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Oh, so many things to talk about!


“Where are we with Stiletto? “ I can hear you say.

Well, I can assure you that things are moving right along with Stiletto. The story is DONE, the words are down on the screen, saved (and safely backed up in two separate locations, because ever since I lost the first couple hundred words of The Rook for 24 hours, I’ve been very careful). I received the copy edits this week, and am going over them with a fine-tooth comb and a fair amount of chagrin at my own horrific ignorance. My copy editrix, Tracy Roe, is a genius, with an astounding eye for detail. It is she who gently points out that I’ve used the name ‘Louise’ a lot (I have no idea why I did that) and that rather a lot of characters have surnames beginning with the letter M (again, completely unconsciously). She has tactfully pointed out that I don’t know how to spell innoculate (still don’t, apparently) and she has laboriously de-Australianised the spelling for the American audiences (removing the u’s from colour, neighbour, honour, etc; replacing s’s with z’s for various words, and so on).

Rest assured, this is not a case of de-Britishing the language. We’re not replacing ‘bogies’ with ‘boogers’, or ‘mum’ with ‘mom’, or ‘takeaway’ with ‘to go’ (I once had a long, mutually incomprehending discussion with a cashier at a Michigan McDonalds who could not accept that when I said I wanted the food takeaway, I wanted to take it away). The book is set in the UK, but this particular version is getting published in the USA, and it seems entirely reasonable that they’d like to have things spelt their way. Spare a thought, though, for the Australian and British editors who are going to have to go through it and change it all back. And because Tracy does more (much, much more) than simply turning pyjamas into pajamas (which I never knew was a spelling), it’s not just a case of using the original text.

Anyway, I should be done with copyedits in the next week or two, and once it’s done, it gets slotted into the release schedule cycle, and as I understand it, all the English-speaking countries will be releasing it in June 2016. I have yet to tell my local bookshop about this, because last time I checked, they thought it was coming out in April, and I’m afraid they’ll refuse to sell me any more fiction if I deliver bad news.

Death List

“My wife says you’re on one of those death lists,” a colleague remarked blithely.

As it turned out, he didn’t mean a list of people to be killed, but rather one of those lists of things you should read/watch/visit/eat/drink/smell before you die. And, as it turned out, it was’s 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime, ( , which is tremendously exciting. It’s a list selected by the editors – people who spend their professional time thinking about books and reading – and it’s incredibly cool to see The Rook being named alongside so many authors and titles that I love and respect. Plus, it was very diplomatic of them not to list the books in any particular numbered order.

The TV Show

And then there is some more big news, news that broke out upon the world and went absolutely insane for a while.

The Rook is to be a television show!

Of course, the wheels have been moving on this for a while, but I resisted the urge to talk about it (very uncharacteristic of me), partially because these things do take time to reach fruition and partially because, well, it wasn’t my project to announce. Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series and producer of several films, is producing it and she is working with Lionsgate. The show will be showing on Hulu and on a British network.

I am, of course, completely over the moon about this. I think it will be extremely cool.

My own involvement is pretty small (other than lobbying strenuously to play the part of ‘guy with condor on head.’) I’ve talked with the writers, Samantha Holcroft and Ali Muriel, who are brilliant, and they have emailed me with some questions. They tend to be questions about elements of the Checquy-world to which I have never given any thought at all, and so I sit and ponder, and then get back to them.

And so the television series gestates!

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