The Last Berserker – some very exciting news (for me)
I’ve been dying to tell people about this for some time, and now I’ve signed the contract: I have a book deal for my new Viking-ish series. It’s a three-book agreement for something with the working title of The Last Berserker* and the first draft of the first book is written and it will be out in February.
Phew! There – I can exhale. I’ve been publishing extracts of the first couple of chapters of The Last Berserker on this website, touting for business, you might say, and either because of – or inspite of – that, my wonderful agent Ian Drury of Sheil Land Assoc. has secured me a terrific deal with a very enthusiastic, fast-expanding, mostly digital publisher called Canelo.
The books follow the adventures of Bjarki, a young hulking Danish warrior, and Tor, a slight, fiery Swedish girl who is an equally proficient fighter. And the backdrop of this new historical series is the Charlemagne’s long, brutal Saxon Wars in the late 8th century AD. Basically, Karolus Magnus – Father of Europe, and later the Emperor and founder of the Holy Roman Empire – was determined to conquer the pagan North of Europe and forcibly convert it to Christianity. The Northerners, pagans, worshipers of Odin and Thor, Tiw and Freya, berserkers and ship-borne raiders, resisted fiercely and the wars lasted more than 30 years. So there is plenty of scope for a long series.
We are not going to do hardbacks – I’m sorry, I know lots of you like them; but it doesn’t make economic sense – but the books will come out as eBooks and paperbacks and I really hope you are prepared to put up with some more of my bloody mayhem on the page and buy them in large numbers.
What else can I say . . . The book started life as a fantasy novel, because I was advised that no one was buying historical fiction these days. So I took a period of history that I was interested in (The Saxon Wars) and very lightly fantasised it. But the publisher asked me to turn it back into history, which wasn’t all that hard, as most of the events were already grounded in fact.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. Out in February next year. Tell your friends!
Robin Hood and Holcroft Blood
In other news, my Irish historical novel Blood’s Campaign (featuring the Battle of the Boyne) is on sale now on Amazon at a vastly reduced price. The Kindle version only 99p for a limited time. This last (for now) episode in the Holcroft Blood stories is coming out in paperback in October. This is the new paperback cover, which I think looks pretty damn tasty:
Finally, if you want to read something of mine right now, I have cut the price of Robin Hood and the Caliph’s Gold for both paperbacks and eBooks. You can get a copy here. And while I’m on the subject of Robin Hood, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Robin Hood and the Castle of Bones. I’ve written about three-quarters of it and when I’ve delivered Berserker to the publisher, I’m going to finish that and self-pub it. Probably in September.
*This is just the working title. It might end up being called The Last Berserker. Volume 1: Fire-Born or possibly . . . Fire-Born. Volume 1: The Last Berserker or something. But you’ll recognise it as my Viking book, I’m sure.