The call of the golden ale

Greetings All,

I’m currently sat in my local, The Duke of York, it’s 11:45 and England have already lost a wicket, but I am not downhearted. Nay, I am full of hope and optimism that neither the vagaries of the weather or the aggressive and talented South African side will halt England’s continued dominance of world cricket. I might be proved wrong, but it won’t be today. So, as I’m perched on a stool by the bar whilst mien host, Ian Warner, busies himself with preparing the bar for opening, I thought I’d check in with a blog post.

Writing-wise things are a bit slow. Partly because I have been away in Jordan (military tourism) for the last couple of weeks. Partly because Siobhan is reading through the new book and I’m making corrections as and when she has feedback. I will be sending it off to a couple of other folks to have a look at the finished article just as soon as she has finished.

In the interim, I have been working on improving my social media exposure. My wonderful friends Imre and Rachel Jele have been at me to do so for a while. It makes sense considering what I do, I just never really spent much time on it. I was always afraid to commit large chunks of my life to the endeavour. That said, I’m making progress. I’m focussing on Twitter at the moment and have been searching for like-minded individuals/locations to connect with. I wanted to mention a few awesome sites that I have found – Fantasy Faction and That Fantasy Blog. Fantasy Faction  has become quite the phenomenon and thanks to the ever-growing user-base they can now run real-life events. Check out the powerhouse trio of writers they got coming in – they are pants-wettingly good! That Fantasy Blog – is a cool reviews, views and writing site created by a couple of mates – great stuff guys.

I also want to mention Fantasy Book review – they kindly reviewed Redoubt back in 2008 and didn’t slate it! A very good resource – well laid out with great reviews on any book you care to mention. Then there’s the David Gemmell Awards – a special place in my heart for them – and an awesome bunch of people who run and support it. Then of course there’s that old favourite – SFX Magazine –  the best resource for all things geek. Siobhan and I always get excited when it comes out in Smiths and we can settle down to saturday brunch to leaf through its pages to spot if Siobhan’s latest ‘Outraged of Saffron Walden’ letter has been printed.

I’m also having really hard time with reading at the moment – still stuck on A Dance of Dragons, I think that I just OD’d on Westeros and should have left it for a bit. Also reading Un Lun Dun, given to me by a scientist out on the Jebel. Normally I find China Miéville hard going but this younger reader’s book is very good, there’s some fantastic imagery and ideas – I say it’s ripe for a tv series. I’m also looking at getting Destiny Quest, a Fighting Fantasy –style game book, first self-published by Michael J Ward and now picked up by Gollancz (nice work fella!). I also found there are some newer FF books that I never knew about – I might be regressing, wanting to play them but I had so much fun as a kid – there was a real magic to them that computer games just don’t replicate for me ( but loving Diablo 3 at the minute despite all the nay sayers). I’ll see if the magic is still there.

Also, watched Exit Humanity the other day, a Canadian movie set in post-civil war US. It went straight to DVD over here I think but  is a very different and well-crafted movie for the most part – there are a couple of mad editing moments where it all gets a tad jumpy and confusing but there is real soul there and I really love the animation sequences – and Brian Cox (the actor – not the physicist – that would be weird) narrates!

Anyway, England are now 70-1 and I have a bacon butty coming. And I just spotted the guest ale. Why do I suddenly feel so thirsty?