As you may have guessed from the complete lack of activity here on Mechanical Hamster, I have been very busy of late. I’d like to say it was because I’ve been blazing away at the keyboard but in reality most of my time has been taken up with getting out and about visiting folks, or getting ready to go out and about, or recovering from going out and about. Throw in some family visits and such, and this week is pretty much the first full week I’ve had to get my head down and work for quite some time.
All of which means that the Horus Heresy novella I’ve been working on, and failed to finish before I went to Australia, has taken nearer two months to finish rather than the 2 or 3 weeks that I had hoped. This was, for the main part, due to a somewhat drastic but necessary deletion of 10,000 words at the 15k mark. I realised the story I was writing really wasn’t going where it needed to and that a lot of nothing much at all was happening.
Usually I tell folks who want to write that they should just get down a first draft no matter what, but it became clearer as my pace slowed to a crawl that something wasn’t working and there was no point in carrying on in the direction I was going. Having to re-evaluate my plans and approach whilst trying to actually write the latest exploits of Corax and his Raven Guard hasn’t been easy with the stop-start time I’ve had but I had a good couple of days last week and another couple of good days this week should see it finished.
But enough of my passing woes, here’s what I’ve been up to.
This was my first Fantasycon and it was nice to have a little trip down to Brighton. As a newbie I probably should have thrown myself into things a bit more to make the most of the event, but even so it was nice to meet up with some of my fellow Angry Robot authors as well as some familiar faces from other events, and take part in a panel on tie-in writing. It was also nice that some folks came along for my reading from The Crown of the Usurper, even though it was the very last thing on the itinerary for the event, before the BFS Awards ceremony and banquet. A nice little Q&A followed and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves.
Those who read here often will know that a whole gaggle of Black Library authors descended on Chestermere, Alberta for the Black Library Expo. This was a great event and a fantastic trip all round. A HUGE thanks and hugs go to Gemma for getting everything organised, and along with all of the volunteers and the Chestermere Library board for making us feel so welcome and looking after us so tremendously. I think we are unanimous that this is one of the best events we’ve ever attended.
It was cool to see lots of fans that would otherwise not be able to meet us, and the panels and signings were lively and entertaining. I was also pleased to see some original boks from back in the day, as well as some old but gold Whirte dwarfs (cheers, Dave!) Not only that, we had a wonderful time in Calgary, Chestermere and Banff and I would recommend it to anybody. Hopefully there will be another BL Expo coming along, and it’s certainly worth a few hours on a plane if you’re in North America – it may not be local but it’s certainly closer than the UK!
By complete coincidence, one of the highlights of the visit was an exhibition at the Glenbow museum in Calgary entitled Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination. Some very idea-provoking images, and I was particularly impressed by the sculptures of Patricia Piccinini.
To finish up, we ventured into the World’s Edge Mountains (sometimes referred to as Banff National Park, but we know better). The scenery can be rightly described as epic. It certainly helped me get into the mood for one of my forthcoming projects – a new Time of Legends title featuring the Dwarfs of the Dragonback Mountains. Just look at these pictures and insert a few huge gates, ramparts and ancestor faces and you’ll be in the same place I was.
And a final note. For those of you that like interesting weapons, here’s some Congolese throwing knives I spotted.
Now where was I? Oh yes, Corax and some devilish Mechanicum engines…