Every time I finish writing a novel I have a day or two of clarity. I become aware of real things, like other people, the news, the world etc. It makes me feel a bit like a hedgehog, gummy eyed and confused, emerging from a pile of leaves. I always find it a bit disorientating, to be honest. I’m just wrapping up my eighteenth novel. My editor is checking through the second draft to see if there are any final tweaks we can make. I’m sure it’s been said before but editors really are the unsung heroes of novels (mine, at least). My editor this time round was Kate Hamer at the Black Library and she’s made so many great suggestions. Despite being a massive introvert, I think the collaborative part of novel writing is the part I enjoy most.
Since Soulslayer was released (to some really lovely reviews) I’ve written two more novels, both for Games Workshop, but neither are scheduled for release until 2023 so it will be a long wait until I can see what people think of them. I’ve also had covid (natch) and turned fifty. I celebrated my half century in the same way I spend most of my birthdays – looking confused near a bookshop.
This weekend sees the release of a Warhammer Crime anthology called The Vorbis Conspiracy. I contributed a story featuring my assassin character, Orthoptera (he’s appeared in some of the previous crime anthologies) and this was an unusual project for me. Rather than writing in isolation, the authors based their stories around a central event that threads through the whole book. As a result, it’s somewhere between an anthology and a novel, with characters from different stories interacting and the plots all working to form a central narrative. It was great fun to do and Orthoptera’s a really interesting character to write so I’m hoping to come back to him in the future.
This year has also seen the rerelease of the first book I ever wrote. The Witch Hunter’s Handbook was written nearly twenty years ago and I had no idea it was going to be republished in this fancy new format. It was a blink-and-you’ve-missed-it print on demand product, but hopefully a few more people now know what to do if they discover a plague daemon in their garden shed. (We’ve all been there.)
Ok, that’s all for now. I’m just going to crawl back under these leaves and get back to work. See you on the other side.