I’ve been putting so much time and effort sorting out the re-release of Cuckoo lately, that it’s felt that nothing much else is happening. Not so! Today, for example, I returned the edits of my upcoming Iris Wildthyme story to Obverse Books. The story is due to appear, in a couple of months, in the anthology Wildthyme in Purple. Mark Manley provides the beautiful painted cover.
Many of the Iris anthologies have a loose theme, and in this case it’s pulp fiction. My own tale is called ‘The Many Lives of Zorro’. It has some tremendously swashed buckles in it, along with both derring and do. I wrote the tale earlier this year, giving me an excuse to both read and watch Zorro stories and call it ‘research’.
The result, I hope, is as much a Zorro story as an Iris one, a tip of the hat to the character in all his many iterations. The wild inconsistencies in how Zorro and his world have been portrayed down the years are very much part of the story, letting me play as much with the Douglas Fairbanks Jnr version as Johnston McCulley’s original print hero. I grew up with Zorro – saturday afternoon reruns of the Guy Williams black and white series from the sixties, mostly – and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed his adventures. Getting to write one, at the same time as getting to write a new tale for Ms. Wildthyme and Panda, was a bit of a treat. I smiled a lot while I scribbled it down, listening mostly to the James Horner soundtrack to the Banderas/Hopkins Zorro movie from the nineties. I smiled again today when I reread it. Made me feel like a big kid. I hope it does the same for you.
It’s too soon for pre-orders of the book, which will be out as a neat little hardback towards the end of they year, but I hope you’ll check it out when it comes. There’s something inherently Christmassy about a new Iris book. Until then, you can still grab a copy of last year’s Iris: Abroad, which has my tale ‘The Story Eater’ in it. I can’t recommend it enough.
In other news, it’s time to pause and take stock. I’ve a couple of days away (and probably won’t have email, if you’re trying to get in touch with me) to do so, which is well timed. I need to get back to the December Book badly – it’s been almost entirely on hold while I’ve been sorting Cuckoo out – and there are more things in the pipeline. Always more things. I’m not complaining. Things make me happy.
I’ve also another vacation coming up, a week in Dubai at the start of October, so there’s an enforced break on the horizon. That’s a good thing. It’s difficult to find reasons to stop pushing when you’re doing something as essentially self-driven as writing, and without such pre-planned breaks, I’d risk burn out or madness in short order. Last time I came back from a break, I revised and released Cuckoo, making it available for the first time in almost a decade. I’ve got plans for my return this time too, but we’ll see what happens.
And of course, I can’t close a blog so soon after relaunching my first novel without pointing you towards it and hoping you’ve a couple of quid spare to make it your own. Go see.
Back in a couple of days. Be good to each other.
Tagged burn out or madness, cuckoo, disney, douglas fairbanks jnr, dubai, guy williams, iris wildthyme, iris: abroad, johnston mcculley, obverse books, panda, the many lives of zorro, the story eater, wildthyme in purple, zorro