I’ve a number of great features lined up for this site, but time has got the better of me this week so I don’t have anything ready to post*. In lieu of interesting content, therefore, I’ll give you this:
SIGNED COPIES OF STRAIGHT TO YOU, TRUST AND AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION ARE HALF PRICE UNTIL MONDAY 12 MAY. ALL PURCHASES INCLUDE FREE EBOOK VERSION**
* You shouldn’t have too long to wait to see what I’ve been working on.
** You’ll need to complete a short form to download your complementary ebook – details can be found here.
I’ve been bowled over with the response to the new version of STRAIGHT TO YOU. Sales have been strong, and folks have been really positive with their words. To celebrate, until March 21 you can pick up signed copies of STRAIGHT TO YOU, TRUST and AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION at a 10% discount from www.infectedbooks.co.uk. And don’t forget, complementary ebook versions are included with all those titles.
Alternatively, you could try and win a copy of the new book. There’s a giveaway running over at SCREAM MAGAZINE!
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.
I decided I’d plan the full outline of the story first;
I’d write at least a page a day;
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.
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?
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 CONDITIONcame 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.
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?
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.
I feel like post after post recently has been me trying to sell you stuff (I guess that’s what this site’s all about, really). Anyway, if you’ve been following progress on Facebook you’ll have seen a number of Infected Books special offers come and go. This is the last week for posting before Christmas, so I thought I’d summarise things here.
Any UK orders placed via www.infectedbooks.co.uk before midnight Wednesday 18 December will be shipped first class at no extra charge (and don’t forget, UK postage is free until the end of 2013 as it is). And before you get fed up and tune out because I haven’t provided a proper update or told you about any new books recently, hold fire. There’s news coming shortly…
DOG BLOOD and THEM OR US bundles – two signed hardcovers for the price of one from the original US pressings (£10 – only five sets left)
THEM OR US UK hardcover (now out of print) reduced to £7.50
AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION limited edition hardcover reduced to £15
AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION paperback reduced to £7.50
These prices are good until close of play Wednesday 18 December.
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.
After a series of unavoidable delays, I’m delighted to be able to announce that the long-overdue limited edition hardcover edition of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH is about to become a reality. The ink is drying on the contracts, and pre-orders will be opening on Monday 9 December. All those folks who’ve registered their interest will be contacted directly on Monday, and a further announcement will appear here on davidmoody.net. Until then, here’s a brief summary of the important points:
the book will be published by Infected Books in arrangement with Gollancz
it’ll exactly match the look and feel of the previous Gollancz AUTUMN hardcovers (the same printers are being used)
it’s envisaged that the book will now be published in late January 2014
it’ll cost £20 plus postage, though there will be a loyalty bonus/discount of 10% for those folks who’ve bought the Infected Books hardcover of AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION (see below)
everyone who pre-orders before 10 January 2014 will have their name included in a special thank you section in the book, exclusive to this edition
Again, huge apologies for the long delays in making this book a reality and rounding out the series for those of you who’ve been collecting the UK hardcovers. Thank you for your patience and support.
Want to spoil a friend or loved one’s Christmas with a little end of the world misery? Looking for something apocalyptic to usher in the new year? Or maybe you’re not a festive person yourself… are you happier in the company of Haters, aliens and the living dead than snowmen, reindeers and Santa Claus? If so, www.infectedbooks.co.uk is the place for you.
Same content really, just given a fresh coat of paint and a better address in readiness for the new books (and more regular updates) which will soon be forthcoming. I thought I’d take this opportunity to let you know how the new novels stand…
Is with a crack team of beta-readers, who are currently beta-reading. I’m nervously awaiting their feedback…
STRAIGHT TO YOU
I’m well into the second draft, and on course to have this new version of my debut novel ready for January 2014 (terrifyingly, that’ll be twenty years since I started work on the original book).
Revamped, revitalised, and ready to start rewriting. The target is to have the book finished by the end of October.
Proof of work being done… on my office floor from left to right, 17 DAYS, STRANGERS, STRAIGHT TO YOU
I always find it difficult to keep this site updated over the summer. I have a large family, and with the kids on holiday from school and university, finding time to work becomes frustratingly hard. Writing has to take precedence, so the website and Facebook, Twitter etc. inevitably suffer. The girls are all just about back studying now, so expect to hear from me more regularly again.