Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Free Books - German and English

The German publisher Fischer just sent me some copies of Kalix. Fluch der Werwölfe, which is due to be published any day now.  At the start of September, I think. This is their translation of Curse of the Wolf Girl.

I like the cover. It's a really nice book. It's also extremely large, a good deal larger than the English edition. Quite a hefty object in fact. You could really do some damage with this book, if you were annoyed with someone and it was the only object to hand.

I'll give two signed copies of this book away free to any German speakers. If you are German and would like one of these two free copies, then do this -

1) Write a reply here saying you want the book.
2) Write something in German that will convince us you actually are German.
3) Email me your address

And I'll send the first two people to do that a signed copy of the book.

[edit 3.40pm - I've given away the German books now, it's too late to enter. Sorry]

Also on the subject of book giveaways, my publisher Piatkus has a competition to win copies of Curse of the Wolf Girl. Go here to look at the competition. They're giving away ten copies so it is worth entering.

I notice the German edition of the book uses quite an old photograph of me. So if you're planning to visit London from Germany to stalk the handsome young Millar, prepare to be disappointed. I look a lot older now, am ageing fast, and spend most of my time just slumped on the couch watching SpongeBopb SquarePants, occasionally shaking my fist at the modern world. But even that feels like quite an effort these days.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Cover Humiliation. For Me.

I really liked the Piatkus Cover for Lonely Werewolf Girl. Nice fonts, and a picture giving an indication of what a desperate Kalix MacRinnalch might look like. All in all, a very suitable cover. I'm still keen on it.

Unfortunately, as was soon pointed out to me, Piatkus weren't the only people who liked the cover image. So did the designers who produced this -

Well that seemed bad, two books with the same cover image. By the time anyone realised, it was too late to do anything about it. The books were all printed and on their way to the shops. After making enquiries, my publisher learned that external freelancer who designed the cover had used a royalty-free stock image, unknown to them. That was very unfortunate, but there was nothing to do but accept it and move on. Because after all, it's just one of those things.

Well actually, it now turns out to be just two of those things. Witness the third exhibit -

Yes, here we have a third book, using the same cover image. As Madeline puts it on my Facebook page, epic fail. I must admit to feeling quite humiliated about this. And slightly worried about how many other books might turn up with the same image. It's probably lurking on the desks of other cover designers right now, and they're all about to use it. Soon it will be advertising cornflakes. But perhaps I should actually encourage other publishers to use the picture. We might set some sort of record.

Am now off to slump on the couch and play Final fantasy 13. I didn't intend to buy this game, but at the Supermarket they put it in a rack that was right beside me when I was queuing up to pay for my food. So really they tricked me into buying it. I had no choice. I was powerless to just stand in the queue and not put it in my basket.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15th - On this day in 1977...

...I was at a punk gig in the Vortex Club in London. I saw the Slits and the Prefects. (I was surprised to actually find the original advert for this gig, on The Vortex was never as hip a punk rock club as the Roxy, because it opened later, but I still saw a lot of good gigs there.

Off the top of my head, bands I remember seeing in this small venue include Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Rezillos, Generation X, Penetration, The Models (featuring Marco Pirroni) The Slits, The Adverts, Sham 69, Menace, and various others.

The Prefects were a strange band, shambolic even by the standards of the time. I remember them quite fondly, before they disappeared without trace. The Slits went on to have success, though I was never a big fan. I liked them when they were a noisy punk band, but they soon stopped being that. In fact, the only record of the way the Slits sounded in their early days is on the first John Peel session they recorded. That's still a favourite of mine. But by the time they made their first album, they'd changed, and played a lot of different, reggae-influenced music, which I never much enjoyed. I was still young, and only a fan of noisy buzzsaw guitars. I suppose you can't blame a band for wanting to move on from that.

Something I remember about this gig was that after the Slits finished playing, they did an encore and the Prefects came back to join them onstage. The played Louie Louie together, which was unusual. Louie Louie wasn't a song original punk bands played by any means, in fact it would have been seen as rather old-fashioned. But anyway both bands combined for some sort of cacophonous version of it, and it was great. I remember Ari Up, the Slits singer, riding piggy back on the shoulders of the Prefects singer.

Hmmm. More punk rock memories from the 70s. Well at least I'm not having a mid-life crisis or anything.

This is how the Slits sounded in their early days. The song is called Vindictive -

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Curse of the Wolf Girl, UK

Today, the 5th, is the official publication day for Curse of the Wolf Girl in Britain. Or I think it is, I'm a bit vague about the exact publication date. And it seems to have been available for a few days anyway. Hmm. This isn't the most impressive publication announcement ever made. But it's out now anyway. I think this edition should now be available in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well.

In London, Kalix is on her way to remedial college to try and improve her reading skills, Vex is going too, and Daniel is still pining over Moonglow. Yum Yum Sugary Snacks are refusing to rehearse, Dominil is getting annoyed and Decembrius is wondering what to do with himself. In Scotland, Markus, now thane of the Werewolf Clan, is wondering if he should tell his girlfriend about his habit of cross-dressing. Malveria, Queen of the Fire Elementals, and Thrix, Werewolf Enchantress, have some important fashion engagements coming up, but the werewolf hunters haven't forgotten about them, and neither has Princess Kabachetka, Malveria's deadly rival. And, that, off the top of my head, should be enough to get you started.

Meanwhile I'll draw your attention to this podcast from Erik Carlson, made up of music inspired by me, which starts off with the Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin, so that can't be bad.


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