Progress Report April ’14

Posted on April 30th, 2014 in news, progress

It’s been a slightly bitty and pernickety couple of months since the last progress report at the end of February. A big part of April got taken up with a hugely exciting secret project the details of which I cannot reveal and probably never will be able to reveal and hence I should never have mentioned in the first place.  Half a King plunges toward publication, now firmly slated for July 3rd in the UK and July 15th in the US, and the load of publicity and promotional work, blogs and interviews begins to wind up.  It feels like a long old time since I last put a book out – Red Country was all the way back in November 2012 – so I’m rather looking forward to the excitement (and panic) of putting something new in front of readers.

The sequel, Half the World, got a pretty darn good reception from my various editors and agents in the UK and US, I’m delighted to say, but there are still a fair few comments to attend to, not to mention a few things I’d like to look at again and a general smoothing of the language, which I’ll be tackling in May, but nothing that should interfere with its slated publication date of Feb ’15.

Meanwhile I now have a pretty solid plan for the third book, Half a War, a detailed chapter breakdown for the first part, and have drafted the first three chapters, one from each of its point of view characters.  I’ll be taking a further look at those over coming weeks, mulling them over, trying to get into the characters’ heads and develop a bit more of an individual style for each of them.  Then I’ll be cracking on with the drafting end of May/June in the hope of making a firm start on the second part before the events for Half a King get seriously underway in July.

I’ve also finished up three short stories that are intended to fit into some new editions of the First Law later on this year.  The Blade Itself one, A Beautiful Bastard, is an episode from Glokta’s past, the Last Argument of Kings one, Made a Monster, is an episode from Logen’s, the Before They are Hanged one, Hell, gives a little insight into what happened when Dagoska fell to the Gurkish from the point of view of a young acolyte called Temple.  More details on when and how these will be available later, but they’ll definitely be in a comprehensive collection of all my First Law short stories which should be appearing some time in 2016.

Also in that collection will be Tough Times all Over, a 12,000 word novelette which is appearing first in George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois’ latest cross-genre heavyweight anthology, Rogues, which is coming out June 17th in the US (I’m not sure there’s currently a UK publisher for it) and will also feature stories from Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Pat Rothfuss, Connie Willis and Scott Lynch among many others, not to mention GRRM himself.

That is your progress report for April.

29 Comments So Far... (join in)


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  1. Thanks for the update Joe. I really and truly appreciate your books. I am jealous as hell of course that someone can write so well and so creatively with such apparent ease. It makes my struggles with the written word so much more poignant eh!,

    I wish you success with everything, and I will be first in line for the new books.

  2. Any chance, eventually, of a Dogman short story? Dogman fans demand nothing less.

  3. “a hugely exciting secret project the details of which I cannot reveal and probably never will be able to reveal and hence I should never have mentioned in the first place”

    Hollywood sniffing around a new franchise perchance?

  4. blah blah blah LOGEN!

  5. Joe – You had me at Glotka!

  6. Addy,
    June 17th, but that’s the US edition being sold in the UK.

    Badger,
    YOU MIGHT THINK THAT. I COULDN’T POSSIBLY COMMENT. More seriously, ‘Hollywood’ has sniffed around for some time in various guises, but putting together something that has a reasonable chance of actually getting made and in some way is true to the source material – that’s a whole different ball game.

  7. Stay strong, Terry Goodkinds the sword of truth on the sci fi channel is after all a bloody travisty. Despite repeated attempts Frank Herberts Dune has never gotton it done for me either. I want some True Grit mixed in with some Saving private Ryan style brutality, with a sprinkling of one of my favourite films of all time Excaliber……. or nothing. No matter how many times Lee Child try’s to convince you Tom Cruise is ft 6:6 and can play Jack Reacher he’s still a bloody liar and I’m still not convinced.

    Do not sell out joe.

  8. Echoing Lewis, stay strong dude. Have it done on your terms, or not at all . . . that said if they pay you millions and it’s dreck you can simply disown it.
    I’m thinking of Michael Kane when asked he thought of his performance in Jaws III, he (reportedly) said
    “I’ve never seen it, but I’ve seen the house it bought, and it was beautiful”.

  9. Seeing the Bloody Nine and Fenris the Feared go toe to toe on the screen,big or small, would be amazing.

  10. Glad to hear that you’re choosy. It worked well for JK Rowling after all. :)

    On a related note – I only picked up The Blade Itself on the strength of an internet news article saying that Paul W.S. Anderson had picked up the rights to the trilogy and that it was a good idea to read the books before a film ruins them. So when passing Waterstones I saw the book, judged it by the cover and bought it.

    I don’t know how true the news article, but I’m glad I read it.

  11. Joe, this is reason number 2,268 why we as fans love you to pieces. That’s as detailed and clear a progress report as one could possibly ask for. Just imagine what an easier time in life a certain bearded old codger (cough GRRM cough) would have if he respected his fans this much. Well done, Joseph. Keep em coming and I’ll keep buying

  12. Exciting. Secret. Not likely to come to fruition.

    Current odds
    ————
    100:1 Cross dressing
    25:1 Itchy rash
    3:2 TV/Movie rights sold

  13. Lewis – Well said mate. Every time I hear Lee Child saying he’s happy with Tom Cruise as Reacher my bullshit detector lights up like a big well lit thingy. How can you create a character with such a well defined and hugely important sense of physicality and be happy that the mighty midget ended up playing him?

    Joe – Just out of interest, if Cruise somehow secured the rights to The First Law trilogy and cast himself as Logan, how would you feel about it?

  14. “Once you’ve got a task to do, it’s better to do it than to live with the fear of it”

  15. Ramsay,
    Cruise as Logen? I actually never saw the show. But I saw the house it bought, and it was beautiful.

  16. I guess to be fair there’s not a lot I wouldn’t do for 1/2 a million or more so I fully accept I’m a hypocrite. I guess the point I’m making is that there are few films/TV shows these day’s that have an impact on me like for example Braveheart/Gladiator on first viewing. That sense that you’re seeing something new that ticks all the boxes. For me that’s the impact that good books still have. A sense of something original and new that grabs you by the throat and holds you there. For what it’s worth I’d suspend my disbelief and watch a film/TV show were one to be made. (Shitting myself that my vision of your books are about to be raped at every second).

  17. The first thing that popped into my mind when I read your post was that George RR Martin needs help finishing Dance With Dragons in order to stay ahead of the HBO series.

    HMMMMMMMMMM…..

  18. I’m going to buy that book of First Law short stories. I am going to buy it SO HARD, that its ears are going to ring for weeks, and it will blush every time it sees itself in a mirror. ‘Struth.

    You saw Lee Childs’ new house?. Or was that poetic licence type authorial business?. =]

  19. I think we are forgetting about games as a possible for the super secret project. That said, I’d sell my kids for an accurately portrayed TV series of the books.

  20. Joe,
    Will you be writing any prequel short stories about Bayaz in the Old Empire.

  21. Do you have any idea when “Half a King” will be published in the rest of Europe?

  22. AntMac,
    My imaginary response based on that of Michael Caine to his performance in Jaws 2 referenced above.

    Storm,
    no imminent plans to do that.

    Kane,
    It’s going to vary country to country.

  23. I think I have an addiction or something, it can’t be good for me. I read Jabbawingos idea above, for a game, and my palms started to itch, and my breathing constricted !.

  24. AntiMac,
    LOL! And Joe didn’t respond to it, so i must be right! That’s how it works on the internet yes?

  25. That’s exactly the short stories I’ve looking for. “Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he is a mind reader” :)

    So, when you’ll reveal some of your secrets? maybe in the next year? I hope it’s regarding a new book/series, but a TV/movie adaptation could also be nice.

  26. Thank you, I hope to see a collection of all your short stories in 2016 -or sooner!- Speaking of the published ones, I’m looking for “Yesterday, Near A Village Called Barden” but with no luck whatsoever, Waterstone’s hardcover copies are impossible to get. Amazon says it is not in the enhanced ebook version of the heroes :( any suggestions (for my Gorst fix)?

  27. Alissa,
    If you can’t find a Waterstones edition I’m afraid you might have to wait for the collection. I don’t know of anywhere else you can find that story…

  28. I’ll wait. Thank you very much for your reply, “the heroes” is the first book I’ve read of yours, and it is terrific! Any chances of a tour for “half a king” in northern Italy?

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