Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Skulk: THE COVER REVEAL

Here it comes.

Skulking out of the shadows of the Strange Chemistry design department.

Are you ready for this?

Are you sure?

Drumroll please...


TADAH.

Isn't it gorgeous?

Coming to a bookshop near you on the 1st (US) and 3rd (UK) of October, available for pre-order now from all good book peddlers including this one.

A million thanks to Strange Chemistry, and ARGH! Oxford/Stephen Meyer Rassow.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Things and Stuff #9

Things and Stuff is a grab-bag of things that've been on my mind this week. In this edition: Final Fantasy, a blog tease, first draft potential, Elle Me Dit, and weather.

Thing 1: Final Fantasy 7
I first played Final Fantasy 7 when I was about fourteen, on the Playstation 1, and it blew my mind a little bit. Nerds everywhere will understand how exciting it was when I discovered I could get it to download to my laptop for a fiver. In the last couple of weeks, I've played through enough of it that I've reached the point where I normally stop, and now I actually don't know exactly what's about to happen any more. 


Except that I will always feel strangely drawn to this collection of 90s polygons forming an evil, long-haired, apparently fire-proof shirt-avoider inexplicably armed with a katana the size of Wales. Be still my shameless fangirl heart (C) Square Enix
This tends to happen to me, with games of all sorts. I play through once and attempt to finish it (often don't, though I did complete FF7 and get the Knights of the Round materia and damn right I felt smug about it), and then go right back to the beginning and play it again until it gets hard, or I get bored, or the disc breaks. And then go back and start again. And again. I've played the beginning of Final Fantasy 7 so many times... and then suddenly, something happened in the plot that I didn't expect, and I realised I don't remember where this is going. I remember the big plot points: amnesia, cloning, major character death, meteors, a big fight in a cave, and something about spending 120 hours catching and breeding giant chickens. 


IT WAS ALL WORTH IT (C) Square Enix

I thought that meant I remembered the plot, but it doesn't, not really. It's making the game almost like new, and while there's no regaining the sense of shock from your first experience of that major character death, I'm really happy that fifteen years on there are still parts of this game that made me sit back and say WAIT, WHAT?

Thing 2: that blog about Beren and Luthien
This Tuesday! I promise! As a teaser, here is an illustration from The Silmarillion that accurately depicts part of the romantic tale of the great love between Luthien the elf-maiden and Beren the mortal man.


Yes, really (C) Ted Nasmith

Thing 3: a partial first draft with some potential
I decided, on a whim, to reread the book I started to write for Nanowrimo last year. It needs a lot of work. The romance is a bit forced, the historical setting is there but not coming across like I want it to, the action is patchy. But there are things that made me gleefully happy in there too, and things that made me cackle evilly, which is a very good sign. I think there's actually a slightly brilliant book out there in the ether, waiting patiently for me to be able to do the hard work it's going to need. 

Thing 4: this song

It's only a silly pop song. It's not new. It's not hugely inventive. It's not even in English. I actually didn't know what the words meant until I looked it up just now to make sure it wasn't horribly offensive or anything. (Here are the lyrics for the curious. I like them! Which is nice. But it could've been about anything...But it is totally infectious. I think part of it might be because it is in French and it sounds awesome? But honestly, I don't know what it is about this song. All I know is that I cannot stop playing it. 

Thing 5: it's too hot
It is. It's too hot. I'm too hot. Oh god, can you imagine playing tennis - let alone important, life-changing, £1.6 million pound winning tennis - in this weather? I'm off to stick my head in the freezer. 

The State of the Rosie

What am I writing? A brand new thing! A gay Victorian gothic YA thing that nobody is waiting for except my agent and my friends, which is e...