Damn me, my publisher didn’t change the locks when I popped outside for a cigarette. After four contracts for three books, plus a collection of short stories and two extras first published in America, over a million and a half words having passed under editorial pencils, they’re still not fed up with me. Even after having to tolerate a slightly drunk author wandering around Macmillan offices, snaffling any book that isn’t nailed down and secreting it in a Tesco carrier bag, they’re still prepared to put up with me. Wow!
Now, whilst progressively renewing my covers (using those superb Jon Sullivan pictures), Tor Macmillan have given me a five book contract, which I’ve signed. My last contract underwent a slight redesign with the last two books being swapped around so that The Departure, a novel based on short stories that appeared in my collection The Engineer ReConditioned, will be published last rather than second to last. This book will be the first of the ‘Owner Sequence’ comprising two further books titled Zero Point and Jupiter War. After that I’m signed up for three as yet to be named books, so I’ll certainly be writing books for Macmillan for some years to come.
I see the future now. New employees at Macmillan will express momentary bafflement and surprise, “Neal Asher? I thought he was dead?” whereupon oldtimers will point nervously to a big iron-studded oak door, “We keep him in there”. Neophyte editors will be ushered through that door, “Keep to the right. Do not touch or approach the glass. You pass him nothing but soft paper…” Meanwhile, those working in book shops will check their latest delivery and dubiously eye the sagging ‘A’ shelf. A Hogwarts trained shelf-stacker will remove the books from their box with iron tongues, whilst a second employee affixes the chains.
Thanks all at Macmillan, it’s great working with you.
If anyone has any press queries, please email cdothealyatmacmillandotcodotuk