Friday, 29 January 2010

The Final Proof?

I've been busy today.

These should be the final proofs of Mortlock. Those of you who have glimpsed it, know that each chapter of Mortlock starts with an extract from a traditional ballad. There was some confusion over certain verses as to whether permissions would have to be sought. You would think that songs sung by eighty year olds in 1903 would be out of any kind of copyright and well in the public domain. Well, think again.

 So I went back to the drawing board, Cecil Sharp House and some very old ballad collections and actually, I found some brilliant new verses that fitted the themes of each chapter brilliantly. I've been checking them on this set of proofs today.

Uncorrected proofs went out to a whole variety of folks this week, some in spooky black packaging. Things are on the move, plans being drawn up and yet there are still two months before actual publication day! Waiting. What authors do... badly I would imagine if they're anything like me!

Good interviews here and here!

My first review here!

I'm slipping into a whole new world...

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Cowardy Custard!

I confess. For a "man with a dark imagination," I'm a total coward. The picture above amply illustrates my default position for watching anything that may be slightly scary. I think I've discussed this before but I'm the kind of chap who totally buys into anything I'm watching. Maybe it's because I have got a 'dark imagination.'

So to be honest, I tend to avoid anything that I think might frighten me!

Imagine my joy, then, when after a few beers and a curry, my old friend, who has popped up for a brief visit, brings out a DVD saying, "I've got this vampire film, it's an 18 but you'll be okay..."

It was called "30 Days of Night." It came out in 2007 so I suppose most vampire fans will have seen it but it was new to me and I thought it was a great premise. The small town of Barrow, deep in the Artctic Circle experiences 30 days of night every winter. What a great place for a band of vampires to go on holiday! "Why didn't we think of this before?" says one vampire in its strange, gutteral language. Gory and nerve-wracking for me to watch, it did make me ponder.

I like my vampires ugly and brutal. I'm no great fan of air-brushed, 'pretty-boy' bloodsuckers. So The "30 Days of Night" vampires were right up my street:

However, on reflection I also quite like a little complexity. In my next book The Demon Collector, I wanted the demons to be more than just ugly monsters. Demons must be so much more than that. I wanted them to be quite complex, weak even, more afflicted by neuroses than their human victims. And I wondered if the vampires in this film could have been just a little more than predatory killing machines. I expect that in the comic books that inspired the film, they are. Maybe I'll have to go back to the source and read them. Although my friend told me they gave him nightmares...

How do you like yours?