David’s just sent this along. Some good news, plus personal responses to a few of your recent comments. Full text after the break.
Amidst the Chaos Of Time…
Publication day has come and gone. This week the London Book Fair dominates all of our publishing ventures, and I’ve been promised by Ebury that ROADS TO MOSCOW will be given a big push at the Fair, to try and find a foreign home for the trilogy, and, all important, a North American publisher.
But before going into all of that… Last weekend was a strange but pleasant one. My good friend Ritchie got hitched to Roopa, who is lovely. They’re a really good match. On Saturday we had the civil ceremony, in a quite wonderful hotel, which was decorated to suggest it was an ancient Indian ruined temple. There we got to know Roopa’s enormous family. Ritchie hasn’t a large family at all – just an estranged sister – but we had a few friends there and, as Master of Ceremonies, I made sure all of the speeches were kept short and to the point!
The Sunday saw another wedding – this time the full Hindu ceremony (about two and a half hours, with nearly 300 people attending) which was in its turn rather wonderful. I sat up on the stage next to Ritchie, to whom I was best man, while we had a thorough induction course (or so it felt) as to what being Hindu meant. I must say the writerly part of me was quite excited by it all. And Roopa’s family are really lovely, friendly people, so it was fun.
Monday – two days ago now – I found I was busy in a very different fashion. I’ve been being pursued by several film companies for a while now and it was time to make a decision (or two). It’s not easy to commit to this kind of thing when there’s thirty years of history behind the project. That’s why I’ve dragged my feet. Anyway, in short, I pressed the big green button to start negotiations with one of the two – a big Hollywood producer who’s keen to get started on the project and bring a writer in.
Okay. So all of that is going on, only then, at the same time, I find that I’m suddenly dealing with another big Hollywood company – one I’ve spoken to about CHUNG KUO before now – who are keen to look at ROADS and see whether they can sell the idea to their big bosses back in LA.
Monday evening I went out (to the Groucho Club) with my French agent, Lora, and my new editor at L’Atalante, Denis, who is a delightful man, just turned forty. Denis was keen to look at ROADS, with an eye to buying it for translation into French. He also asked me about the situation regarding Corvus and CHUNG KUO, and, because they deal with Larry Rostante, the artist, is sure that we can come to some kind of arrangement where we divide the cost and get Larry to do the final 12 books in the series.
So far, so good, but Denis is also interested in developing some of the CHUNG KUO long short stories into graphic books, which I think is a great idea – providing, that is, it doesn’t clash with what my Hollywood guy wants to do with CHUNG KUO.
So. A lot going on. And who really knows where all of this will lead. Getting Film and TV interest usually takes years, but the French interest in finishing CHUNG KUO means a lot, because it allows me to do the job properly. They really are model publishers, I tell you. And they’re also happy with the schedule I’m suggesting – which is to get six volumes ready and then re-launch next year, alongside the last two books of ROADS. They’ve already published volumes 1-6 in French, with two more to come out next year.
And today? Today I’ll be writing a few letters and then I’ll get back to THE MASTER OF TIME, which I’ve not been able to look at for the past two weeks, still aiming for that end of June deadline to get it completed.
Right. Now let me comment on some of you guys’ comments –
Luke and Angel L… thanks for the support. It really does matter to me.
Kaneda… the reason why I need that delay is to make sure I’ve got most of it in hand and ready to run. There have been too many delays and hitches already and I don’t want that to happen again. Now that the French publishers are talking about being involved in the cover art, the last piece of the puzzle has slipped into place. But I’m going to get ROADS TO MOSCOW out of the way before getting back to CHUNG KUO. I simply can’t do both things at once and do both justice.
Trevor – thanks for your kind thoughts regarding CHUNG KUO. I don’t want to discuss the entirety of what went on with Corvus… what I want from that situation is reversion, so I can do the job that ought to have been done. Oh, and I have a Hollywood agent and a good friend who is a member of the California bar, who can advise me. All I’ll say about the producer I’m dealing with is that his last three films made large sums at the box office and one of those involved dealing with the Chinese backers. He’s also a CHUNG KUO fan (and has all the books). So… We’ll see. Fingers crossed and all that.
Antonio – Yes, I’m afraid that the news re CHUNG KUO is going to irritate a lot of people, but there is very little I can do about that.
Anonymous – Thanks, I’m flattered.
Gabriel – Again, I’m sorry about this, but I hope A’s advice re getting EMPIRE on kindle will work for you, and hopefully Ebury will make a US deal in the coming months.
Goonda – thanks for the details on how to do this. And for your comments on small niches… I agree.
Jewell – I’ll be looking into costings for the project some time in the Fall, but until then THE MASTER OF TIME has to be my priority.
And, finally, thank you all for being concerned with the fate of all these ventures. Much is in the air right now, but that doesn’t mean that things aren’t happening. And if I’m vague about the details it’s because, when you’re mid-deal, it’s not fair to say too much.
Where you can help is in getting the word out. Maybe placing some reviews on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel.
Okay. That’s it for now. More news in a week or so’s time.
David Wingrove 9th April 2014