I have the best job in the World, so it doesn’t surprise me that other people seem to want it so badly.
I remember a family dinner at the end of 1999 when, one at a time, we stood up and said what we wanted more of for the millennium. That year, the husband and I had collaborated on “Gilead’s Blood”, and my thing was to write more. Gilead is an elf, and the book is about his adventures. He’s very much in the traditional melancholy but noble mold, and it was fun to work on something with the husband for the first time, even though he did the lion’s share of the writing.
At GamesDay UK 2010, “Hammer and Bolter”, the online magazine, was launched by the Black Library, and the husband and I were asked to write more Gilead. We obliged.
“Gilead’s Curse” is currently being serialised for the magazine, and, due to the husband’s increasingly demanding workload, I’ve done rather more of the writing for this one. It’s been a great pleasure.
Here’s the thing, though. The Black Library has decided to produce a paper edition of “Gilead’s Curse”, and to reissue “Gilead’s Blood”. I am, of course, thrilled.
Yesterday, the incomparable Stefan Kopinski sent me roughs of the cover(s) for both books. He’s come up with a great concept, and I was thrilled with the sketches. I offered him a couple of tiny tweaks to consider, and he’s off and running. I can't wait to see the finished artwork, which he’s working on this weekend. Why is it that so many of the artists and writers I know seem to work all the hours God sends? Oh, yeah, it’s because we love our jobs.
This is the first time I’ve ever been consulted on artwork for a book that I’ve had something to do with, so it’s a bit of a milestone, and you can rest assured that I’ll be the first to let you all know when the novel’s available.
(For those of you who might be wondering, Marilynne Robinson’s extraordinary book, “Gilead” was published in 2004, five years after “Gilead’s Blood”. The word Gilead means ‘hill of testimony’ and is a biblical reference to the mountainous region to the East of the Jordan River.)