AUTUMN: AFTERMATH update

Autumn: Aftermath (Gollancz, 2012)In case you’ve pre-ordered but you missed the email I sent earlier in the week, the much-delayed limited edition hardcover of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH has been delayed again. Only slightly. The book is with the printers at the moment and should, fingers crossed, be heading out to readers a week today.

If this is all news to you, click here for an explanation as to how this special edition of the book has come about.

I expect to have about twenty additional copies of the book available for sale via www.infectedbooks.co.uk once they’ve been delivered. If you want to pre-order one of them (and remember, only one hundred and fifty copies are being printed in total), then click here.

And in other news… a HUGE consignment of paperback copies of the new edition of STRAIGHT TO YOU is currently heading my way. Grab a pre-order from www.infectedbooks.co.uk and get your copy well before the 14 February release date (hopefully by this time next week if you’re in the UK).

Have a great weekend. Check back here tomorrow for a really interesting film recommendation.

Why I’ve rewritten STRAIGHT TO YOU and what’s changed

Straight to You coverMy dad recently asked me why I’d rewritten STRAIGHT TO YOU. A perfectly valid question, to which I had two immediate answers…

  1. I still love the story but I hate the original version of the book.
  2. I think I’m a much better writer now than I was twenty years ago.

…but there’s more to it than that.

STRAIGHT TO YOU is the last of my pre-AUTUMN and pre-HATER novels to be brushed down and re-released. You might remember I did the same with TRUST a couple of years back, but STRAIGHT TO YOU is a different kettle of fish altogether. When I re-wrote TRUST I worked, to an extent, from the original manuscript. With STRAIGHT TO YOU, however, I didn’t go anywhere near the 1996 book. In the introduction to the 2014 edition I’ve written that ‘the title, the premise, a couple of scenes and the characters’ names are all that remain from the original,’ and that’s pretty much it. One of the beta-readers who’d read the original described the new book as ‘an impossible sequel’, and I think that’s an interesting way of looking at it.

The biggest thing that’s changed between the two versions of the book is me. As well as having a load of books under my belt, I’m a very different person from the dumb young bugger who started writing STRAIGHT TO YOU back in January 1994. I’m a husband and a dad now, I write for a living, I have bills and responsibilities, I’ve been through some great times and some very shitty times… When I look back at the original version of the book I’m amazed at how naïve it now feels. The characters are as flat and two-dimensional as I was back then, the relationships between them less plausible than the end of the world scenario they’re supposedly living through. I think that’s down to the fact that when I first wrote the book, I hadn’t really lived.

So what can you expect from the new version? Well, this time around, Steven and Sam are far removed from the sickeningly clichéd young, star-crossed lovers of the original. They’ve been around the block a few times. They’re married, and they’ve just lost a baby. They’re not in a good place. They have problems which feel more pressing than the impending end of the world. I’m not giving anything away when I tell you circumstances drive the two of them apart at the worst possible moment, and that the bulk of the book follows Steven’s journey to reach his wife before the very end of everything.

But that journey, for me, is the key reason why I’ve rewritten the book after so long. Steven now has a real purpose to his quest; it’s not just some gallant (and probably misguided) mad dash across the country to spend time with a woman he’s just met. There are tangible consequences to his every move – what he gains with one hand, he loses from the other. To me, STRAIGHT TO YOU now feels more realistic and much more emotional. It feels firmly rooted in the real world. I think it packs a real punch, and I can’t wait for folks to finally get to read it.

So there you go, Dad. There’s your answer.

The book’s out on 14 February, but you can pre-order signed copies direct from Infected Books by clicking here.

STRAIGHT TO YOU – cover reveal and pre-orders open!

Very few words are needed here. Once again I’ve been blown away by the talent of the mighty Craig Paton. Here’s the cover for the new edition of STRAIGHT TO YOU, out on 14 February from Infected Books (pre-order information below).

Straight to You cover

The book – both paperback and ebooks – will be appearing online at all the usual retailers over the next couple of weeks. You can, however, pre-order signed copies now from Infected Books. Pre-ordered copies will be posted out before the official release date and don’t forget: with any Infected Books title, if you buy the paperback you can claim a free ebook version and, likewise, if you buy the ebook you can claim a discount on the price of a signed paperback. There’s more information here.

Click here to pre-order signed copies of STRAIGHT TO YOU direct from Infected Books.

There are very few copies of the original version of the book left unsold. You can get both versions together as a bundle by clicking here.

STRAIGHT TO YOU the movie (that wasn’t)

Straight to You will be released a month from today. By now I’m sure you know it’s a complete re-write of my debut novel, so the story has been around a fair while. I wanted to tell you about the time the book almost became a movie…

I was in two minds as to whether or not I should post this, but why not. I’ve removed all the names and other identifying details to protect the innocent (more to protect me, actually), but you’ll still be able to get the gist of this cautionary tale. This is an example of how the corporate entertainment machine can ‘acquire’ ideas. Though it’s probably all just coincidence (he adds quickly for legal reasons).

Given how much information I’ve deliberately missed out, I wasn’t sure how best to tell this story. I decided to use the power of Bitstrips.

It all starts back in 2007. When the film rights to Hater were sold, I suddenly had a lot of people very interested in my books.

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I received an email from the production company behind some very famous films. They were asking about Hater initially, but then they started looking at my lesser-known books. As you’d expect, I was really, really excited.

Continue reading

Straight to You

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holidays. I’ve a huge amount planned for 2014, lots to get through, so I thought I’d dive in with the first in a series of posts about the re-release of STRAIGHT TO YOU in February. Today I wanted to explain why I’ve re-written the book.

Incredibly, it’s twenty years ago yesterday since I started work on the first draft of the novel. If you’ve read any of the interviews I’ve done over the years, you’ll inevitably have heard me say I’m a frustrated film-maker at heart. When I left school I wanted to make movies, but with no relevant experience or qualifications, and no immediately obvious way of getting any, I ended up working for a high street bank (something which, though I enjoyed aspects of it at the time, I’m less than proud to admit now). I saved up and bought a video camera, but the quality was poor and editing footage was next to impossible, so plans to break into the film business were put on hold. But I was left with a number of stories rattling around inside my head, and I knew I had to do something with them. I tried my hand at writing screenplays before deciding I was better suited to writing more conventional prose. After a number of false starts, I sat down on 1st January 1994 and set myself a few ground-rules for writing. I told myself it was my last chance.

  1. I decided I’d plan the full outline of the story first;
  2. I’d write at least a page a day;
  3. I wouldn’t go back and re-read or edit anything until I’d finished each full draft.

Six months later and I’d written my first novel, STRAIGHT TO YOU. I reluctantly began showing it to people, assuming they’d hate it, and I was relieved (and shocked and surprised, if I’m honest) when they didn’t. In fact, they seemed to actually enjoy it. Then someone got really angry with me because the ending of the book made them cry, and someone else told me you can’t finish a story like that, and another friend said they couldn’t stop thinking about it… and I realised I might actually be onto something.

Straight to You (Book Guild, 1996)

The original 1996 release of Straight to You

After a relatively brief search, the book found a home with a very small British publisher, and STRAIGHT TO YOU was released in September 1996. You probably know the rest of the story from here… I sat back and naïvely waited for the cheques to come rolling in, but they didn’t. I waited to hear from readers and other publishers, but heard nothing. I checked the shelves of all the bookshops in Birmingham, and found it stocked in only one… The initial print run of just 500 copies failed to sell (and I still have a box left in my garage…). Looking back, it would have been easy to throw in the towel, but I took another option instead. I finished writing AUTUMN and made that book available for free online, and that was probably the single most important decision I’ve taken in my writing career so far.

But STRAIGHT TO YOU wouldn’t go away. People seemed to really respond to the story which, in essence, is very simple: the sun is dying, the end of the world is fast approaching, and our hero is separated from his lover by hundreds of miles – will he reach her before all life on Earth is annihilated?

Straight to You (2006)

2005 Infected Books re-release

In 2005 I re-released the novel through Infected Books, though with a number of reasonably successful novels under my belt by that time, I was growing to dislike my debut. Not the story, just the way it was written. Looking back at the original version now I cringe. Twenty years ago I was a single man with no kids and hardly any responsibilities. I also had bugger all writing experience, bugger all life experience, and it showed. The characters were flat and two-dimensional, the dialogue was awful, you couldn’t move for clichés… Perhaps I’m being overly harsh and critical, but I don’t think so. And as time progressed, so my hatred (and that’s not too strong a word) for the original novel continued to grow. But still the story wouldn’t go away…

Fast-forward to 2011, and when I delivered the last AUTUMN and HATER novels to my publishers, I decided to go back and revisit my other Infected Books releases, to try and bring them up to the standards of my subsequent books and give the stories the treatment I thought they deserved. TRUST, as you probably know, was released in July 2012, and AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION came out last year. That just left STRAIGHT TO YOU, which I rewrote from scratch last summer.

I’m over the moon with the way the book has turned out, and initial feedback has been very positive. I’ll talk in the coming weeks about the inspirations behind the novel, the differences between the original and new versions of the book, and remind me also to tell you about being shafted by Hollywood (because, at one stage, the book was on the verge of being optioned by some very famous folks… and no, I won’t be telling you who, because I can’t afford to sue them and, more to the point, I can’t afford to be sued).

All I’ll say for now is that despite being very, very different, the 2014 version of STRAIGHT TO YOU still retains the same atmosphere of that little book I started writing twenty years ago yesterday. In some ways it feels like an impossible sequel. I guess if I had made it in the movie business, I’d be calling it a reboot or a reimagining. Whatever it is, I can’t wait for people to read it.

An update and an announcement

I did say at the beginning of 2013 that you probably wouldn’t hear very much from me this year and I was right. Apart from the re-release of AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION, I feel like I’ve hardly put my head above the surface. That’s going to change in 2014. Remember this image I posted in September?

wip

Left to right: the 17 DAYS, STRANGERS and STRAIGHT TO YOU manuscripts in various stages of completion!

These three manuscripts have taken up most of my year, but I’m pleased to say they’re now finished. STRANGERS has been through the beta-read process and come out the other side (thanks to those who read it and provided feedback), and 17 DAYS is currently with my agent. But it’s STRAIGHT TO YOU that I want to talk about today.

One of the things I’ve been doing since I finished both the HATER and AUTUMN series last year has been revisiting my older work to try and bring it up to scratch. I felt a real need to clear the decks of older material before moving onto anything new. When I signed with Thomas Dunne Books back in 2008, these novels fell through the cracks and I didn’t want them to be forgotten. The rewritten version of TRUST was released in July 2012, and this year saw AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION back in print in a completely revised and newly expanded edition. Now it’s the turn of the final ‘missing book’ – STRAIGHT TO YOU – to get a lick of paint, except on this occasion the changes are more than just cosmetic.

I’m planning several posts about the book over the coming weeks. I’ll tell you about the substantial differences between the old and new versions, why I’ve rewritten the book, the adventures I’ve had with approaches for the film rights, why I’m re-releasing it now and how that’s going to happen, and more besides. But for today, I guess all you need to know is this: the re-written, re-edited and repackaged STRAIGHT TO YOU will be released through Infected Books on 14 February 2014 (yes, I’ve gone for Valentine’s Day… what better date for a heartbreaking apocalyptic romance?). It’ll be available as an ebook and trade paperback.

“The sun is dying. The temperature around the world is rising by the hour with no sign of any respite. It won’t be long before all life on Earth is extinguished. It might be weeks, it might be days… we may only have hours. Society is crumbling. The burning world is rapidly descending into chaos.

Steven Johnson’s wife is hundreds of miles away and all that matters is reaching her before the end. He has to act now, no time to stop and think. Every second is precious. Tomorrow is too late.”

If you’re a fan of the original book, don’t worry. The spirit of the story has definitely been maintained. Even though it’s very nearly twenty years since I began writing the first version of the book and it’s my lowest selling title by some margin, people still regularly stop me to talk about STRAIGHT TO YOU. The story still holds up today, perhaps even more so than back in the late nineties. I don’t mind admitting that I still cried like a baby when I typed the final scenes this time around! I’m looking forward to giving the book the release I think it deserves and bringing it to a much wider audience in early 2014.

AUTUMN: AFTERMATH limited edition – pre-orders now open

As promised in my last post, you can now pre-order the Infected Books/Gollancz hardcover edition of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH. Do so before 10 January and your name will be included in a special section of the book.

Click here to pre-order, and let me know if you have any issues/questions/problems with the system. Many thanks!

Giving TRUST some love

Trust 2012 coverI finished writing the new version of STRAIGHT TO YOU yesterday. Just edits, beta-reads and (I hope) a little subsequent re-work to be done now, and then my project to get all my older books re-released will be almost complete. I’ll tell you more about the updated version of the book and my plans for it in the coming months.

All this looking back got me thinking about TRUST again. I’m very proud of the book, but I don’t think I’ve shown it enough love in the year and a half since it was re-released, so here’s a little blatant self-promotion to boost its profile.

Starburst magazine rated it 10/10 and said “TRUST is a slow-burner and all the richer for it. The layers of characters and details of the story play out perfectly when matched with an ending you’re not likely to forget. It’s also an outstanding novel, delivers in more ways than one, and is worthy of a place on the discerning fan’s bookshelf.

Booklist Online said “The writing is not as visceral as Moody’s popular post-apocalyptic novels, but that isn’t a bad thing: this story, with its slowly building sense of unease and multiple thematic undercurrents, needs a more delicate touch. Moody’s many fans will absolutely want to read this one.

You can read two-thirds of the novel online at www.trustdavidmoody.com, and I’ve decided to leave the entire book available at Wattpad (where it’s had an amazing reception so far). If you haven’t read it, please do check it out as I think you’ll enjoy it.

TRUST is available as a low price ebook, and as a paperback and limited edition hardcover from all the usual outlets. Signed copies are available exclusively from the Infected Bookstore.

Trust standby

Two new UK AUTUMN releases out today

isbn9781473201668Today sees the launch in the UK of two new AUTUMN releases from Gollancz. First up is THE COMPLETE AUTUMN – an ebook only collection of the five AUTUMN novels (Autumn, The City, Purification, Disintegration and Aftermath) available in all major formats: Kindle / iBookNook / Kobo / ePub (Waterstones) / ePub (Hive). A great way to get into the series if you haven’t yet read the books. And don’t forget, for full completeness you can also pick up THE HUMAN CONDITION for the bargain price of £1.99!

Also available from today is the mass market paperback edition of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH (Amazon / Book Depository / Waterstones / Hive / Indiebound). There are a few copies available at www.infectedbooks.co.uk – the Infected Bookstore.

I know many of you are waiting for news about the limited edition AFTERMATH hardcover… it’s coming. I’m sorry it’s taking so long. I’ve been in conversation about it this week and hope to open pre-orders (with a cool little addition for those folks pre-ordering) before the end of October. For those who’ve yet to hear about this project, click this link for more information.

A few new releases

Don’t get too excited – I don’t have any new titles to announce yet, just a few new editions of older books.

On 10th October, Gollancz will release the mass market UK edition of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH, details of which are here. And on the same day, they’ll also be releasing THE COMPLETE AUTUMN – a collection of the five AUTUMN novels in a single ebook package, great value if you’ve not yet picked up the series.

By the way, I’m still working on the limited edition AFTERMATH hardcover due from Infected Books in collaboration with Gollancz and I should have some news for you shortly. Apologies for the ongoing delay. More information about that project can be found here.

On 15 October, a little later than originally planned, MKrug Verlag will release HERBST: AUSKLANG – the German translation of AFTERMATH. It’s been a long wait for German readers, so I’m really pleased the book will soon be out.

isbn9781473201668  Autumn-Aftermath-9780575091498 Herbst Ausklang

And then in December, I’m very excited to announce that Delos will publish AUTUMN in Italian as AUTUMN, L’ATTACO DEI MORTE VIVENTI (which translates to Autumn, Attack of the Living Dead). More details and cover art etc. as I get them.