Rat Runners (Rat Runners, Book 1)

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We have to do away with Digital Rights Management, but also anything else that stands in the way of readers getting access to our books. Libraries are based on this principle, and pretty much every writer supports them, right? And some of the payback is that we get paid to come to libraries to do events which promote our work. We have to offer the most loyal members of our audience access that is enhanced or more personal, so that some of those readers will choose to pay for it — the ones we really need, who can provide the artist with an income.

But publishers can only do part of this, and then have to let go. It was never how I thought it would be when I set out in this career, but this is where I find myself. The work outside the books becomes a fun and rewarding experience in its own right. Yes, I want to make my living writing and illustrating stories. And it keeps changing on me. When I finish the manuscript for a novel, I draw up a black and white cover for it.

Like the others, this was not intended as a concept for the final cover, or even an internal illustration. I fantasized about being a writer and illustrator.

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Sure, I wanted to be loads of other things, but it was always really this thing. I never really felt like I had a choice in the matter. So here I am, twenty-five books later. This is the dream. I can be quite the belligerent fecker at times.

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Rat-runners leave bus passengers stranded

I am not a tortured soul, writing to fill a god-shaped hole, or to overcome my neuroses. I am not oppressed by the demands of my muse. This is something a lot of writers must wonder about from time to time, particularly those who write crime, thrillers, horror, dystopian science fiction or other variously dark, violent, paranoid or unpleasant stories.

To give you a flavour, research for my stories has included: terrorists; a wide variety of experimental weapons; more conventional weapons such as guns, bombs and knives; instruments of torture; pathology; crime scene forensics; aviation engineering; surveillance techniques; hacking; radioactive material; police procedures; confidence tricks; and details about a whole selection of violent injuries. On the other hand, I have actually pulled short of looking for sites that show you how to make a bomb, even though it would have been useful in a couple of my books. That just seemed like a tiny step too far.

If you were to believe some films, this blog post alone would be enough to get me black-bagged and carted away in an unmarked SUV with tinted windows. Wait a minute. Colin Wratten, producer of the BBC series, Waking the Dead one of my favourite shows, like, ever covers this topic in one of his blog posts. I also learned from his post that there is such a job as a fly and maggot wrangler.

What I discovered is that much of what a science-fiction writer might dream up to feature in the kind of state apparatus run by WatchWorld is actually already in operation somewhere in the world. The more I read, the more I started thinking about what I was typing into that little Google box. If you want to see proper anti-police-state hacking, check out his novel, Little Brother. So, there I was, researching surveillance so that I could write a story about a surveillance state, while becoming increasingly aware of how much surveillance I was under every day, and how much more could be applied to my life, without me knowing, if I attracted the wrong kind of attention.

Observing something changes it.

Rat-runners leave bus passengers stranded - The Scotsman

Partly because I want the inside of the book to look distinctive as well as the outside quite difficult with a novel and partly because some things are best described with a picture. As I read, I note down the kinds of snapshots of images that would make a good icon for each chapter. The trick is to choose something in each chapter that will be eye-catching, distinctive, different from the other chapters and helps describe something in the story. Then I move on to the proper pencil drawing. I have a standard template I work into when I start, which suits the head of a chapter; a wide rectangle marks the absolute margin for the picture, but the circle is the main frame, allowing for a bit of breaking out of that frame in most of the pictures.

$oFaygo - Rat Runners (Prod. Toonzland)

For the Wildenstern books, I used an old-fashioned style with a lot of linework and cross-hatching. Their motto? If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear.

But Nimmo, Scope, Manikin and FX, who work in the blind-spots of the city's shady underworld, are soon caught in a maze of deception, treachery and murder Unable to conceive of a way to make a living from writing fiction, he decided to fund his dreams of being an author by working as an illustrator yes, he was that naive.

After completing his contract, he decided to expand his horizons and left for London to seek his fortune. Following three and a half years of working in advertising he became increasingly concerned for his immortal soul. He returned to Ireland much as he had left - with no job, no home and some meagre savings. Ever the optimist, he now works once more as a freelance illustrator and mercenary artist by day and escapist writer by night.

He hopes one day to have a decent job, with a pension, a health plan and paid annual holidays. With a clever and exciting plot and strong and endearing characters, this is an Oliver Twist for the 21st century. All make the reading both fascinating and inspiring. Nevertheless, he has been able to balance this technological combination to create an amazing interactive thriller which is a winner.

This is the best fantasy based book that I have read this year; I loved reading every single page. All in all, this is a great read for teenagers that will really make them think" -- Book Review Blog "This must be Oisin McGann's best book to date. I have enjoyed all the ones I've read, but do feel Rat Runners has that little bit extra Very exciting, and I am more than ready for the next one.


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