Archive for the ‘launch party’ Category
Posted on April 24, 2015 - by MG
(many more photos from both launch parties on my Flickr Gemini Force One album.)
Time for a quick recap on the launch of Orion Children’s Book’s edition of GEMINI FORCE ONE: BLACK HORIZON. For long-term followers of what is now admittedly a very occasional blog, the Blackwell’s cake party will be familiar. But this time, as a special treat for some Kickstarter backers and book bloggers, Waterstone’s Piccadilly also invited us to put on a London bash.
As we say in the publishing world – Hurrah!
In another first, I also decided that the Oxford party would be even more fun to share the occasion with my good friend and fellow children’s author Sally Nicholls. Sally’s latest title – AN ISLAND OF OUR OWN – was published the same day as BLACK HORIZON.
Jamie Anderson and I have been booked for a number of literary festivals and conventions this year – to date we can go public about Hay Festival, Andercon and SciFi Wales. We’d already had a trial run of our ‘festival event’ at the fab SciFi Scarborough, so the Waterstone’s Piccadilly launch gave us a chance to hone our double act a little more.
Next stop – Hay Festival!
Hope you enjoy the photos. If you’d like to follow updates more regularly, you can add me on Twitter or Facebook – links on the right of the website!
Posted on October 23, 2014 - by MG
August, 2014. It was meant to be discreet. Jamie and MG signing tip-in sheets on their dining room tables, getting together to sign the paperback Kickstarter edition, quietly sending out delicious packages to all our lovely backers. No publicity, no party.
A STEALTH LAUNCH.
But then Goldsboro Books, our exclusive retail partner for the collector’s edition of GEMINI FORCE ONE: BLACK HORIZON, decided to invite us to a party – Fantasy in the Court, their knees-up for LONCON3, the World Science Fiction convention. And…party! We couldn’t say no.
Orion Children’s Books very kindly threw in another small party, just for Team #GeminiForce1 and other friends from Orion Publishing Group.
The only teeny tiny problem was the date. I was going to be in deepest southern Spain that morning. It was going to take two moderately long car journeys, a flight and a train to get me there on time. Frankly I though there was no chance.
And yet, somehow. God is great, as they cry out from minarets, of a Friday. Or at least decided to look elsewhere that day when it came to random calamity. Thank you Lord.
Lovely photos here show Jamie, me and Lisa Milton from Orion, drinking fizzy wine and cheering for the first hardback copies of the book, as well as the exciting moment of cover reveal.
Look at our pretties!
The story is pretty darn good too, you really can’t go far wrong with a classic Thunderbirds type rescue combined with family drama. Here are just some of the many lovely comments we’ve had on Facebook and our Kickstarter page from the first backers to read the book among our Kickstarter backers.
- Angela GC Howard: “Reading Gemini Force One and just got past the first daring rescue…. I have no fingernails left!”
- Nicole Dyer: “Well the first adventure is over for me.. I’ve finished the book (Gemini Force One – Black Horizon) it was absolutely amazing!!! I enjoyed every single page and can’t believe we got to be a part of something so awesome! Its all only just begun and I can’t wait to see where it all leads!!”
- Richard Bailey: “So after a dull and miserable morning what cheered me up today…have a guess…reading Gemini Force One Black Horizon.”
In April 2015, you can all find out what the Kickstarter backers are so excited about.
Posted on March 7, 2014 - by MG
So far I’ve been to three. (I know, lucky!) First up was Jo Cotterill’s LOOKING AT THE STARS, which was the loveliest cake party packed with other kids authors from Oxford and the environs as well as a bunch of Oxford school’s loveliest librarian. All-round kidlit sugary goodness to celebrate an actually rather serious book about a girl who uses story-telling to help her comfort her family and to survive a harrowing journey of exile.
Then last week, to get down for the first book of Robert Muchamore’s new series ROCK WAR (the link is to an interview he did on the BBC about the new books). The Rock War launch was a rollicking rock and roll party in Camden with invites mocked up as classy rock-concert tickets. Little Daughter and I went with another mother-and-daughter couple, friends from Oxford. The tweens strutted their stuff amongst the hordes of other young people while Clare and I looked wistfully at the buffet table of goodies and wished we maybe hadn’t just stuffed our faces with yummy Chinese street food of yumminess. We also chatted to all the other kids authors who were there, this time the London lot. Robert was busy all evening signing books and taking photos with fans, announcing his imminent retirement, probably, until he decides to launch a comeback.
As exciting as all this was, it wasn’t until the last day of the month that it reached the highlight of book launches, probably for the rest of my year. Because my dear friend Sarah Hilary, a friend since our teenage years, was finally and spectacularly published by Headline with the blisteringly good detective thriller – SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN.
We were probably fourteen years old when we met for the first time. It was outside the stage door of the Rex Theatre in Wilmslow, where we’d both come (alone) to see our favourite actor from TV series Blakes 7, Paul Darrow, starring opposite Rula Lenska in Mr. Fothergill’s Murder. So taken by this event was I that I ended up recreating the scene in what is technically my first novel, the post-modern, experimental Blakes 7 fanfic novel, BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH. (Come on, every writer has a po-mo experimental fanfic novel in the drawer, admit it.)
After having our hearts set a-flutter by meeting the sexy Mr Darrow at the peak of his handsomeness, Sarah and I remained in touch.
From the beginning, Sarah made it clear that she wanted to be a writer. I, on the other hand, had swapped that very early ambition for another, possibly more difficult one – being a film director. We lived quite far apart in Manchester so saw each other intermittently over the next few years, principally to get together to watch Blakes 7. We went to college, the relationship became one of correspondence. Sarah was writing an original screenplay. She was writing an adaptation of a Philip K Dick book. My ambitions to become a film director had been thrown aside, this time for a career in science. Sarah, meanwhile, appeared to be studying something creative and getting on with the plan.
I was fairly certain that soon enough, I’d be seeing movies with Sarah’s name attached as writer.
We grew into our twenties. And lost touch.
Fast forward to 2004. Sarah wrote to me via the website of the IT company I co-founded and where I worked. As it turned out, she lived close by in the Cotswolds, had a young daughter a year older than Little Daughter. We met up. Of course, my first question was – what happened to the writing. Sarah shrugged. She’d gone down the path of getting published – it hadn’t worked out. I’m thinking of trying it, I told her. Have an idea for a technothriller about the Mayan apocalypse in 2012. Good luck, she said, with honesty. It’s not easy to get published, but you should definitely try.
Then we talked about fan fiction. Sarah hadn’t spent years reading and writing fanfic, and was fascinated. Especially to hear that I’d gone cold-turkey on fandom, around 1997. (Yes that is how committed I was to getting published, I even gave up my hobby so that my mind would be clear of Blakes 7 and ready to develop original ideas. )
In the next few years, I began writing seriously. Sarah began to write fanfic. She was really, really good at it. Soon she began to write a literary novel. I loved her first manuscript. It certainly got agent attention. But the usual thing – not quite what they were looking for, difficult to find a market. It was a bit of a re-run of what Sarah had gone though years before. But this time, she didn’t give up. There we both were, bloody-minded and determined to get a book deal.
At Cadbury World, I told Sarah of my planned sequel to Failed Ms #1 – title THE FIFTH CODEX. This eventually became INVISIBLE CITY – my first published novel.
At an indoor kids playground in Carterton, Sarah and I chewed over her own progress with agents. It wasn’t happening. Why don’t you write crime? I said. You certainly know how to write violence and fear and suffering. Crime’s got a lot of that, hasn’t it? You’d be brilliant. Sarah wasn’t sure. I’m not sure I can do plot. One can learn how to do plot, I said, and anyway I think you can. Your books keep me up all night.
So began the Sisyphean task of breaking ground as a new crime author. I won’t pretend to know anything about the genre, except that Scandi stuff is popular, isn’t it? And a cool woman detective.
Finally, about two years ago, Sarah sent me something to read that she was hoping would get a book deal. If not, she was going to self-publish. That ms was SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN. When I finished it I emailed Sarah. I couldn’t imagine a world where this book wouldn’t get a book deal. It had everything a great crime novel should have – terrific structure, a wonderful twist, as well as what had been present in Sarah’s writing from the beginning – wonderful prose and characters. It was chewy, I remember telling Sarah. This one’s going to make it. Just wait.
And it did.
Posted on September 5, 2013 - by MG
The project I’ve referred to as Thrilling New Project is a collaboration – between the late, great, AMAZING Gerry Anderson, creator of classic sci-fi adventure shows as Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlett, Space 1999, UFO and many more – and little ol’ me!
In the last few years of Gerry’s life he’d started working on something new – a series of books about a new rescue agency – GEMINI FORCE. He’d imagined a massive semi-submersible platform that would rise majestically out of the sea, beaming powerful blue lights into the sky – the secret base, GEMINI FORCE ONE. However, although he was able to draft story lines, chapters, character descriptions and an outline plot for the first adventure, Alzheimer’s disease soon made it extremely difficult for him to make any more progress.
Gerry’s family wanted to fulfill this wish, so they began looking around for a writer who might be able to complete the first book and to continue the series with the same philosophy that imbued all of Gerry’s work – a blend of action, adventure, hi-technology, tension and ultimate human drama.
When the Anderson Estate asked me if I’d be interested in the project, I was thrilled beyond belief! Gerry was still alive back then (last year) and I was so excited at the prospect of meeting and maybe even working with such a master of entertainment. Not only that but I recognized just what a debt I and many authors like me owe to Gerry Anderson.
I can remember exactly what it felt like to watch his shows – my personal favourites were THUNDERBIRDS, SPACE 1999 and later, TERRAHAWKS. The spirit of adventure that imbued them, the production values and loving attention to detail, especially engineering and science, impressed me deeply. And inspired me!
SO – to have a chance to take over the work of such a tremendous, personal influence on my own work – can you imagine?!
I’ve been keeping this project under wraps for months now. Gerry’s passing was obviously a huge blow to the family. GERRY ANDERSON’S GEMINI FORCE ONE, however, already had enough Anderson DNA to have a life of its own.
That’s why today at 9.30am, Anderson Entertainment launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money from Anderson fans, my readers, and adventure readers all over the world, to get GERRY ANDERSON’S GEMINI FORCE ONE published just the way Gerry wanted – a contemporary sci-fi adventure series for the young AND the young-at-heart (meaning, people like me!)
Please follow our Kickstarter campaign to find out more about:
- GEMINI FORCE ONE – regular video updates about the project, background and its future (all in your hands!)
- Amazing rewards for our beloved backersAlso to give us feedback, please! We might be able to dig out more items for the rewards – just let us know what you might like. (within reason, please! We’re not going to be able to take you to Disneyland or anything like that…GEMINI FORCE ONE can only happen with YOUR help! IT’S YOUR DECISION. You can also help by letting all your friends know about GERRY ANDERSON’S GEMINI FORCE ONE. Tweet with the hashtag #gf1Follow @GerryAndersonTV, @RealMGHarris and #gf1 Tweet it, everyone! Tweet like the wind!
Posted on June 7, 2013 - by MG
A rare return to the blog – I’ve not retired, simply retired to Twitter and Facebook, like so many bloggers. But once in a while, I may have a thought or experience that’s worthy of more than a fleeting comment on the world’s filter-free news-ticker.
(Actually, a few weeks ago I went to LA to research Secret New American Thing, a new book project about which I’m keeping quiet until various things are sorted out, but which IS DEFINITELY HAPPENING. 2014, sometime, probably summer. But more on that when I finally blog about SNAT.)
So last night I went off to That London to meet up with some of me lovely author pals, at the launch of the latest Jimmy Coates adventure by Mr Joe Craig – BLACKOUT. Live action trailer is below – looks amazing!
JIMMY COATES is a brilliant series of hi-tech action thrillers about a boy who learns he’s part of an experimental government program to ‘grow’ soldier-assassins using cyborgs that are also part-human. The killer cyborgs will activate when they reach eighteen. But Jimmy activates when he is just eleven. And that just ain’t right, boys and girls. So THEY are after him. Why did he activate young? (strokes fingers) A mystery. Who did this to Jimmy? (strokes chin) An enigma. Can he learn to master his cybernetic powers and control his urge to violence? (strokes cheeks) You’ll just have to buy the books!
Anyway, here are some party photos from the lovely children’s bookshop. Victoria Parks Books.
Finally, if you’re still reading this far, I’ll just say that Joe Craig, the multi-talented author of the JIMMY COATES books (he sings! he plays cricket! he interviews himself!), is a New Friend and that we have been Talking about a little project I used to call Quite Secret New Thing. Turns out that Joe too had a QSNT. Hmm. ‘I wonder’, we wondered, ‘what might happen if the two QSNTs were to meet?’