David’s sent along a brief piece, but there are some big updates here – all good news. Big thanks to him, as always, for keeping the fans in the loop. And watch this space for his promised short story!
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM?
The weather here has been strange. A day’s bright summer , the air filled with birdsong, is followed immediately by a cold, windy day, the hours punctuated by spells of rain. Schizophrenic weather that makes no sense. In the midst of which I’ve been working, copy-editing Book Eight THE WHITE MOUNTAIN for publication later in the year, and putting a trimmed and edited version of Book Sixteen, DAYS OF BITTER STRENGTH onto computer, having lost the original electronic version. Add to that the fact that I’m just about to start the editing process on ROADS TO MOSCOW (mid June sometime) and you might imagine that I’m feeling somewhat harassed. But it ain’t so. I love writing. Love the physical work involved. I’m never happier (nor more distracted).
Sue and I went out last night, to a school ‘do’ over North London, with some old friends, one of whom used to be an international superstar… Paul Young. These days Paul has a country and western band, and to warm everyone up for that, they had… line-dancing. Now dancing of any kind is alien to my geeky nature, so line-dancing… well, it’s out on the edge of things as far as I’m concerned. That said, watching the hundred or so people out on that dance floor, my mind did its usual science fictional trick and did some imagining. I’ve got this whole storyline to write (for Book 18) about the war between the Chinese and the Americans . Well, sat there watching the dance, I imagined the evening before the great battle, the American forces massed, ready for a big push against the invaders. And, dressed up in their heavy armour, what do they do? Like the Midwest boys they are at heart… they line-dance. Imagine it. The way the ground would shudder beneath their weight. And yes, I’m gonna write that scene. And you heard it here first.
Lots of things are happening right now. French editions of Books 1 and 2 are out already, and L’Atalante, my French publishers, are aiming to get three more books – 3-5 – out by the year’s end. At the same time we’re trying to get a German edition, and… wait for it… we have four different LA-based film companies interested in turning CHUNG KUO into quality TV. Six weeks ago there were none, so I’d guess there’s a reason for the sudden interest, and one of these days I’ll find out… right now it’s just great to know they’re looking to do this.
Okay. There’s a lot of Chinese money about, despite their mini-downturn, and now that Game of Thrones has proved itself, the TV guys are looking for something as dark… but in the science fiction vein this time round. Put those three elements together and CHUNG KUO seems ideal for their needs, don’t you think? Working through the copy edit of THE WHITE MOUNTAIN last week, I think that particular chunk of the work got my undivided attention when I wrote it. It flows. And there’s lots to keep the reader (not to say the writer) happy. It’d make great TV.
Oh, and a date for your diary. June 2014. That’s the present publication date for Book One of ROADS TO MOSCOW, which will now be called THE TREE OF WORLDS. Over the next few weeks we’ll be discussing covers, and hopefully announcing a few foreign sales. Fingers crossed. Meantime, even as Barnes & Noble stock copies of CHUNG KUO, we’ll be renewing our attempts to find an American home for the sequence. I plan to fly out to New York in a month or two to meet a few people and pitch the thing. So wish me luck. Oh and one last thing before I settle down to watch the FA Cup Final on TV. I may have said that I’ve written about a dozen Chung Kuo related stories. Well, I’ll be polishing one up this week and getting it to Matt to post on the fan site. Just to keep things ticking along.
All the best, guys!
David Wingrove Saturday 11th May 2013