Elspeth Cooper

Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures

Tag: fun (Page 1 of 2)

Natural history

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. WRITER’S CAVE – DAY

 

The curtains are drawn, cloaking the litter and countless half-drunk cups of tea in shadow. A dishevelled figure crouches over a laptop, face unhealthily pale in the glow from the screen.

 

VOICEOVER

Observe the WRITER in its den. Here it makes a nest of crumpled
paper and pencils, in which it will incubate its precious egg for a
period of up to a year. So attentive is its parenting – some would say
obsessive – that the writer rarely emerges from its cave. When it
does, it is easily confused by bright lights and sudden sounds.

 

The doorbell sounds. The writer’s head jerks up, its ears twitching. After a moment the bell rings again, followed by knocking on the door.

 

WRITER

Yes? Hello?

 

The knocking continues. The writer gets to its feet as if it hasn’t moved in days, and shambles to the door. On the way it scratches its unkempt fur, dislodging biscuit crumbs and the occasional pencil. At the end of the hall it hesitates, squinting in the uncomfortably bright light.

 

WRITER

Who’s there?

 

An indistinct figure in a bright red coat can be seen through the front door glass.

 

POSTMAN

Got a parcel here you need to sign for.

 

WRITER
(twisting hands together nervously)

Oh. Okay.

 

VOICEOVER

Writers are shy, introspective creatures at the best of times. During the
prolonged incubation period they often seem to lose the social skills
required to successfully interact with other creatures. Their attention is
so focused on their offspring that they frequently neglect their own
grooming and their diet deteriorates to subsistence level, scavenging
junk and whatever uneaten food they find lying about the den.

 

WRITER

Um . . .

 

POSTMAN
(muffled sigh)

Miss?

 

The writer scuttles to the door, avoiding the patch of sunlight on the carpet as if afraid it will burn. After fumbling with the key, it manages to unlock the door and open it just wide enough to peer out.

 

WRITER
(suspiciously)

Yes?

 

POSTMAN

Parcel? To sign for? You’ll have to open the door a bit wider, love.
It’s quite large.

 

A brown cardboard box appears in shot, just visible through the gap in the door. The writer looks around nervously, cringing at the passing cars. Instead of the large box, the postman proffers a smaller one with a screen set into the top, and a dangling stylus attached.

 

POSTMAN

Just sign on the line, love.

 

The writer fumbles for the stylus and scrawls a crude symbol on the screen.

 

POSTMAN
(pushing the larger box towards the door with his foot)

There you go then. Early Christmas present, eh?

 

WRITER
(mumbles incoherently)

 

POSTMAN
(adjusts cap, looks uncertain)

Er, right then. I’ll be off, shall I?

 

The postman holds out his hand for the data terminal. The writer stares at it, nonplussed.

 

POSTMAN

Er . . . ?

 

A particularly large furniture delivery van drives past, belching diesel fumes. Panicked by the noise, the writer flings the data terminal at the postman, and claws the parcel inside. The door slams in the postman’s face.

 

WRITER
(making a keening noise)

My precious . . .

 

The writer falls to its knees, pawing at the cardboard.

 

WRITER

My bookses. Mine. My own.

 

VOICEOVER

Singing happily to itself, the writer retreats to its nest with its treasure.
The precious author copies will be placed in the shrine at the back of
the den, and the box and packing materials added to the the creature’s
bedding to keep it snug through the long weeks to come until eventually,
a new book is born.

 

FADE OUT

 

The Raven’s Shadow giveaway winners!

Hardbacks to give away

In case you’ve forgotten what you’ve won

Thanks to everyone who entered the recent giveaway for signed copies of The Raven’s Shadow – 176* of you in all. I have so much fun doing these things I wish my dark masters had sent me more copies!

What’s been especially nice this time around has been hearing all the lovely things people have to say about the series so far. I’m quite humbled. Never did I imagine that this story I wrote for myself would be enjoyed by so many people.

So, moving on, before I get any more mushy and ruin my image: the winners have been drawn, and the following five lucky people

Jorge, Wayne, Joel, Babel, and Paul

 

will soon be receiving an email from me for their address and personalisation details. I’m aiming to get your books in the post on Saturday 7th September (how the hell did it get to be September already?)

Hope you enjoy the read!

*3 duplicate entries removed from 179 comments. Winners were selected using the random number generation tool at www.random.org.

 

BookSworn unmasked!

ID-100146856If you’ve been stalking me on social media recently, you might have noticed me dropping veiled hints about the BookSworn. You might even have wondered what it was all about.

Today, the truth is out.

So who are the BookSworn?

They are weavers of worlds and spinners of tales, a writer’s collective that features some of fantasy’s freshest voices from the last couple of years.

They are Bradley Beaulieu, Betsy Dornbusch, Teresa Frohock, Douglas Hulick, Kameron Hurley, Zachary Jernigan, Mark Lawrence, Stina Leicht, Helen Lowe, Anne Lyle, Evie Manieri, Jeff Salyards, Courtney Schafer, Mary Victoria, Mazarkis Williams and, er, me.

In the coming weeks we will be blogging and writing essays on the art and craft of genre fiction, offering sneak peeks at our upcoming books, and giving away some very cool stuff.

To help us launch our new website, you are cordially invited to attend a

Grand Masked Ball

and mingle with our characters over the next seven days. Guess who’s behind the masks, and you could win a stupendous pile of signed books.

Time: Monday 18th March 2013, from 12 noon EST (5pm GMT)

Venue: BookSworn

Dress: Masque

All welcome!

 

The Next Big Thing: THE RAVEN’S SHADOW

Ruins and ravens

Ruins and ravens…

Urban fantasy author Suzanne McLeod – of Spellcrackers fame – tagged me to be part of The Next Big Thing blogfest meme – you can read her post here.

Unable as I am to pass up any opportunity to waffle on about my books, I naturally said yes. There’s ten questions to answer, so without further ado . . .

What is the working title of your next book?

It’s called The Raven’s Shadow, and that’ll probably be the final title too. It’s the third instalment of The Wild Hunt Quartet. Sorry, I’ve no cover art yet!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s part of a series, so it’s hard to separate the genesis of this volume from the Quartet as a whole. It brings together the events set into motion in the preceding volume, Trinity Rising, and leaves our protagonists scattered across an Empire teetering on the brink of disintegration, ready for The Dragon House which will, if the stars align and nothing untoward happens, conclude the series.

Read More

Meet the team

Many of you probably imagine writers slaving away in an upstairs bedroom that doubles as an office, or crouched over a laptop at the kitchen table. This is often the case, but here at Cooper Towers I am fortunate  to have the support and assistance of a team of dedicated professionals as I work. It’s only fair to give credit where it is due, so here they are, my trusty assistants without whom I would get my work done in half the time.

Cat sitting on jify bagName: Tigger

Title: Office manager

Job Description: Ensuring the author’s chair is adequately warmed, which includes maintaining the temperature by occupying the seat the moment it is vacated. Here he is in action,  in his secondary role as stationery monitor.

He also ensures the author takes regular tea-breaks by periodically walking into her office and leaning against her leg to remind her that it is time to go into the kitchen and open the back door for him. When she’s particularly busy (or on the phone) he flogs her with his tail to make sure she gets the message.

 

Name: Tinkerbell

Title: Editorial assistant

Cat demands acknowledgementJob Description: Assisting the author by lying across pages of proofs so she doesn’t lose her place, and maintaining office tidiness by sweeping the desk surface with her tail to ensure it remains clear of impediments such as pencils, to-do lists and pages of notes. She is also responsible for filing, which is achieved by pouncing on, shoving her paws into and kicking the crap out of any pile of paper that needs sorting.

Tinkerbell takes her role very seriously and insists that her importance is properly acknowledged by positioning herself between keyboard and screen whenever possible.

 

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