Every time I’ve written an Augusta story, I’ve tried to make it different – a different context, or different bad guys, or a different mission parameter and brief. And this one sees the mini-trilogy ending with our trusty Sisters rolling out the Rhinos and fucking shit up.
It was an interesting thing to write, and probably the hardest of the three (learned a LOT about tanks); having been in both the Cadets and TA, squad-level military tactics are something I know very well, but this was a whole new experience.
I am rather fond of the Big Nasty, though – it might well be my favourite Boss of the lot.
Find the full run of novellas on the Black Library website, and, while I’m very sorry there will be no Weekender this year for the series to be loosed properly into the wild, I hope you enjoy the read, come November!
Since I’ve had a couple of people ask me about this…
Bob. Bobobobobob. Who is Bob?
When I got thrown into writing the Judge Anderson novella, a couple of years ago, my knowledge of the 2000AD universe was kinda rusty. I was never allowed to read it, as a kid (I got ‘Whizzer and Chips’ as a little’un and ‘Bunty’ as I got older), so I used to borrow the graphic novels from friends.
Being thrown back into it at almost fifty conjured a lot of mental imagery – particularly from our old roleplaying days – but little in the way of a remembered lexicon. And, with very little time to write, it was a pain in the arse to stop every bloody five minutes and look up something else – the big stuff was obvious, but it was the little things. Does she wear socks? What does she use as a toothbrush? How does she start her bike?
And then, going from that to the VAST mythology of WarHammer 40k… well, that was kinda daunting.
So, I started calling things bob. When I needed a noun that I didn’t know yet, and didn’t want to interrupt my flow to keep looking things up, it was bob. Augusta spent a lot of Bloodied Rose pulling out the bob and aiming at the bob and running along the bob. In Wreck and Ruin, there was at least one bob that sneaked past the final read-though and got picked up by the editor. And in the current WIP (working title ‘Bastion’ after the Keep in Diablo III), there are still bobs all over the shop.
I do keep an Excel spreadsheet of WH40k terms – a writers’ guide, such as it is – which gets longer with every book both read and written. But even then, there’s a galactic bloody fucktonne of terminology to remember, and to get right.
Hence – bob. Bob is everywhere. Trust in the Bob. Believe in the Bob.
Bob is your friend, and he will be there for you, even in the dark times.
Had a fantastic time last year, met lots of wonderful people, and had the opportunity to see the BL authors I usually see at FP… all in their natural element. Which was a whole new perspective…!
This year, I’ll be there from Saturday early evening, so please do come and find me (probably in the bar). Or you can come and throw things at me on the Sunday, where I’ll be talking about my newest Sisters of Battle novella, Wreck and Ruin, and then signing from 12:30.
Wreck and Ruin will be available at the Weekender as part of the BL’s second novella series – plus there’s more Sisters goodness in the Event anthology. And you can always find more tales of Augusta and her intrepid squad on the Black Library website!
Seeing Artifice published has been truly magical, plus having the opportunity to write for both the Black Library and for Rebellion/Judge Anderson has been a huge amount of fun. After a very long, fallow stretch, it’s been SO GOOD to be creative again.
I’ve gone away twice, caught up with long-unseen family, and taken my Mother back home. 2018 was the year I finally reached the Top of the Mountain, the End of the Quest, and was able to put the very last steps of the journey behind me….
For the first time in many years, I’m happy. I have no worries. I have a secure roof over my head. I have growing teen of whom I’m very proud. I have a good job, and we’ve had some fantastic events at the store. My writing is gathering pace, and going really well. And I’ve made a point, this year, of overcoming the inevitable (and slightly foolish) social reluctance and of going out – getting to the events, and the Cons. I’ve even started playing D&D again, after fifteen years.
But the year ended on a sour note, and one I’m still trying to understand.
I came down with a significant anxiety relapse in May, and it took me while to pick myself back up again – it was just so unexpected. (And seemed so utterly unfair). And as a part of trying to understand what had caused it, I took all sorts of tests – an MOT, more than anything else.
As we reach 50, we’re all getting to the point where we have to pay the piper, when those youthful excesses come back and catch us up. And I guess I was trying to brace myself for the worst.
But the results were not what I expected – at the last, the year has thrown me a curveball. I don’t know where it’s come from – it may even be genetic – but I have an underactive (yes, underactive, that surprised me too) thyroid. I guess it explains why I’m so fucking TIRED all the time, why I get days of brain-fog so think that I can barely remember my name, and why – just sometimes – I find it almost impossible to get everything done. And it’s come with a couple of other complications, too, but I’m still working the kinks out of those.
It’s been a good year, and there will be many more. But the necessary sacrifices have been – and will be – very tough. ‘Fight Like A Girl’ is all very well on a battlefield.
This, though, may be a battle of a slightly different nature.