About Danacea

Social media and events at Forbidden Planet; novelist for Titan Books, first title 'ECKO RISING' due September 2012. Mum, Cyclist, Geek, Gamer, Warrior, Art Toy Freak.

Children of Artifice – now on Audiobook!

Completing a book is a magical thing.

You’ve fought your way through the Labyrinth of Doubt, across the Waters of Panic, and up the Mountain of No Time, but you’ve really made something – you’ve crafted a portal to Another Place.

And then comes the tough part, the opening of that portal – and this is where you need your intrepid adventuring party…

Editor/s – there to ensure that your book is the best book is can possibly be.

Artist/s – there to see through your portal, and to bring its first images of it to life.

And actor/s – to hear your characters for real, and to conjure them into a new dimension.

So huge thanks goes to Joe Jameson for hearing all those voices in his head, and to Neil Gardner at Spoken World Audio for his phenomenal production and editing skills.

Seriously – listen to this…

The audiobook is now available from Spoken World Audio. It will be coming to Audible – but Bezos really doesn’t need the money that badly, and Neil has cats (and Muppets) to support…

Three Conventions/Three Weekends

Not only knackered, and up to my ears in people, but three events that were all VERY different. I’m used to book Cons and to MCM, but I’ve never done the Black Library Weekender before, and seeing the BL juggernaut in full motion was quite the eye-opener.

But, anyway, from the top!

FantasyCon

Lovely to see old friends and make new ones, and to do the hanging out in the bar, the talking shop, and the sitting on the panels. Excellent RPG panel with Allen, Alasdair, Sara and Gavin, then an equally excellent Wring Warfare panel with Anna, Anna, Simon and Pete (doing a fabulous job of being Andy Remic). The last of the day’s talks could have gone better – but Con people are always family, even if you’ve never met them before. So thank you to those who checked in.

Chester was beautiful, and I spent rather too long exploring the town (not looking for Alleyne-Johsnon, honest) and the City Walls past the Cathedral.

The hotel was good, too – though it didn’t quite manage the craziness of the Radisson’s glass fish…

MCM

Say it with me, it’s a madhouse. A glorious, manic, (loud), colourful madhouse. It’s a feast of brand and license and costume and prop (and money). It’s half a million kids – and adults – allowed to express their fandoms/ships completely. It feels like a celebration in which everyone gets to let go, and to be whatever the hell they want.

And that’s awesome.

Was trading at this one, so very busy – but it was lovely to see the authors that came to our stand to sign, and to be a part of the MCM madness!

The Black Library Weekender

So, this was a first, and it had a whole different feel – and not just because I wasn’t behind the (truly colossal) trading table. I may be stand at the very corner of this vast and epic mythology, but the Weekender still felt like the ultimate in shared-world-RPG-experience – a place where its fans could come and celebrate their love of the creation, and where its creators could remain gatekeepers and gamesmasters, flying the flags of the fiction they’ve made.

Two excellent panels shared with Nick, Mike and Rachel, talking about the new line of novellas, and what it really feels like to be dipping that first foot (pen?) into the grim darkness of the far future.

And big cheers for the team at BL/GW for their ruthlessly efficient management!

Judge Anderson: Bigger Than Biggs

“Six foot six and 100 tons, the undisputed King of the Slums…”

Getting the chance to play with the Big Toys has been one hell of an opportunity, and not a little intimidating.

This is the first time I’ve ever written for a character I didn’t create (the Battle Sisters are my characters, though the background is not), made all the more challenging by the fact that she’s omniscient, which is a right pain in the butt. How do you add mystery and tension to your plot, when your protag already knows everything?

But, I found my answer, and Bigger Than Biggs is out on December 4th. It’s my homage to the iconic CyberPunk of our youth, to its imagery and characters, to all the love and work that went into it, and to the bright threads of 2000AD, that, even so long ago, crept into our gaming…

It’s also based on one of my all-time favourite tracks – by Carter USM, the song that was Biggs’s theme tune, and that, to this day, ionises those youthful dice-rollings.

Judge Anderson Year Two: Bigger Than Biggs can be downloaded from the Rebellion site, and is available from Amazon. Or, if you don’t fancy giving that buttwipe Bezos any more money, there’s also a signed limited edition print novella. All with cover art by the fabulous Neil Roberts!

Sing it with me: –

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…”

 

More Nuns With Guns!

And there it is! Out on November 1st, the second (slightly longer) adventure of Sister Superior Augusta Santorus and her intrepid squad of butt-kicking nuns – and this time, it’s nastier things than Orks!

Seriously, tho – very chuffed to see this loosed out to the Imperium, and with such amazing support from the Black Library. The cover art is gorgeous – it shows Augusta’s age and experience, and the colour of her armour stands out perfectly. When I wrote Mercy, I made the choice to write about a different Order of Sisters, to step away from the inestimable Martyred Lady, and to create something slightly different, something that I could make my own… (well, kinda!)

The rest of the novella run looks absolutely superb, as well – check them out!

I will be talking about this novella, and about Mercy, at the Black Library weekender in November, and alongside a truly spectacular line-up. Please do come and say hello!

 

‘Making Monsters’ – interview with editor Emma Bridges

‘Making Monsters’ is a speculative and classical anthology about creatures of myth and legend, and their role in our modern-day lives. Monsters – and how we perceive them – still influence our dreams and hopes and stories, and in this gathering of both fiction and non-fiction, the editors and contributors explore what that means.

The antholology features my story, ‘Water’, a modern take on the tale of Hades and Persephone. And I’ve been fortunate enough to speak to Emma Bridges, editor, about what the anthology means to her…

Q: What was it like working both with classical and other scholars, and speculative fiction authors on this hybrid anthology?

A: One of the things I’m interested in as part of my academic research is classical reception—that is, the ways in which stories and ideas from the ancient world have been appropriated and rewritten in new contexts over time. Related to that interest, I also enjoy talking to creative practitioners about their approaches to retelling mythical tales, so working on this anthology combined those two things brilliantly. I think that when you put academic researchers and creatives into conversation with one another (whether in a room, or online, or between the pages of a book) it’s really interesting to see how the different approaches complement one another—everyone involved can learn something from that process. It’s been really satisfying to see how some of the people involved have also sparked off each other to share ideas and expertise—for example, I’ve seen several conversations happening on Twitter between the various authors, and I know that some of them are planning future collaborations.

Q; Has mythmaking ever ended—what is the difference between writing/painting about Typhon and Medusa now versus writing about them 2500 years ago?

A: Myth is, and always has been, good to think with. Storytelling creates a kind of distance which allows writers and artists to explore issues—political, social, aesthetic, personal—which matter to them. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, the myths they painted, sculpted, sang or wrote about were already fluid tales which they could adapt and rework to suit the needs of the moment. This pliability is one of the most exciting things about myth: the characters remain recognisable, but new artists and writers can create different versions of their stories. In that sense contemporary storytellers are doing things which aren’t that far removed from what the ancient writers were doing; they’re taking familiar figures and story patterns, but adding or changing things to allow their audience to see something from a different perspective. So, for example, in Making Monsters many of the contributions help us to look beyond the dominant ‘hero narrative’ which is there in many of the ancient texts; they turn that on its head and let the monsters—who have been so used to being marginalised, demonised, or shunned—speak for themselves for a change.

Q; With whom, alive or dead, would you most like to collaborate, and on what?

A: I study a lot of texts from the ancient Greek world, and almost all of them were written by elite men; it’s really difficult to find voices of real ancient Greek women which haven’t been ventriloquised by a man. So my answer to this question isn’t just a single person; I’d like to spend some time with a bunch of ancient Greek women of all classes and backgrounds, and I’d get them to talk to me about their views on the tales which they never got the chance to tell for themselves. Then we’d come up with our own versions of the stories of some of the famous mythical women—Penelope, the archetypal ‘faithful wife’ of Homer’s Odyssey, who I’m sure has more to say for herself than Homer gives her (yet her husband never stops talking…); or Clytemnestra, notorious for murdering her husband; or Medea, who in an ancient play by Euripides kills her own children in revenge for her husband’s betrayal. Then twenty-first-century me might have some more ancient voices and texts to work with!

Find out more about ‘Making Monsters, here – and the anthology will be available to buy from September.

Goodreads page.

Review in Publishers Weekly.

Artifice Fun’n’Frolics…!

Lots of Children of Artifice goodness and events coming up…

If you’re at Edge-Lit on Saturday 14th, I will signing at the Fox Spirit Books table at 4pm, plus there will be loads of goodies to be had – including some truly fabulous biscuitage by (the one and only) MotherFudger.

I will also be in the bar, which is something of a rarity, these days, so I hope I can still hold my booze.

On Saturday 21st, I will be signing at Forbidden Planet Bristol at 1pm, so please brave the lofty (and possibly rather warm) heights of Clifton, and come and say hello. If you do want to throw things, buckets of ice water may be best.

From americanfag.tumblr.comAnd I’ll be reading. alongside Rebecca Ley and Micah Yongo, at this month’s Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, held at Titan Towers on the evening of Tuesday 31st. There will be vino and nibbles, and more goodies, and it would be lovely to see you there! 🌈

 

 

Book Birthday!


The new book, Children of Artifice is now available to order on Amazon 

Yes, it’s a love story between two young men.
No, there are no hot bare-chested werewolves.
No, it isn’t fan shipping, or eruri kitten-porn.
And no, it’s doesn’t involve being pounded in the butt by a dinosaur.

It’s just two people, who fall in love, even though they shouldn’t. They have their barriers to cross, but I wanted to stay out of closets and guilt, and make those barriers into something more modern and appropriate.

So, Artifice is a story of identity, and family, and politics, and science, and fantasy. But above all else, it’s an urban fairy tale – because, in this day and age, we need these things more than ever.

Synopsis: –

An ancient city, sealed in a vast crater. A history of metallurgical magic, and of Builders that could craft the living, breathing stone.

Caphen Talmar is the high-born son of an elite family, descended from the Builders themselves, his artistic career ruined when his ex-lover broke his fingers.

One night, gambling down at the wharfside – somewhere he shouldn’t have been in the first place – he meets Aden. An uncomplicated, rough-edged dockworker, Aden is everything Caph needs to forget the pressures of his father’s constant criticism.

But this isn’t just another one-night stand. Aden is trying to find his sister, and he needs Caph’s help. Soon, they find themselves tangled in a deadly game of trust, lies and political rebellion.

And, as Caph begins to understand the real depth of the horrors they’ve uncovered, he learns that Aden is not what he seems. And Aden knows more about the coming destruction than Caph could ever have guessed.

Cover by Sarah Anne Langton!

Cover quotes: –

“Danie does it again: a delicious tale that I didn’t want to put down. All the people, all the detail, all the story
– and none of the drag. A one-sitting read of pure joy.” – David Devereux

“Slippery, smart and sexy: an heady alchemical brew of high politics and low magic that’s strong enough to lay anyone low.” – Simon Morden

“A skilful alchemy of raw emotion, renegade sensuality and emboldened fantasy. Ware tears out her readers’ hearts and dips them in molten gold, making every one of us a willing child of Artifice.” – Kim Lakin-Smith

Children of Artifice has a fantastic story, one I would recommend to readers of any genre and age. It conjures beautiful imagery and puts you in a state of living dream, taking you on an emotional journey which stays with you. I am looking forward to the sequel. – Tej Turner

Thanks to Fox Spirit Books, you can also get your mucky mitts on the title at Edge-Lit, and watch out for the Forbidden Planet event, announcing soon!

 

Making Monsters Anthology!

Very pleased to be part of the Making Monsters anthology, published by The Future Fire, and alongside a wonderful list of talent. Lots of new names (to me anyway) here, as well – so some fantastic things to check out!

The anthology pulls together modern retellings or re-imaginings of classic myths, and I’ve written a contemporary and (sub)urban take on one of my favourite tales, the Hades/Persephone love story. The anthology is edited by Emma Bridges and Djibril al-Ayed, you can get your mitts on the myths this September!

‘Lonely Gorgon’ cover art by Robin Caplan.

Full line up: –

Introduction – Emma Bridges
Danae – Megan Arkenberg
The Last Siren Sings – George Lockett
Field Reports from the Department of Monster Resettlement – L. Chan
Calling Homer’s Sirens (essay) – Hannah Silverblank
Aeaea on the Seas – Hester J. Rook
To the Gargoyle Army (poem) – H.A. Eilander
Water – Danie Ware
Monsters of the World (essay) – Margrét Helgatdóttir
A Song of Sorrow – Neil James Hudson
Helen of War (poem) – Margaret McLeod
The Vigil of Talos – Hûw Steer
The Monster in Your Pocket (essay) – Valeria Vitale
A Heart of Stone – Tom Johnstone
The Banshee – Alexandra Grunberg
The Giulia Effect – Barbara Davies
Caught in Medusa’s Gaze (essay) – Liz Gloyn
The Eyes Beyond the Hearth – Catherine Baker
Eclipse – Misha Penton
The Origin of the Different (essay) – Maria Anastasiadou
Justice Is a Noose – Valentine Wheeler
Siren Song (poem) – Barbara E. Hunt
The Tengu’s Tongue – Rachel Bender
Ecological Angst and Encounters with Scary Flesh (essay) – Annegret Märten
When Soldiers Come – Hunter Liguore
Afterword – Mathilde Skoie

Children of Artifice – Cover Reveal!

And here it is – the beautiful cover for Children of Artifice. Art by Sarah Anne Langton, novel published this summer by Fox Spirit Books.

Love how Sarah’s picked up on some of the alchemical/metallurgical themes of the story, and on the slightly decaying feel of the city itself. Really proud of this little book – it’s an urban fairy tale, a science fantasy, and it’s a very different beast to Ecko (less swearing, for a start) and to the hell-for-leather combat stuff that I normally write. And the story that weaves between the two central characters (forgive me blowing my own for a moment) is one of the single finest pieces of plotting that I’ve ever managed to contrive.

That – and there’s something really quite special about two people falling in love. Particularly when they’re really not meant to!

Synopsis on the Fox Spirit website – with special thanks to Kim Lakin-Smith and Tej Turner!

Orks Vs. Nuns with Guns – Writing for the Black Library!

Writing licensed fiction is a pain in the arse.

You have a great premise. You have a headful of imagery. You know your story and your characters and your bad guys and WHOOOOSH! – off you go…

But it’s difficult. There’s a lot to learn and there’s one HELL of a lot of canon (and cannon) in the 40k universe. Thanks to long years of gaming, I’m familiar with the basics, but even after all those rolling dice, I’d only touched the smallest corner of the Emperor’s cloak.

Writing for 40k has meant a lot of work, a lot of notes, and a LOT of reading. It’s meant highlighter pens in an assortment of colours, and a lot of learning from textbooks, old Schola. And it’s very much been an exercise in both confidence and patience. You write for a license, you can’t write five lines without stopping because you don’t know something. What’s this thing called? Where did it come from? How many rounds does it fire? What’s it made out of? And how do you say ‘this chickenshit outfit’ in High Gothic?

But: it’s also a LOT of fun – writing Orks vs. Nuns with Guns is about as close to pure self-indulgence as it gets. And, quite apart from all my years in armour, the skirmish tactics learned in the cadets and the TA, and the scatter of Latin (mostly choral, but hey) picked up at school, it’s given me the chance to write almost pure action. And an opportunity like that is just too good to pass up.

So: here’s ‘MERCY’, my tale of the Sisters of Battle. And it comes with a big thank you to Lottie and the Black Library for the chance, and to Sister Alec and Sister Superior Jim for their help. And hopefully, Sister Augusta and the Order of the Bloody Rose will have some more adventures after this one.

From the wrath of the editor, our Emperor, deliver us…

Da Orks by A-u-r-e-l on DeviantArt