Thursday, September 04, 2008

Going up the mountains

I’m working through ‘DarkFather’ in the two weeks respite I get from the editing of ‘The Missing’. I’m tidying up the story in places and increasing the presence of characters who I think need a little more room to breath. I also want to make the start a little bit punchier.

I’m off to Aviemore this weekend, cycling over mountains raising money for three charities. So far I’ve raised over £400 with all funding matched by the organisers. I imagine it will be hard going as it’s rained constantly throughout August and the weekend forecast does not look much better. I’ll put up some picture next week of me all exhausted and muddy.

Got my tickets through today for a writer event I’ve been waiting some time for. Mr Neil Gaiman is coming to Scotland, and what’s more he’s coming to the book shop just up the road from me. I’m looking forward to his new work as it’s YA and will be an interesting read in line with my own work.


The Fourth Bear is Jasper Fford’s latest in the Nursery Crime Division works. As always with Fford (that is his real name by the way) the laughs come hard, fast and often with allusions to other works of literature, music or film. You could spend forever and a day trying to keep up with the wry nods but instead you should enjoy the books for their quirky humour. He is one of the best writers around today for laugh out loud prose.
I was fortunate enough to meet him this summer and you can tell there is a keen mind behind these works, one that enjoys puzzles and word play. I asked him if anyone had ever considered turning the works into comics as they are rich in nursery rhyme characters and he said that many had but nothing had ever happened. If there’s any budding comic book authors reading this, get on to it now.

Rex Mundi is a comic book that started life before Da Vinci Code which is interesting because they contain similar themes. Unlike the Dan Brown book Rex Mundi is set in a world where the American Civil War has ended in stalemate and the Catholic Church controls most of Europe, also sorcery is a real problem.
The story is a little sparse in places, but the artwork by EricJ is lush and precise, turning Paris into a dark mediaeval / 30s inspired city. There are also some good scenes under Paris, travelling along the vast sewers that mimic the street layout above so accurately that they share the same names (true), plus mention of catacombs being found containing the bodies of prior inhabitants (also true). Well worth a read and I’m sure I’ll get book 2.

Read this week:
The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fford
Rex Mundi: The Guardian of the Temple by Arvid Nelson et al.

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