Friday, October 13, 2007


Me with the life-sized Han Solo in carbonite in my office.
On the left is my screenplay collection.

Hi there everyone! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted a message, but it’s been an unbelievably busy year. Let me get you up to speed…

1. “THE SIX SACRED STONES” are here!!

Yes, it’s been two years since I’ve released a novel, but I promise you, the wait will be worth it.

My new novel, The Six Sacred Stones, will be released across Australia on October 23 (it’ll come out in the US and UK in January) and it’s huge.

It’s a rampaging sequel to Seven Ancient Wonders and so sees the return of Captain Jack West Jr in a new adventure. Turns out, someone has undone all the good work he did in Seven Ancient Wonders, and now the end of the world really is nigh.

Unless Jack can rebuild a mysterious device known only as “the Machine,” all life on Earth will be extinguished. The only clues to finding and rebuilding this Machine, however, are to be found within the fabled Six Sacred Stones, long lost to history.

It’s bigger than Seven Ancient Wonders in scale, thrills and action, with our heroes venturing to strange ancient places like the Three Gorges Region of China and Stonehenge (I might even give an explanation for Stonehenge along the way). And it has an ending that I hope will surprise even the most experienced Matthew Reilly fan!

I really hope you like it.

2. “LITERARY SUPERSTARS” – A NEW TV SHOW

The main reason for my extra level of busy-ness this year has been a TV show that I wrote about the publishing industry, currently titled Literary Superstars.

It’s a half-hour comedy about an overworked but very loyal publicist who looks after all kinds of authors and generally has adventures in life and love. Much of the show’s content comes from my experiences on book tours around the world (like the time I did a reading at a writers festival alongside a German poet whose poetry was about how he went to the toilet—yes, it’s true—or the time at the Sydney Writers Festival when…well, you get the picture).

The show is being produced by Darren Star (Sex and the City, Melrose Place) for Sony, and will star the amazing Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg). We’re planning to shoot the pilot for the US ABC network shortly and my fingers are crossed that it’ll be greenlit for series!

It’s been a really great new adventure for me. Nice to write in a different format. TV scripts are, naturally, a lot shorter than novels, and unlike the books, I get to put so much of my own experiences into the storylines. But it also means conference calls at 5 am and if all goes well a move to Los Angeles in November, the day after…

3. BOOK SIGNINGS AND TOURS!! – IN AUSTRALIA AND U.S.A.

…I finish my Australian book tour for The Six Sacred Stones!

Yes, after two years hiding away at home, writing hard, I’ll be out and about doing signings across Australia in late October/early November. I’ll put the dates and locations up on the website shortly (the first one will be on 25 October at Dymocks Castle Hill in NSW, and then I’ll be at Borders, Macquarie Centre in Ryde, on Friday, 26 October.)

US tour news: I am also pleased to announce that my publisher in the US, Simon & Schuster, will be touring me in January 2008 as part of the release of The Six Sacred Stones. Dates and locations to come!

 

WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING:

1. “THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART” AND “THE COLBERT REPORT”

Arguably the best two shows on TV. We get these shows beamed into Australia the day after they air in the States (Comedy Channel, 9:30pm).

Both poke fun at the day’s political events, whether it’s a goof from George W. Bush or a Democratic presidential debate or perhaps the man-sized safe in Dick Cheney’s office! (Dick Cheney is the butt of many of their jokes, actually.) And in the case of The Daily Show, the host Jon Stewart interviews—wait for it—an author every evening. Occasionally he interviews a movie star like Halle Berry or Bruce Willis, but 95% of the time, it’s an author, usually of a cool non-fiction book! (Stewart’s recent interview of Dick Cheney’s wife was simply sensational.)

As for Stephen Colbert, well, he is just outrageously clever and funny. When you see his early work from the days when he was a reporter on The Daily Show, you realise that Colbert just had to have a show of his own. I still smile when I think about his pre-taped reports of John Kerry’s speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. And he is also the guy who came up with the word ‘truthiness’ (coined with respect to the never-found WMDs in Iraq, it means “that which one holds to be true regardless of what is supported by the facts”).

If you’re not watching these shows, start now. Right now. Especially if you’re under 20.

2. “SPORTS NIGHT” CREATED BY AARON SORKIN

I grabbed the box-set of this series created by Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing) from Amazon recently and my God, it’s good. Made before The West Wing, you can just see his talent in every scene.

First of all, it’s not about sport. It’s about a late-night sports show, not unlike ESPN’s SportsCenter. And you can see Sorkin’s political passion even within this sports show environment. You’ll never see a better description about hunting, trust me.

3. “30 ROCK” CREATED BY TINA FEY

I reckon Tina Fey rocks. She was awesome in Mean Girls, a film she also wrote, and she’s always been a stellar performer on Saturday Night Live.

But with 30 Rock (which for some reason has not yet arrived on Australian television) she has excelled herself. Alec Baldwin’s character—a classic by-the-Jack Welch-book corporate man—is potentially the best character I’ve seen on television in the last ten years.

My agent in LA gave me an early copy of some episodes of this show ages ago, and I loved it then, so I recently bought Season 1 on DVD (again at Amazon; okay, I’m addicted). I find myself stopping the DVD player after a couple of episodes because I don’t want to get to the end of the season, it’s that good.

And that’s about it for now.

I truly hope you enjoy the new book. It’s been two years in the making, and although I know every author says this with every book they write, I honestly believe that it’s the best one I’ve written so far: it’s the smartest and the most complex, and it’s got the biggest and best action yet.

 

Talk soon,

Matthew Reilly
Sydney, Australia