Greetings and salutations, welcome.
There’s a term in movie production called development hell. It’s what Hollywood says when a film project gets held up and reworked for a long time. Directors or stars attach to a project and then drop out halfway. Someone doesn’t like a script and insists on a rewrite. Companies go bankrupt. All sorts of stuff can go wrong, and a great story can languish unmade. The funny thing is development hell is way longer than most of us think. Even a big budget success that runs smooth is seldom made in less than two years and more than that is typical. Indy films, with their difficulty getting funding, can take two and three times that long and still be normal. Development hell doesn’t kick in until after all those time frames. Sometimes you’re talking decades and the worst part is, once a project gets that “stink” from languishing too long, it becomes harder to get it to completion, as the industry starts to wonder if something’s wrong with it.
It turns out book publishing can feel similar. I don’t remember when I originally got the idea for Prentice and his world, but it’s got to be before 2010. I know I self-published the first version of Prentice Ash in 2016. It did very poorly, sales wise, because what did I know about marketing. I’m a writer. What I know about the publishing side, I was forced to learn.
I was still writing, putting together book 2 (Rats of Dweltford) when Blade of Truth (BoT) publishing put out a call for new authors. After my mistakes with Prentice Ash, I knew I needed a publisher to guide me into the marketplace. I was never going to cut it self-publishing. So, I pitched Rats to them, explaining its place in the continuity and so on. It was what they call a hail Mary pass in the NFL, because I knew from successful writers that publishers don’t normally want only part of a series or to have to negotiate rights for already published works and the like. They want it simple and who can blame them.
Then the miracle happened, and BoT loved the excerpt of Rats I sent them. They asked to see Prentice. So, I sent them a submission summary of book 1. And they loved that, so much that they did what publishers never do, they proposed a reprint – a US edition, edited to that market. I jumped at it. Blade of Truth were offering everything I hoped and prayed for. By this stage I’d already realized that Rats as I’d conceived it would have to be split into two books, Rats of Dweltford and Lions of the Reach. BoT wanted a series cause that’s the best publishing in the industry, so they read the pitches and contracted Lions of the Reach as an ongoing series. The whole deal.
That was 2020. I took my place in the publishing schedule and waited my turn. No one delayed. BoT have been supremely professional and delivered everything I hoped and prayed a publisher would, and more. With talk of audiobook editions and other series, there’s still more to come and the future looks exciting. I wasn’t in development hell, but I’ve lived with Prentice for over fifteen years now, and I’ve been champing at the bit to see it in print, on sale and being enjoyed by readers. It’s been a long, long road.
So, to everyone who’s bought and enjoyed Prentice Ash and Rats of Dweltford, thank you. In August this year (2022) Lions of the Reach will be out and, barring unforeseen disasters, book 4, Eagles of the Grand Kingdom, will be released at the end of this year. Now that the excitement and hoopla of launching the series has started to settle down, I’ll be focusing on book 5, tentatively titled Serpents of Summer. If all goes according to plan, you’ll have that in your hot little hands (or Kindle App) early 2023.
God bless you all, and don’t forget to subscribe. I’ll be looking to send out regular updates and discussions from now on.