And we have a winner!

There were some great entries into the competition I put up last week. Matt's suggestion of "A Pig" made me laugh the most, though Chris's suggestion of Scout Sergeant Cyrus from Dawn of War II certainly made me chuckle (I played way too much of that game). I loved Boltorange's idea of wanting to see Kharn take on the Skulltaker - I think there is definitely a story in that.

But there can be only one, and while I've deliberated back and forth, and loved all the entries... The winner is Gil Fuhr, with this suggestion:

"Lucius the Eternal! Not only because they make up 40K’s dichotomy of violence, but because they both have such personal tales of betrayal; so much in common & so different. And there is such backstory with Fabius Bile and Angron’s Legion wide implants. Then again, Fabius Bile would be a fun fight. What would his Rod of Torment feel like to Kharn?"

kev_walker_kharn_the_betrayer lucius

Kharn vs Lucius, huh. I like it. You sir, are the winner! I'll be in contact with you shortly!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wanna win a signed copy of Chosen of Khorne?

So, my beautiful girlfriend and I are off travelling the world in 3 weeks time (and I'm planning to do lots of writing along the way) - so I am currently doing lots of cleaning, boxing up, storing, chucking out and selling stuff. Fun. While doing this, I came across a spare copy of Chosen of Khorne that I'd not given to friends or family, and thought it'd give it away to someone. Grr. Arg.

So, here's the deal. To score yourself this copy, I want you to tell me who, in a Black Library story/novel/audio/whatever,  you would most like to see Khârn fight, why, and who you reckon would be the victor. 30k, 40k - whatever. Bring on the smack-down!

I'll leave this comp open for a week, so will pick my favourite response next Monday evening, Sydney time. Make sure to leave your details so I can get in touch and find out where to send the signed audio if I choose your entry as the coolest/funniest/most generally rad.

"KILL! MAIM! BURN! KILL! MAIM! BURN!"

My new Horus Heresy short story

Dark Heart, the Horus Heresy story that I wrote for the forthcoming anthology Mark of Calth is now available to download here. dark-heart

The story is set during the Word Bearers' attack on Calth, and is designed to tie in with Dan Abnett's awesome Know No Fear. It features a certain young Word Bearer called Marduk  taking part in the attack on the Zetsun Verid Yard - and the subsequent counter-attack against the Word Bearers led by the big man in blue himself...

I've also written a short blog about writing this story for the Black Library site - check it out.

I'm on Facebook!

Hey folks, A very quick message to say I've now got a Facebook author page. Go like it. You know you want to.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anthony-Reynolds/124609001040044?ref=hl

See you there!

Oz Games Day 2012

Oz Games Day was held a few months back (geez, where did that time go?), and once again, it was an absolute cracker of a day. This year on the BL stand I was joined by my good mate Gav Thorpe (aka the Gavinthrope, the Thorpinator, the Spleen, or Captain Nosebag – take your pick), as well as the mighty Matt Farrer and the fearsome Henry Zou (he’s not actually that fearsome – he’s rather nice, really).

On the Studio stand there was Jes Goodwin, Jeremy Vetock and artist Kevin Chin.

One of the reasons I love Games Day is catching up with old mates. It was fantastic to hang out with Gav again, as well as with Jes and Jerm, who are all friends that I worked with in the UK. It was also good to meet Kevin for the first time, and to catch up with Matt and Henry, and Mal and Michael from BL. Good times.

I love Oz Games Day. The venue is awesome (just check out that picture up above - how 40K is that?). The GW staff always take care of us – thanks  guys, especially to Matt Farrer (who provided me these pics) and the big man, the one and only Craig O’Neill. And most of all, the fans – who are the ones that make the day a success – are awesome.

Chosen of Khorne was released on the day. I’m really happy with how it turned out – love Kharn’s voice – and it seems to have been pretty well received. Would love to write some more about Kharn in the future...

Writing can be a pretty lonely pastime. It’s hard sometimes to have a sense that people are actually reading your books until you go somewhere like a Games Day and are blown away by having folks coming up to you to talk about how much they enjoyed your work.

Thanks everyone who came, it was great talking to you all!

 

An update at long last. And a squid.

Yikes. Has it really been that long since my last blog update? That's a little crazy... In an effort to make up for that, here is a photo of me with a squid on my head.

So, erm, I'll try and blog a bit more often then...  And in the meantime:

What I'm reading: 

The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. Very thought provoking. I saw him speak at the Opera House some months back, talking about food, food production, factory farming (and how it's bad for us, the animals, the environment), sustainable farming methods, etc. I really want to have my own little farm now. One day!

Also doing quite a lot of re-reading of Dan Abnett's Know No Fear...

What I'm listening to: 

Xavier Rudd's Spirit Bird. Dead Can Dance's Anasastis. Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel...

As well as plenty of Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Red Fang, etc. Was listening to lots of Sun Kil Moon until I saw him in concert - wonderful musician, but geez he acted like an arse, and I can't bring myself to listen to his music for now.

Oh, and Nine Inch Nails and the soundtrack to Inception are still my go-to writing music choices.

What I'm watching: 

Not very much, which is rather nice actually. My TV viewing is pretty much restricted to watching the rugby - which of late has meant watching the Wallabies lose to the All Blacks. Sigh. Hopefully we can beat the Springboks on Sat night.

I've also been watching the latest season of True Blood - I'm about half way in to the season. Good fun.

What I'm writing: 

Something that may or may not involve Word Bearers...

Games Day

Oh, and it's Oz Games Day on Sunday in Sydney! I'll be there along with fellow authors Gav Thorpe, Matt Farrer and Henry Zou. Be sure to pop along to the Black Library stand to say g'day. Hope to see some of you there!

Games Day Oz On Saturday!

Oz Games day is on this Saturday in Sydney - click here for details. It should be a cracker of a day.

It's the first Australian Games Day in years and there is a big lineup of guests, including two of my best mates, Graham McNeil and Phil Kelly.

There will also be other Black Library authors (namely Henry 'Commando' Zou and the mighty Matt Farrer), so bring your books along to be signed! The Perry twins (figure sculptors extraordinaire) and Adam Troke (the nicest man in the world) will also be in attendance from the Design Studio.

It's also the release day for Dreadfleet, written by Phil - hopefully I'll find time to give it a try on the day, but knowing how hectic Games Days can be, that might be tricky.

If you are planning on heading along, make sure you pop by for a chat!

Top 5 albums to write to

I almost always listen to music when I write. Music is a fantastic way to block out everything else, I find - I tend to get very distracted otherwise. For me, the best albums to help me write are ones that I'm fairly familiar with (so I don't end up stopping writing to listen to them), have minimal or no lyrics (to stop the lyrics seeping into my writing, and me singing along), and are fairly atmospheric (though this changes depending on what I'm writing).

My top five albums to write to changes on a daily (if not hourly) basis, but right now, at this precise moment, I'd go with:

1. Ghosts - Nine Inch Nails

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p0IbHYMOxM&feature=related]

2. Requiem - Mozart

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRWov2pdJkE]

3.

Inception (soundtrack) - Hans Zimmer

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imamcajBEJs]

4.

Dracula (soundtrack) - Wojciech Kilar

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi80O9uKB30&feature=related]

5.

Whatever You Love, You Are - The Dirty Three

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLAlRFioyA0]

What's your favourite music to listen to (or read to)?

Twitterings

Yes, yes,  I've been very slack with blogging of late (well, of always). No promises, but I shall endeavour to rectify that in the coming weeks. I have a bunch of entries that I'd like to write up, so will get onto those just as soon as what I'm working on at the moment is delivered to my editor, who is waiting patiently for me to GET OFF MY FREAKING LAZY ARSE AND FINISH MY REWRITRES. Ahem. Oh, and I just joined the twitterverse. Find me there @_AntReynolds_

Word Bearers Omnibus, Torment, and Q+A

Hey folks, Hmmm, it's been a long time since I posted anything on my blog, huh... especially since I said a few blog entries ago that I'd finally answer all those unanswered questions that folks had sent in. Ok, now I feel bad. Consider me suitably chastened. I've been busy, m'kay?

To make up for it, here is the cover of my Word Beaerers omnibus that comes out January next year, if you have not already seen it on the Black Library site. It's been done by Clint Langley, and I'm sure you will agree that it is rad to the power of sick. Pure awesomeness.

Spiky, isn't he? I wonder if he gets stuck to chairs often? In all honesty, I couldn't be happier about the cover, I really think it is gonna look awesome on the shelf.

Right, I promised some answers, and so answers you shall get.

Lucian: Yes, Grail Knight is part of the Knights of Bretonnia Omnibus (out next month, woo!), but it is not a full blown novel. Both it and Questing Knight are novellas of around 30,000 words. In an ideal world, I would have liked to have written half a dozen extra short stories about Calard's various exploits while engaged on his quest for the grail, and turned Grail Knight into a novel, but there is only so much that you can realistically fit into an omnibus, and it is already a pretty dense book. Also, doing it that way would have probably taken another year or two, which would have been a shame. As it is, I think the novellas round things off really well, and it certainly is nice to have the whole sequence, start to finish, in the one volume.

Lloydy: Awesome, glad you liked Dark Creed! Writing the Necrons was fun, though I'd say I probably enjoyed writing about the Dark Eldar in Dark Disciple more. I can’t wait to see what - deleted by the Inquisition - does with them (you know he’s writing a Dark Eldar novel, yeah?)

Gary: Hi there, very cool to hear that my Bretonnia books made you start an army, and your first wargaming army at that! Awesome. That Army Book is one of the few of mine that are still current, written back in the day when I was in the Studio. Wow, that was quite a long time ago now!

Chilon: I wrote 80% of a Death Guard/Word Bearer short story, with the intention of it going into the Word Bearers Omnibus, but I reached a point where I realised that story was bigger and further-reaching than would fit comfortably in the omni. The repercussions from the story opened up quite a few doors, and I didn't feel it was the right place to do that in a self-contained omnibus, where those hooks would be left hanging. I felt that would be a little unsatisfactory to the readers. The story that I've just finished that will appear in the omni is much more self contained, and fits well into the framework of the omnibus story arc. It focusses on what happens to one of my favourite characters from the trilogy, and I think you'll dig it. I've put the Death Guard story idea aside for the moment, with the intension of coming back to it at some point and develop it up further - into a longer piece, most likely. Stay tuned...  Oh, and you also asked about Raven Guard. The idea I have for them is probably my favourite 40K novel idea at the moment (and has been for the last year and a half or so), but I'm not sure it is the right time for BL, what with other Raven Guard action going on (notably from Gav Thorpe). I'm sure it will be something I can come back to down the line. I've also a hankering for some Space Wolf action. Hmm, too many ideas, too little time!

Bastiaan: for a teaser as to the short story in the Word Bearers omni, see the previous answer. The story is called Torment, and it takes place after the three novels... As to you other question, I'd like to come back to the Word Bearers down the track, but it won't be for some time. No current plans are afoot for future books.

George: I saw the star fortress as a mobile space station, a one of a kind leftover remnant from an earlier era.

Martine Rice: Thanks for the compliments, I'm pleased you liked the books. No plans to write more Dark Eldar at the moment, though I'd definitely be keen to. And as I said above, I'm looking forward to seeing what - Deleted by the Inquisition - does with them. It’s been too long since he’s had a hand in anything 40K related. As to killing Abaddon, I don't think that's gonna happen! He's too big a player in the 40K universe to be killed in a book. Plus, I believe Aaron has some plans for a Black Legion book/series - I'm sure he'll show the Warmaster as the terrifying (and competent) badass that he really is. The man can write - I was very impressed by the First Heretic.

Albert: Thanks for the kind words, and I hope that the Bretonnian omnibus, and the completion of the saga, fulfils your expectations. Keep up with the writing, too!

Till next time, guys...

Writers and self promotion

Marc Gascoigne (he of Angry Robot fame, ex-GM of Black Library, and author of some very old Fighting Fantasy books that I still have on my bookshelf) recently posted a link on his facebook page about writers, self promotion and what to expect from publishers' marketing departments. If you are a writer (or in any professional creative field, really, or trying to break into becoming professional) it's a very interesting read. It also put a sad-clown expression on my face thinking about how lax I've been with my blogging! Here's the link if you fancy a read:

http://publishingperspectives.com/2010/11/should-i-tweet/

Knights of Bretonnia

I'm loving this cover by Clint Langley. Calard looks totally bad-ass. This omnibus version comes out next year, with a good amount of material that does not appear anywhere else.

I'll follow this post up shortly with another answering all the questions and messages in the previous post, which I've been sorely neglecting - many apologies! I've been incredibly shite with updating this blog (eight months!?!), and it is high time that I put up a few updates...

Grail Knight, reviews and Dark Creed

Just a quick one today. I'm still recovering from a flu that's been hanging around for too long (see previous post), which has seen my work grind to a standstill - its on these days/weeks that not getting sick pay really hurts! Anyway, things are getting back on track, and I'm just about to get cracking on Grail Knight. More info on that soon. Some of these are old news really, but I've just seen a few reviews for Dark Creed.

http://www.flamesrising.com/dark-creed-review/

http://www.graemesfantasybookreview.com/2009/12/dark-creed-anthony-reynolds-black.html

http://scifiguysbookreview.blogspot.com/2010/02/dark-creed-book-review.html

It's pleasing to see that people seem to be liking it. I struggled writing this one, and must admit I hit a point halfway through when I wondered if it would get finished at all. It was at about the half way mark when I managed to cleverly lose over 20,000 words with a cut-and-paste/save error of my own devising,which was a bit of a body blow. It certainly reinforced the notion of frequent saves and backups! After that, it took a long time to regain a good flow of work, and I re-wrote, re-worked and re-edited myself silly, not being completely happy with what I was producing. In all, I reckon I wrote about 200,000 words for this book, which considering the final product is about 100,000 words, means I wrote twice as much as I should have, really. Definitely some learning points to be had! Being that it was such a bugger to get written, its hugely gratifying to hear people are digging it.

Ant

Pappa Nurgle

This week I've mostly been sweating, staggering around in a fevered daze and coughing up delightfully disgusting things of various green/yellow shades. Nice. I blame this fellow.

Ironic really, given some of ideas I've been talking about with my editor at Black Library, Nick Kyme. I guess Pappa Nurgle approves and has decided to show me his favour with some special attention. Aint I the lucky one.

Dr. Strange and Death.

Neil Gaiman (writing) and Guillermo del Toro (directing) team up to bring comic book sorcerer supremo Dr. Strange to the big screen? Now that's a movie I'd like to see... Ok, so nothing is confirmed, but still, I hope there is some truth to the rumour, and to the whispers that Johnny Depp might play Strange...

This one, however, looks a bit more definite. Gaiman (writing, directing) and del Toro (producing) teaming up to bring Death (of Sandman fame) to the big screen, possibly under the title Death and Me, or possible Death's Day.

Could be interesting...

For honour!

Just a quick one. I'm currently putting the final touches to Questing Knight, the follow up to Knight Errant and Knight of the Realm, and should be sending the manuscript across to the good folks at Black Library later on tonight. Phew! It took a little while to get my writing mojo firing, but I managed to build up a good head of steam as the story progressed. Lots of gribbly nastiness - it does take place in cursed Mousillon, after all.

Currently reading: Courage and Honour, by top mate Graham McNeill, which I'm enjoying thoroughly. Good to see Uriel back with the Chapter and kicking Xenos arse with aplomb. Rah. I recently re-read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, which I love love love, and wish I'd written. I've also been reading a little Fritz Leiber (starting from the beginning of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories), but it's not holding my attention, unfortunately.

Currently watching: Movie-wise, I loved Avatar, and going back a month or two, snagged free premiere tickets to Where the Wild Things Are which I thought was brilliant. Looking forward to seeing them both again. On the small screen, I got a heap of DVDs for christmas, which I've been working through, including Inglourious Basterds (needs a second viewing before I pass judgement) and the latest Battlestar Galactica instalment, The Plan (disappointing).  I've also recently re-watched The Blue Planet, which is, for me, hands down the best doco ever. Oh, and I can't bloody wait for The Pacific to start!

Currently listening to: Nothing much new, really. Nine Inch Nails and Metallica are currently on repeat while I'm writing. In particular, I'm listening to The Fragile quite a bit, as well as Ghosts (all 36 tracks worth), and Death Magnetic. In lighter moments, listening to lots of aussie folk/blues/roots stuff like the Audreys, the Waifs, Newton Faulkner, Lisa Mitchell, Xavier Rudd, Lior, etc. All good stuff.

Till next time.

Answers, responses and a thank you... oh, and Happy New Year!

First up, hope you all had a great Christmas and have exciting plans for New Year's. It's New Year's Eve here in Sydney, and tonight should be a lot of fun, with lots of drinks, good company and a top view of the fireworks over one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. Top Stuff. Thanks to all of you who made it out to my book signings in Brisbane and Sydney. Both days were awesome, with heaps of my books and Henry's books sold and signed, and it was a pleasure as always to meet the folks that enjoy them. Lots of advance copies of Dark Creed got picked up, which was great to see. It was fantastic to meet so many new faces, as well as seeing some of the 'regulars' (hi Morph!). Kudos to the Games Workshop guys for putting on a great couple of events, and to Mal from BL who was on good form.

Right, I thought I'd end the year by responding to some questions/comments I've received in the last few months but have yet to answer. That will allow me to start 2010 with a clean slate, and resolutions to blog more often! Apologies if I missed your question - give me a nudge to remind me if I did.

Xhalax:

Thanks for the good wishes re the signings, they went well! Sorry you missed out on an early copy of Dark Creed, but it must be available in the UK any day now, so hope you like it when you get it! Several characters do indeed become bloody smears, not sure if it is the ones you want though... Yep, I always make sure I read  dedications too, BTW. Oh, and yeah, I'd love to get back over the UK. I miss all my mates over there heaps, and it would be great to do some signings. No plans at the moment  however.

Mrki:

The three Word Bearer books are a self-contained trilogy, though as I said previously I do intend to write a couple of short stories to fill in a few gaps. There are stirrings as the end of Dark Creed that open up some interesting possibilities for future Word Bearers action, but for now, I'm going to take a break from them. I'm definitely keen to come back to them at some point, but exactly when that is, I'm not sure.

Bastiaan:

Hi! Five Word Bearers Hosts, and five Dark Apostles, yessir! But yes, the White Consuls are not facing them alone - in fact, they have a rather daunting list of allies eager to come to their aid as soon as the Word Bearer invasion is realised. As well as substantial Imperial Guard forces and Imperial Navy fleets, the White Consuls are part of the Adeptus Praeses, a coalition of twenty Space Marine chapters that guard the Eye of Terror. That is some pretty heavy-duty reinforcements... Sabtec and Khalaxis definitely have their roles to play, and some of the bigger players are in the mix too (even if their roles are 'unseen').

Andy Aitch:

Hey mate! Hope all is going well with you and your writing!

Jessie Badilo:

The Warmonger is one of my favourites in the series, and he plays a bigger part in Dark Creed than he did in Dark Disciple (but then you already know, that having read it in three days! Glad you liked it, thanks heaps for the high praise!) I always wanted the Warmonger to play a bigger part in Dark Disciple, but a giant death-dealing mechanical monster with Alzheimer's is not exactly the ideal companion on an under-the-radar stealth mission...

Martin Rice:

Oh yes, lots of conniving between the lead characters in Dark Creed. As to how damaged a Necron lord would get travelling through the warp - who says they travel through the warp at all? (cue spooky music)

Bob Beyer:

Greetings from Australia to Denmark! Skol!

Morph:

Great seeing you again, thanks for popping in. Glad that you enjoyed Dark Creed!

Uncle Le:

I suspect interweb chinese whispers at play... I said that I was writing a heresy book called something like 'The Fall of Lorgar'?? Errr, that is news to me. Possibly this is a mix up with the Heresy short story I wrote for Tales of Heresy? Or perhaps there was an assumption that I would write a Word Bearer heresy book, since I've been writing them in 40K. Who knows.To set the record straight, there are currently no plans involving me writing a Heresy title, nor has there been in the past. Regarding Aaron's book, The First Heretic, I know nothing more about it than anyone else, I'm afraid, so I cannot shed any light there. Glad you've enjoyed the Word Bearers books!

Right, I better get my arse back to work writing the follow-up to Knight of the Realm, which is progressing well but a bit slower than I'd like!

Cheers all, and speak to you in 2010!

Ant

Book signings this week!

Hi folks, Just a quick note to let you know of a couple of book signings this week.

On Thursday (the 3rd of December) I will be in Brisbane, signing books at Games Workshop Chermside from 4pm to 7pm, along with Mal Green from Black Library and fellow author Henry Zou (author of Emperor's Mercy, and the forthcoming title Flesh and Iron).

On Saturday (the 5th of December), Henry, Mal and I will be signing at Games Workshop's Sydney City bunker, between 1pm and 4pm.

Both events should be good fun, so pop by if you are in the neighbourhood and say g'day. Also, for fans of the Word Bearers books, I am told that there might be a few advance copies of Dark Creed available for purchase...

Cheers, and hope to see you there!

Ant