Well, final copies are here – and they look lovely. The artwork is so much stronger and vibrant on the final copies. I really like this new look for the series. The rest of the books will be repackaged for around October time (I think) – you can see what they’ll look like here.
Also, the repackaged edition of Nights of Villjamur will contain around 200 minor changes. Luckily I got the chance to iron out many of the flaws – a few first-time novelist issues, the rest being some of the more exotic words and phrases that put some readers off. All in all, it should prove to be a much smoother read.
I’ve got loads of copies of The Book of Transformations, so I’ll likely do a signed-copy giveaway later in the week. Stay tuned…
Jon Mitchell, Senior rights Manager at Macmillan, has sold Italian rights to NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR by Mark Charan Newton to Gargoyle, who recently acquired rights to publish Joe Abercrombie and others.
NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR was first published by Macmillan/Tor UK in 2009 and has been followed by three other successful books in the Legends of the Red Sun series. The first of a new series, ‘the Lucan Drakenfeld mysteries’, will debut in 2013.
Contact John Jarrold or Jon Mitchell for further details.
John Jarrold – e-mail: email@example.com phone: 01522 510 544
Jon Mitchell – e-mail: J.Mitchell@macmillan.co.uk phone 020 7014 6151
Tor UK, Pan Macmillan’s science fiction and fantasy imprint, announces today that it will make its ebooks DRM-free over the next three months.
“We know that this is what many Tor authors passionately want. We also understand that readers in this community feel strongly about this,” says Jeremy Trevathan, Pan Macmillan’s Fiction Publisher.
Which is excellent news for ebook readers. It basically means you can read any Tor UK ebooks (like mine) across a range of devices without it being restrictive and annoying as hell. If you want to know more about DRM and ebooks, go here.
I’ve opted in right away!
Over on the Tor UK blog, I’ve written a ‘What I did on my holidays’ report of the SFX Weekender:
For the third year of the event, the Weekender had moved on from Camber Sands (which had, someone claimed, closed down for health and safety reasons a mere two weeks after we’d been there). It moved to Prestatyn, in North Wales, where the Pontins was described by E46_Fanatic in their Trip Advisor review like this: “The room was disgusting, blood on the bedding of both beds, stains left in the toilet, a sofa which smelt like BO and a TV I am sure is older than me! There was grime around the kitchen and the windows were so covered in bird poo I don’t think they had been cleaned for years”.
And in other news, The Book of Transformations has been longlisted for the East Midlands Book Award 2011. They spelled the title ‘The Book of Transformers’ so, IP-related legal action aside, I’m choosing to view that as a good omen. There’s a cash prize, too, which is the kind of award writers prefer, if you’re asking.
Just a quick update for next week’s SFX Weekender, for those of you who are going. I’ll be on a panel at 11am on the Saturday (‘What is Urban Fantasy’), along with Ben Aaranovitch, Paul Cornell, Benedict Jacka, Stacia Kane and Sam Stone; at 3pm I’ll be on the Forbidden Planet stand if anyone wants anything signed.
The full schedule is here. I’ll be around on the Friday and Saturday, so if you see me and want a chat, come and say hello. It’s a very informal event.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted any reviews, but here are a couple of City of Ruin that caught my eye recently. First up is at Fantasy Faction, which was particularly pleasing because the reviewer really picked up on something that I was really trying get right after Nights of Villjamur:
And even more fantastic (and sadly far too rare in this male centric genre) is some absolutely fantastic female characters. Take a bow Bellis, Beami, Nanzi, Marysa and Artemisia. None of these are the sadly far too regular victim or princess waiting to be rescued that we still find in fantasy books being published even now, but are all interesting female characters that challenge the traditional female roles.
And a lovely one from last month at Functional Nerds:
More detail, more action, more danger, more romance. More fun. Newton juggles nearly a dozen characters, weaving their story-lines together, but still keeping them distinct. The setting is exotic, easily believable as the layering of thousands of years of history and culture. The stakes are high, and the action intense. Newton draws heavily on economic and social stress, showing the reality of a dying world and a very human reaction to it.
There’s a brief chat with me over at Rowena Cory Daniels’ blog, in which I say Many Things, and talk a little bit more about the new series:
The lead character, Lucan Drakenfeld, is a bit like a young lawyer-slash-detective, and certainly the polar opposite of a private eye (if anything, he’s a public eye). I’m really trying to steer away from noir pastiche because I feel that would be disrespectful to crime readers. The book is as much a crime novel as it is a fantasy novel. Imagine a mainstream writer trying their hand at a fantasy novel, and filled it with a paint-by-numbers story – they’d be strung up by the fanbase, which is why I’m not doing a paint-by-numbers crime novel, either.
There’s a video interview with my agent, John Jarrold, for those of you who are interested in tales and tips of publishing.
And I review a book about making compost for the Ecologist. More interesting than you might think…
Bella Pagan, Senior Commissioning Editor at Tor UK, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, has acquired world rights to the first two volumes of a fantasy series by Mark Charan Newton. The agent was John Jarrold.
The first book in a series provisionally titled DRAKENFELD introduces the eponymous hero, an investigator. The series is set in a fantasy world, but will appeal to fans of historical mysteries. In this opening volume, Lucan Drakenfeld is called home after the death of his father – but is immediately thrown into the investigation of a royal death. He also finds that his father’s demise is not as clear-cut as it at first appears…
Pagan said ‘Mark writes compulsive adventures set in utterly convincing new worlds – he’s a terrific writer. I couldn’t ask for a better start to my new position at Tor UK than this first deal’.
Tor UK have successfully published three fantasy novels by Mark in the Legends of the Red Sun series since 2009, with a fourth to appear in the summer of 2012. They have been strongly acclaimed by China Miéville, Peter F Hamilton and reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.
The first book in the new series will be published in 2014.
Contact John Jarrold or Chloe Healy for further details:
Chloe Healy: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 020 7014 6000 twitter: @UKTor
John Jarrold: e-mail: email@example.com phone: 01522 510544
21st November 2011
A little more? It’s very much a fantasy novel, but equally a crime novel, with a locked-room mystery at the heart of it. Whilst I’ve dabbled with the odd crime sub-plot before, it was mainly a pastiche – Drakenfeld is much more committed to the crime genre, perhaps along the lines of the CJ Sansom novels. (It needs to be rewarding for readers of both genres.) The world is very much a classically inspired setting (Ancient Rome in particular), and there virtually no weirdness. I’m also really enjoying writing the Drakenfeld novel, much more so than any of the previous series, and especially the locked-room element: the impossible crime.
The publication date is provisional: as a book-a-year writer, I presume that would be a 2013 release, but I think there’s a bit of flexibility, what with this being a new series and Pan Mac wanting to get everything set-up properly.