close

The Qwillery | category: Anti-Hero

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - What I Learned Writing The Hero Series


Please welcome Jonathan Wood to The Qwillery. Broken Hero, the 4th Hero novel, is published today by Titan Books. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Jonathan a Happy Publication Day!



Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - What I Learned Writing The Hero Series




What I Learned Writing The Hero Series

So Broken Hero is out today. It’s the fourth book in the Hero series, and for the forseeable future the last one I’ll be writing. Which, actually isn’t something I’ve talked about anywhere else. (See, one thing I’ve learned is that having a web site doesn’t seem to help me much, so I’ve let that whole thing slide.) So yes, it’s looking like this is the last ride for Arthur Wallace and the crew at MI37. World exclusive. You read it here first.

But this post isn’t about that. Or… it isn’t yet. Because what Sally actually asked me to write about was what I learned while I writing the whole series. And the first lesson I wanted to impart is that writing, and being a published author is completely bonkers.

Completely.

Bonkers.

No Hero (the first book in the series) was a book I never meant to publish. It was supposed to be a practice novel. Except it got picked up for a 2-book series. Except then my publisher went belly up, with only one book out there. So then I self-published the second. Except that was only for a hot second, because my agent (through, I assume, black magic and human sacrifice) managed to sell both books plus a third to another publisher, Titan Books. And then they bought a fourth. Hence me being here, wittering on. And I’m pretty sure most of that shouldn’t have happened. And there’s possibly a lesson in there about plugging away at what you love, and keeping your head down and just writing, but.. bonkers. Utterly bonkers. That’s what I’m taking away.

Also - speaking of Titan Books, that’s something else I’ve learned. The people that work there are awesome. If you ever see them at a con, or at a reading, or as you stalk them across the moonlit streets of London, please feel free to remind them of this fact.

Speaking of awesome people, and bonkers things… fan mail. True story: the first two pieces of fan mail I got were actually angry tirades from people unable to get the books, for reasons utterly outside my control. And while it’s a little odd to be hit with such fiery invective, it’s also kind of awesome to know something I wrote inspired such a passion. Though, I have to say, my favorite fan mail has come in the form of letters from people who discovered the books during times of serious personal hardship and managed to gain some comfort from them. Considering the books consist largely of explosions and penis jokes, I’m kind of quietly amazed and terribly, terribly proud of that. Those letters, honestly have made the whole endeavor feel pretty worthwhile. So… I guess learning a little bit about why I’m writing in the first place was a decent lesson too.

And talking about fans, and audience, brings me back to the fact that this is the last book in the series. I swear I brought that up for a reason. So why am I stopping writing them? Honestly, it’s because I have other stories to tell. That’s something else I’ve come to learn. I’ve lived with Arthur, and Clyde, and Kayla, and Tabitha, and Felicity chatting away in my head for five years, and it’s time to give the other voices a turn.

So the good news (at least for the people who enjoy my writing) is that I also have another book coming out this year. This summer in fact. It’s an epic fantasy, and I am super excited about it. However, there is a twist. It’s coming out under a pseudonym, which… so as not to defeat the purpose of a pseudonym, I shall not be giving away. (That said, I’m also not terribly subtle, so if anyone follows me on facebook, I suspect figuring it out won’t be that hard.)

So, there’s that.

And now, I feel that this should all build to something. That there should the sort of grand lesson that comes at the end of a long journey. Some monomythic wisdom for me to share. But really, I think all I’ve got is the same thing my wife says to me, when I get phone calls from kind strangers trying to return to me all the things I manage to lose as I stumble through life (my keys and the flash drive containing the sole draft of my next novel, for example…) – I am the luckiest man alive.

I feel incredibly grateful, and privileged that the audience has allowed this series to go on this long, and that they’re still interested in finding out what idiotic thing Arthur is going to do next. And the reason I am such a tremendously lucky man is, really. because of the people who have bothered to read to the end of this post. It’s because of people like Sally who has been kind enough to host this blather, and to support the books all the way to the end. It’s because of you, reading right now. You are bloody brilliant, and I have learned—you have taught me—to be constantly grateful.

Thank you so much.





Broken Hero
Hero 4
Titan Books, January 26, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - What I Learned Writing The Hero Series
How’s a secret agent meant to catch a break? If it’s not a demi-god going through puberty, it’s a renegade Nazi clockwork army going senile. Or a death cult in Nepal. Or a battery-chewing wizard’s relationship problems. Arthur Wallace, agent of MI37—Britain’s agency for dealing with the supernatural, the extraterrestrial, and the generally odd—has to pull everything together, and he has to do it before a magical bomb tears reality apart…





Previously

No Hero
Hero 1
Titan Books, March 11, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Previously published by Night Shade Books

Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - What I Learned Writing The Hero Series
"What would Kurt Russell do?" Oxford police detective Arthur Wallace asks himself that question a lot. Because Arthur is no hero. He's a good cop, but prefers that action and heroics remain on the screen, safely performed by professionals. But then, secretive government agency MI37 comes calling, hoping to recruit Arthur in their struggle against the tentacled horrors from another dimension known as the Progeny. But Arthur is NO HERO! Can an everyman stand against sanity-ripping cosmic horrors?


Review here.



Yesterday's Hero
Hero 2
Titan Books, November 24, 2015
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Trade Paperback and eBook, September 9, 2014

Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - What I Learned Writing The Hero Series
Another day. Another zombie T-Rex to put down. All part of the routine for Arthur Wallace and MI37—the government department devoted to battling threats magical, supernatural, extra-terrestrial, and generally odd. Except a zombie T-Rex is only the first of his problems... Before Arthur can say, “But didn’t I save the world yesterday?” a new co-director at MI37 is threatening his job, middle-aged Russian cyborg wizards are threatening his life, and his co-workers are threatening his sanity.


Review here.



Anti-Hero
Hero 3
Titan Books, June 28, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Trade Paperback and eBook, March 10, 2015

Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - What I Learned Writing The Hero Series
When it rains it pours… monster machines. That attack during a funeral and ruin everyone’s day. MI317—the government department devoted to defending Britain from cosmic horrors—is under siege, so Arthur Wallace and his team must travel to Area 51, ably—and oddly—assisted by Agent Gran. But their travels don’t end there, not when there’s an Arctic town populated entirely by spore zombies and the 2.0 version of Clyde has some funny ideas about how to save the world.


Review here.





About Jonathan

Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - What I Learned Writing The Hero Series
Jonathan Wood is an Englishman in New York. There’s a story in there involving falling in love and flunking out of med school, but in the end it all worked out all right, and, quite frankly, the medical community is far better off without him, so we won’t go into it here. His debut novel, No Hero was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a funny, dark, rip-roaring adventure with a lot of heart, highly recommended for urban fantasy and light science fiction readers alike.” Barnesandnoble.com listed it has one of the 20 best paranormal fantasies of the past decade, and Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels described it as, “so funny I laughed out loud.” His short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Chizine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, as well as anthologies such as The Book of Cthulhu 2 and The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year One.

Twitter @thexmedic  ~  Facebook

Review: Anti-Hero by Jonathan Wood


Anti-Hero
Author:  Jonathan Wood
Series:  Arthur Wallace / No Hero 3
Publisher:  Titan Books, March 10, 2015
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $14.95 (print)
ISBN:  9781781168110 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Author

Review: Anti-Hero by Jonathan Wood
When it rains it pours… monster machines. That attack during a funeral and ruin everyone’s day. MI37—the government department devoted to defending Britain from cosmic horrors—is under siege, so Arthur Wallace and his team must travel to Area 51, ably—and oddly—assisted by Agent Gran. But their travels don’t end there, not when there’s an Arctic town populated entirely by spore zombies and the 2.0 version of Clyde has some funny ideas about how to save the world..



Qwill's Thoughts

Anyone who has read The Qwillery for a while knows that I am a fan of Jonathan Wood's Arthur Wallace/No Hero series, which starts with No Hero, continues with Yesterday's Hero and fortunately does not conclude with Anti-Hero. (Look for Broken Hero in October 2015).

Anti-Hero starts with the most unusual funeral I've read about in a novel ever. The MI37 team - Arthur, Felicity, Kayla, and Tabitha - are at the funeral for Clyde (well a version of Clyde) when all hell breaks lose. Someone is trying to kill them with extreme prejudice. The team survives the attempt and ends up heading to New York City to help the CIA battle another version of Clyde - a really despicable and evil version who wants to do something really despicable and evil. At the CIA MI37 primarily liaise with Agent Gran, who is very laid back for a CIA agent. The MI37 team and Agent Gran are led on a merry chase from New York to Mexico to a famous US National Monument to deep in the Arctic. The goal - save the world...again! The CIA has some absolutely cool tech that is deployed at various times throughout the novel. The science is often implausible but fun and entertaining. There is magic of course and combined with science it creates a terrible threat to survival of humanity.

In between the insanity that MI37 is dealing with Wood delves deep into the relationships of the MI37 members. There are heartbreaking emotional moments and relationships evolve and change. I was thrilled to see this evolution and changing dynamic among the team. These characters are not perfect - they are flawed, make mistakes, and continue to be believable. Wood puts the team through the wringer both emotionally and physically. There is a lot of soul-searching in Anti-Hero. What does it mean to be a hero is a central theme.

Anti-Hero (like the preceding novels) is absolutely an ensemble piece and is told from Arthur's point of view. Arthur is a very unlikely hero. When he gets in a really tight spot Arthur asks himself "What would Kurt Russell do?" He seems to be moving somewhat away from having to ask that. However, Arthur could not do what he does without the support of the rest of MI37 (all 4 of them). Conversely the team would be much, much less without Arthur. They are an oddball collection who fit together wonderfully - even when they think they don't like each other, when it matters most they pull together and get things done.

Wood has a knack for taking over the top scenarios and making them work beautifully. I would not expect anything less from an Arthur Wallace novel. The writing is crisp and the pacing breathtakingly fast. Tempering all the crazy, all the emotion, all the will they save the world again is just the right amount of humor. There are definitely laugh out loud moments.

Anti-Hero starts off with a bang and has its foot on the accelerator until the nail-biting and extremely satisfying conclusion. It's an action packed Urban Fantasy with more than a touch of weird and a great ensemble cast lead by the very capable Arthur Wallace. Anti-Hero is frightening, fun and fabulous!


Note: While you probably could read Anti-Hero without reading the prior two novels in the series, I suggest you do read them first.





Previously

No Hero
Arthur Wallace / No Hero 1
Titan Books, March 11, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Previously published by Night Shade Books

Review: Anti-Hero by Jonathan Wood
"What would Kurt Russell do?" Oxford police detective Arthur Wallace asks himself that question a lot. Because Arthur is no hero. He's a good cop, but prefers that action and heroics remain on the screen, safely performed by professionals. But then, secretive government agency MI37 comes calling, hoping to recruit Arthur in their struggle against the tentacled horrors from another dimension known as the Progeny. But Arthur is NO HERO! Can an everyman stand against sanity-ripping cosmic horrors?


Review here.



Yesterday's Hero
Arthur Wallace / No Hero 2
Titan Books, September 9, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Review: Anti-Hero by Jonathan Wood
Another day. Another zombie T-Rex to put down. All part of the routine for Arthur Wallace and MI37—the British government department devoted to defending Britain from threats magical, supernatural, extraterrestrial, and generally odd.Except a zombie T-Rex is only the first of the problems about to trample, slavering and roaring, through Arthur’s life. Before he can say, “but didn’t I save the world yesterday?” a new co-director at MI37 is threatening his job, middle-aged Russian cyborg wizards are threatening his life, and his co-workers’ are threatening his sanity.

As Arthur struggles to unravel a plot to re-enact the Chernobyl disaster in England’s capital, he must not only battle foreign wizards but also struggle to keep the trust of his team. Events spiral out of control, friendships fray, and loyalties are tested to their breaking point.


Review here.




Upcoming

Broken Hero
Arthur Wallace / No Hero 4
Titan Books, January 2016

Review: Anti-Hero by Jonathan Wood
Arthur Wallace and the MI37 team confront their complex personal relationships as well as robots originally created to aid the Nazi’s invasion of Russia, leading to a trip for the team to the Himalayas, which takes them to a Nepalese death cult, then back to London for the final assault – amidst assorted relationship break-ups, hangovers and pregnancy scares…

Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - What I Learned Writing The Hero SeriesReview: Anti-Hero by Jonathan WoodReview Revisited: Yesterday's Hero by Jonathan Wood and Giveaway - September 9, 2014Guest Blog by Jonathan Wood - Writing a series - and Giveaway - March 12, 2014

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×