Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What's going on? Is David Moody dead?

At the beginning of August I closed down www.djmoody.co.uk, www.theinfected.co.uk and www.infectedbooks.co.uk. I posted an update / explanation on my message board yesterday and thought it would be sensible to post it again here. It's about time I started posting something...!

Was it Baron Frankenstein who first said ‘I’ve created a monster’?! I now know how he felt. I started writing way back in 1994, had my first book published in 1996 and then, in 2001, started to use the Internet to promote and distribute my work. Over the last five years in particular, things have gone from strength to strength. I’ve been fortunate enough to sell thousands of books and gain many, many fans around the world. It’s truly humbling to think that my books have had an impact on so many people.

Where am I going with this...?

If you're reading this you might know about the various projects I’ve become involved with over the last couple of years. There’s the Autumn movie, the planned Hater movie and the ‘disappearance’ of the Hater novel to name but a few. Each of these things have so far had two main effects on me on a personal level; firstly, they’ve hugely increased the ‘behind-the-scenes’ exposure I’ve been getting and, secondly, they’ve each added to my workload. I’m not bleating – I wouldn’t have wanted anything different – but it’s been difficult. Until February this year I was still working full-time, managing Infected Books (which was almost a full-time job in itself) and trying to write. Oh, and there was the small matter of trying to be a fully functioning human being and family man. It was getting to the point where the kids thought I was just a lodger who hired the smallest bedroom in our house as an office!

If I’m honest, things didn’t get quite that bad, but they weren’t far off. Something had to give and, between mid-2006 and early 2008, it was my writing that suffered – not a good position for an author to be in. I’m embarrassed when I look back now and see that as early as 2006 I was talking about the imminent release of Autumn: Disintegration – at least it’s finished now, written but still not published! Despite what you might think, it really pisses me off when I publish a timescale (in good faith) which then gets missed by several miles. I don’t like letting people down.

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was last October when, after dealing with some pretty unpleasant personal issues, I published a letter on my website (and on this blog) explaining why there had been delays and what books I was planning to release and when. Literally days after the letter went live, a new deal came out of the blue which meant that everything changed again!

Enough grumbling, where does this leave everything?

Put simply, as of August 2008 I’ve closed down Infected Books and am no longer working independently. Why? Because by taking this new route it means I can concentrate on communicating. And what do I mean by communicating? Two things – first, writing and releasing new books, second, finally getting to meet, speak to and interact with the people who read my stuff. I worked in the financial sector for almost 20 years and I just don’t want to be in business anymore! Other people will be doing that side of things for me now so that I can concentrate on getting the mass of ideas I have down on paper and turned into novels, films, plays, comics or whatever...

You can say I’ve sold out if you like, I don’t mind. All I know is that this new arrangement means that I’m finally being paid to write instead of having to write, then edit, design, produce, distribute and sell my books before seeing a penny. To give you an indication of the kind of effect this is having on me personally, after taking 18 months to write half of the first draft of Disintegration, it’s taken just the last 8 months to finish writing the book AND to completely write Dog Blood, the first Hater sequel. I still have to work on Dog Blood with my editor, but I’m now in a position where I can start work on a completely new novel as well as begin writing the final book in the Hater series. Instead of one book every three years, I’m now on target for three books every year!

The new website will be up and running soon, and I’m hoping it will be much more dynamic and interactive than before. I’m taking my time because I want to get it right. It will be seen by more people than the previous site ever was – as an indication of how much things have changed, the initial print run of the new edition of Hater in the US alone will be many thousands more than the total number of books I’ve so far sold independently!

Here’s an update on where everything stands at the moment. Feel free to email any questions and I’ll answer them as quickly and honestly as I can.

The Autumn books – have been acquired by my US publisher and have temporarily been removed from sale. In the very near future we’ll be discussing the timescale for publication of the entire series and this will be announced as soon as possible. At this stage I don’t yet know when Disintegration will be published. The German language editions of the book will continue to be published at 6 – 9 monthly intervals (this was a deal agreed a couple of years ago). Herbst: Stadt, the German language edition of Autumn: The City, is due for release any day now.

Hater – I’m contracted to write two sequels to Hater. As I’ve already said, the first sequel, Dog Blood, is currently with my editor and work has begun on the third book. Hater will be re-released in the UK (by Orion) and the US (by Thomas Dunne Books) on February 17th 2009. The book has also been acquired by publishers in many other countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Romania! I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that the book has been ‘blurbed’ by none other than Guillermo del Toro. Check out the listing on Amazon.com to see what he (and others) have said about the book.

Trust and Straight to You – have disappeared for a while. Straight to You in particular, I feel, is a great story but it has dated badly since 1996 when it was first published. These two books may well get a dusting down and a re-release at a future date!

The movies – Autumn, as I understand, is just about complete. Renegade have updated their blog with an indication of planned release dates and I’m due to see the film any day now. I’ll post my thoughts as soon as I’m able to do so. The Hater movie promises to be incredible. I don’t have much more to say right now (I’ve spent most of the summer working with Universal Studios and the producers of the film to get all the legalities sewn up and sorted out) but keep checking back here or keep an eye on the film’s IMDB page for more news.

Those who’ve been pressing me for Disintegration and Dog Blood release dates are going to be disappointed by this post and I’m sorry for that. The Autumn movie and the Hater re-release aside, there probably won’t be any more news for the next 6 months or so although I plan to update the website, this blog and the message board regularly between now and then.

Thanks for sticking with me. I hope you’ll continue to do so because it will definitely be worth it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Exclusive AUTUMN movie set report

I've just posted a report from my visit to the set of the AUTUMN movie. Click here to read it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

AUTUMN Set Visit and Book Signing

After a few delays I'm finally off to Canada this week to visit the set of the AUTUMN movie. We're also squeezing in a book signing on Thursday 13th December. The details are...

Hosted By: Renegade Motion Pictures
When: 13 Dec 2007, 19:00
Where: Prohibition Bar
696 Queen St. E

It would be great to meet any fans who are in the area!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The AUTUMN movie - first footage now online

Footage from the first 8 days shooting of the AUTUMN movie is now online. Click here to watch!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A long overdue update...

If you're reading this then thanks for sticking with me through the last five months or so of virtual silence. My family and I have had a difficult year and various things have happened which have kept me away from my desk for far too long.

That's not to say I haven't been working! In fact, I've been busier than ever recently and I thought it was about time I emerged to bring you up to date with what's been going on.

The Autumn Movie
Wow. What can I say about this one? I'm incredibly excited about the movie. I've been speaking to Steven Rumbelow, the Director, over the last couple of weeks and the project is shaping up to be something very special - unique and true to the book. I can't say much at the moment, but keep checking the website regularly for announcements. Filming begins in Canada today - Monday 22nd October - and continues through November. I'll be visiting the set towards the end of the shoot and meeting up with the cast and crew. Renegade will be updating their website and blog with behind the scenes footage and much more shortly and yes... I'm told they'll soon be putting out a request for zombie extras! By the way, if you still want to invest in the movie you've got until Halloween to do so. More information can be found here.

Autumn Books
I hope you've seen the Autumn: Disintegration update by now. Yes, I know, it's many, many months behind schedule but, as I said earlier, it's been a difficult year. Better to take my time and get it right rather than rush the book and disappoint you. Be assured - Disintegration is coming, and I hope to be able to make an announcement about the release date by the end of the year. In the meantime, new Echoes will be regularly added to the site.
   To tie-in with the release of the fifth Autumn book, Infected Books will soon be releasing a strictly limited edition, individually numbered and signed hardback set of the entire series (including an expanded version of Autumn: The Human Condition which will be revised to include the new 'Echoes' dedicated to characters appearing in Disintegration). Featuring specially commissioned exclusive artwork and re-designed interiors, the books will be limited to 500 copies of each volume. More details will be available very soon. In the meantime, you can register your interest here and get release dates and ordering information sent to you as soon as they become available.
   And that's not all. A brand new and completely free on-line Autumn novel (tentatively titled King of the Dead) will be serialized exclusively on www.theinfected.co.uk from early 2008. www.theinfected.co.uk will also be undergoing a major facelift shortly. Feel free to submit any zombie-themed photographs or artwork!

Dog Blood
Is now in development and is shaping up nicely to be a bloody and violent end to the Hater story. The book should see the light of day in the first half of 2008. By then I hope to have more news about the Hater movie also.

Recent Releases
You may have already seen a couple of other recent releases. The teen horror anthology 666: Number of the Beast includes an original story of mine - 'Grandma Kelly' - a cracking little tale of terrified teenagers, reanimated grandmothers and the end of the world! Number of the Beast is available now, as is Herbst: Beginn - the beautiful German language edition of the first Autumn novel.

Other Projects
There's plenty more in development. In late 2008 expect to see an anthology of short stories I've been putting together over the last couple of years. Early next year I'll also be co-writing a screen adaptation of another one of my books. That's right - a third Moody movie! I should be able to announce more details in the very near future.

So there you have it! Once again, I'm sorry for the delays and lack of news recently but I hope this update has whetted your appetite. Watch out for more regular updates coming soon, starting with the Autumn set-report in late November / early December.

Thanks again for sticking with me, and please continue to do so. It will definitely be worth it!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

AUTUMN movie poster poll

The team over at Renegade are asking fans to choose their favourite AUTUMN movie poster. Cast your vote here...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

28 weeks later

I finally got to see 28 weeks later this week. When 28 days later was released in 2003 I received a huge number of emails talking about the similarities between the film and the Autumn books. At the time I said (and I still believe) that this was purely coincidental although there’s a little bit of me that clings on to the belief that someone, somewhere might have come across my books on the net and taken some inspiration from my story. Who knows. The theme, the overall tone and the some of the locations were certainly similar.

I’ve had a large number of emails asking about the new film, particularly a line in the opening scenes where an old man tasting wine says “I smell raspberries... vanilla... a faint touch of autumn.” Just coincidence, I’m sure!

I was a huge fan of the first half of 28 days later. The opening part of the film was stunning. I thought it was a brilliant concept, had great performances and was made with a superb visual style. Unfortunately I think it fell apart as soon as the soldiers appeared and the whole thing went downhill rapidly until it reached one of the most disappointing movie climaxes in living memory. I wasn’t looking forward to the sequel and my expectations dropped even lower when I first read the synopsis. A dead UK is ‘re-booted’ by the good old USA. It was obvious from the start that things would eventually go wrong and the rage virus would return, but it all seemed a little simplistic and underwhelming. I was genuinely pleased when the first reviews of the film started to appear and the word was good. In fact, the word has generally been better than good.

I enjoyed the film hugely, as much as I enjoyed the first half of the first film, but I left the cinema feeling short-changed again.

28 weeks later has all the ingredients of a strong sequel. The audience is already familiar with the premise so there’s no need to waste time with the back story and it’s straight into the action. It carries over the intense and immediate visual style of the first film and there are some truly nightmarish images to be seen – piles of bagged bodies on street corners, snipers firing indiscriminately into crowds of terrified survivors and protective-suited soldiers prowling the streets with flamethrowers to name but a few.

My main gripe with the film, however, was the plot and the various assumptions and conveniences which drove the story along at the expense of its plausibility. Here are a few examples (spoilers below):

  • The country has been destroyed by infection and disease. Do you really start rebuilding it from the centre of the capital city? Wouldn’t a medium sized coastal town be more appropriate? London is a dangerous and unpredictable place at the very best of times...!

  • With so much at risk and such a biological threat to contend with, how do two children manage to escape from the protected area and get into the rest of the city? Are we to believe that the military really that inept? (I don’t want an answer to that question – we’re talking about a fantasy story here, not trying to draw any parallels with reality)

  • How did the mother manage to make it back home undetected?

  • I know he hadn’t seen her for weeks and he thought she was dead and that he’d let her down etc. etc., but would Don and his wife really indulge in a game of tongue hockey while she was strapped to a hospital bed. Oh, and would the janitor really have authority to get into such a secure area, and would he be able to do it unchallenged?

  • When the inhabitants of District One are locked into a secure area when the Rage virus first returns, how feasible is it that Don manages to get in through a ‘back door’?

  • And finally, if it’s such a struggle for the children and the army medic to get to the tube station near Wembley, how does infected Don manage to get there ahead of them?

I wasn’t intentionally looking for holes in the story, but they were so numerous and so obvious that I couldn’t help myself. But, like most good horror films (and 28 weeks later definitely WAS a good film), if you suspend your disbelief for long enough you’ll enjoy the ride.

So, in a nutshell, I thought the performances were great, the visuals were stunning and I had a blast watching the film. I enjoyed it a thousand times more than I ever thought I would and I can honestly say I’m looking forward to the inevitable 28 months later. Maybe someone would let me have a go at writing it...?!

Just to finish this long-overdue post off, I’ve just watched the trailer for Will Smith’s I am Legend and I can’t help thinking that it’s going to be appalling. I’d like to be able to write a positive review of it later this year but I somehow don’t think that’s going to happen. As I’ve said elsewhere, Matheson’s hugely important and influential novel deserves so much more than this...