Author Archives: Peter Newman

Tea and Jeopardy 37 – A chat with Kameron Hurley

teaandjeopardy_geekplanet-300x300In this episode Kameron Hurley comes to the tea lair to talk blogging, South African resistance movements, strong female protagonists, and Emma reveals what it was about me that first attracted her.

You can listen to the episode here.

 

If you’re interested in supporting Tea and Jeopardy and would like to join the Order of the Sacred Teacup, our Patreon page is here.

If you’d like to catch up on old episodes, there’s a full index here.

 

Good Things – Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Quest coverI’m not even going to pretend that this is anything other than a love letter to the glory of Robin Hobb’s writing.

Having read Assassin’s Apprentice and loved it, and then having read Royal Assassin and loved it even more, I was fairly confident coming to Assassin’s Quest.

It had me by the unmentionables from pretty much the first page.

So, all the things I loved in the previous books are present here. Fantastic writing, good twists and an ever-present sense of tension that you occasionally get spared from but are never allowed to completely forget.

But above all else, it’s the characters. Robin Hobb’s characters are things of beauty. Nuanced, flawed, and so utterly believable. She made me love them all, except for the ones I was supposed to hate, and even then, they were painted as real, three dimensional things.

Even Robin Hobb’s animals have more personality than most other Fantasy protagonists.

*takes a moment to quietly contemplate Nighteyes*

It’s also epic in length, about twice the size of the book 1 and I never once felt like things were dragging. There’s also a real sense that things are earned in this series. Wounds persist, psychological scars become permanent character features and things lost are rarely recovered. In fact, far more often than not, terrible things happen but when there is a victory for the Fitz or his allies it is all the sweeter for it.

Robin Hobb is now, without doubt, my favourite fantasy writer. The writing is so good and the characters so compelling that they could be washing the dishes and I’d still be glued to the page.

Next stop: Liveship Traders.

Tea and Jeopardy 36 – A chat with Peter Newman

teaandjeopardy_geekplanet-300x300In this episode, our guest is… me! After escaping from the basement, I chat with Em about waiting, Spartacus, a very profound question relating to the chickens, and why Latimer hates me so much.

You can listen to the episode here.

If you’re interested in supporting Tea and Jeopardy and would like to join the Order of the Sacred Teacup, our Patreon page is here.

If you’d like to catch up on old episodes, there’s a full index here.

Post-launch feels and The Vagrant's first fan art!

And I loved signing them all.

And I loved signing them all. (Photo by Juliet Mushens)

The last few weeks have been pretty great. The Vagrant is now out in the world and entirely out of my hands! This is both amazing and terrifying. It feels a bit like the book is crowdsurfing. It may sail majestically across a sea of supportive hands into a glorious sunset, or it may be dropped and left to languish on the floor, out of sight, trampled by a thousand feet.

Either way I have no control of it anymore.

And while this has scared the pants off me, I’ve been blown away by the general warmth and loveliness of friends, family and the internet in general.

My first cocktail of the night and I'm already leaning. (Photo by Jim Purbrick)

My first cocktail of the night and I'm already leaning.
(Photo by Jim Purbrick)

 

The London launch at Forbidden Planet went well*. Highlights included: lots of smiley people, some incredible cocktails (Apple Pies and Fallen Angels FTW!) and a ridiculously beautiful barman. And, thanks to magic beyond my comprehension**, I awoke the next day without hangover!

 

 

Since then, the warm and fuzzy feelings have been kept alive by various people checking in. It’s hard to describe what it’s like when someone else reads your book and then gets in touch to say nice things about it. But it’s a real gift.

I love the goat here too.

I love the goat here too.

 

 

 

And I’ve had my first piece of fan art! 'The Hammer that Walks.' Drawn by the wonderful Kareem Mahfouz***.

 

 

So, now that the launch is over and I’ve (mostly) recovered, I wanted to take a moment to appreciate all of the people now taking The Vagrant out into the wider world. Massive thanks to everyone who went and bought a copy. And to all who tweet about it, post about it, email, message, shout, sing, review or otherwise help spread the word:

YOU ARE AWESOME!

 

*As far as I can remember.

**I’m pretty sure some dirty chicken was involved.

***AKA the other guy that doesn't like Tasslehoff Burrfoot.

Tea and Jeopardy 35 – A chat with Sarah McIntyre

teaandjeopardy_geekplanet-300x300In this episode, the awesome hat wearing super-being that is Sarah McIntyre* comes to the tea lair and she is not alone…

You can listen to the episode here.

If you’re interested in supporting Tea and Jeopardy and would like to join the Order of the Sacred Teacup, our Patreon page is here.

If you’d like to catch up on old episodes, there’s a full index here.

 

*For those of you who don't know, Sarah is an award winning illustrator and writer. She also runs the Pictures Mean Business campaign.

Tea and Jeopardy 34 – Blooper Reel of Gratitude +5

teaandjeopardy_geekplanet-300x300Because Em has to go in for surgery last month we had to pause Tea and Jeopardy. Although it wasn’t the best time, we had an incredible amount of kind words, gestures of support, gifts and general all round loveliness from all of you. I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelming (in the best way) it was for us.

So, as a way of saying thanks, here’s a quick message from Em and a Blooper Reel of Gratitude +5.

Enjoy!

More Tea and Jeopardy coming soon…

If you’re interested in supporting Tea and Jeopardy and would like to join the Order of the Sacred Teacup, our Patreon page is here.

If you’d like to catch up on old episodes, there’s a full index here.

The Grim Gathering 2015

I wasn’t planning on writing any more posts until after the launch but the Grim Gathering was so fantastic I couldn’t resist.

For those of you that don’t know, the Grim Gathering is an annual event organised by Fantasy Faction, supported this year by Harper Voyager and hosted at Waterstones. It’s a chance for people who normally chat on the forums to meet each other. There are also books and authors!

Here’s a list of some of my favourite bits:

GG Signing Tables

OMG! (Photo by Agnes Meszaros)

 

 

Coming inside to see copies of The Vagrant set out and my own signing table.

Suddenly feels very real...

Suddenly feels very real…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crowd arriving.

GG Crowd pic

I think this was the point I started to feel nervous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The panel. I was quite nervous about it to be honest but the audience were warm and the other authors very supportive and it soon flew by.

Photo by Agnes Meszaros

Photo by Agnes Meszaros

I even managed to make Lord Grimdark laugh. (Photo by Agnes Meszaros)

I even managed to make Lord Grimdark laugh. (Photo by Agnes Meszaros)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The signing.

I still can't quite believe this happened.

I still can't quite believe this happened. (Photo by Agnes Meszaros)

I honestly didn't expect to get many people in my line. After all, my book doesn’t officially launch till the 23rd so I was beyond delighted with all the people that came and bought a copy. Thanks to everyone for making my first signing line so much fun!

 

 

The pub.

(Photo by Emma Varney)

Photo by Emma Varney

 

 

 

It was so good I stayed to the bitter end!

 

 

 

Photo by Jonathan Ashman

Photo by Jonathan Ashman

 

Big thanks to Marc Aplin (and the FF team), Harper Voyager, Waterstones, Peter V Brett, Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie and everyone who came and made it such a special night.

SRFC, Dysprosium, Grim Gathering, The Vagrant Launch and some unexpected art

Thanks to Pen Astridge for this Nendo version of The Vagrant

Thanks to Pen Astridge for this Nendo version of The Vagrant

The Vagrant is coming out very soon now! This means I’ll be all over the place both physically and mentally. If you’re about for any of the following events I’d love to see you.

 

Tuesday 31st March: Super Relaxed Fantasy Club

I’ll be doing a reading with the splendid Francesca Haig, answering questions and being generally sociable*. Details for the event here.

 

Thursday 2nd April – Monday 6th April: Dysprosium

I’m doing a panel on Friday at 15.00 called How to Find an Agent (with the excellent Aliette de Bodard, Gareth Powell and Gillian Redfearn) in the Endeavour room.

Unfortunately they weren’t able to find space on the programme for my workshop but if anyone who is attending the convention would like me to run it unofficially in the bar for them, leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with you to arrange a meeting. It works as a one to one or as a group session so it’s cool to sign up in pairs, groups or to go Lone Wolf. Description below.

Getting Unstuck workshop with Peter Newman

A workshop for any writers who are stuck with a project. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or established, at chapter 1 or 100: so long as you have a project you can bring to the group and a problem I’ll try to help you move forward with it.

If this sounds like something useful to you and you’re going to Dysprosium, get in touch!

Friday 10th April: Grim Gathering

I’ll be at Waterstones Bristol with Joe Abercrombie, Peter V Brett, Mark Lawrence and the fabulous Fantasy Faction crew. There’s a panel, signing and social afterwards. Details for the event here.

Thursday 23rd April: The Vagrant launch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This will be at Forbidden Planet in London at 6.30. There will be books, cake, and optional hugs. Details here.

Thursday 30th April: Signing with Emma Newman at Forbidden Planet Bristol.

More hugs! More books! And Emma! What more could you ask for?** Details here.

*drunk

**Don’t answer that

Tea and Jeopardy 33 – A chat with Alan Baxter

teaandjeopardy_geekplanet-300x300Episode 33 of Tea and Jeopardy is now live! In this episode, the wonderful Alan Baxter comes to the Tea Lair to discuss the Australian SFF scene, martial arts and how (with a bit of montaging) his life sounds a lot like a film.

You can listen to the episode on Geek Planet Online here.

If you’re interested in supporting Tea and Jeopardy and would like to join the Order of the Sacred Teacup, our Patreon page is here.

If you’d like to catch up on old episodes, there’s a full index here.

Good Things: The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

IronGhost_v2-jpg-jpg-196x300Here’s a quick relatively spoiler free part review / part enthuse about the Iron Ghost by Jen Williams.

Around this time last year I wrote one of these for The Copper Promise. If you haven’t read that yet, do so immediately.

In short, I loved this book, and I’ve been trying to think about why. There are loads of fun fantasy monsters, fights and all the magical shenanigans that you might expect. The characters are fun and well-drawn and definitely one of the major appeals of the book for me. They’re still human (aside from the ones that aren’t) and they still screw up often. Sometimes they do wonderful and cool things though I did spend much of my time shaking my head at Sebastian, a lesser amount of time shaking my head at Frith and surprisingly little time shaking my head at Wydrin (which is worrying) but only because I’ve grown fond of them.

The villains are great too. In a really, really nasty kind of way. And maybe I’ve just got a poor memory but I don’t recall having so many moments of horror or exclaiming: “Euw!” when I read The Copper Promise.

But the thing about The Iron Ghost, the thing that recommends it most highly for me is that it is just so damn readable. The book is a good size and weight, ideal for blocking draughts or beating zombies to death, but I tore through it as if it were a thing half the size.

It’s fun, compelling, and just a little bit saucy. What’s not to love?

Also: BEST TAG LINE EVER!