Monday, September 26, 2016

On Dedications & Radio Plays

I finished the last of the last of the read-throughs of Norse Mythology this morning. I caught one paragraph that had somehow duplicated itself, fixed a couple of clunky sentences, and changed the word stone to iron somewhere I had thought one thing and typed another. I checked over the glossary

And then there was one last thing.

Dedicating books is an odd process, combining whim and whimsy and debts owed and gods to be placated. Mostly you ponder who would be made happiest by having this book dedicated to them, and what the most appropriate person would be for the book you have written.

But sometimes you do not have to ponder. Sometimes it's nice and obvious.

I've dedicated Norse Mythology to someone who wasn't even around a couple of days ago, and is now here, and whom I haven't yet met and held and hugged and sung songs to (but I will, soon). My first grandchild, Everett, born to my oldest son Michael and his wife Courtney (Courtney obviously did all the hard work) about 48 hours ago.

I get a grandson. Holly and Maddy and Ash get a nephew (and Ash gets someone to play with as he grows up). I am a proud and happy grandfather.

Norse Mythology is Everett's book.


This is a photograph of the cast - almost all of them, there are some secrets and surprises - of the two part BBC Radio Four adaptation of STARDUST that's coming out in December. (Here's the cast list:

The BBC is holding a competition for original STARDUST art for UK residents -- details at

You will not need to be a UK resident to listen to it, however. You can listen to it anywhere in the whole wide world, via the magic of the Internet, or the BBC iPlayer app, for a month after it broadcasts.

That's not the only Radio Four adaptation of one of my stories happening this year, though. There's also the (smaller) cast of How the Marquis Got His Coat Back:

and yes, I'm in there. I got to be in the room, acting with Bernard Cribbins and Adrian Lester and Paterson Joseph and Don Warrington and everyone and IT WAS AMAZING.

How the Marquis Got His Coat Back will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in early November (I think).


You can get registered to vote in the US via text messages: has the details. Get registered. Vote. Your vote actually matters. Vote.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's Ash's first birthday, a bare chin is revealed... (and so are the next three Robert McGinnis covers)

It was Ash's birthday on the 16th of September, and his mother and I went back to the place he was born to celebrate and to get away from cellphones and the world.

He's a delight and I've never loved him more. His favourite books are Goodnight Moon and a book called Chu's Day (I've never been prouder). His eyes really are that blue.

I'm now off writing, and I won't see them for another ten days. I'm loving the writing, loving the exercising and the quiet and the words, and missing them both, especially Ash, I miss singing to him, miss waking up early and going off and reading with him or walking with him (he can nearly walk). Miss feeding him.

Today I shaved off my beard. I also got a FedEx package containing a proof "Advance Reading Copy" of NORSE MYTHOLOGY (it'll be published on the 7th of February) and an early reading copy of Colleen Doran's beautiful graphic novel adaptation of TROLL BRIDGE (out on October 18th).

Here is a photograph of all these things at once. (Well, not the act of shaving.)


So, this is a very book-covery day,  because I'm going to do something fun.

For the last few months, I've been showing people I've been talking to or talking about books with or just wind up sitting next to on a plane the Robert E. McGinnis covers for Stardust, Neverwhere and Anansi Boys.

This is because I am so proud of them, and the work Todd Klein did with the lettering and the design for the books.

The American Gods cover (it already came out) is, in my head, a 1968 SF cover. (I wrote about it here: Todd Klein shows all the design work that led to it on his blog

Would you like to see the next three?


You don't have to see them. You can wait until you are in some little Indie Bookshop over the next few months, and be surprised...

I love them. The Stardust cover is an early 70s book, and is funny, like the covers I delighted in for books like William Goldman's The Princess Bride -- the lettering style was inspired by the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Line, and  the whole is intended to be sort of heartwarming.

Anansi Boys is done as a late 50s or early 60s paperback – one of those goofy comedies, with an illustration of a scene from the first chapter. (Also glad to finally get Mr Nancy on the cover of his book.) I think this one is Robert E McGinnis's masterpiece, and Todd's as well. 

 Neverwhere – when Robert McGinnis sent over this haunting cover I sent it over to Todd Klein and told him that I thought it was a 1970s gothic romance cover. He looked at the kind of covers I'd suggested, told me that they often have elegant and swirly titles and heavily serifed type, and he produced something as beautiful and haunting as the cover had been.


Oh, hell. Here you go. And I've just gone to Amazon to find out the publication dates so will put the links in...

(And I checked Indiebound and the books are now up there too, so Indiebound links as well.)

Anansi Boys ( comes out on October 25th...  (I loved this one so much I bought the painting from Mr McGinnis.)

Neverwhere ( is published on November 29th. I love the rats in the shadows...

Stardust ( is the next one to come out -- it will be out in just six days from now on September 27th...

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A cover revealed! A book exposed! A year mislaid!

I've been writing a book of retellings of Norse Mythology since about 2012. Writing it slowly, between other things. Reading and reading my prose Eddas and my poetic Eddas, in any editions I could find, thumbing through my Simek's Dictionary of Northern Mythology whenever I was unclear on something, and keeping it a secret, mostly.

I actually did a reading of one of the first stories I completed at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts three years ago, and people liked it. (Here's a write-up.) I kept writing.

I even wrote a glossary.

And now the book is done, and will be coming out in February. All the stories I loved, all the myth, many of the contradictions. Loki and Thor and Odin and Freyr and Sif and the rest, from the beginning of things through to Ragnarok and after.

Look! Here is the cover.

It is coming.

Are you ready?

It spins!

We are still working on the technology to get the hammer to spin like that on the actual cover.

It will be coming out in the US from WW Norton ( and in the UK from Bloomsbury in February.

Norton has a website -- -- and if you go to it you will see  big, not spinning version of the cover, and a photo of me being menaced by a tree.


That's almost that. Ash is one year old in two days. A year ago Amanda looked like this:

and now Ash is almost walking and he looks like this:

And I am not sure where the year went....

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