Thursday, 11 November 2010

Now with bonus story!

In between all these events, I have been writing of course - writing and trying to get the next books ready for the printers. I have been doing the final edit on the World Book Day flipbook with the wonderful Philip Reeve that will come out next March. My half is called Teacher's Tales of Terror and Philip's is Traction City. That's worth a £1 of anyone's money, surely?

I have also been doing the edits on the additional stories that will appear at the ends of the rejacketed Tales of Terror series, which also comes out in March. The books will have new covers and no illustrations. The bonus story at the end takes the narrative of each existing book a stage further and links it to the next book along.

I have been working on Mister Creecher of course - and that comes back for the next stage of edits very soon. Mister Creecher breaks with the October publishing schedule I've been on for the last few years and is published in June 2011. More about that later. . .

Added to all that I have been writing a short novel about Roman Britain called Blood Oath. It is a return to historical fiction for me and it has been fun. The book is for Pearson and is aimed at boys who are aged fifteen but have a reading age much, much lower. They want a book that is for their actual age, but with a language level that is not going to put them off.

The novel is set in 180 AD and is about a boy from a village north of Hadrian's Wall who swears vengeance on his father's killer. The boy ends up joining the Roman army. The chieftain who killed his father attacks the fort he serves in, and the boy is part of a small force of men sent north to kill him.

I'll tell you a bit more about that when we are little further down the line. . .


  1. Hi Will the new stories in the rejacketed books be available anywhere online for people who already ready have the books?
    I'm guessing the books are being rejacketed for a more adult audience? Do adults not want to read books with illustrations? Personally I would like to see more books illustrated as long as the quality is good and I'm ancient. People will be missing a real treat if David Roberts pictures have gone.

  2. Hi - I think the issue of illustration is fascinating one. I think David's illustrations are great, but they do lend a very particular feel to the books - and that might not be to everyone's taste.

    I agree with you entirely that there is no reason why an adult book can't have illustrations, but as a writer I want people to read my work without any preconceptions. David's books have - I'm sure - brought people to my books who might not have picked them up otherwise. Equally, I'm sure that with a more conventional cover, there are other people (not necessarily adults) that will come to them who might have been put off before.

    Interesting a sales rep said to me recently that he though the new covers were MORE child friendly than the existing ones because those covers were perceived as quirky in an adult way. I'm not sure how true that is - but it is mainly adults who talk about the illustrations, not children.

  3. Sorry - I realised I didn't address the issue of the extra stories being available online. I am not aware of any such plan. I hope the extra stories don't seem like simply a cynical ploy to get people to buy the books twice. It was simply that we had the opportunity to do something extra when the books went to reprint. I was given the option of coming up with something - it seemed appealing to return to those characters. And it was. But it is an interesting idea and maybe we can do something online.

  4. Hi again, thanks for answering my questions. I will certainly check out the new versions when they are published.

  5. My pleasure. Good to hear from you.