Off indeed. My monster has now torn itself free from its bindings and, energised by the electricity of publication, is rampaging across the countryside, wholly beyond my control. Let us see what devastation it enacts.

I'd like to thank (1) everyone who turned up at the booksigning in Reading. I hear we shifted a goodly number of books and the shop is extremely keen to repeat the experiment come book 2. For those that are already looking ahead, by the way, Dragonfly Falling (2), Shadows of the Apt 2, should be hitting the shelves around February next year — rumours of November 08 that I myself may have peddled look to have been somewhat exaggerated. The third volume, currently entitled Blood of the Mantis (3) (4) will hopefully be around July-August 2009 therefore.

There has been some critique already. Some kind readers have reviewed Empire for Amazon (5), and there is a very detailed piece on Fantasy Book Critic here which takes advantage of a medium where a reviewer can take his time. On paper, both SFX and Death Ray have also taken a look at it for their book review pages, and there's a little SFX interview here in which certain dark secrets are revealed.

Don't forget, for anyone within reach of the Leeds area, I'll be doing some manner of reading and/or talk and a signing at Garforth library around 10.30am Saturday the 12th in aid of the local independent bookshop.

(1) In fact it's my blog so I will thank them.

(2) As one reader of book 1 pointed out, when they heard the title, "Well things aren't looking good for him then…"

(3) Or him, for that matter…

(4) Former working title Mantis Shadows but that went out of the window when the series was rechristened Shadows of the Apt. You can have too many shadows.

(5) It's a testament to the ubiquity of the online bookseller site that I can just say "Amazon" and everybody knows what I mean. The possibility that missionaries might even now be sculling down the river, preaching Empire in Black and Gold to tribes never before encountered by the corruptions of our civilisation doesn't feature into it, which is a shame.

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