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…

Ecko on Audible!

UnzippedA very VERY short blog post: –

Over the MOON to be able to announce that Audible have bought the rights for Ecko Rising and Ecko Burning! (Insert massive leaping-up-and-down-SQUEEEEE here). Have no schedule yet, but more news as it comes to light (sound?)

It’s a funny feeling – in some ways even stranger than Ecko becoming a book, or a book cover. In my head, he has a very clear and distinctive voice, and he’s had that voice for a long time. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and the idea of hearing him in someone else’s mouth, as it were, is a peculiar lack of control, another step back from the content.

But, as we know all too well – complete control went out the window the day that book deal was signed. And that can only be a good thing!



It’s my industry shame that I don’t read as much as I should – between work and child and fitness and my own writing schedule, finding the time is hard – finding the peace is harder. I feel I’m doing the authors that visit the business a disservice – I’m only now beginning to understand how much sheer hard work their creativity is.

It seems, though, that my continuing twitchiness about my bike has had a silver lining.


In the past, I’ve had real issues with them – listening to Richard Morgan’s ‘Steel Remains’ nearly drove me batshit because it was so SLOW. I gave up in the end, and just read the bloody book.

Now, sans bike, I’ve made a breakthrough discovery – audiobooks are MADE for commuting.

The morning cattletruck is sweaty claustro hell; you need your ipod to give you that aural illusion of personal space – to escape the crush. Now, my ipod is not only shield, it’s gateway. Listening to Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Blade itself’ has made me an audiobook convert – rather than the train, it’s 50 minutes in another world.

More recently, I’m halfway through Tony Ballantyne’s ‘Blood and Iron’, the follow-up to ‘Twisted Metal’, which was one of my absolute favourite recent reads. I’m enjoying the book, but it’s thrown up one of the reasons why audiobooks can jar – the overuse of colloquial accents falls at the edge of cringeworthy comedy. The story’s phenomenal – but one robot sounds like Marvin the Paranoid Android and another one, inexplicably, is broadly Welsh, the accent so strong it’s undermining both the character and the story. And that’s a shame.

The gripe, though can be weighted against the positive – the fun and games of listening to a blood-spattered combat scene while faced with a wall of police at the Elephant and Castle, or entering Titan Towers just as something blows the fuck up… along with actually getting back into reading (whatever!) the good points are more than enough to surpass the annoyance.

But the best of point of all?

I’ve heard many people say, ‘If you don’t read, you can’t write’. Listening to an audiobook means you take in every word; you don’t skim, assume or find your eyes flicking down the page. And finding an hour or so a day to absorb to someone else’s vision of genius has reminded and taught me how better to work on the detail of my own.

Now, if only I can work out how to listen to them on the bike…