. And maybe one or two more. It’s not a competition and there’s no prizes – I’m just always fascinated by how differently we see characters in our heads. I may not even tell you whether yours match mine… I don’t know whether that would spoil the fun!

Thank you again to all the team at Solaris and to every single one of you who’s supported me and the books by reading them, talking about them, reviewing them… all of it. I owe you more than I can ever tell you.

REBELLION is all yours.

REBELLION final cover

BLOOD AND FEATHERS: REBELLION cover

REBELLION final cover

Once again, I’ve got the amazing talent of Pye Parr to thank for this, as well as the team at Solaris Books. It perfectly matches the feel of the book, and (for once) I’m kind of lost for words.

I. LOVE. IT.

(And I hope you do too…)

You can pre-order the book from Amazon (UK) (US), BN.comWaterstones and, of course, your local bookshop.

The angels are back…

The Patron Saint of Wishful Thinking

As part of the giveaway I did a few weeks back, I promised to handwrite a copy of a short (very short!) BLOOD AND FEATHERS story for the overall winner. Which I did. And I also promised to put a version of that story up online after a couple of weeks… which I’m doing.

There’s a couple of minor differences between that version and this, but nothing significant.

For those of you who care about this kind of thing, there’s no real continuity. (It’ll make more sense, admittedly, if you’ve read the book, but it’s not mission critical!) In terms of when it fits, it’s fairly safe to assume that it takes place before the main events of BLOOD AND FEATHERS, but beyond that, you’re on your own…

 

 

THE PATRON SAINT OF WISHFUL THINKING

 

“It’s a bit shit, isn’t it?”

Vin and Mallory stood back and looked at the lump of metal on the bench; Vin critically, Mallory with vague dissatisfaction.

“‘Shit‘ is a slightly stronger word than I’d use…” Mallory said with a frown.

Vin just shook his head. “Go on. Say it. You know I’m right.”

“Fine. It’s shit. Happy now?”

“Ecstatic.” Stepping forward, Vin poked at the offending item – yelping as it burned his fingertip. Mallory smirked.

“Might still be hot.”

It was Mallory’s latest thing, the metal-working. He was running low on funds (again) and had decided it was probably time to find some form of gainful employment. Again.

(more…)

BLOOD & FEATHERS giveaway and winners!

UPDATE:

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition and spread the word on Twitter. I’ve now drawn the victims… winners and notified them.

The lucky three are:

@DogEarDiscs and @RichardKellum, who each win a signed copy of BLOOD AND FEATHERS

@CatHawkins, who wins the signed copy and the handwritten version of “The Patron Saint of Wishful Thinking” (which you’ll be able to read on here in a couple of weeks)

b and f giveaway

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you again to everyone who entered.

By the way, if you weren’t lucky this time, I’ll be doing another giveaway in the not-too-distant future, so keep your eyes open…

###

I’ve decided. I’m doing a thing.

I have THREE signed (and dedicated if you’d like) copies of BLOOD AND FEATHERS to give away.

One of these copies will come with a special bonus. Allow me to explain.

In the run-up to Solaris publishing BLOOD AND FEATHERS: REBELLION later this year, I’ll be putting some short stories and flash fiction online. Some of it will tell you more about characters like Mallory; some of it might be deleted scenes. It could be anything: you’ll just have to wait and see.

I’ll be putting the first of these new stories, The Patron Saint of Wishful Thinking, up in the next couple of weeks… but whoever wins the “book-plus” giveaway will get the chance to read it first, because they’ll get a handwritten copy of it along with their book. And yes, I’ll try to keep my handwriting legible…

So that’s three copies, one with a bonus you won’t get anywhere else.

I’ll be doing this via Twitter: all you have to do is include a link to this post in a tweet along with the hashtag #bloodandfeathers. (If you want to @ me at the end of your tweet too, it’ll make you easier to find.)

I’ll be keeping an eye on everyone who tweets and will pick three names at random on SUNDAY 24th FEBRUARY, starting with the two signed books, and then drawing for the book-and-short-story.

This is an international giveaway, so it doesn’t matter where you are: I’ll post the books to you.

I’ll notify winners via Twitter and the blog.

Good luck!

“In the End”

So, I was channel-surfing last night and landed on the video for the Black Veil Brides song, In The End. Which I immediately loved. And which just seemed so incredibly Mallory-ish that it made me smile.

Also, it’s an excellent air-guitar song.

If you want to see the awesomely overblown video (where do they plug in their equipment out in the desert?!) you’ll find it here (I’ve not been able to get it embed, annoyingly), or if you just want to listen, you can click on the unofficial static video I have managed to get to work…

 

Snowflakes and Angels

As part of The Great Relocation of 2013 (don’t ask), I’m currently holed up in a beautiful village in the South-West of England.

It was already pretty when I got here on Sunday afternoon – all old houses and mellow stone and leaded windows – but like most of the UK this morning we’ve woken up to a beautiful covering of snow.

So naturally, I went to the churchyard.

Like you do.

 

snow churchyard

snow church

 

 

I’ve been asked once or twice why Mallory lives in the back of a church in BLOOD AND FEATHERS – but looking at this, it’s hard to imagine anywhere that would suit him better.

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!

 

Easter (egg) Monday

Look what Solaris sent me!

 

So now, not only do I have books, I have bookmarks for them too. They’re extremely pretty (rather like the cover…) and generally lovely and I keep fanning them out across my desk and cackling at them. I may have stroked one or two. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Well, not entirely ashamed. However, some of the ones which remain unstroked will be coming with me to the launch on Thursday, so if you want one then make sure you let me know.

You can also win one… and, indeed, a copy of BLOOD AND FEATHERS to go with it over on Goodreads, where we’re running a giveaway to celebrate launch week. If you’re entering, good luck!

I also promised something extra this week, what with the impending launch and whatnot (cue: shivering, trembling and generally gibbering like an idiot. Whether that’s with joy or fear, I’ll leave you to decide…).

So, with that in mind, here’s an Easter-egg of sorts for you: a (very) short story featuring one of the characters from BLOOD AND FEATHERS. It’s not an extract from the book, but is rather an idea I had while I was working out some of the backstories for everyone, so it’s a little rough and ready, but hey. It’ll stay up on the other site, on the “Bonus Features” page, hopefully along with a few more bits and pieces when I get the chance to put them there! In the meantime, enjoy….

 

THE NIGHT WATCHMAN

They look oddly innocent while they sleep: stripped of their uniforms, their endless kit, their weapons, and curled into close-eyed crescents beneath thin sheets, the soldiers of the Royal Corps of Signals could almost be children again. Some mutter through their dreams and shift in their beds before settling, the darkness covering all the things that they’ve seen.

And while they sleep, a single soldier walks among them; patrolling the narrow bunks in silence.

Few of them pay any attention to him by day – drafted from another regiment after the last batch of green-on-blue attacks, he keeps himself to himself. They’re friendly enough towards him, of course: it doesn’t pay to be rude to the only man awake while the whole unit’s getting some shut-eye, but they have more important things on their minds than making friends with the new guy. Things like keeping themselves and each other alive.

It suits him just fine, the brown-eyed soldier who moves in his uniform like he was born in it. This way, no-one comments that they’ve never seen him sleep; no-one questions the wisdom of bringing a stranger in to watch them. And if they should hear the sound of feathers rustling just around the corner, they simply shake their heads and put it down to the desert wind.

They’ve watched him strip down his gun in silent awe because his hands move over the parts faster than any of theirs could: twisting, pulling, sliding until they are little more than a blur.

He doesn’t join in the banter, doesn’t wait for the mail drops like they do. They’ve never seen him queue for the satphone, never seen him with a picture of his girl… and if they ask he just looks at them with those sad eyes of his and smiles.

Even if he isn’t one of them, things have been easier since he arrived on the base. No longer afraid to sleep, they’re feeling fresher – better than they have done in months. Morale is higher and even the heat and dust and that quiet fear that each dawn could be the last no longer weigh on them. For the first time since their tour began, they have hope.

They call him their ‘Guardian Angel’ – the one who watches over them while they sleep.

Guardian angel.

They have no idea…

 

(with thanks to John, for the bit I didn’t make up… )

An Assembly of Angels

It’s been a really exciting (and busy) couple of days, and I can’t quite believe how fast they’ve gone. Or how fast the release date for BLOOD AND FEATHERS is hurtling towards me!

The biggest thing for me, amongst a few big things, is that the first review for the book came in, and I’m absolutely thrilled. My Bookish Ways said:

… expertly weaves fantasy and horror elements into a creepy, exciting, roller coaster ride of a book. Lou Morgan’s angels aren’t warm, fluffy, and halo’d, either. They’re fiercely beautiful warriors, and distinctly “other.” The angel mythos is fascinating and rich, and the author has laid the groundwork for what promises to be an explosive sequel

(You can read the full review here.)

Basically, this brought a huge smile to my face – and not just because it’s a lovely review. It’s because it’s the first sense that other people have read the book: people I don’t know and who don’t know me, and that it’s now out there on its own. Being its own thing and standing by and for itself. It’s terrifying exciting. And it’s wonderful. The fact that the first review I’ve seen is also so positive just adds to the whole thing.

Kristin, who runs My Bookish Ways, was also kind enough to invite me to waffle on about all manner of things from medieval art to Prince Hal to angels via the City of London, and you can read that here.

If you’ve not yet had enough of me waffling (some of you have tremendous stamina, I know) then you can also join in the Friday Five fun on Pornokitsch. Every week, they ask a couple of people to choose 5 of something, and this week it’s… yep, you guessed it: angels.

I particularly love that Castiel has made 2 out of the 3 lists, proving that he really is All The Awesome. It also reminded me of something I found on Etsy yesterday which I reallyreallyreally want:

Knitted Castiel

He may be just about the coolest thing ever. Seriously.

Well.

Until someone knits a Mallory, that is…

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…