Posts Tagged ‘Games Workshop’

Yeah, it’s a bit over used, but you’ll let me get away with the Hammer Time! headline once, won’t you? Thanks.

I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. More on that later. But the summer holidays are nearly done, Benny’s back off to school tomorrow and work once again beckons. To warm up for the traditional Haley, end of year typing marathon, here’s notice of Realmgate Wars: Ghal Maraz, which snuck out while I was gone.

RealmgateWars1GhalMarazContained inside its sturdy covers is my next Warhammer: Age of Sigmar story, cosying up close to one by the inestimable Josh Reynolds. My offering, “The Eldritch Fortress” has a big magic castle in it, and a big magic hammer. Josh’s has plague daemons running amok in the verdant realm of life. If either/both tickle your fancy, check it out for the next installment of Age of Sigmar’s unfolding narrative.

Available to order today is The Eternal Crusader. Taking place during the Third War for Armageddon, the novella is set aboard the titular flagship of the Black Templars, and details High Marshal Helbrecht’s role in the conflict. Expect lots of void battles, and plenty of orks. Click here to order it!

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I’ve been working away on an army of my own. I always do something with the miniatures when I’m writing for Games Workshop, whether it’s just assembling a few or painting an entire army. Here’s my progress so far collected together in one place.

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WarstormStdI had a new book out last week – War Storm. Okay, strictly speaking only a third of it was penned by your humble scrivener. My story, ‘Storm of Blades’ is one of three contained therein. The others were written by gentlemen wordsmiths Josh Reynolds and Nick Kyme. Tardy mention, but tempus fugit and all that.

‘Storm of Blades’ follows Thostos Bladestorm, the leader of a warrior chamber of the Stormcast Eternals Celestial Vindicators host. He’s been charged with attacking The Realm of Chamon, his mission to find Sigmar’s ancient duardin allies who once dwelled in the mysterious Hanging Valleys of Anvrok. What he finds instead could change the course of the war…

It was quite the ride writing this story. The Warhammer World had just been destroyed (in real life, not in-universe, it’s long gone there), and the Realms were still rather embryonic, but in general playing in a brand new shared world like this is great fun. I love the Age of Sigmar setting – it’s old school-sword and sorcery bonkersness turned up to the max, and it’s a privilege to be involved in its creation from a point so close to its birth. It’s like showing up just after the Big Bang and helping to switch the stars on. Watching it grow in complexity and depth, some of my own ideas entwined within, is very satisfying.

You can get War Storm at the Black Library website.

Last weekend I was at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel, a place that is becoming something of a second home to me. There I was involved in the Black Library Weekender, third of its name. I had a glorious time. So glorious, that it took me a couple of days to recover. 3am is far too late for me now. I pretty much said everything that needs to be said about attending events when I wrote about last year’s weekender here, so this short post is my way of saying thanks to everyone who attended, and for the hard work of the Games Workshop and hotel staff who made it all happen.

I’ve said it many times before but I’ll reiterate: It is highly pleasant and important to speak with your readers. I loved chatting to you all, and I hope you enjoyed the seminars. A big moment in my career this year was being presented with stacks of books – all different – at the signing table, so thanks for that too.

As always, it was plenty of fun to catch up with my colleagues. These events are some of the only times in the year when I see my fellow writers, and provide ample opportunity to talk about writing from a technical standpoint, swap ideas, and generally horse around. Seeing Dave Bradley of SFX, catching up on happenings in Bath and talking magazines was a bonus to this authorial bonanza.

And I’m pleased to report I didn’t get shot in the back playing Zombicide, although I did lose at Spartacus.

When in York the other day I popped into Games Workshop. I usually try to go to the local GW when I’m in a town. Sometimes, I buy stuff.

As always, the store dude approaches and asks if I’m looking for anything, what army I’m into, that sort of thing. Well done GW store training programme – your store managers never fail in this regard. Partly to short-circuit the whole process, and partly because I want some recognition, dammit, I say who I am, and point out some of my books. There’s a third, slightly mischievous desire here. I do it because I want to see how the store dude reacts. Nine times out of ten there is a flicker as their mind changes gear, and their faces become neutral. A slight disengagement enters the interaction. You can see them thinking. Is he really who he says he is? Is he a lunatic? Is this a test? Sometimes that’s it. They leave me alone. (As happened in this case). Either way, BL author or a lunatic, I don’t need their enthusiastic spiel. If the shop’s less busy, after I have established that I am not, in fact, a lunatic, then conversation is forthcoming. If I were more modest, I probably would not do this at all. It’s slightly egotistical, perhaps even a little bit mean. But I don’t get out much. And writing is lonely. And I crave validation.

Sometimes, after credentials have been established, they really don’t know how to act. This is the “magic author” effect, and it happens to me sometimes. This is where folks treat you like you’re somehow special, and they say things like “You’re really talented” or somesuch, and I think, “Er, am I? Are you sure? Have you got the right man?”

Provided I don’t become convinced that the magic is real, or rather, as long as I remember that the magic might be subjectively real for the reader, but that it does not actually make me in any way special, I should avoid becoming a total knob. I’ve seen it happen many times. It can happen to anyone with even a vaguely public profile. Sometimes people buy into the magic lens they are seen through and forget the shortcomings of the person living inside their skull. This especially tragic when the person is a writer with a humble following, and not, for example, Johnny Depp.

There is only one Johnny Depp.

So we must hold on to our secret feelings of fraudulence, we writers. And I must always keep in my mind that the only magical thing about me is that I am a goblin living in a man’s world.

Lunatic and BL author. That’s probably the right internal response for future contactees.

If you’ve been over to the Games Workshop or the Black Library sites today you’ll have seen that I’ve two new books coming out next weekend! Both of them detail the fate of the the Imperial Valedan system, whose five worlds are caught between the closing jaws of two Tyranid hivefleets.

Valedor centres on the system’s eponymous prime world. All of Valedan was once inhabited by Eldar. Too close to the heart of the Eldar star empire for the inhabitants to survive Slaanesh’s birth, too far for the worlds to be drawn into the Eye of Terror, it is in Eldar parlance a “True Star”, a place left deserted. Usurped by human colonists millennia ago, now man has been scoured from the planet. The Eldar return, fearing the chance melding of the hive fleets could spell doom for the entire galaxy. So great is this threat, that a gathering of Eldar kindreds occurs which has not been seen since the Fall…

The Last Days of Ector is a prequel novella set in the lead-up to the Tyranid invasion. Ector is a sub-arctic hive world whose twenty cities are lucky enough to each be overseen by a single Space Marine. Can these noble Crimson Castellans save at least a portion of the doomed population?

The books tie in with the latest Apocalypse Battlezone book, called, unsurprisingly perhaps, ValedorThere’s some tasty new models out with it too.

If you want to know more about Valedor, pick up White Dwarf, as there’s an interview in there with me about it (I’m not sure if it’s next week or this week), where I talk about how I tackle writing from an alien perspective. There’ll also be a short interview on similar topics up on the BL website next week. I had an absolute blast writing both these books, and if you’d like to know more about them please feel free to ask questions in the comments thread.