My very first ARC, for Reality 36. Nearly there...

Terribly exciting news has been arriving by the bucketload here these past few days. First up, my brother Tristan is going to have a baby with his girlfriend Kerrie. Brilliant, not least because now I won’t be the only one of my siblings to have experienced the joys and pains of parenthood. I think I’ll write about this later in more detail. Because there’s more I could say about having kids, but only so much I’ll bet you want to read in one go.

On the writing front, things are stepping into high gear as I move past this tricky period of absence and DIY. I’ve submitted my synopsis for my second Black Library book, I’ve been told my first BL novel will be out as an ebook soon-ish, while Richards & Klein:  Omega Point proceeds.

Most exhilarating is that the advanced reading copy (or “ARC”, which sounds so much cooler, the kind of important-sounding acronym one finds in Gerry Anderson-esque SF) arrived for my first book, Richards & Klein: Reality 36 on Friday. This was one of the most exciting moments of my life, I have to say (doubly great as I got some new toy soldiers delivered in the same post). Seeing my name on the front of a book is something I’ve worked so long towards, and to reach such an important stage in the path to that goal it is almost surreal. I almost feel like a real writer, but… Well, let me explain.

While I was at Alt. Fiction in Derby the Saturday before last, I was on a couple of Podcast panels (which will, one day, be available to hear on the internet). One of those was titled “Breaking into Fiction”, on the panel with me were Rod Rees, Colin Harvey and Pat Kelleher (a review of whose excellent Black Hand Gang you can read on this site). A question we had to answer was “When do you finally feel like a real writer?” It’s funny, but I don’t think you ever really do, because you move the goalposts on yourself all the time, and the others on the panel agreed.

When  I became a journalist, I thought that I was a real writer for a while, journalism is writing, after all, but once the novelty had worn off, I began to think “Yeah, but it’s not fiction.” Something similar happened when I had my comic published, but that never got past issue zero. And then when I almost had a book picked up, but it wasn’t in the end, and so the feeling faded. Then I had a short printed, for money, and another, and another, all in Hub, but soon I thought “Hmm, but it’s an ezine, not paper, and not novels in any case.” When I eventually got a contract for Richards & Klein, I again felt like a writer, but then the book was put on hold as Angry Robot changed hands, and then when I re-signed the contract (necessary as the old one had not quite been approved before AR’s move), the feeling came again, until I realised I had to write the book…

And so it is with this ARC, the feeling is stronger now than ever before — this is the last of all hurdles, but part of me still whispers: “Yeah, but it’s just the ARC.” I’ve always said to myself that the day I finally feel like a real author will be when I can stride into Waterstones and point at a book on the shelf with my name on it. Then I’ll have achieved what I set out to do.

At least, until I start to say “Yeah, but it’s just one book,” or “But my house is smaller than Stephen King’s” or “When I win the Booker Prize, then I will know that I have made it”.

Still, nearly there now. More excellent news came to my attention today, when I discovered from the Angry Robot website that my book, Reality 36, will be the second of their  new range of audio books. Now that’s damn cool too.

  1. Tony Lane says:

    The cover art is looking pretty cool.

  2. Mim says:

    Congratulations! I look forward to seeing the book. And, indeed, reading it.

  3. Andy Hoare says:

    Nicely done Guy!

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