Friday, 28 July 2017

Friday, 7 July 2017

Friday, 23 June 2017

Friday, 16 June 2017

Friday Comic Tease

Coloured Panel from Detective Stories #2

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Signing on Saturday

Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel and Lee Sullivan will be signing...
Rivers of London: Detective Stories #1
Rivers of London: Black Mould the collected edition
Anything else that passes in front of them. 

At the Forbidden Planet London Megastore
179 Shaftesbury Avenue

Saturday 10th of June 2017
13:00 to 14:00

Because these comics need to be signed and we're willing to step up for that job.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Friday Comic Tease

Completed Inks from Detective Stories Issue #1

Friday, 26 May 2017

Friday Comic Tease

Completed Inks from Detective Stories Issue #1

Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday Comic Tease

Completed Inks from Detective Stories Issue #1

Monday, 15 May 2017

Spontaneous Character Creation

Spontaneous Character Creation

Or why sometimes your characters know more than you do.

Aspiring writers are often advised to write a biographies of their characters and this can be good advice. Especially when you are stuck or just at that noodling stage when the work is just an amorphous stew of ideas and intentions(1). Again, when writing a long work or a linked series a bio can be handy for working out how old they are in comparison to other characters or reminding you what their hair colour, dad’s job etc is supposed to be from book to book.

Sometime characters spontaneously arise as if out of nowhere but there’s always a catalyst or trigger event. The thing is that you’re usually so pleased to see them you don’t make a note of what caused them to be created. In the case of Elsie “Hatbox” Winstanley the trigger was so tangential as to stick in my mind.

It started with Peter’s Mum(2) who didn’t have a name. Well she did have a name, ironically, it was in the bio I did for her while I was writing Moon Over Soho, but Peter, being her son, never referred to her as anything else other than ‘mum’.

This absence of a name caused some stress amongst my readers who complained that it was inherently sexist that such prominent female character had no ‘canon’ name(3). So I decided that at the next opportunity I would I have someone say her name.

The next work on the bench was a Rare of Book of Cunning Device, a short story that I was writing as a charity fundraiser. I decided pretty much to put her name into the mouth of the first character that came along and thus I wrote.

‘So you must be Mamusu’s boy?’ said the Librarian.

Peter is taken aback that someone would use his mum’s African middle name rather than the English name she put first on her passport all those years ago. Now she could have been a Sierra Leonean herself but it was too late because in the space between writing that line and the next…

‘I knew your mum back in Freetown when she was just a wee slip of a girl,’ she said.(4)

…Elsie “Hatbox” Winstanley had created herself in my head. I knew everything important there was to know about her just as I had when my gingery Scottish pathologist introduced himself as Dr Abdul Walid or Beverley Brook turned up in her mother’s front door wearing a T-shirt with WE RUN TINGZ printed on the front.

So sometimes, yeah, you’re writing a bio and carefully crafting characters to reflect the themes of your storytelling and to fit the intricacies of the plot.

And sometimes they spontaneously create themselves and with a two fingered salute they hare off down the manuscript scattering plot points in their path like startled sheep. And yes you will end up having to rewrite chunks of text and abandon your cherished outline.

And it will be totally worth it. I know this is true because one day I sat down and spontaneously wrote the line

‘My name is Peter Grant and I am a proud member of that mighty army for justice known to all right thinking people as the Metropolitan Police.’

Which is why, sometimes, when people ask me where the series is going the only answer I can give is – beats me mate, I just work here.

(1) This is because unlike some authors I’m not dead.
(2) That’s Peter Grant from my book series, none of this is going to make any sense unless you’ve read the books.
(3) Or possibly they wanted to include her in Fanfic, or both – they’re not exclusive.
(4) The intervening description was added later.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Hanging Tree Number One in Germany

Der Galgen Von Tyburn ist die Nummer eins

Being number one has caused a certain amount of quiet satisfaction back at DTV's Munich headquarters.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

My Friend Andrew has a Book Out.

Out Today

The Run Out Grove
by Andrew Cartmel

His first adventure consisted of the search for a rare record; his second the search for a lost child. Specifically the child of Valerian, lead singer of a great rock band of the 1960s, who hanged herself in mysterious circumstances after the boy’s abduction.

Along the way, the Vinyl Detective finds himself marked for death, at the wrong end of a shotgun, and unknowingly dosed with LSD as a prelude to being burned alive. And then there’s the grave robbing…

 Now personally I just think that Andrew's vinyl detective gets better and better with every book. Why don't you have a look for yourself.

Publishers page here.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Moments Nr 3 auf Englisch

Momente Nr. 3

Englisch von Ben Aaronovitch

Moments are little bits of fiction that don't really rate being called a short story and are unlikely to ever be incorporated into a longer work. Needless to say they still constitute a finished work and I assert my copyright etc.

Tobias Winter - Meckenheim 2012

I’d only been back at Meckenheim for a couple of days when the reports arrived from London. I’d been out in the East, in Radeburg recovering a Case White artefact that the local police had uncovered from a suspected Werewolf cache. Don’t let the name excite you these jobs are always the same. I drive across the country, sign for a sealed package and drive back. I rarely get to spend even a night out on the town because the local boys can’t hustle me out of their jurisdiction fast enough. You’d think the bloody things were radioactive, they’re not you know, early on I ‘borrowed’ a Geiger counter from the forensics lot and started checking them before I put them in the car.

Judging from the weight and size of the package I’m relatively certain that it was a diary or ledger. If so I was in no doubt that my next task would be to scour through it for names to add to our database. My chief has often complained that our obsession with the Nazi past is holding us back. It’s certainly generated enough paperwork.

‘Sooner or later this national obsession has to pass,’ she said once. ‘We’ve all become far too comfortable playing this role.’

Although she’s never once said what exactly it was holding us back from and I for one was not in a hurry to find out. Like my father I favour a comfortable Germany it’s about the only thing we’ve ever agreed on.

I didn’t ask to join the Department for Complex and Unspecific Matters in fact I made a spirited attempt to blow the interview. When the Chief asked me why I’d joined the Bundeskriminalamt I told her it was because they wouldn’t have me in Cobra 11. That should have been it but instead the Chief smiled her terrifying smile.

‘You’ll do nicely,’ she said.

When we’re not transporting dangerous artefacts or chasing rumours of possessed BMWs, never Mercedes for some reason, we work office hours at the KDA. I like to get in at eight so I get an hour to myself before the Chief and the administration team arrive so I wasn’t best pleased to find an email from the secure communications section that they had a message for me. Protocol dictates that I collect such documents myself so down I went to the basement. I read the first page summery while I was still in the secure communications room. Then I asked the officer in charge to send a message back to London.

‘Can’t you send an email?’ he asked.

‘Not for this,’ I said.

They don’t have chairs in the waiting area of the communications section so I propped up the wall and speed read the bulk of the message while I was waiting for a reply when it came I put both in my secure briefcase and took them upstairs.

The Abteilung KDA was once a much bigger section and as a result we have a large number of empty offices at our end of the second floor. The fact that none of the departments have tried to appropriate them for their own officers should tell you something about how we are regarded by the rest of the Bundeskriminalamt.

I found the Chief in her office standing in front of the window looking out on her unrivalled view of the car park.

‘The Nightingale has taken an apprentice,’ I said.

The Chief is a tall, slender woman with a long pale face and red lips. She favours black skirt suits cut in a very elegant old fashioned style and I’ve heard her described as looking like the CEO of a corporation run by vampires.

I’ve faced a vampire and the only reason I’m able to talk about it now was because I was carrying a flame thrower at the time. So, no, I think she looks like a woman who needs to get out in the sun more.

‘Ah,’ said the Chief. ‘That’s unfortunate. How certain is this?’

‘The Embassy has confirmed it.’

She turned to check that I’d closed the door behind me and that nobody else could see or hear.

‘Shit, shit, shit,’ she said. ‘Why is it always bloody London? I told them we needed someone at the Embassy full time.’ She tapped a long blood red fingernail on her desk for a moment and then glanced back out of the window to see if the rain had stopped.

‘Get my things,’ she said. ‘We’re going for a walk.’

The Chief has a favourite smoking place amongst the trees at far end of the athletics track. She smokes dreadful f6 cigarettes but I’m certain these are an affectation like her Saxon accent - part of her disguise.

‘Details,’ she said as she jammed a cigarette into her long black holder.

I summarised the summery. She interrupted me only once and that was so I could light her cigarette.

‘What do we know about this Peter Grant?’ she asked.

‘African mother, English father, joined the London police two and a half years ago,’ I said. ‘The London Embassy have promised more in the next few days.’

The Chief stubbed her cigarette out on the nearest tree and jammed a fresh one into the holder.

‘We should have had someone in London full time,’ she said.

It had always been the consensus in the Federal Government that the supernatural had been ‘contained’ and the KDA’s job was that of a glorified cleaning service. The Foreign Ministry wasn’t about to allocate a valuable diplomatic position to someone whose job description could best be described as ‘hanging about in case something magical happens.’

Only now it had.

‘Do they have more information on the murder?’ she asked.

‘Four murders now,’ I said. ‘One of the victims was an infant. They’re sure the case is linked to Nightingale breaking the agreement but they don’t know why.’

‘So much for “contained”,’ said the Chief. ‘Do you know what this means?’

I’ve learnt not to interrupt the Chief when she’s in full rhetorical flow.

‘This means,’ she said blowing smoke, ‘that we’ll have to expand our own capabilities to match.’

She looked at me in a way that did not entirely make me feel comfortable.
'Tobias,’ she said.


‘Have you ever considered learning magic?’


Friday, 5 May 2017

Es ist da!

Jetzt erhältlich

Der Galgen von Tyburn
Der sechste Fall für Peter Grant

In seinem sechsten Fall muss der fabelhafte Peter Grant

- ein verschollenes altes Buch wiederfinden
- einen verdächtigen Todesfall auf einer Party der Reichen und Schönen Londons aufklären
- versuchen, es sich dabei nicht völlig mit Lady Ty zu verderben
- vermeiden, vom Gesichtslosen ins Jenseits befördert zu werden
- sich mit einem ganzen Haufen rauflustiger Amerikaner herumschlagen, die definitiv zu viel ›24‹ gesehen haben.

Kurz: Peter bekommt die einzigartige Gelegenheit, es sich mit alten Freunden zu verderben und sich dabei jede Menge neue Feinde zu machen. Mal vorausgesetzt, er überlebt die kommende Woche.