Saturday, 25 August 2012

Vengeance will be yours!

So the news I've been sitting on for most of the year is finally out and I've written not one, but two tie-ins to the new Warhammer 40,000 boxed set, Dark Vengeance.

Dark Vengeance - The Novel (technically, it's a novella) is an adaptation of one of the scenarios within the boxed set, whereas The Ascension of Balthasar is a prequel audio drama charting the titular Deathwing sergeant's rise to Company Master of the Dark Angels' 5th Company.

In a bid to pre-empt some of the inevitable questions, I thought I'd put together a handy FAQ.

So are these available in any other languages?

Ja and non. Dark Vengeance- The Novel will be available simultaneously in both French and German but the audio drama is English language only.

When is it available? Where can I read an extract?

The book and 2CD set is available from 1st September, the same day as the Dark Vengeance boxed set. An exclusive extract appears in the latest issue of White Dwarf which is available now.

How long did it take you to write? Was it an easy process?

Overall, it took about 2 months from putting the first sentence down to typing 'The End' and in that time I spent around 40-50 hours writing and rewriting. The audio drama was a solid 3 days of writing with another few hours of rewriting.

The novella was a far from easy process. When you finally get your hands on the book you'll see that it has quite a unique and complex structure and is written in multiple tenses from many different POVs. If an author had presented me with the synopsis I gave my editor then I would have told them to fuck off in no uncertain terms. Nick either had a lot of faith in me or wanted to see me suffer ;-)

So that guy who they find floating above the mountain of corpses in The Ascension of Balthasar? Is that who I think it is?

It is. When I told Mike Lee that I'd used that character he was happy that at least one of his Calibanite Dark Angels had survived into the 41st Millennium.

Will we see any of these characters again?

I have a couple of projects floating on the periphery of my imagination that will see Balthasar at earlier stages of his career but I'm spinning a lot of plates at the moment so don't expect anything soon. Unless I get to write another 1,000 word digital exclusive, of course...

Is it true that the novella was codenamed 'Tinky Winky'?

Yes. When I put together the first draft of the synopsis, I didn't have any character names to work with so used placeholders. Brother Heskia was originally Brother Heskey, Librarian Turmiel was Librarian Dr Manhattan and Mortis Metallikus was Tinky Winky. For some reason, that name stuck and when the call came to write the audio drama, it was only ever going to be codenamed 'Dipsy'.

Are there any zombies in it?

Unfortunately, no.

Hopefully that answers any questions but if there's anything else you want to ask then that's what the comments are for.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy the book and audio drama.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

You remind me today of a small Mexican Chihuahua

So, it's been a while...

Super Sekrit Project 1 has been revised and handed in while Super Sekrit Project 2 has been pitched and is sitting in the editor's inbox awaiting feedback and (hopefully) paperwork. And that's the last I'm going to mention of either of them until they're released. It annoys the hell out of me having to skirt around them and be euphemistic so until they're on shelves, or available for pre-order, I'll say no more.

Stuff I can talk about? Malediction has been recorded for a while and the cover art is up on the Black Library and Amazon sites. Hat off to Cheol Joo Lee for such a bang-up job! Bloodspire is also in the can and will be available as a direct exclusive from the Black Library website in May. It features a younger version of Tycho before he became Captain of Third Company, along with a few other names you may recognise if you paid close attention to the Blood Angels codex. Both sport top notch casts though hopefully I didn't drag the average down too much with my cameo as a vox operator in Malediction. I only have a couple of lines but definitely a step-up from playing a zombie.

Aside from one of the projects I promised not to mention again, over the next few months I have to write my half of the Black Library Weekender exclusive audio and a Raven Guard novella which forms the middle part of a trilogy of Space Marine Battles stories with the others being written by David Annandale and Andy Smillie. I say 'being' written but David has already delivered his! Must be all that fresh Canadian air. After that, it's hopefully going to be another gamebook - or rather 'Path to Victory' book, to give them their proper moniker. Fantasy rather than 40K this time around with mad Dwarfs, disgruntled Ogres and even a Dragon to slay.

Hello to all the friends old and new I met at BL Live over the weekend. Cracking company and some really thought provoking questions on the panels with the surprise addition of classic Games Workshop printed products on sale in the gaming hall - Advanced Runequest FTW! If you couldn't make it along then there are some damn fine reports here, here and here.

Before I sign off, here's some cool stuff to look at and listen to:

My new hero.

My new favourite video game...

...and its associated spin-off web series.

The best bit of gamebook news in 30 years.

Right, I'm off to watch more Twin Peaks.