petermorwood: (Default)


As promised, we got the finished material uploaded to Lulu last night. Once again, Diane's done a smashing job on the cover.

It took a few days more than expected because after reading the formatted pages, I decided to tweak it a bit, and felt a bit more at ease doing it to Widowmaker than a book that's better known.

Mostly I tightened dialogue, because I've written quite a bit of screen stuff since this book, and even in "period-y" stuff like the Alban books, faster dialogue "sounds" better, more like people actually talking to each other than declaiming prepared speeches. After all, it's period to us, but contemporary to them! It also gives the chance, by stepping up the formality just a couple of notches, to "fall into the High Language" (as T.H. White put it) without writing so "forsoothly" that it reads like parody.

I like the end result.

The original version didn't have a dedication. This one's to David Gemmell. Too late for him to see, more's the pity.

One day I'll find out what went wrong with Widowmaker. It was outlined and accepted as a sequel to Greylady, was written, paid for, covered (a nice painting by Mick Posen) published - and then pulled in what, 13 years on, still feels like an amazingly short time. It's always struck me as odd: in the brief period it was in the shops, Legend can't have recouped any costs at all, and if they thought the book wasn't going to sell, why pay for and publish it in the first place?

Some people are still convinced this book never existed, and I can understand how they got that idea. I once asked "Why don't they advertise me in Starburst or one of the other magazines?" and got the reply, "No need, you sell just fine without publicity." Which is one of the most back-handed compliments I've ever received...
petermorwood: (Default)
...but it's actually happened.

After blogging about it three months (though only four posts) ago, Greylady has finally made it to Lulu. Things kept getting in the way; I still miss the little black shadow asleep on the sofa...

I found a couple of typos that slipped past both my copy-editor and I all those years ago; I made a couple of very tiny changes (because I could - you'd never notice them); and then its hair was combed, its teeth were brushed and it was given a nice new suit. Diane designs good covers!

I'm doing the same to Widowmaker, but rather more quickly – getting better with practice, I suppose – in between writing short stories for an upcoming magazine and working on the several other projects that were making me feel guilty about ignoring them. That's no way to run a tight ship, so I'll pick one or maybe two and concentrate on it/them. The most likely candidates for Sit Down And Hammer will be Cradlesong and The Shadow Lord: adding to existing series seems like a good idea.

But I'm not starting tonight. (yawn)
petermorwood: (Default)

It was Diane who dropped me into the Big Wide World of blogging; now she's up to something again. This time it's the Big World of Lulu...

Greylady and Widowmaker have been out of print for several years, and for some reason they (and especially Widowmaker) have become incredibly hard to find and places like AbeBooks think it worthwhile to stick quite startling pricetags on any copies they have available. (Eyeroll, smack forehead and above all, 20-20 hindsight regret that I didn't get a couple of hundred copies from the publisher when they went out of print.) They're prequels to the Horse Lord series (AKA The Book of Years series in the USA), and I used them to set up (and also tear down) a lot of the background information in the (written earlier, set later) books.

It's possible that the reason they're so hard to find is that they were only published in the UK - in fact Widowmaker wasn't so much published as made a brief public appearance, waved, then vanished with a speed I've never fully understood; I've actually been told, by people who weren't being funny, that it was never published at all... Well, yes it was - and now the rights have reverted to me, so Diane's been suggesting I see whether there'd be the same interest in a Lulu edition as there's been for The Big Meow. If emails and even - gasp - Letters on Paper are anything to go by, there is.

So... (and for the sake of coherence I'll just repeat what D has posted/will be posting on her own LJ)...

What we're asking interested readers of this posting to do - whether you read it here or on Word Salad II/Out of Ambit - is as follows:

(1) If you're interested in being notified when either of these books are republished and available for purchase -- a matter of days (DD is setting/grooming the type at the moment) please send an email to this address.

(2) In the subject line of your mail, please tell us which book you're interested in: GREYLADY, WIDOWMAKER, or BOTH.

Also, since the wonders of Lulu allow us to do this without it costing us anything extra:

(3) Also in the subject line, please tell us whether you're more interested in a British- or US- formatted edition (that is to say, with US or UK spellings): (UK) or (US).

We will be making both hardcover and softcover editions available. The softcover editions are similar to US trade paperback size. For the hardcovers, dustjackets will also be available for those who require them. Unfortunately, the original beautiful Mick Posen covers are either copyright to Legend or have reverted to Mick himself, so we can't use them in this republication. Until we can commission new cover art, the covers will feature swords from Peter's collection...including the sword he commissioned from the celebrated Italian swordsmith Fulvio del Tin (responsible for, among much other handsome weaponry, the "hero" version of the "Braveheart" sword) and which most closely evokes the look-and-feel of Greylady. (To be quite honest, if I'd had this particular sword to hand when I was writing the description of the weapon in the book, Greylady-in-print would be very different. PM)

When you send your email, the database will save your address so that we can send you a notification when things are ready to roll in a week or less. It will also send you an acknowledgement that we've received your mail. (If it starts sending you multiple acknowledgements, please mail DD or comment back to her here at the blog to let her know: she will beat the machine into some kind of submission or other.)

We heartily encourage you to spread the word around to other Morwood fans. Pass the email address on to them, or pass this blog entry's URL/permalink along, and let them know that these rare and much-missed books are now coming back to the fans who've been demanding them for years!

...And thanks.

April 2017

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