Sir Terry Pratchett died yesterday. Other people have eulogised him better, much like with Iain Banks I never met him so I have no personal encounter to share, but also much like with Iain Banks he was one of the reasons I wanted to become a writer. Maybe even the main one. I started reading the Discworld books back in primary school, an act of pure pretentiousness as I didn't understand most of the jokes or themes at the time, but slowly I came to appreciate them for what they are. Small Gods is a masterpiece. It's terrible that such an awful disease struck him so (relatively) young, but from what I can glean it sounds like he passed with dignity and grace. He'll be missed by many. RIP.
After two and a half years, more than 300,000 words and eight drafts, I'm happy to announce that Hours of the Dog, the second book in the Musashi series, is at last done. Back in June 2012 I made a vow that I'd not cut my hair until the book was finished. That seemed pretty fun back when I thought it'd take six months or so. It's down past my collar bone now.
It's not the book I initially set out to write, and I think that's all for the better. It's a slightly different style of novel to Child of Vengeance. It's based more around character, and yet at the same time there is more action of a far greater intensity. The climax here makes the battle of Sekigahara that ended the first book pale in comparison. It's a novel of the anger of youth, of the masterless swordsman Musashi Miyamoto developing his legendary two sword fighting style and turning it on those he feels betrayed and abandoned him. His enemy is no less than the entire world - this is definitely not the wise old sage who wrote the Book of Five Rings, but rather him taking a step towards one day, eventually, becoming that man. It'll take you through the streets of Kyoto in the year 1604 in way I believe no book in English has yet done.
I'm really excited to get it out there, and I want to thank all of you who e-mailed me encouragement over the past years. I apologise for the lengthy gap between the books, but the good news is that it shouldn't be so long next time - I've managed to write a significant portion of the third book already.
The UK paperback edition of Child of Vengeance contained a sample chapter from the book, and those of you that read this chapter will be quite surprised by how things are now. Might want to hang on to that edition, it might be worth something as a collectors item one day.
Hours of the Dog is provisionally scheduled for release on June 4th, 2015 in hardback in the UK by Simon and Schuster (under the title Sword of Rebellion) and a few months later in Fall 2015 by Doubleday in the US.
I have contracts in place for translated editions to be released in Germany and France by Rowohlt and Albin-Michel respectively, but I do not have any information on release dates as yet. I would expect very late in the year, if not early 2016. I have not as yet signed any contracts regarding translated editions released in any other language.
A new year dawns. Half a year between updates. Nevertheless...
I will have something concrete to announce here very, very soon.
Watch this space...