Upcoming Events

Just a quick note about upcoming events.

First of all, I will be at the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature tomorrow with fellow Chainsaw Gang authors, Sarwat Chadda, Stephen Deas, William Hussey and Alexander Gordon Smith. We’ll be talking to students about our books at the Wyvern Theatre (http://www.swindonyfl.co.uk/) and signing them afterwards.

Some Friday this month (not sure of the exact date yet) there’ll be an episode aired of The Moore Show (channel 201 on Sky and 403 on freesat) where I’ll be one of the guests talking about my books and whatnot. Will try to remember to stick the date up here when I get it.

8th December – Local Author Fiction evening at Waterstones in West Quay. I went to this last year and it was a great Christmasy event where people could have a mince pie AND get their books signed. Double win.

And, for next year, I’ve now arranged to go to both the SFX Weekender and Eastercon.

Busy, busy, busy.

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Upcoming Events

Eeks, October was a crazy busy month for me – hence the lack of blogging. This was partly due to the launch party we had for Lex Trent. I love launch parties (in fact I love any kind of party), and the ones I had for Ninth Circle and Jasmyn just flashed by too damn fast. So, this time, we decided to make a weekend of it with a murder mystery at Stratford with some of my favourite people from the book world.

And before anyone can make any shrill accusations of cronyism or nepotism or whatever kind of favouritism this might be considered to be – I must point out that, of the three reviewers who attended, only one of them (Amanda Rutter from Floor to Ceiling Books) had actually given me a good review. And Amanda is my favourite because she stays up drinking with me until 5am, not because of the review (although that certainly doesn’t hurt – I like a person who has good taste in literature.) Amanda’s write-up of the event, complete with a small selection of the less obviously drunken photos, is here: http://floor-to-ceiling-books.blogspot.com/2010/10/its-murder.html

So October was a bit mad, and it looks like the rest of the year is going to be pretty much the same.

First up – there’s the Richmond Literary Festival where I will be holding a Fantasy Adventure workshop on 13th November for kids from 10 years up (older kids and teenagers are also very welcome – the workshop will suit both). Please note there will also be chocolate and prizes because . . . well, I really like chocolate and prizes.  Here is the facebook event link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=162168253815519&index=1 Here is the link for the Richmond Festival: http://www.richmond.gov.uk/literature_festival And here is the Chainsaw Gang flyer advertising me and my fellow Chainsaw Gangsters, who are also doing workshops over the festival: 

I have no idea why they’ve used the book covers to advertise Gordon, Sarwat and Alex’s workshops whilst using my face to advertise mine. Either they really dislike my book cover, or they really like my face.  Anyway, moving on . . .

Secondly, I will be attending a Local Author Evening at Waterstones in West Quay on the 18th November from 5.30-7.30pm. I’m not sure of the exact format of the evening yet but it will be a multi-author event to coincide with the turning on of the Christmas lights at West Quay and, last I heard, there was talk of mince pies being present as well (win!)!

Thirdly, I will be doing a panel event for teens at Redbridge Book Festival on the 11th December. I believe the other panellists will be fellow Chainsaw Gangsters Sarwat Chadda, Alexander Gordon Smith, Sarah Pinborough and Sam Enthoven. That’s all I know at present so will try to remember to confirm details of those last two events once I have more information.

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Crawlers

As part of our ongoing plan to Take Over the World, I have recently read fellow Chainsaw Sam Enthoven’s book Crawlers:

The cover, I believe, tells you what you most of what you need to know about the book – there’s a dreadful, spidery thing attached to his neck! Arghh! Nightmare-inducement commenced! Crawlers is the story of four boys and four girls who find themselves trapped in the Barbican Theatre when a horde of these horrible, squidgy, slimy Crawlers (and Mr Enthoven is immensely skilled at describing, in exquisite detail, just how nasty these things are) descend upon the building. Once attached to the back of the neck of the people there, they are able to control them and make them do their bidding zombie-style. Thus a kindly teacher trying to help the protaganists one minute might be trying to bash their heads in the next. And the real killer of it is that the Crawlers don’t have to attach themselves to a person’s neck. Meaning that anyone in the theatre, no matter how normal they might appear, might have a Crawler on them somewhere – which makes for a lot of mounting paranioa within the group.

The action is all confined to a theatre, which is very well-utilised as a creepy Doom-esque setting – disconcertingly quiet and deserted when it shouldn’t be. This also contributes to the increasingly claustophobic atmosphere, especially as the paranoia and terror mounts. In parts it’s almost a little bit reminiscent of a classic Twilight Zone episode: ‘ Four boys and four girls are on a trip to the theatre. Little do they know that they will never see the play. They’re about to be plunged into a nightmare. Beneath the theatre lies a secret. And now she has been released…’ There’s also a good dash of classic horror films, video games and old-school Goosebumps in the mix as well. This is a very visual book that feels more like a film – in an enjoyably, toe-curling horrible, way. If you like your horror creepy, freaky, fast-paced and a little bit gross, then Crawlers is definitely the book for you.

This is Sam, looking rather sinister:

 

And here’s his take on the Chainsaw questions:

1. What’s your favourite book?

No: impossible. The effort of narrowing it down to one would make blood
hose out of my eyeballs. But I’ve listed my favourite five hundred at
www.librarything.com/profile/othersam if that’s any help.

2. What’s your favourite monster?

The Thing, from John Carpenter’s The Thing. Everything after the husky’s
muzzle peels like a banana: now. /that/’s a monster.

3. Who’s your favourite bad-ass monster slayer?

Monkey’s been kicking &rse in China since the sixteenth century and he
shows no signs of stopping now. Have you played Enslaved: Odyssey to the
West? That transplants him and his story to a post-apocalyptic future
USA. Monkey fits right in, smacking robots instead of demons, just as if
he’s lived there all his life.

4. If you could make a pact with the Devil, what would you want in exchange for your immortal soul?

The original Sam Enthoven, the fool, swapped his paltry soul for mine
long ago. We wrote a story about it, you can read if you like, here:
www.theblacktattoo.com/thenewdeal.html

5. The Chainsaw Gang are all trapped on a desert island with no food. Who would you eat first and why?

I would eat myself: a leg first I think – mine are reasonably well
toned. I don’t like strange meat, and it doesn’t come much stranger than
The Chainsaw Gang.

Finally, if you haven’t heard about it already, we’re offering one lucky winner the chance to win a complete set of latest signed books from every single one of the Chainsaw Gang in our Blog Tour Competition. 

Here’s how it works:

To win the Chainsaw Library you need to score votes. Each vote goes into a vast hat at the end of the competition and one winning name will come out. The great thing is you can enter per blog: that’s nine chances to win! So make sure you visit each and every blog on the tour. Votes are scored as follows:

+1 if you link the blog/website to yours

+2 if you stick our Chainsaw banner up somewhere

+1 if you’re a Facebook fan/friend – here’s the link to my fan page.

+1 if you comment on this blog post

+1 if you reTweet this competition.

+1 if you follow us on Twitter – here’s a link to my twitter page 

The closing date of the competition is Friday 5th November and the competition is open to UK residents only.

Finally, the Chainsaw Gang will be out in force at the Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival tomorrow. Myself, Sam Enthoven, Jon Mayhew, Alexander Gordon Smith, Steve Feasey, Alex Milway and Sarwat Chadda will all be there so come along and say hello to us if you can. We don’t bite. Much.

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Introducing The Chainsaw Gang!

 

Welcome to the Chainsaw Gang! We are a select group of UK-based YA writers, writing about a variety of different things but – as you may have guessed by the rather awesome blood-soaked banner – there are no sparkly vampires here, my friends. There are no moping teenage girls whose lives are incomplete without their vampire/angel/(insert appropriate brooding stereotype here) boyfriends. Instead, we write about killer dragons, and underground prisons, and yetis, and werewolves (proper ones – not loved-up ones), and heroines who are Templar warriors rather than simpering cheerleaders. All this and more. So if you like your YA fast-paced and furious – and maybe a little bit bloody – then you have come to the right place. Without further ado, I give you the other members of our brand-new, and ultra-cool, gang (I always wanted to be in one . . . ):

First up, Sarwat Chadda (unofficial leader of the gang – and the one with the Templar warrior heroine):

 

Stephen Deas (the dragon man of Gollancz):

 

Sam Enthoven (writer of fantastical action thrillers):

 

David Gatward (lots and lots of DEMONS!):

 

Steve Feasey (writer of ferocious werewolves):

 

William Hussey (who writes about ancient horrors):

 Jon Mayhew (demons plus fog-drenched Victorian London = a double win in my book):

 

Alex Milway (he writes about yetis! And I agree with Sarwat on this – there just aren’t enough yeti books out there):

 

 

Sarah Pinborough (aka Sarah Silverwood – writer of murder, madness and the Knights of Nowhere):

 

Alexander Gordon Smith (yes, there are three Alex’s in the gang. At a future date I may stage a mutiny and attempt to rename the group The Alex Gang . . .) He writes about an underground prison run by demons! What more do you need to know? :

And, of course, me. And that’s it!

The Chainsaw Gang will be blitzing the UK over the Halloween period, so here are some dates for the diary:

 Alexander Gordon Smith:
13th October, 4.00, Thornton Heath Library, Croydon
14th October, 4.00, Coulsdon Library, Croydon
19th November, 4.00, Worksop Library

Jon Mayhew:
21st Oct: Crosby Civic Hall: Scarefest
26th: GobbledeBook Festival Chester: Teen Panel AM, Full Event PM
27th: Newport Big Read, Riverfront Theatre Newport
29th: Booka Bookshop Oswestry: A Hallowe’en Party
30th: Lancaster Castle

Steve Feasey will be at the Cheltenham Festival on Oct 10th.

Sarwat Chadda will be at GobbledeBook Festival, Chester on Monday 25th, 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

And, finally, the big three multi-author events:

Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival on Sat 23rd October with Jon Mayhew, Alexander Gordon Smith, Sam Enthoven, Steve Feasey, Alex Milway, Sarwat Chadda and MYSELF. The event is free, but ticketed, so book now to avoid disappointment!

Norwich Millenium Library on Friday 29th October, 2.30pm with Alexander Gordon Smith, William Hussey, Sam Enthoven and Sarwat Chadda.

Foyles, Charing Cross Road. Their big Halloween Angels and Demons extravaganza running Saturday and Sunday, 30-31st October. With William Hussey, Sam Enthoven and Sarwat Chadda. Contact the store and book your place now.

And watch this space . . .

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Library Event

Just a quick post to say that I will be doing a library event in Southampton next Wednesday at 3.30pm. The event is an open one so if anyone wants to come along and listen to me talking about Lex Trent and writing then feel free! Copies of the book will be available to buy and, of course, get signed, on the day. More details here: http://www.southampton.gov.uk/s-leisure/libraries/alexbell.aspx

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