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Them’s The Breaks


So anyway, I wrote the first quarter of The Iron Jackal and then threw it in the bin and started again.

Just goes to show, no matter how long you’re at this game, you can still get things wrong. Β It’s terrifically hard to be objective about a novel that you’re writing; you’re just too close to it.Β So perhaps the time I took writing the first draft of All Fall Down was a blessing, because when I came back to The Iron Jackal I just thought, well, it’s just not as good as the last two. And after attempting to tweak it to get it right I decided to do the decent thing, which was to blast it to pieces with a cannon and start over.

As my longtime readers know, I binned an entire novel and rewrote it from scratch when I wrote The Weavers Of Saramyr. And I had a nightmare with The Fade which also involved binning half a novel. Now I’m only down to a quarter, which means next time it’ll only be one-eighth, and by the time I’m fifty I’ll be abandoning novels three sentences in. So things are looking up, but unfortunately the Quality Control Monster that looms over my shoulder as I write has rapped my knuckles good on this one.

The good news is that I’ve reworked a whole new plot and it’s much better than the original one. I’ve also salvaged some of the best bits of what I had (and other bits that may well make it into Book 4 of the Tales Of The Ketty Jay) which will cut down on the time it takes to write a new draft. The bad news is that publication will probably get knocked back by a few months, meaning it’s likely to arrive late next year instead of the planned release date of August. But I’m gonna do my damnedest to make sure it hits the shelves in 2011 and doesn’t slip into 2012, and barring any more mishaps that should be eminently doable. It will also probably undergo a title change, as the Iron Jackal in the original story isn’t, er, isn’t actually in it any more.

There’s a saying in the publishing world: Better a good book late than a bad book on time. Creativity is a slippery business, and sometimes you just gotta make the hard call. You’ll thank me in the end. Honest.


  1. David says:

    Whilst the idea of the next book breaks my heart something awful, this can only be a good thing! Having thoroughly enjoyed The Black Lung Captain and then becoming incredibly downhearted that it was over I’m eager for the next one, but I suppose any delays give a good excuse to reread them again.

    That also reminds me, I need to get the Braided Path back off my girlfriend…. Your books make thieves of people, I swear!

  2. CJ says:

    Chris Wooding is not your bitch. πŸ˜‰

    ^ The above comment is not directed at David.

  3. Adam says:

    Meh, if it slips to 2012, it slips. I’d rather it was as awesome as the first two than rushed to meet a deadline.

  4. Isaac says:

    Awww Man, Does that mean it will take until like 2014 to come to America? πŸ™
    I order the books off book depository, but its so much harder to get others to read them when they aren’t local.

  5. David – The Braided Path is also good for building muscle mass…

    CJ – Ha! You won’t be saying that when the next book takes 5 years to arrive πŸ˜‰

    Adam – My thoughts exactly.

    Isaac – No, it shouldn’t affect a US release date. If it comes out late 2011, that’s still a while before any US release date, which wouldn’t be till early 2012 at the earliest. Gollancz are still talking with Spectra about signing up for the next two books, so no release dates have been set yet.

  6. Shauna says:

    The Ketty Jay series is looking like my favorite of your books so far. I don’t mind waiting a bit longer for them. It takes time to create something awesome. Keep up the great work. πŸ™‚

  7. Zemi says:

    Keep the title as Iron Jackal. Confuse everyone. Make more money because everyone will buy and read the book to find out the reason for the title. πŸ˜‰

  8. Y’know, I think I just might πŸ˜‰

  9. Tida says:

    I just read David’s comment and I have to agree– your books do make thieves of people. My cousin came down to visit from Sacremento and stole two of your books, which I doubt I’ll be seeing again any time soon.

    While the pushed release date it a bit sad (because I can’t stand to wait for more of Frey and the Ketty Jay), I guess I’ll just have to be productive with that time and spread your books across southern California…

  10. Zay Zay says:

    Is there gonna be a new malice book? I loved the first 2, now i’m eager to see more. So, is there?

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