Welcome to my
online journal...

My name is Alexander Gordon Smith, and I'm the author of various books including The Inventors series and the brand new Furnace series.

This is my blog, and is where I talk about books, writing and, well, probably other stuff too...

My Blog Has Moved!!!!

Hi everyone! My blog has now moved over to my brand new website, which you can find here:


This will be my last post on this blog, so be sure to follow me over!

Thanks for reading!

Haunted Hotels and Clown Slugs!

My worst fear: a slug dressed like a clown!!
Check out my post about scary things over on Trapped By Monsters!

Shiny New Things!

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend! I had a pretty cool one! On Friday I met up with the brilliant Sarwat Chadda, author of Devil's Kiss and Dark Goddess. We had a burger and a good old natter about writing. I love the fact that Facebook and blogs and Twitter et al let you communicate with other writers twenty-four hours a day, but nothing beats meeting up face to face the old fashioned way! Sarwat's new series, the Ash Mistry Chronicles, comes out next year and it sounds AWESOME!!! It's going to be huge.

Now that the tour is out of the way I'm throwing myself into a few new projects, and this weekend I started writing not one but two new books. The first is something I haven't tried before, and I don't really want to say anything about it yet because the chances are it won't work! The other one is a book for younger readers that I'm writing alongside Lynsey and Lucy. It's going really well so far, and we should hopefully have the first book finished in a couple of weeks. I'll tell you more about it soon!

The weekend was also spent doing Fear Driven Films things as we're planning a new film project which should be quite interesting. We've got a title, Sola Gratia, and a script, and we've even begun casting for it. I'll fill in more details as they emerge! Anyway, lots of shiny new things!

Have a lovely week!

Fabulous (But Not Quite Fabulous Enough...)

I didn't win the award, but I got a slice of this awesome cake,
so really I'm the winner!!!!

This week I was honoured to be able to attend the wonderful Wandsworth Fabulous Book Award ceremony for the second year in a row! Last year Furnace Lockdown was shortlisted, and came second (after Rachel Ward's Numbers), and this year it was Death Sentence's chance to vie for the coveted award.

It was an absolutely wonderful morning, with pupils from seven local schools taking part – including Ashcroft Academy, my second home in London. Each school did a presentation on their favourite book (or books) from the shortlist, and the highlight of my morning was when the awesome pupils from Graveney did their presentation on Death Sentence. They even acted out the scene where Alex, Zee and Simon make it to the control room and face off with a Blacksuit. It was brilliant! They also held a Furnace quiz, and I won a Mars Bar for getting an answer right (although I kind of felt like I was cheating, since I wrote the books...)!

Some awesome comments about Death Sentence!
After the presentations and some discussion groups the winner was announced. And it wasn't me!! I wasn't even in the top three this year!!! But I managed to ignore my urge to grab the award and run away and settled for a lovely bottle of bubbly and a piece of the awesome Fab Award cake. The winner was Alyxandra Harvey for My Love Lies Bleeding, which is a vampire book. I guess you really can't compete with lovelorn vampires! But she lives in America, and although they are sending her the award I doubt she'll get a bit of cake, so who's the real winner? Me!

Anyway, congratulations Alyxandra, and thanks to Susan and everybody at the award for a wonderful day! Maybe I'll be back next year, and you never know – one of these days I might be the bride instead of the bridesmaid!!

Furnace Epilogue!

This is a message to everybody who has finished reading Furnace 5 – everybody else, look away!!!

Okay, the epilogue that is promised at the end of Furnace 5 has been written, but it hasn't quite made it online yet. This is one hundred per cent my fault, and I offer a million apologies to those of you who are waiting to find out what happens after the end of the story! The epilogue is now with my publisher, and it should hopefully be available to read sometime next week. I'll keep you posted on how it goes, and let you know as soon as it's online!

I'm really sorry about that!! It's worth the wait!!


My Aberdeenshire B&B... Not!

I'm just back from a whirlwind tour in Scotland to celebrate the launch of Furnace 5 this month. I had a fantastic time! I was back in Aberdeenshire, where I was last year for the Grampian Book Awards. It's absolutely gorgeous up there, with the countryside and the coast and the hills (we don't have hills where I'm from so it's always nice to see them)! A trip up north always feels more like a holiday than a tour!

I didn't get to relax, though, far from it! I did twenty-two shows during the week across Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Ellon, Newburgh, Turriff and Meldrum, speaking to well over a thousand people. I also did a few creative writing sessions for teachers and probationary teachers, which was great fun! By the end of the week I was exhausted but exhilarated, and I'd just like to say a HUGE thanks to everybody in Aberdeenshire – especially the pupils, the teachers, the librarians and Marion, who organised it all for me – for being so friendly and so welcoming and so enthusiastic about reading and writing. Aberdeenshire is fast becoming my second home, and I'm looking forward to coming back next year!

I was really looking forward to staying on in Aberdeen afterwards to spend some time with my Uncle Frank and cousin Allie, but on the Friday I was feeling really, really ill so decided to head straight home (ten hours of puking on the train, fun!). I had to save my strength because on Tuesday I was straight back into the fray with another return trip, this time to the wonderful Ashcroft Academy in Wandsworth. I was there last year for the Fab Book Awards, and it was great to see everybody again and speak to this year's Year 8s. Hi everyone, and thanks for making me feel so welcome again! I'm back in London for the Fab Book Awards next week – Death Sentence has been shortlisted. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Until then, though, it's nice to be back at home for a few days, putting my feet up, writing and trying not to get too addicted to Sims 3... :-)

I am MASSIVELY EXCITED because today is the launch day for Furnace Lockdown in Poland!!! I've been away on tour (which I'll be blogging about soon), and I got back from London today to find a big box of Polish books waiting for me! They look absolutely AWESOME!!!

I've had a few foreign rights deals for my books, but this is the first one that I've seen. It's utterly surreal seeing your book in a different language – a story that you wrote, but which you can't actually read. I've tried going through it, but I can barely understand a word! I remember when I was a kid my mum and dad used to have a picture book in Polish, it was about penguins, and I used to look through it marvelling at how their words looked so different to ours. I've been doing the same today. It really is a beautiful language. I've got some Polish friends so I'll give a copy to them and see what they think.

I just want to say a hugdziękuję (I really hope I've got that right!!!) to everybody at Otwarte for doing such an amazing job on the book. It really does look absolutely sensational and I'm so delighted with it! And hopefully I'll be over in Poland soon doing some signings!


A Polish Wheezer (and a Great Review!)

As my Facebook friends will know from my constant whining, I've been horribly ill for the last couple of weeks. What started with the flu fast became an evil attack of tonsillitis, and to top it all off I managed to put my back out too – which meant that I couldn't talk or walk for a few days. I'm still feeling groggier than a drunken, one-legged pirate trying to walk from bow to stern in a storm, but I think I'm slowly on the mend.

Two pieces of good news helped cheer me up this week, though. The first is that I saw a visual for the cover of the Polish Furnace, which I've posted above. Isn't it awesome?! I was absolutely blown away when I saw it. For those of us who don't speak Polish, Otchlan means 'Abyss' and Potrzasku (according to Google Translate) means 'Trapped'. I'm so excited to see the finished book – I'll let you know as soon as I hear a release date!

The second piece of good news is that I saw the first review of Execution (the fifth and final Furnace book, which comes out in a couple of weeks). And it's a great one! A HUGE thanks to John Lloyd and The Bookbag for this review, and all the other Furnace reviews over the last couple of years! :-)

Oh, and there are spoilers here for anyone who hasn't read Death Sentence and Fugitives!

"And so to the end. Alex and his closest friends have escaped the Furnace Penitentiary, that mile-deep hell-hole cum nightmare scientific experiment writ large. He's arisen to find the country in tatters, as the nasty creatures born there are in charge and decimating the population. There is only one thing to do - kill the man responsible. And Alex, eight feet tall, with an obsidian blade for an arm and muscles upon his muscles, will still face his hardest battle yet.

The title is most apt, for even though the prison called Furnace is but a jagged memory, the man Furnace has to be sought, even beyond all his mind-controlled monsters. And the Execution part? That has greater bearing on the story than you might think.
Unfortunately for me, I wasn't keen on the first third of this book. Alex wakes from his latest battle in hospital. He's again penned inside an institution, for the sake of the 'goodies', we at first think. But in his half-awake, half-asleep, half-alive, half-dead state, every second chapter slips away into a fantasy realm, a flashback-cum-dream-cum-exposition. Yes it's all completely relevant, and suitably dark and horrific, but for me the series is better in dealing with the more concrete - the body horror, the battles, the most perfectly tangible senses of dread, nightmare and threat. Yes, those emotions do come solid in writing this good.
Beyond that extended, divisive opening, things definitely return to form. The action, the black mood, the carnage, all continue, and the writing conveys it all brilliantly. It's actually quite a rich, literary style. Monsters bask in darkness in subterranean lairs. There are lots of quality turns of phrase here, to show Smith's consummate skills expertly, should you wish to see beyond the kinetic, page-turning qualities and witness them.
And the approach to the whole cycle is one of merit too. It is one that can bear the burden of being loaded down with copious references and genres, and still come out the far end its own creature. A few, to whet your appetite - the crime thriller, the mid-apocalyptic war movie, the mad scientist genre, the Nazi allegory, the Fall of Man - it's an odd mixture, but the conviction with which it appears on the page makes everything gel.
And so I'm left with the end of it all here (or, actually, elsewhere - read the last page for further details). While I didn't find perfection in any one volume, and didn't enjoy the beginning here, I did successfully admire it all, and what Smith has achieved - combined, a solid week's worth or more of the most literally visceral teen reads I can think of."
Awesome! Thanks again, John!

Beware The Fury...

Hi everyone! I've spent the last month working solidly on the book I started in November, and have finally got it finished! It's pretty epic, at 150,000 words, but it's a hell of a story. It still doesn't have an official title, but it's looking more and more like it might be called THE FURY. This may change, though! I signed the contracts for it last week, so I can officially give you a teaser of what the book is about:

Imagine if one day, out of the blue, the entire human race turns against you.
Every single person you meet becomes a bloodthirsty feral, hell-bent on killing you – and only you.
Friends, lovers, even your mum and dad, brothers and sisters – they will turn on you, and they will murder you.
And when they have, they will go back to their lives as if nothing has happened.
The world has the Fury.
It won't rest until you're dead.

There's a lot more to the story than this, but I don't want to give too much away just yet! There's also a snippet of press blurb:
The Fury is a brutal, gore-packed, relentless roller-coaster ride of excitement, mystery and supernatural terror. A zombie book without zombies, it turns the rules of the horror genre upside down, providing a fresh take on the apocalypse story.
Anyway, I just thought I'd let you all know what was coming after Furnace! I'll post some more information soon!

Trapped By Monsters!

Happy New Year!!

Happy 2011 everybody! I hope it's a fantastic year for all of you, and that you get everything you could ever desire!

I was planning to blog a roundup of 2010, but the year just went so bloody quickly that I never got the chance. Suffice to say it was an excellent year with some great writing, a new book, wonderful times with friends and family and the beginnings of some very exciting new projects. But out with the old and in with the new, as they say, and my sights are now firmly on the year ahead!

So what are my plans for 2011? Well, one thing that didn't go so well last year was my attempt to write eight books... I wrote two. And a half. Yes, it was a little ambitious and maybe I shouldn't have been quite so tipsy when I announced it. So this year I'm not going to rush to try and finish a certain number of books. Instead I'm going to divide the year up into projects. Twelve of them.

I'm not sure what they all are yet, but I've already begun work on a few. The first is my new YA horror novel, which is so new that it doesn't even have a title yet. The second is probably the screenplay I'm working on for The Inventors. An Inventors film would be SO AMAZING and because there hasn't been much interest I thought I'd just have a go at it myself. There's also a short horror film I'd like to make, and of course the feature film Stagnant, which will hopefully finally begin shooting this year. There are a couple of much smaller projects that I'd like to work on as well, which I'll tell you about if they ever happen! In all, these twelve projects will probably involve more work than the whole eight-books-one-year debacle, but planning it this way makes it seem like less hard work.

Another thing I'll be doing more of this year is blogging! I've got a US blog tour starting on the 5th January and lasting all month, and I'll be sure to link to all my posts from here. It's going to be ace!

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break, and here's to a brilliant 2011!

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