Happy Monday readers! Those of you who keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter will know that last week I had a piece of flash fiction called The Cloud Loom published on the Fairlight Books website. I am completely thrilled that the lovely short story editor Urska took on not one but two of my stories, and am really grateful for her keen editing eye and enthusiasm.
Check out the site for the full story! And if you like it IRL, how about giving it a like digitally too? Likes, shares and general story chat online really help boost a story’s readership, and I would be very grateful indeed for your support.
This week’s BookBrunch interview is with one of my favourite new authors from the past year, Vic James. If you haven’t got your mitts on a copy of her fantastic debut novel Gilded Cage yet, you absolutely should, and for those of you who need more convincing, here’s an interview with the author herself…
Author Vic James is instantly likeable. She’s earnest, friendly and a little bashful, but it soon becomes clear she’s also got a mind like a rapier and a devastatingly on point turn-of-phrase. Her debut novel Gilded Cage, the first book in The Dark Gifts trilogy, garnered over 300,000 readers on Wattpad, sold for a six-figure sum to Pan Macmillan and has been auctioned in six territories and counting. We got together to discuss the real Wattpad society, magical aristocrats, and how fiction can shed light on Britain’s structural inequality.
“People have the idea that Wattpad is this monolithic thing and that people who want to be published authors use it, but that’s not my experience,” James says. Though there are some who use Wattpad to try to “get discovered”, and many of its users are young teenage writers for whom the platform is a learning process, mostly “it’s just there for people to have fun”. Nine in 10 of Wattpad’s 40 million users are just readers, nothing more, many of them from countries with a poor public library system or where they don’t have the money to buy books. It’s huge in the Philippines, for instance.
Continue reading The BookBrunch interview with Vic James, author of Gilded Cage
I am a great fan of a good bromance and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is all about the ultimate bromance. It’s a gorgeous, fantastic story of intelligence, friendship and betrayal told through hundreds of years, as one man lives his life over and over again throughout the 20th century.
Like so many novels, it benefits from a lack of spoilers, so I won’t say too much about the plot. It focuses on one mister Harry August, a man who after his first life, finds that he is born again instead of passing on. Instead of dying, he finds out that is he an Ouroboros, destined to live the same life over and over again, retaining awareness of every life and living on forever. Inducted into the Cronus Club, he finds others like him, and fits into a network of communication spanning across the centuries. But when he receives a message that the end of the world is fast approaching, he is drawn into a web of danger and cunning an attempt to prevent it. Continue reading ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’ by Claire North
More Clive Barker for you, this time Weaveworld, which is my all-time favourite of his novels. I first read it in my gap year, but I am a great fan of the re-read and have dipped in and out over the last few years quite regularly. It came to me from a long-overlooked bookshelf in my grandmother’s house, a 1988 edition which has clearly been read, though not by any of my family members. A mysterious arrival for a mysteriously fantastic book!
Weaveworld is about a fantastical other-world that was sewn into a carpet when apocalypse called. Ever-threatened with being unravelled, it is stumbled upon by two humans from earth, Cal and Suzanna, who are drawn into the intricate and extraordinary fate of the Weaveworld. Continue reading ‘Weaveworld’ by Clive Barker
I’ve been doing some work experience in the Publicity department at Little, Brown recently, helping out particularly with their science fiction and fantasy imprint Orbit. I cannot express how happy being this close to so many SFF books makes me, and how much I don’t care that aside from travel and lunch, I am being paid in books. I become more convinced by the day that living on books is a perfectly feasible plan. I can eat dust-covers right?
Anyway, I digress: I have been reading Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan in light of the upcoming release of its sequel The Crimson Campaign on the 6th May, a delay from its original release date. The first instalment of The Powder Mage trilogy, Promise of Blood is the beginning of a fantasy epic about gods, kings, mages and, of course, gunpowder. The book opens with a bloody coup, undertaken by Field Marshall Tamas, in which every dying member of the Royal Cabal utters the sentence,”You can’t break Kresimir’s Promise.” What does this mean? Continue reading ‘Promise of Blood’ by Brian McClellan