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

 

 

Children of Artifice – Publication News!

Over the bloody MOON to be able to announce that Fox Spirit Books will be publishing my novel ‘Children of Artifice’ later this year.

Artifice has been a very personal journey. One central character draws on my experiences with my mother and with the relationships of my past – I guess he’s about as close to ‘me’ (a younger ‘me’, perhaps, and necessarily stylised) as anything I’ve ever created. The other is a concept that I’ve been wrestling with for a very long time – he’s been the subject of various forms of exploratory fiction, on and off, for many years, and I’ve never been able to get him quite right…  until now.

It’s not some sweeping saga – I kinda did that. It’s a love story with a sharp edge, an urban fairy tale. It’s a science fantasy with a metallurgical bite and a volcanic undertone. It’s about barriers and expectations, and what happens when you break them; its about family, and why it matters, and what happens when it goes wrong. And, (going to toot my own for a minute, here), I’m really rather proud of the intricate weave of its story.

I’m also really, very pleased that it’s being published by Fox Spirit Books, where I think it’s found the right spiritual home!

BristolCon

Looking forward to heading to BristolCon tomorrow – and will be taking my son with me. He’ll be grumpy as all fuck (he wanted to be at MCM) and it’s his first outing into our little world… so look out, this may get colourful!

Find me, not behind a trading table (hurrah!), but hanging out with friends and on a couple of excellently topical panels. There’s a Mass Signing (why does that always sound so Catholic?) at 2:00pm, and I’ll be moderating an ‘Out Of This World’ line-up at 5:00pm in Room 1 – join Jen Williams, Gareth Powell, Paul McAuley and Dolly Garland as they tell us where they’d <really> like to go on holiday. Then at 6:00pm, also in Room 1, it’s all about the delights of cross-genre fiction with Jo Lindsay Walton, Elizabeth Jones, Jason Whittle and Nick Hembry.

Sadly the one place I won’t be is in the bar in evening, as we’ll be doing the loooonng haul home on the train, but, in my resolution that I <must> get to more Cons next year, BristolCon is just the best warm-up!

Tales of Battle

In the midst of finishing the second Artifice book (called ‘The Last Daughter’) and trying to drag my thoughts together to start something new, a couple of pieces of battle-happy news…

Kristell Ink’s Fight Like A Girl anthology, the book that started with a random tweet and then snowballed into the kind of all-female awesomeness that really pisses off (some) Doctor Who fans, has been shortlisted for The BFS Award for Best Anthology. Delighted to  have a story in the book, and chuffed as fuck that it’s done so well. Seriously, whoathunkit?

Plus a story in the forthcoming Legends III Anthology from NewCon Press, published next year for the David Gemmell Awards. I didn’t know David personally, but he was a guest of the business many times – and he always looks like such a wonderful character. I remember reading Legend, and hope I’ve written something suitably battle-worthy.

And more short story news coming soon, with a little luck!

A Shoutout to All the Writers who have Kids…


A shout out to all the writers who have kids…

Who can’t sit for ten minutes without a snotty nose or a spilled drink – just when they’re in the middle of a critical scene.

Who can’t gather any pace or drama because Billy has just shaved the cat.

Who keep shouting, “Turn it DOWN, I’m trying to work’.

Who feel guilty because they should be doing something with your child/ren – even though they’re going to the park as soon as they’ve finished this chapter.

Who won’t finish the chapter before they go to the park.

Who carefully explain that they have to set aside time as they have a deadline next week – knowing that it will never happen.

Who allocate time to the child/ren first – and are then so bloody worn out that they can’t sentence a string together

Who know that the child/ren is/are just acting up because you’ve told them you ‘need an hour’…

…but who still has to drop everything to deal with PlayStation rage, upset over a text message, or ‘MUUUUUM this is broken’…

…or who know that something is going on – but are utterly determined NOT to get up as the little buggers are just doing it for attention.

And who thank every God when the little horror/s go out for an hour and they can FINALLY work out how the characters out of that PARTICULAR tangle.

Yeah, I know. So here’s a *fistbump* to all the Mums and Dads who write.

(I’ve had peace for two days, and have racked up five thousand words and a completed short story. Which I’m really rather pleased with. The best thing about writing and kids? It’s the relief of the quiet… and the MASSVE HEADWAY you make when they’re out on manoeuvres!

 

One Month: No Booze

I like a glass of wine. I like a couple of glasses of wine. And gin, gin is good. G&T on the balcony of a weekend evening. Or when I’m tired, or stressed. Or as a cure of anxiety. Or…

Yeah, so I’m not necking Gordon’s by the bottle and I don’t (usually) drink on school nights. But still: time to quit.

And after one month of no booze (and honestly, I haven’t even wanted it), I’ve sussed that all of that pious health-fad stuff is actually true.

  • Feeling better (and I mean ‘singing in the shower and scaring the neighbours’ better)
  • Sleeping better (along with some very wacky dreams)
  • MUCH more energy (physical and mental, really WANT to get on and do things)
  • Better memory (yeah, that’s kind of double-edged)
  • Higher intelligence (seriously)
  • Higher levels of creativity (VERY important!)
  • I’ve lost weight (half a stone, or thereabouts)
  • And saved money

But there are other things, more subtle things, that you don’t realise.

  • Less junk food (why do booze and crisps and CHEESE always go together?)
  • More time in the gym (you might as well, as there’s no wine)
  • Better sense of humour (including at yourself, and that’s always a win)
  • More even temper (cats are chuffed about this)
  • Easier to relax (bizarre, but true)
  • No lingering wisps of anxiety or depression (been replaced by a suffocating cloud of smug)
  • And yes, even my periods are less moodswingy and painful

So… I may have to turn in my membership of The Order of St. Ethelbert the Inebriate, but I’m hoping my good brethren and sistren will forgive my blasphemy. The spirits are willing, but the flesh, as you grow older, just can’t handle it anymore.

By tsong on deviantart

 

Keep Buggering On – or, Writer’s Block Sucks

What’s that episode of Doctor Who where Capaldi beats his way out of the icewall surrounding the castle? (It’s a good’un, as well).

Sometimes, writing feels like that – you’re making progress, but it’s really slow and all the remorseless keyboard-beating just hurts your hands.

Walk, cup of tea, keep buggering on, don’t edit as you go, walk, cup of tea…

But you try to go forwards, and slam! Your hands hit the wall, again.

Walk, cup of tea…

We’ve had two articles in the Guardian recently, one from the woman who wrote two novels and quit, and then the response from David Barnett, about how you’ve got to be tough with this stuff, so deal with it. And speaking as someone who did quit and then took it back up again, I feel deeply for both of them.

This week, quitting would be so easy. And keeping going is so hard.

Walk, cup of tea…

But the mark of a writer is not success. Don’t get me wrong – the accolades are great – but they’re not what makes the woman. The writer is one who writes, because they have to. The images, the characters, the imaginary things in your head – they won’t leave you alone. And yes, you need to be tough – and every time you bruise your knuckles on that icewall, it’s another tiny crack.

Walk, cup of tea…

I keep telling myself that the wall will come down. I just hope it doesn’t take me as long as it took the Doctor.