Hater books 4, 5 and 6

Over the weekend I shared this image to help promote the new issue of SCREAM MAGAZINE. It’s generated a fair few comments on Facebook and Twitter about the new HATER books, so I wanted to give you a very quick update/ explanation.

There are three new books coming in the HATER series: ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING (out later this year), THE OTHER HALF (which I’m currently writing), and THE LAST SUMMER.

This is NOT a continuation of Danny McCoyne’s story from the first three books, nor is it a reboot of the series (how I hate that expression). It’s actually a combination of both. The first book details the outbreak of the HATER epidemic (for want of a better word) from a different point of view to the original novel. The second book takes place alongside the events of DOG BLOOD, so you’ll encounter a few familiar faces and places but, again, they’ll be shown in a different light. Chronologically, book three takes place between DOG BLOOD and THEM OR US and fills in a few blanks I deliberately left vague first time around. Our guide through the apocalypse this time around is a gentleman by the name of Matthew Dunne who is a… no, I’m not going to tell you any more just yet.

Though ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING currently has a release date of 15 August pencilled in, this may change. I’ll let you know more when I do. In the meantime, here’s the back cover blurb…

Fifteen people are trapped on Skek, a barren island in the middle of the North Sea somewhere between the coasts of the UK and Denmark. Over the years this place has served many purposes – a fishing settlement, a military outpost, a scientific base – but one by one its inhabitants have abandoned its inhospitable shores. Today it’s home to Hazleton Adventure Experiences, an extreme sports company specialising in corporate team building events.

Life there is fragile and tough. One slip is all it takes. A momentary lapse leads to a tragic accident, but when the body count quickly starts to rise, questions are inevitably asked. Are the deaths coincidental, or something else entirely? Those people you thought you knew well, can you really trust them? Are you standing next to a killer, and will you be their next victim?

A horrific discovery changes everything for everyone. There’s no way home now, and a trickle of rumours becomes a tsunami of fear. Is this really the beginning of the end of everything, or a situation constructed by the mass hysteria of a handful of desperate and terrified people?

The lower the population, the higher the stakes.

Kill the rest of them, before one of them kills you.

The second HATER trilogy

I’ve got some more HATER news for you: I’m writing a new HATER book. Actually, I’m writing three.

For me, the original HATER series was nicely self-contained. Although the whole world had gone crazy and imploded, the books were first and foremost Danny McCoyne’s story. I resisted even thinking about writing other books for a long time because I’d told all of Danny’s story and without a damn good reason to go back to the world of HATER, I thought any additional novels would just be a cynical cash in.

Enter Ed Barratt.

I introduced you to Ed last week. He’s the producer of the new HATER movie, and over the last few months he and I have talked extensively about how, if the first movie is successful, we’d want the rest of Danny’s story to be adapted for screen. The second HATER trilogy is a direct result of those conversations.

Details are pretty sparse at the moment, but click the link and I’ll tell you what I know.

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THE HATER MOVIE

Right… I think that announcement is long overdue. The all-important press release follows. There will be opportunity to ask me questions in the coming weeks, and there will be ANOTHER HATER-related announcement next week. For now, here are the facts:

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Hook Pictures producer Ed Barratt and David Moody announce a deal to bring Moody’s classic novel of violence and paranoia – HATER – to the screen.

David Moody independently released HATER onto an unsuspecting world in 2006, and within a couple of short months the movie rights had been snapped up by Hollywood. The production was fast-tracked and attracted some big names. Then, as is frequently the way, the project stalled.

Moody and his fans were left in limbo.

The novel went on to be republished by St Martins Press in the US, Gollancz in the UK, Goldmann in Germany and by numerous other publishers around the world. Two well-received sequels – DOG BLOOD and THEM OR US – followed.

But still no movie.

Enter Ed Barratt and Hook Pictures. Ed said “From the first page of the series I could see the potential for Hater to be adapted into a defining piece of British cinema; that I’m now working with David towards that end is almost as big a thrill as the books themselves”.

Ed and David are thrilled to announce that the development of the HATER movie is now underway from a script by Moody.

I’m delighted to be working with Ed on this project,” said Moody. “The buzz of having Hollywood interest in my work never really wore off, despite the film not reaching the screen, but there was always a part of me that regretted selling such a small-scale, gritty and uniquely British story to a huge production company. I met with Ed and was immediately impressed by his enthusiasm for the books, and it quickly became apparent that we share a common vision with regard to how this story should be told on screen. When the opportunity to take back the rights and work with Ed arose, I took it without hesitation.

The central theme of HATER is, I think, more prescient than ever. It deals with some major sociological issues in a unique and confrontational way and I’m confident we’ll create a wildly original movie the likes of which hasn’t been seen before. HATER is a collision between the normality of day-to-day life in the UK today and a full-on apocalyptic nightmare.

HATER is currently in development for a late 2016 shoot.

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EdAnd I’d like to introduce you to Ed:  Hook Pictures was founded in 2012 as a vehicle for creative producer Ed Barratt to continue to work with fresh and ambitious writing and directing talent to create critically and commercially successful feature films.

Hook Pictures’ debut feature film was Rowan Athale’s The Rise (aka Wasteland) – completed in 2012 – which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival before screening at London, Rotterdam and Santa Barbara Film Festivals whilst selling to distributors around the world and being nominated for several awards. Ed Barratt was recognised by BAFTA as a Breakthrough Brit for his work on the film.

Hook Pictures has a strong slate of projects in development and relationships with some of the UK’s most exciting new writing and directing talent. Three films are slated to enter production in 2015/16 and the company is venturing into new and original IP by launching comic book publisher Ninth Man in association with leading graphic novel publisher SelfMadeHero.

Dog Blood

Dog Blood (Gollancz, 2010)I know I’m being really annoying at the moment, and I apologise. I want to talk, but I can’t. I also can’t help wanting to torment you a little more…

Hard to believe, but DOG BLOOD was five years old this week.

DOG BLOOD was the first novel I wrote under contract, and that meant it was the first book not to have been published through Infected Books first. As a result, writing it was a very different experience. Previously I’d worked in isolation; now I found myself crafting the book under the auspices of two different editors – one in London and one in New York, both with different approaches. It took longer to finish the novel than expected, but the end result was a story I was (and still am) hugely proud of.

The book picks up a couple of months after the end of HATER. Here’s the synopsis:

The world has suffered a catastrophe of unknown cause, dividing humankind into two: the Haters and the Unchanged. Each group believes the other to be the enemy; each group is fighting for survival. Only by working together can the enemy – whoever that enemy is – be defeated. There are no other choices.

Danny McCoyne has managed to break free, and after days of indiscriminate fighting and killing, he is determined to make his way home, to recalim the only thing of any value to him in this strange new world: his daughter Ellis. Unlike his wife and son, Ellis is like him, and he knows, in his heart of hearts, that she is not dead. His dearest wish is for Ellis to be fighting for the world at his side – but Danny soon discovers his daughter is worth far more than just another fighting body. Others like him have discovered that children are absolutely vital to the cause. They are strong, small, fast, and they have no inhibitions. They are pure Haters…

And today’s unnecessary tease… ever wondered what happened in the months between HATER and DOG BLOOD? Ever wondered how things got so bad so quickly in the Unchanged refugee camp? Ever wondered who was really in control there?

I have.

More soon.

Up to my neck in Hate

Just checking in with a quick follow up to my recent update post and to explain the ongoing radio silence here right now. I’ve found myself buried neck deep in the HATER world once again, and man, I’m enjoying it. HATER was only ever Danny McCoyne’s story for me, but the more I’ve started to poke around that dark, brutal and relentlessly violent world again, the more the creative juices have started to flow. As soon as I can tell you what I’m dying to tell you, I will. Until then, here’s another piece of stunning artwork which Tomislav Tikulin produced to promote the release of the original novels. This one is a scene from the climax of DOG BLOOD which, incredibly, is five years old next month. Time flies. If you’re new to HATER, visit www.thehatertrilogy.com to find out more.

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Location Inspiration

Straight to You coverI guess I could file this post under the ‘What Works For Me’ heading, but it should also be of interest to those of you who are here more for reading than writing, in particular those who’ve already read STRAIGHT TO YOU.

WARNING – MILD STRAIGHT TO YOU SPOILERS AHEAD!

I wanted to talk about locations today: how rather than finding the right scenery to fit your story, sometimes the story can be shaped by a location or, in this case, a journey. If you’ve not read STRAIGHT TO YOU yet, why not grab a low price ebook or signed paperback then come back and see how some of the scenes in the new version of the story came about.

I’ve already spoken at length about how I wanted the rewritten version of STRAIGHT TO YOU to feel more honest and emotional in comparison to the hopelessly naïve original, and I decided early on in the planning process that in order for that to happen I’d need to give the book a foothold in reality.

Here’s me pictured in the idyllic Welsh village of Criccieth last Sunday, and in the background you can see the castle which features prominently in the book. Click the link below to find out more, but please be warned – there are potentially some spoilers ahead.

Moody and castle

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The Ups and Downs and Ups of Writing

I thought it was time for a quick update to bring you up to speed with a few projects I’m working on now that AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION is done and dusted. You should know me well enough by now… everything here is subject to change and nothing’s set in stone. The first part of this update will give you an indication of why that’s true.

The Ups and Downs and Ups of Writing. Weird name for a post, I guess, but I think it’s quite apt. You see, I reckon this is one of the best jobs in the world. In fact, I love it so much it feels wrong to call it a job… most of the time. Things don’t always go to plan.

17 DAYS

You’ll probably remember me posting about this novel earlier this year – round about the time I’d put the finishing touches to it and sent it to my agent to hear his thoughts. Well, those thoughts came back, and after another couple of reads, I added a few thoughts of my own too.

The book’s not right. It needs more work. The themes are there, the story is there, but it’s not quite working. There are a couple of reasons why which I won’t go into in detail here because they wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense out of context. Suffice to say I’d made a huge character misstep along the way, and had also misjudged the tone of parts of the book.

Up. Down. Up. I was on a high when I delivered the manuscript, followed by a crushing low when I realised it hadn’t hit the mark. But now, with the benefit of discussion with my agent and a couple more months thinking about the story, I know exactly what I need to do. Up. Down. Up. Strangely enough, I’ve done this once before. The exact same thing happened when I was writing DOG BLOOD, and that turned out okay…

I remain insanely excited about 17 DAYS, more so than ever in fact, but the rework is inevitably having a knock-on effect on other projects as I’ll be giving it priority over the coming months.

STRANGERS

I’m about 40,000 words into the third and (hopefully) final draft of this book, and hope to have it done by the end of July. I’ll then start thinking about how best to release it. Expect to hear more about STRANGERS – the closest I’ll probably ever get to a vampire novel – later this year.

STRAIGHT TO YOU

Is going really well… first draft is done, ready to start work on the second. I’d previously talked about serialising the second draft online from this month as the book was being written, but I’m putting that on hold temporarily for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because I need to work something into the second draft which I don’t want to do ‘live’, so to speak. Secondly, because the additional work on 17 DAYS means STY won’t be touched again for a while. At the moment, if I can get some work done on the second draft of the book over the summer, I’d hope to serialise the third draft online as I’m writing it from September/October onwards. I’ll tell you more about this completely new version of my debut novel in the coming weeks to whet your appetite. Incidentally, I started writing the original book on 1st January 1994 – I want to properly release the new edition in January 2014 to mark its twentieth anniversary. Bloody hell, twenty years. Now that makes me feel really old…

More news soon.

Everything and Nothing – free Dog Blood prequel story

eandnI have a feeling many of you might have missed this first time around…

Just prior to the release of DOG BLOOD back in June 2010, I released EVERYTHING AND NOTHING, a free HATER short story which takes place just prior to the events of the second book in the series. It goes without saying, if you haven’t yet read HATER, read that first. It also goes without saying, it’s a HATER story, so expect copious amounts of violence.

“The world has fallen apart with incredible speed and brutality. Your only choice now is how hard you fight – hate or be hated, kill or be killed.

With the war between the Haters and Unchanged increasing in intensity, Danny McCoyne drifts from fight to fight, from battle to battle. His old life is over. This is all he has now. But a chance incident on the battlefield changes everything, bringing him back into contact with everything he thought he’d lost forever.”

I’m pleased to make EVERYTHING AND NOTHING available as a free download in all the usual eBook formats. You can download it from Smashwords here. You can also read the story online via Wattpad. I’ve just got involved with the folks at Wattpad and I’m interested to see what the site has to offer. If you’re a user, please follow me. I’ll have a Wattpad exclusive coming up in the next couple of weeks…

THEM OR US – new UK paperback out today

Can it be almost a year since THEM OR US was released? Incredibly it is, and today Gollancz are releasing a mass market paperback edition of the book.

I always knew the final HATER novel would be a divisive book. After the maelstrom and fury of DOG BLOOD, the violence couldn’t just keep increasing exponentially, and so I took the decision to follow Danny McCoyne’s story in the radioactive, rubble-strewn aftermath of the war between the Haters and Unchanged. It’s a grim and uncompromising conclusion, I think, and to my mind it’s the only way Danny’s story could have ended.

I’m insanely proud of the trilogy as a whole, and will be putting together a brief retrospective in the coming months. If you haven’t yet read them, please do grab hold of HATER, DOG BLOOD and THEM OR US and enjoy (though I’m still not sure if enjoy is really the right word to use…). And don’t forget EVERYTHING AND NOTHING – the free short which takes place between the first two books – available here.

THEM OR US is available now from Gollancz in the UK and Thomas Dunne Books in the US. Find out more at www.thehatertrilogy.com.

And before you ask (because lots of people do every week), I don’t have any more news on the HATER movie just yet. But I will go digging for updates now…

Children of Men

It’s been far too long since I recommended any films on this site. Here then is another classic up for consideration as part of my Post-Apocalyptic Movie Club. I’m going to try and post these with much more regularity throughout 2012.

The film I’ve chosen today is one of my all time favourite movies, and one of those rare instances when a film adaptation clearly surpasses the source material. I’m talking about CHILDREN OF MEN, directed in 2006 by Alfonso Cuaron, and starring Clive Owen, Michael Caine and Julianne Moore.

Where do you begin with a film like this? It’s a matter of personal tastes of course but, for me, Children of Men is almost note perfect.

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