Yesterday, DARK SKY was released across the world (minus the USA and Canada, but you can even order it there if you import it). My second novel is now released upon the world, which is really incredibly exciting. I would have permitted myself a small glow of pride, but in reality I was just managing to lever myself out of bed in order to go to work, since the night before I was shaking with a fever so bad that simply the pressure of my clothes on my skin was incredibly painful. Luckily it seems that the worst of it passed in a few hours and all I’m left with now is a bit of a sore throat. I can deal with illness if it decides to be horrible but fairly brief.
I have high hopes for DARK SKY, and although it is a sequel, I don’t think it’s *just* a sequel. DARK RUN was high-seas adventure in deep space, as it were – a swashbuckling, rollicking and fast-moving adventure with treachery and intrigue (or at least, that’s my hope). DARK SKY is a bit of a different beast: hopefully the pace is still there, but it’s primarily set on one planet, and the freedom of the cosmos is exchanged for the claustrophobic setting of a subterranean city cut off by a raging storm overhead. There’s a bit more of a political slant to it, too: not that I’ve written a version of Animal Farm or anything, but the cover text lets you know that a revolution takes place so I’m not giving away any spoilers here. I’ve tried to look at both sides of the picture, and show how even people on opposite sides can both have motivations that are, in all likelihood, entirely reasonable. We meet a couple of new characters… plus for those of you who’ve read Redemption Waits, you should recognise someone else who crops up.
Of course, the other side to having had my second novel published is… well, that’s sort of it. I have now come to the end of my current contract with Del Rey UK. Saga Press will be releasing both DARK RUN and DARK SKY in North America, and there should be a release for DARK RUN in Russia too, and I’m very excited for all future developments involving these two books, but the contract with my first publisher has no new developments to run. All that’s left now is for me to receive my final payments (for first publication and first mass market paperback publication of DARK SKY) and then wait. With luck, enough people will buy the first two Keiko novels to convince Del Rey UK that they want to sign on for more. As a result, you can expect me to keep shouting about them. Sorry about that, but one has to blow one’s own trumpet sometimes (especially when one has achieved Grade 5 in the cornet. Even if I haven’t played it for a decade and a half).
So with that, I will thank Michael Rowley and everyone at Del Rey for everything (not just the cover but c’mon… look at that cover. It’s awesome, isn’t it?), and hope that together we can persuade a lot of you to plonk some money down for a bit of extraterrestrial adventure time…