Ecko Risen or How Bloody Surreal Was THAT?!

Nine years of signings. Spreadsheets and phone calls and emails; readings and Sharpies and biscuits and beer. Times when the books department has been so full we couldn’t move and we’ve all sweated our arses off – times we’ve watched the tumbleweeds and tried to make a joke out of the whole thing.

Nine years – you become completely familiar with the process, convinced that there are no surprises left.

Yeah, right.

Last night was an A1, tip-top, clubbing, jam fair. It was a sandwich of fun, on ecstasy bread… I’m sure you know the rest of it. With every stage of Ecko’s rising, so the surreal has felt just like that. The finished book, the wrapped pile of them in the foyer at Titan Towers, the posters, the copies laid out on the table as so many new titles have been displayed before… I had no words then and can’t find them now. It’s overwhelming.

The double-vision is wonderfully bizarre, still hard to wrap my brain round this morning. It’s not only the personal ‘surreal’ of seeing such an old story finally in the light, or actually sitting at that table with a pen in my hand, it’s the whole process, the book from manuscript to publicity – and understanding, from an author’s point of view, how Forbidden Planet’s events fit into that structure. It’s been quite an eye-opener (and I had no idea that reading was so fucking terrifying)!

But thank you to everyone who’s been so incredibly supportive – those who were there in person, those who sent love and best wishes via every media channel known. It’s been a long journey, and being able to share it is the best, and perhaps the most surreal, feeling of all.

 

 

Reviews and Tea and Cake

Reviews are funny things.

Get a good one, go orbital. The world is your oyster, and you’re wondering just where you’re going to put that award. Then when you’ve climbed back down and remembered reality, your rational mind takes over and you realise that you’re still just you. The fact that someone loved it is fantastic, they understand it and they enjoyed it, and it’s all fine.

Reviews are funny things.

Get a bad one, and it’s like you’ve been punched. You go on your arse, all your breath knocked out of you and you wonder how to tell your agent you’ll never write again. Then when you’ve stood back up and remembered how to inhale, your rational mind takes over and you realise that you’re okay. Not everyone’s going to like the book, not everyone likes the same thing, it’s all fine.

In Ecko’s case, when you’ve written a book that’s that far outside the box, that has a confrontational lead character, then it’s going to provoke strong reaction. Some people are going to love it, others are going to hate it and find it offensive. And honestly, if they didn’t? Then Ecko wouldn’t be the character he is.

Reviews are funny things.

Too many good ones, and the bad ones keep you grounded. Too many bad ones, and the good ones stop you drinking meths.

Author Jaine Fenn once gave me a piece of wisdom I’ve never forgotten. When Jaine gets a bad review, her husband sits her down and feeds her tea and cake. When Jaine gets a good review, her husband sits her down and feeds her tea and cake…

Bless Jaine. Tea and cake, it seems, is a universal panacea.

Don’t Forget the Groupies – Blog Tour Dates!

Stolen shameless and wholesale from Titan Books’ blog

Ecko Rising is the astonishing debut from the publicist and event organiser for cult
entertainment retailer Forbidden Planet, Danie Ware [Titan Books, 20th September, £7.99].

Following a cynical anti-hero, Ware’s first novel is sardonic fantasy, a sharp new slant on the genre, scattered with a healthy dusting of sex, violence and sarcasm.

Ecko Rising has received glowing accolades from authors including, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Empire in Black and Gold), Mike Carey (X-Men, Lucifer), Lavie Tidhar, (OsamaThe Bookman series), and Adam Nevill (Apartment 16).

If you love fantasy, classic or modern, or have a liking for twisted anti-heroes please check out the trailer and blog tour below.

http://youtu.be/FFHXZ7y_6Cc

11th September – We Love This Book – trailer debut on Facebook
12th September – Geek Syndicate – review, interview and competition
13th September – Wear Pink Wednesdays – review and interview
14th September – SF Book – review, interview and competition
15th September – London Calling – competition
16th September – Gay Sci-Fi Nerds – review and interview
17th September – Alternative Magazine Online – review and interview
18th September – Tattooed Book – review and interview
19th September – The Huffington Post – interview
20th September – Sci –Fi London – review, interview and competition
21st September – British Fantasy Society – review, interview and competition

With more to come on…
Book Geeks
The New Universe
SF Signal
Walker of Worlds
Gasping for the Wind
DTRN
Dave Brendon’s Fantasy and SciFi Blog
Star Ship Sofa
SF Talk

Danie Ware will be signing copies of Ecko Rising at Forbidden Planet Shaftesbury Avenue on the 20th of September and in Forbidden Planet Bristol on the 19th of October. You will also find her at Fantasycon (28 – 29th September) and Bristolcon (20th October)

(All I need now is the t-shirt. And the groupies. Never forget the groupies!)

Ecko Cover Blurbs

To say I’m chuffed to death would be one serious fucking understatement…

“I motored through this book. It’s a page turner and I’ll be getting hold of the next one.” – Neal Asher

“Not your usual uber-capitalist dystopia.  Not your usual fantasy/sci-fi genre mash-up.  Not your usual playfully psychotic cyber-and-drug-enhanced antihero.  Ecko Rising messes with your head in unexpected and exciting ways.” – Mike Carey

“Danie Ware’s first novel is not so much assured as explosive. This is science fiction with the safety catch off. I hope she never runs out of ammunition.” – Adam Nevill

“Tight, fast-paced, sophisticated SF – the best debut novel I’ve read in years” – Andy Remic

“One of the most intriguing and original blends of fantasy and science fiction I’ve read in a long time” – Adrian Tchaikovsky

“Ecko Rising explodes onto the page with the manic energy of Richard Morgan’s cyberpunk novels before taking a surprise turn into Thomas Covenant territory. It is strange, surprising, haunting and exceedingly well-written. Not to be missed.” – Lavie Tidhar

Blog post by way of a thank you and a BIG squeeeee. Catch me for beers at FantasyCon!

(The artwork, btw, is a long-time fave and an inspiration, called ‘Angelic Manifestation’ and  by Bob Venosa. Though I fear I’ve put it to a slightly more violent use!).

Of Dark Lords and Flamethrowers

It’s been a VERY weird week.

It’s been a week wearing an odd Venn diagram of simultaneous hats. Putting live my own signing, seeing my name on posters and press releases, on the FP site… I will shut up about this stuff eventually, I swear, but it’s still squeaky new and very fucking bizarre.

It’s been a week of review copies – of other people actually reading the book. It’s been a week with the filming of a book trailer (thank you Angie), with my first real interview (thank you Stephen Jewell of SFX Magazine – bless you for your ability to put a nervous first-timer at ease!), and where the first incoming blurbs have allowed me to see Ecko through other eyes than my own.

This week’s also contained much speculation about live-webcasting the signing itself – a Nik trick if ever these was one – and not an easy thing when the store has no sodding wifi in the books department. Watch this space for updates on that little adventure…

The clipping here is from Sci Fi Now – a sneaky snippet which puts all of this wackiness into a neat nut/shell/casing…

It’s been a VERY weird week.

 

 

In the Wild!

Raymond E Feist tells a wonderful story about how, when ‘Magician’ was first released, he went round all of his local bookstores ensuring that they sold their copies, and therefore ordered more. I get the impression he’s told this tale more than once!

With this noble legend in mind, I can’t exactly guarantee that my local bookstore will conjure similar vast and ongoing magic… but bless the manager of Waterstones in Sutton for being so supportive!

 

A little Monkey, a little Mushroom, a little Music…

In the days when we could game ’til three in the morning (and still get up), we needed two things – we needed sugar, and we needed music.

Our moods had music. Our characters had music. Settings had music, bad guys had their own signature tracks and we made compilations for scenarios. To this day, I can’t hear the soundtrack to ‘The Thing’ or to ‘Akira’ without powerful memories, and Carter USM’s ‘You Fat Bastard’ remains one of the most iconic tunes of my entire life.

By contrast, I don’t write with music on – I need quiet to focus. I’ll use it as frame-setter though, just as we used to in our gaming days. To set a mood, to conjure a character. To spark a frame of mind. (And to get a kick-arse high on the cross-trainer in the gym, but that’s another story).

Here then, is as close as I’m going to get to ‘writing music’. A little monkey, a little mushroom, a little madness…

Rising

(The image, incidentally, an an iPod dice speaker, which came from here. Want!)

Ecko Rising – For Real!

Overwhelming moment – exhilarating and surreal. Shaking hands as you pick it up (yes really), lump in your throat. Yet there’s that undertow of pure terror… because this is where the truth comes home.

Having your own book in your hands is absolute magic – being able to show your family, your friends, all over the world, and say ‘Look! Here it is!’ There’s no sensation like it; something in you hopes it never fades.

Yet it’s also a moment when you gird your loins, because this is where the slightly nebulous, romantic concept becomes cold and solid. There they are, a hundred of them, a product, down there in the Mail Room  at Titan Towers – they’re going to buyers, to reviewers, to some of the most respected names in the industry.

It’s a moment where you feel absolutely laid bare, under a harsh white lamp of scrutiny.

I’d say be gentle with me, but I have a feeling that this counts as ‘Past the Point of No Return’!

LOOSE!!

Ecko is loose in the wild. Lock up your flamethrowers!

Cheers for Titan Books who’re doing an absolutely storming job of getting his ass out there – initially at EasterCon, with samplers and badges and readings, oh my.

Reading in public for the first time scared the absolute bejesus out of me. Bless Cory Doctorow for a 30-second pep talk that proved invaluable – through even the mighty Captain Boing couldn’t save me from knees shaking so badly I had to lift my Mac off them (be easier when I have a book!) Thank you to everybody who turned up – and didn’t throw things.

The remainder of EasterCon involved a great deal of badge-pinning – onto anyone who’d stand still for long enough. And many of you were good enough to actually keep them in view. More than a few people came past the FP stall with compliments on the sampler – and I managed to sign my first proper official author-type signature for Paul McAuley.

(And you bet I’ll be watching eBay when the book comes out…)

I also managed to sign the MonQee – in the same room where the project was launched in ’08. For anyone who remembers that, it was a suitably surreal moment.

Apparently, Ecko samplers have also been seen out in the open at the London Book Fair this week – along with a whopping great poster up at the Titan Books stall. As Ecko’s flanked by Bats on one side and Kick-Ass on the other, I figure he’s in some pretty august company and he’ll behave himself – but you just never know.

Anyway, I have a scattered few badges and samplers left over. Not really enough to support an event – but if you want one, please holler!