“There’s no true science when it comes to writing good fantasy or fantasy that will get you a book deal. Indeed, science is all but the opposite of fantasy and magic, isn’t it? Believe in the magic.” – A J Dalton
So, I’ve just given a new interview about ‘metaphysical fantasy’ and current trends in fantasy and scifi. Also some tips on writing. It was a tough interview!
I’m submitting Empire of the Saviours and a thesis on the sub-genres of fantasy to Huddersfield University, init. May as well. I’ll be a Doctor of Metaphysical Fantasy, or some such! The worst part was the References/Bibliography section – more than five pages. So flaming fiddly and finickety.
If you don’t know anything about the Warcraft games or second-world fantasy, don’t bother seeing this cos you’re just too far behind the curve and should be ashamed of yourself. This movie has had extremely mixed reviews, but for this fanboy (oh, and international fantasy author) Warcraft is spot on. Each protagonist has a well constructed moral dilemma, to the extent that the movie successfully makes you root for orcs and humans alike. The orcs are ill mannered (and overly violent) but they have an honour code of sorts, whereas the humans are a bit holier-than-thou while still being admirable. The orcs almost steal the show actually (especially the evil mage and the foxy halfbreed – can’t believe I’m in love with an orc-maid). The plot is strong (based on Warcraft 1 and 2 games) and the special fx (just about avoiding accusations of being derivative) make Lord of the Rings look duff. Basically, the homeworld of the orcs is dying, and so a scouting force comes thru a portal to the human realm to start making it a home for the horde. Unfortunately, the orcs are enabled by some life-draining magicks, so they have to capture ‘sacrifices’ in order to survive. It’s conundrum enough for the average orc to think ‘Oh bugger it, let’s cause some random mayhem – at least that way we’ll go out enjoying ourselves!’ It’s a solid 7.5 out of 10 from one A J Dalton. Put that in your pipe.
The University of Huddersfield (damn their smiling and encouraging ways) have embroiled me in a PhD (by publication) in Creative Writing. ‘It’ll be quick and easy,’ they said. ‘Just give us one of your published novels and a 10,000-word description of why it might be any good, and the PhD is yours. Besides, without a PhD, you’ll never get a permanent position teaching Creative Writing, no matter how many books you’ve sold, so suck it up, Dalton. Be a man! Put your academic writing where your almighty gob is!’
So this morning, having done every household chore available to delay the inevitable, I sat down and wrote the word ‘The’. Argggh! I have begun the introduction! I feel ill. Might need to go and have a lie down. Or maybe go to the gym. Yes, don’t want those moobs getting too big.
Here’s another irony. I’m submitting Empire of the Saviours for the PhD, but I don’t remember the book very well, so I’m going to have to read the damn thing. Time to find out just how much my readers suffered. That’ll teach me, and it’s no less than I deserve. Sigh.
Okay, so we were in the pub last night, to celebrate the first day back at work, but look what we did:
I’ll be signing books from 11 am on Saturday 29 Nov for Waterstones Manchester Arndale. The whole trilogy too: Empire of the Saviours, Gateway of the Saviours and Tithe of the Saviours. Ideal xmas presents, doorstops… or even books to read on a dark winter evening. Hurrah! Hope to see you there.
In other news, progress on ‘The Book of Orm’ continues apace for Kristell Ink. It’s a fantasy collection – which should be published in April 2015. And Ollie the artist is doing the book cover. He’s gonna do a balrog! You heard it here first.
Waterstones Doncaster have now confirmed a book signing event for Saturday 13 Dec 2014. Think they were scared the Empire would sulk if they didn’t. That, combined with the ticketed event I’m doing with Tom Lloyd in Notts on 13 Oct, might almost be termed a book tour… ok, it isn’t really, but we can all dream, eh.
Waterstones Leeds have confirmed they have the stock of Empire of the Saviours, Gateway, and Tithe for this Saturday (16 Aug, 11am), so the signing is a go! Over a hundred books – I’ll need to use some serious jedi powers to shift that lot (especially as the Premiership is starting). Maybe a prayer or two to arcane powers. Hmm. Ritual sacrifice of something? A cucumber sandwich? Do arcane powers like them? Where’s the rule book on such stuff?
Hurrah! Now confirmed I’ll be doing a book signing event for Waterstones Doncaster on 23 Aug 2014, from 11am. Never been to Doncaster before. Famous for horse racing, isn’t it?
Children of the Universe is the name of our entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 (from Copenhagen, 10 May)! Our singer is Molly Smotten-Downes. Who’s she? She’s a very decent singer with a great look – especially the pvc trousers. And the drummer in her band is ubercool to boot.
Are we gonna win? Yes. The lyrics are very ‘right on’ politically. The song is a bit of a ‘protest’ song, with a ‘power to the people’ refrain. Ukraine will like it. And it’s disco-rock, so it’ll get the scando vote. Could be a clean sweep for us. Get in! Wanna see the video? Here: