Today, I found out.
This morning, the husband and I drove the four miles to the printers to sign a special limited edition of our latest novel. (How lucky are we that the printers happens to be just down the road? Very, very lucky!)
|A pallet of books ready for signing|
Fiefdom due out in the summer is from 2000AD and Abaddon books. It’s an all new prose title set in the 2000AD Kingdom comic book world.
I have long been a fan of this particular comic. It’s poetic, lyrical, lovely. It’s also brutal and clever and truthful. When the idea of writing a novel together, tied to this world, was first mooted, I was more than a little excited.
When it came to writing the book it was actually much more taxing than I expected it to be. It was a tough write. It was slow and draining. It was claustrophobic and emotional. I became really very attached to it in a love/hate sort of relationship.
I’m very glad that we wrote it.
It takes forty-five minutes for the husband and I to sign 500 copies of a novel. Apparently, according to Paul at the printers, that’s pretty quick. We were efficient, passing the book along the line from the husband to me, and then on to Ben Smith to do the numbering. We were like a well-oiled machine. We talked, we laughed, we deployed our Sharpies with alarming alacrity.
Then we ate sandwiches.
After that we had the very great pleasure of being interviewed by Michael Molcher, camera and sound by Bradley Gould.
This was trickier. The husband has a very great deal of experience at this stuff. They don’t call him one-take Abnett for nothing. I, on the other hand, am a novice. I laughed. I fluffed. I failed to give full answers. I let the husband do most of the talking. I think it worked out OK in the end.
The ‘just one more question’ was the one that real threw me, though. In the end I had to ask what it was they wanted us to say. It turned out to be pretty simple. Really, all they wanted was for us to say that we’re married. Apparently, after more than thirty years, after me accompanying the husband on I don’t know how many trips and visits, after me answering his phone, editing his work and co-writing with him for I don’t know how long, people still don’t know that.
OK folks, you heard it here first: The husband and I are married... to each other. We share a home, we raised children together, we work in the same room, and, once in a while, we write together.
This is the blurb for Fiefdom. It’s a special book to me, and I hope that some of you might like it too:
New York Times best selling author Dan Abnett is to write an original novel set in the world of his hit 2000 AD comics series Kingdom. Co-written with Nik Vincent, Fiefdom is set one hundred years after the events of Kingdom, in which genetically engineered dog-soldiers fought giant marauding insects in a post-apocalyptic future. Kingdom took us to the isolated wastelands of the southern hemisphere, where Gene the Hackman and his fellow Aux listen to the voices of The Masters as humanity hibernates, awaiting the destruction of the alien Them. In Fiefdom the action moves into the northern hemisphere, where Them are now a folk memory and the Aux war with one another in the ruins of what was once Berlin. Inspired by the legends of Gene, young Evelyn War begins to question the Aux’s situation as she hears the first rumours about the return of Them...
45 minutes for 500 is really impressive.ReplyDelete
I was going to ask a rake of questions about the behind the scenes aspect of the book but your post responding to Shane McElligott's last year question covered everything I'd have asked.
I have one thing I'd like to ask. Where you and Dan on the same page throughout the the project, or where there any instances where your ideas diverged to the stage that it became a big disagreement about how to proceed? I know it's important to find ways to compromise but how would you go about finding the middle ground when you've invested a lot in the development of a character or sequence of events and have formed your own strong opinion of how things should be?
Okay I lied it was two questions.
We sit down and brainstorm all the basic ideas before we start to write, and we have a plot before we get going. It's worth remembering that we've known each other for over thirty years, and that time goes back to us being teenagers, so we've grown together and influenced each other. We also have a huge amount of shared experience, so it's pretty difficult for us NOT to be on the same page.
In writing, often you don't want the middle ground. Writers have the biggest budgets in the entertainment industry. We get to write/produce/direct the biggest of big budget movies on the page, if that's what we want to do. The no-holds barred approach is generally more satisfying than the compromise. That kind of enthusiasm from one or other of us always carries the other along, so, again, compromise is unnecessary. It's not a case of one of us bending to other's will, it's a case of being very happily swept along… of surfing the wave.
Of course each of us has our strengths. Dan does better action sequences. I do better clean-ups. We always try to play to those strengths.
Hope that helps.
It does indeed. Thanks very much for answering my questions I find learning about what went into making a book or movie as entertaining as the finished project itself.Delete
Speaking about compromise I sometimes look at bad parts of movies and bad movies and think to myself "No director would do that would they? The executives must have forced them to do it so they could pull in more different demographics"