It was John Schoenfelder, the editor of Mulholland Books, who brought me in. It was Michael Pietsch, the publisher of Little, Brown (but perhaps still best known as David Foster Wallace’s editor on INFINITE JEST) who made it clear, in the middle of it all, that there was a seat for me there. Which was hugely affirming for a hack like me and came at just the right time. But it was John who was tireless, inventive, collaborative and determined. And so I am now a Mulholland Books author, along with Charlie Huston, Greg Rucka, Michael Marshall Smith, Duane Swierczynski, and… christ, it’s an amazing list, go and look for yourself.
John Schoenfelder is scarily clever and erudite and I are not. But he has an absolute passion for all the things we like. Which is why there are crazy people like Charlie and rock stars like Greg on his list – people who like the weird stuff and the pop stuff as well as the literary barricades and the deep waters.
GUN MACHINE came out of a shedload of latenight email volleys between myself and John. We were just trying to establish the parameters of where we could go with a book. An inciting event that encapsulated the tone as well as opening up a story of many levels. A weapons cache became a room filled with guns. A room full of guns became a room with guns arranged in waves and swirls. Light falling into the room in narrow golden shafts. A gunmetal church.
Somewhere along the way, it became a two-novel deal. So I live at Mulholland Books now. Which suits me. The imprint, and the book itself, will give me the space to explore a bunch of ideas in any way I want, in any depth I want. So long as someone gets shot every now and then. But that’s my bias, not theirs. I just like killing people. The chances of finding an imprint editor who likes and can quote from FELL and DOKTOR SLEEPLESS at will were pretty fucking slim, but here I am. And the space between those two books, undiluted, is pretty much where I am with GUN MACHINE.
A few of you had probably already noticed that I’m not producing as much comics work as I was. I have two novels to write now, so I won’t be increasing the amount of comics I’m doing. I have a couple of things still in the pipeline at Avatar and Image, one or two other possibilities float around, and I’m still producing one comic a month for Marvel for now, but I won’t be adding much to those, if anything at all. It’s time to do something else for a while.
I may even set up one of those word count things Cherie Priest uses, just so I can go completely fucking mad within days.
So… yeah. That’s all I can think of to say, right now. Except to thank my long-suffering literary agent, Lydia Wills, who is a star and an angel. (I must show you her business-card art soon. You’ll love it.)
I’m a novelist again. That’ll piss off the guy who ensured that only the bad review of CROOKED LITTLE VEIN made it to its Wikipedia page, I bet.