my books

11Oct

Guest Blogs, Reviews

Given I’ve a book out, I am in your internets. Firstly, I’m at the Book Smugglers, talking about the need to move on from violence and gritty fantasy, which was part of the reason I wrote Drakenfeld in the first place.

Secondly, I wrote a guest post at Tor UK, talking about great books on the classical age that fantasy fans should read.

Thirdly, nicely honest review of Drakenfeld in South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian:

What Newton has come up with will go down well with those who appreciate politics in their fantasy.

Finally, at Fifty Shades of Geek, there’s another great review:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Drakenfeld. It’s a cleverly crafted mystery told in a beautiful way. However, what really stood out for me is that beneath this mystery there runs a strong current of engaging human relationships. From Lucan’s relationships with his dead father or with Leana, right up to the King and the people around him, it’s a story very much driven by the emotional ties between its characters. This, in addition to its readability, makes it almost certainly the best book I’ve read this year, and I am looking forward to the next instalment. Highly recommended.

9Oct

Publication Day, Review, Interviews

Bruichladdich

This rather lovely present was a publication day gift from Pan Macmillan (though publication is tomorrow – the 10th – I’m still opening this now). Good, innit? There might be a few things going on over the next few days, in which I whore myself or cause a stir. There are also things like reviews, such as this one:

I expect that Newton’s new series will be an immediate success, thanks partly to its depth of worldbuilding, managing to create a secondary classical world that is familiar enough to be so, yet still completely his own. Lucan Drakenfeld is a complex character with a good core—and this is just the kind of character I feel has been largely missing from certain veins of fantasy. There’s been too much darkness. It was about time that something lighter, yet still no more stereotyped or clichéd, should break through that darker branch of the genre.

And interviews such as this one.

Oh, and Drakenfeld is currently less than a tenner on Amazon. Just sayin’.

4Oct

World Fantasy Convention

For those of you going to World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in a few weeks, myself and Adam Nevill, courtesy of Tor UK, are throwing a joint book launch on Saturday November 2nd, between 4 and 5pm! If you’re at the convention, attendance is mandatory.

2Oct

More Drakenfeld Blog Reviews

Remember when I did that call to new bloggers to get copies of Drakenfeld ARCs? It was partly to give airtime to new bloggers, who otherwise don’t get much exposure. But another handful of blog reviews of Drakenfeld have come in. Go visit these sites and tell them I sent you.

First up, The Tome said:

All in all Drakenfeld is a great novel to pick up if you are looking for something new. Its setting is fresh and exciting and extremely well done. If you want to be spirited away to a world that is different, this is the novel that might do it for you.

Zachary Bonelli said:

In short, I expected not to like Drakenfeld. I’m very happy to report that I, in fact, did enjoy and appreciate Drakenfeld immensely.

Fantasy Opinion was a big fan of the book:

I really like Mr. Newton’s writing style, and it makes his prose a joy to read. I’ve not read that many murder mystery novels, but I’m surely going to be following this series very closely. This is a very fun book that made me think back on it, well after I’ve read it. Now that is what I look for in a story.

9/10

Finally, Dom’s Fantasy Review Hotlist said:

Drakenfeld was a very enjoyable read, with a clever plot and intrigue that builds as the pages turn. New twists are added just as you start to feel comfortable with where the story is going, easily keeping your attention until the final page.

23Sep

Drakenfeld Reviews

A couple more of note, which are excellent blog fodder. (Besides, it’s been too lovely outside for me to spend much time finding interesting things online.)

First up, Mark Yon at SFF World enjoys the book:

As a Romanesque detective story – an “I-Sherlockius” perhaps? – there’s a lot to enjoy in this novel. I understand that Drakenfeld is the first of a series, if successful. I sincerely hope that that is the case. This is a solid, enjoyable page-turner with a wide appeal that I would personally like to read more of.

Sci-Fi Now magazine also likes it. It’s in print, so no link, but they conclude that the book is:

“… a richly written and always engaging work”

I’ll take that even if they did get my name wrong. Not the middle one, either…

18Sep

Drakenfeld Updates

Drakenfeld

It’s here! Nearly. It’s on pre-order anyway. If you don’t like reading words, especially my words, then there are some very nice maps inside, so you should still buy a copy:

Drakenfeld Map Tryum

There are actually a couple of early blog reviews floating around at the moment. The first is up at The Forged Forest, which said:

More Cadfael than Conan, Drakenfeld is a refreshing change of pace. Newton crafts a vivid, living world that mixes modern thought with ancient aesthetics and tastes, whilst expertly mixing together crime and historical fiction with a hint of fantasy. For those new to Newton’s writing, this book is a perfect starting point, and those who are already fans will once again be captivated by his fiction.

Fantastical Imaginations also reviewed the book. Among the nice things he said:

Like I said was the worldbuilding very thorough and the setting reminded me most of all of tv-series like Rome and Spartacus, mixed with the movie Gladiator.

Which is all right by me. I also did a brief interview at the same site, in which I shared a few of my thoughts about the creation of the novel:

… it’s my effort to try something different to the non-ironic, nihilistic violence that seems to be the trend in genre media at the moment. Drakenfeld is someone who, at heart, abhors violence. He is cerebral, and will always think before hitting someone with a sword. It’s not to say he doesn’t hit anyone with a sword, but that violence is something that ought to be justified.

19Aug

SFX First Read

Drakenfeld Extract

The first extract for Drakenfeld will be published in next month’s SFX Magazine, which is available to buy next week I think. No doubt there will be digital extracts, too, but I’m pretty happy that the first read will be in traditional print format!

25Jul

Getting Married

Married

So, in a couple of days I’m getting married. Understandably there won’t be much going on the blog. I’m sure everyone can look after themselves, right? Meanwhile, I’ll be celebrating my marriage to a beautiful and extremely tolerant lady, in a barn in the Yorkshire Dales. Then we’ll be off to a Scottish island. It may well be the one with all the whisky distilleries…

8Jul

Drakenfeld #2 Finished

So, the second Drakenfeld novel is complete – as much as these things ever are at this stage. The final draft has been sent to my agent to be whizzed through to my editor’s inbox. Only one week past the deadline…

I’ll probably not say anything about the book itself, given the first Drakenfeld novel is still on pre-order. Suffice to say, I think I’m enjoying the main characters, and I’m still having fun within the crime-fantasy hybrid genre. Ideally I want each of the novels to represent a different kind of crime story, so they each feel very different: the first was a locked-room mystery; this one is going to be something else; I like the idea of embracing a classic spy novel for the third, and so on. They’ll each be self-contained stories, too, which is much more preferable to writing a linear series.

Suffice to say, I’m relieved to have handed it in. I’m getting married at the end of the month, so I now have a few weeks to dedicate the mental space to that entirely. Anyway, for now, I’ll leave you with a picture of me at the weekend, picking strawberries in the Cotswolds, which was a rather lovely thing to do. And I only snacked a small few while we were in the field…

Me and Strawbs