I’m very happy to announce that my secondary world adventure fantasy novels “The Exile of Darien” and “Return to Nandor” will be published next year by the Phantasia imprint of Ticketyboo Press.
This is the end of a very long road for “Exile”. The novel grew from a short story started in the mid 90s which just kept growing. For a long time I fed it sporadically until someone (hi Mad Kate!) demanded to read it and came back hooked requiring regular new chapters. I finished the first draft at the end of 2000. Some helpful people read it, it got tweaked and it got critted. I paid John Jarrold to write a report on it and he was hugely encouraging. I started to believe it could fly. I tried to get an agent. I had some close calls with some serious people. Then in 2007 Ian Drury took me on and put his name behnid it, but the market was changing.
“The author has done a fine job, but there’s nothing here new or different.” That was the verdict of the commisioning editor when Ian sent “Exile” to Harper-Collins Eos. Bittersweet? Yes. Harsh? Maybe a little. Accurate? More than a little.
The setting of “Exile”is not very different, nor is the magic. If the bad guys win, it is not the end of the world. One of my last rejections said it was a bit “old school”. I’m not uncomfortable with that. Let’s look at the influences: there’s Gemmell in there for sure and further back to Lieber and Robert E Howard, and a touch of an author I’ve only read since I finished “Exile” – Glen Cook. Note: not epic, not Grimdark. It is still, in my opinion, a really enjoyable fantasy adventure story. Something you can pick up while waiting for GRRM to turn out the next GoT book and you will immediately understand how the world works like putting on a comfortable old jacket.
And the good news is that the sequel is written so I’m not going to keep you waiting like George.