Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT, I’m a New York Times Bestseller.

So…

I was going to do a really cool post. I was going to be all casual and say “Hi, I’m a New York Times Bestseller, and you’re probably not. Anyway, here’s more reasons I hate Star Trek.”

And I’m sure it would’ve been my usual slice of dickishness with a little humour peeking through the cracks, and we’d all have chuckled, slapped each other on the backs and said “Oh, that Aaron, he’s quite a joker.”

That was my plan.

At this stage, I’m still not entirely convinced it’s for real. Let’s just say if there’s an error in the list and I get kicked off it, I won’t exactly have a heart attack. I’m half-expecting it to happen.

I found out last night (from Facebook, of all places). The problem was that my source was Christian Dunn, my publisher’s short fiction editor. Christian is – and I’m being fair, here – a meanie. This had all the hallmarks of a classic Dunnish Prank(tm), and rather than feel any joy over the deal, I vowed to stab him in the intestines instead. I decided to wait for the actual list to see if it was for real.

I woke up late this morning, because I’d been up until 5:30am trying to catch up on Blood Reaver and my Age of Darkness short story, which are both (surprise!) almost ludicrously late.  I did the first thing that I do everyday. I checked my email.

And man, I had a lot of email.

Seriously. Loads.

I usually wake up to a fair bunch of stuff (editors writing in CAPITAL LETTERS about missed deadlines; private messages from various forums, etc.), but this was insane. I clicked a few of the ones from various folks at my publisher.

But the things they were saying didn’t make sense to me. Madness. These were my colleagues, indeed, my friends. Rik Cooper, Mark Newton, Chris Wraight… I trusted them, yet they had embarked on this strange course of action, deciding to make no sense at all.

I started reading Facebook comments, and emails from other people. These were equally mystifying.

At this moment in time, I was listening to ‘Save it for Later’, by The Beat. I like that song.

Still confused, I took my glasses off.

This didn’t help at all, because I needed them to see the screen. Without them, I had to move closer.

Gripped by a sudden desire to stop pulling confused faces, I decided to check myself. On my quest, I found this:

Wait, I thought. I know that guy.

(Shouldn’t that be ‘Black Library’? Not ‘Games Workshop’? I didn’t know it went out like that. Whatever.)

Of course, since all novelists only ever write for money rather than the pleasure of creation, my mind immediately turned to the financial benefits. The cash! The clout! The… raw… power…

Why, I could even introduce myself like this: “Hi, I’m New York Times Bestselling Author Aaron Dembski-Bowden”, and it would actually be true. I mean, it would be really, really dickish, but it wouldn’t actually be a lie.

But then I remembered how I won’t see the royalties for ages.

So.

Making the NYT Bestseller List has been one of my ambitions ever since I realised I was too stupid to be a paramedic.

Instead of doing something fuelled by hate, despite that’s what everyone always wants to see from me (and what comes naturally when discussing Star Trek), I’m just going to say Thanks. A sincere thanks to everyone who bought and dug The First Heretic.

10 months of my life went into that novel. The reviews and forum feedback have been incredible, overwhelming, and a host of other words that all really just mean “killer” and “rad”.

So I shall use this space to say something terminally lame instead. And that is this:

“Hey, Mum and Dad! Look at me!”


November 6, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

50 Comments »

  1. I am looking so, I am looking. I am proud, smug, crying but most of all I am SO PROUD that I am your mother

    Comment by Vivienne Dembski | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. It has been a killer couple of years for you! Best thing of all, is all well deserved. I have to admit that I have not bought it yet (I´ll have to wait a whole year until the Spanish version arrives), but I´m pretty tented to buy it from Amazon, like I did with Soul Hunter.
    You seem to be a pretty cool guy, despite what you say of yourself, and you really know your stuff. Can´t wait to buy Blood Reaver from Amazon – that´s right, I´m NOT waiting for the Spanish version here!

    Congratulations, Aaron. Just keep them coming, hey?

    Sergio.

    Comment by Sergio Núñez | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  3. I can’t beat your mom out for pride, but I think I can say you’ve taken another step closer to being Chaos’ chosen champion.

    Comment by Khestra the Unbeheld | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  4. 1) Yes, yes – well done, but no-one else is surprised. 2) If it all becomes too much, and you’d rather be a one-book-wonder, you can always pursue “AWD-B: NYTBS, the webcomic”. 3) Why is Ford County in blue? 4) You outsold Jordon, and don’t you let him being dead an’ all detract from that.

    Comment by Rob Smith | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  5. Dude, you fuckin’ rock and you equally deserve this. Massive congratulations on this great achievement.

    Sorry for being the first to swear in the responses. But the book is awesome.

    Will review when finished.

    Comment by Tim Kenyon | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  6. Dude we never doubted you, my 2 year old beat up and made a three year old and a four year old cry today, they deserved it so i will remember today as the day ADB and Logan took there own little slice of the world. (PS im not as bad a parent as i sound)

    Comment by mitch pays | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  7. Awesome! Good for you Aaron, you deserve it.
    (Now start writing something were loyalists win!)

    Comment by Andreas F | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  8. note – LOVE the wow achivement graphic.

    Comment by Andreas F | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  9. Am I allowed to say ‘I told you so’ yet?

    Good going, me laddo.

    Comment by Sarah Cawkwell | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  10. I said so too. Fuckin’ well earned if you ask me!
    Well done Chief😉

    Comment by Rob Ashley White | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  11. Your ‘Wait, I know that guy’ face is amazing.

    I knew you’d make it on to the list🙂

    Comment by Rachel | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  12. I applaud you, good sir. When “The First Heretic” comes out in eBook, or I return to the States from overseas (whichever comes first) I shall snag a copy.
    I’m also jealous. Guess I’ll just have to amp up the writing to catch you🙂

    All jest aside, keep the great stories comin!

    Comment by Christopher Meyer | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  13. “But, I just picked up Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s First Heretic (soon to be a NY Times bestseller) so I’m okay.🙂

    At least until I finish it in about a day or two.😦

    October 26 at 11:39pm”

    My facebook post after I bought the book. I can see the future!!!???!!!! Congrats man, and don’t you ever let those loyalists win!

    Comment by Greg Shoemaker | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  14. You’re a tornado of fresh literary air to an otherwise stale galaxy. I can’t think of any stories more deserving than yours. Here’s to the good work, and everything to come.

    What’s that saying, fortune favors the bold?

    Hi i’m new here, i’m going to write about the beginning of this entire franchise.

    Comment by Dan theDman | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  15. SWEET!

    Comment by A Reilly | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  16. Nice one. You should ALWAYS refer to yourself from this point onwards as a New York Times Bestselling Author. Especially in PR pieces etc, it might make you sound like a smug bastard bt we all know you are anyway so just get on with it!😀

    Comment by Ian | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  17. What a great post. I will have to go find the book now !

    Comment by Sylvia | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  18. Congratulations! I’ve truly enjoyed your novels, short stories, and for the past months your blog posts which fill in the dry spells between quality novels. Your perspective on the 40k universe’s texture, culture, and scope is spot on. I couldn’t wait for the release of ‘The First Heretic’, and no surprise you blew the top off it again. You deserve all the honors for this…. Keep it up!

    Comment by Jeremiah | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  19. Congratulations ADB, that is a huge, HUGE thing you have accomplished and you have every right to be proud of yourself for achieving it!

    Trust me when I say that everyone who has read your work and has seen your interactions with your fans – whether here, at the Bolthole, on forums, etc – knew it was only a matter of time.

    On a personal level, it’s amazingly cool seeing you on the same list as two of my other favourite authors (RJ and Brandon Sanderson).

    Congratulations!

    Comment by Tim Sweeney | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  20. Congrats on the result.

    Just finished it this moning and its a a cracking read.

    Clearly establishing yourself as heir apparent to the Abnett crown following this effort.

    Well Done.

    Comment by Rogue_Pom | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  21. Aaron,

    I’d like to take a bit of your time and say more than just “congratulations…”

    So, here’s what I have particularly enjoy about Soul Hunter and The First Heretic:

    Characters. Much more than “Space Marine (oops- Astartes) X, Y, or Z.” Each has his (or her) own motivations, reactions, wants and desires. I enjoyed reading about Septimus, Octavia, and Cyrene just as much as Talos or Argel Tal. Though I think Malcharion has just topped my list of favorites… “I heard bolter fire…” Anyhow, I found the conflict in both your protagonsits intriguing. Each one of them hates what his Legion has become, but cannot embrace the Emperor or the Imperium, either. To continue, here are those who have been traditionally labelled as “bad guys,” “traitors,” “heretics,” or generally unpleasant, “ungood” people. Despite this, you’ve managed to explain who these people are, why they make the decisions they do, take them through a dramatic arc, and have them remain sympathetic characters throughout the journey. They are not quite heroes, not quite anti-heroes, but people (or post-humans, I have to give you that) who make choices for a reason, and have arrived where they are because of those very difficult, conflicted choices. You’ve done this not once, (Soul Hunter) but twice (The First Heretic). I find easy to place myself in the same circumstances these characters have found themselves in and making the same choices. Which means, you are either an excellent writer, or I need excellent mental help, or perhaps some of each.

    So, finally, congratulations. Your place on the list is singularly well deserved.

    Now get back to work on Blood Reaver, and whatever else you are working on. We want more.

    Comment by Tom Harris | November 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Boy, do I feel like such an asshole… no mention of Grimaldus. Please do a mental edit of my post above, and make that “three times.”

      Anrej, now firmly in the front of my mind, is now giving Malcharion a run for his money as my personal favorite. Enough gushing. Congrats again, nicely done, and please do keep writing.

      Comment by Tom Harris | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  22. EPIC FUCKING WIN. Nice one man, The First heretic was wicked!

    Comment by brad cohen | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  23. Nice one, you’re even higher in the list than Robert Jordan.

    Surprised Killing Floor is still selling that much though, there’ve been about a dozen other Reacher novels since.

    Also, those are the most informative photos I’ve seen since The Lola Project.

    Some really shocking titles there as well. “Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord?” Shouldn’t professional editors say something like “It’s too long and sounds like a manual for golddiggers in Jane Austen days.” God almighty, I’ve just Googled it. It’s even worse than I thought.

    Still, only six spots separate you from John Grisham. John. Grisham. THE John Grisham. Awesome.

    Comment by G | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  24. This is ludicrously exciting.

    — c.

    Comment by Chuck | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  25. Congrats, dude.

    Now I can say “I remember when a NYT bestselling author once wrote ‘Stargazers: The Movie’ on the old Werewolf boards.”

    Comment by MythicFox | November 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Really? Stargazers? Not the hilarious masterpiece that was Rage Across the Forums? Aaron’s been kicking ass for years.🙂

      Good job. You deserve all the best! I also loved the picture montage you put together. You’re absolutely adorable.😉

      Comment by John the Great | November 7, 2010 | Reply

      • Yeah, but he wrote Stargazers first. (I think it might’ve even been his first post EVAR on the Werewolf forum, but it’s been a while.)

        Comment by MythicFox | November 8, 2010

  26. Congrats man. You’re so popular at our local store with so many people (even people who don’t play a single GW game) that I’m not surprised.

    Comment by J-P Spore | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  27. Excellent news – congratulations! Still waiting for the delivery and can’t wait to have the book in my hands.

    And, of course we want all future blog postings with Dembmoticons.

    Comment by Oliver Booms | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  28. The novel was fantasric and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Huge congratulatios on writing a Primarch like no other in the series.

    Cheers.

    Comment by James McP | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  29. And you thought it wouldn’t happen, congratulations ADB you’ve more than earned this accolade. Enjoy it.

    And it shows that Horus Heresy is getting more and more popular, next up Prospero Burns… death to Leman Russ.

    Comment by Lord of the Night | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  30. Get in there ADB! Awesome book, well deserved.

    AC

    Comment by AC | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  31. Well done Aaron and congrats!

    Suddenly, I’m reading books that are in the bestseller list, who could have anticipated that? Good luck with finishing Blood Reaver, YOU’RE LATE ALREADY so no time for celebrations I’m afraid…hehehe.

    Comment by Raymond Privee | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  32. Congratualtion! It´s a awsome book and both this one and Soulhunter has been great reads. Just this saturday I bought Helreach and can´t wait to start with it🙂

    Keep them coming and take small break to sip a glass of champagne. Then back to work for your fans😀

    Comment by ulfast | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  33. BL was always Dan Abnett and Graham McNeill.
    Now it is Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill and Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

    Sorry to others BL authors, you’re doing a great job, but those 3 guys are doing an awesome job.

    Comment by Artein | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  34. Congrats, Aaron! As many have said, you deserve it, and I imagine you’re going to be able to claim this title several times in the future, GW book or no.

    I finally managed to pick up “The First Heretic” last night, and have only gotten through the first few chapters, but damn. The language and ideas grab you from the first page, and seem to have no intention of letting go.

    Comment by Lexington | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  35. I loved Cadian Blood, and I really loved The First Heretic. Well done, sir. You do indeed fully deserve your accolades and I look forward to reading anything else you manage to wring free of your squishy skulljunk.

    Comment by Cambrius | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  36. As I have said on other pages ( facebook, bolthole ) : well deserved. I haven’t finished the first heretic, but until 365 it was surely very good.

    Really loved the scenes in which the word bearers kneeled, the scene with Vendatha, the start of the chapter pilgramage ( nice choice to start with the events at the end of the pilgrimage, and then explore what happened, to give it some immediate tension ! ), the landings of the pods of the primarchs and so on!

    I agree also with Tom Harris ! One of the best things in Soul hunter was Talos loving his legion, and hating the corruption within it ! I hope this does also feature a lot in blood reaver !

    Lord of the night : don’t you worry, PROSPERO WILL BURN, Leman Russ will make sure of that !

    Comment by Bastiaan Vergoossen | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  37. Haha, the pics are hilarious. I needed a good laugh and you’ve made my day.

    Congratulations, you really deserve it. I truly enjoy your writing style.

    I wish it would be May 2011 already so I can get my hands on Blood Reaver.

    Comment by dorian | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  38. I’m supposed to be learning a script tonight, but now I have to go finish TLH instead, damn you!

    (it’s shit hot by the way. I’m really picky too)

    Thanks ADB, and congrats. Don’t go getting big-headed and stop writing your blog now will you.

    Congrats and best wishes dude.

    Comment by Brad G | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  39. Ok finished.

    You’ve made me very happy.

    Comment by Brad G | November 8, 2010 | Reply

  40. I still don’t like or respect you.

    You may not care but someone has to try and put you in your place before the madness gets so far out of hand that we’re going to need nets atop poles if we’re too have any chance of reigning the madness in.

    Comment by Schafe | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  41. Congrats dude! I thought you should have hit the list like, a Soul Hunter ago but still. RADICAL. I haven’t got the First Heretic yet (no cash at the moment) but I have the feeling it’ll blow my brains out.

    Comment by CamperWen | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  42. Congratulations Aaron! Although I’ll echo a comment posted earlier–this is not a big surprise🙂

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Tranc | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  43. Well Done!

    Am I the only one who thinks Aaron looks like Simon Pegg with that beanie hat on?

    Comment by Andy W | November 9, 2010 | Reply

    • oops that link doesnt work, maybe this will, if it doesnt then im sure googling him will be adequate.😛

      Comment by Andy W | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  44. Is “The First Love Cookie Club”(#35) a romantic comedy about fraternity hazing?

    Comment by Jimmy | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  45. I can’t lie and say I’m not at all envious, but at least you are in your current position not because of whimsical chance, fate, or skulduggery; instead you have certainly earned all the accolades you have received, and a hearty congratulations to you!

    Comment by turkeyspit | November 11, 2010 | Reply

  46. By the dark gods! Congratulations ADB, I have to pick up First Heretic from the LGS once my paycheck arrives and see for myself what all this is about.😛 Might have gotten it earlier but Word Bearers. Meh. Damn pilgrims in space… and now I’m rambling on. I hope you get to write about the Black Legion at some point now that the blokes at BL see you on that list.

    Neigorath from B&C.

    Comment by Neigorath | November 13, 2010 | Reply


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