My new book, The Amber Crown is released into the wild today, published by DAW, and available on both sides of the Atlantic as a trade paperback (large format) and also as an electronic book (Kindle, E-book etc.). I’m delighted that it’s available on Kindle in the UK. My previous six books were only available in various e-book formats in the USA and Canada because the publisher only had North American rights. For the Amber Crown they have world rights, so distribution is international.
“An elegantly told story of intrigue, steeped in detail and rich character.” – Adrian Tchaikovsky.
I’m excited to welcome The Amber Crown into the world. This book has been a long time in the making. At the time I sold my first books to DAW (2013) I already had a first draft of this, but once I had my first three book deal, and then my second, I had to concentrate on finishing the books I had under contract. I write both science fiction and fantasy, so my first two trilogies were the Psi-Tech trilogy (Empire of Dust, Crossways, and Nimbus) and the Rowankind trilogy (Winterwood, Silverwolf, and Rowankind). As soon as I delivered Rowankind I began to look at the first draft of The Amber Crown and dug deep into the editing process, restructuring, adding, refining.
A story is all about conflicted characters in difficult situations and this one has plenty of character conflict, with three main protagonists. Valdas was the first character who presented himself to me. As the story starts he’s captain of the High Guard, King Konstantyn’s bodyguard. He’s a good soldier, solid and responsible. He didn’t rise to his position by being ordinary. He’s a decorated hero of the battle of Tevshenna but that doesn’t help him now.
I usually start a book when a first scene pops into my head. In this particular case it was Valdas getting pleasantly drunk in a tavern in the Low City with his favourite whore, Aniela, on his knee and hearing the big bell tolling the death knell of a king, the one he was sworn to protect. Valdas’s world crumbles around him when he is accused of the assassination. From then on he’s out on his own, determined to find the real killer, but without any resources.
Lind, the clever assassin, dispassionate and cold blooded, presented himself to me next. His thoroughly professional exterior hides a mess of a man with more hangups than your average wardrobe. I really enjoyed writing Lind. He’s the character who goes through the biggest change, from a terrible childhood to… well I can’t tell you that, you’ll have to read The Amber Crown.
So where does the magic come in? Mirza is the witch-healer of a Landstrider band of travellers. She’s tasked by the ghost of the dead king, to travel with Valdas because he doesn’t believe in magic (which is unfortunate as it turns out). There’s a dark power rising in the capital city of Biela Miasto and Mirza is the only one who can stand against it – though she can’t do it alone.
The launch event will be on Facebook Live at 8.00 p.m. (UK time) on Tuesday 11th January. I’ll be in conversation with Tiffani Angus and we’ll be taking questions. If you’re reading this after the event, the video will remain up there, for a while at least..