Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Sword of the North - Released!

My second novel, Sword of the North, is released today in ebook and kindle formats! Or at least it is for readers in the UK/Commonwealth and certain parts of Europe. The hardcover will follow in March. I expect I'll be signing books for Goldsboro as well as other reputable booksellers.

The good news for my American and Canadian friends is that I'll be returning to Vericon in late March, and I'll hopefully be signing a bunch of Penguin hardcovers in preparation for the North American launch of Sword of the North in May. I'll also have a ton of signed proofs of The Grim Company to give away, but I'll talk more about that nearer the date.

In the meantime, what are you waiting for? Go grab yourself a digital copy of Sword of the North and delve back into the Age of Ruin...

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Sword of the North... Released Next Week!

Yep, you read that right.

In a supreme act of festive charity, my UK publishers have moved the e-book publication of Sword of the North forward three months to December 10th - or a week today.

 It was a terrific surprise to receive this news. Considering the year-long delay involved in delivering the novel, I'm delighted that fans will still have the opportunity to read my latest magnum opus in 2014. The chance of this happening seemed non-existent back in June. The novel also picked up a new cover along the way:

The UK hardcover will still be released in March next year; both the North American hardcover and e-book will follow in early May. If it's any consolation to my American friends, you can at least check out my latest CRPG, The Shadow Sun, now available on Android devices and receiving rave reviews.

I'm currently combing through the final physical proof of Sword of the North. It's a little over 500 pages. I'll return the manuscript to my publishers in the next day or two, and then they'll incorporate any changes into the digital release.

I'm confident this is a much stronger book than The Grim Company. I'm very excited to discover what readers think when it's released next Wednesday - it's been a long and difficult road to get to this point. I've already begun work on the third and final book in the trilogy, Dead Man's Steel, which is looking to be a monster in terms of size. I'm guessing 200k+ words, compared to 140k for The Grim Company and 155k for Sword of the North.

You can pre-order the kindle version of the Sword of the North here. Alternatively, check out this list of vendors for your non-kindle needs.

And of course, please spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, and the rest. Nothing helps a book reach the attention of new readers like word of mouth!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Sword of the North: First Chapters Available Online!

I've made the first two chapters of Sword of the North available to read on this very website!

Click here

These chapters were first published in the UK mass market paperback of The Grim Company - but until now readers from other parts of the world had no way to read them short of importing the aforementioned hallowed tome.

Note that these are from a non-final draft and hence may contain errors, with minor details still subject to change. But they'll hopefully serve to whet your appetite for what will no doubt be the epic fantasy release of 2015...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Two Recent Interviews

Okay, so they're not that recent - but there's a good chance you might've missed them. Both interviews were done back in June to tie in with the Gemmell Awards nominations. Unfortunately, The Grim Company eventually lost out to Brian McClellan's Promise of Blood in the Morningstar category. I'm reliably informed it's an excellent book, so no hard feelings. *Sharpens sword*

The first interview was for the Gemmell Awards site itself:

Alex: The Grim Company is a book that captures a much darker mood for fantasy, something we are seeing more within the genre. Where do you think this grittier style has emerged from?
Luke: I'm not sure you can pin it on any one thing. Rather, it's more a confluence of factors. Both TV and film have moved in a decidedly darker direction in the last 10-15 years. Martin is certainly the king of the "grimdark" movement as it pertains to fantasy – though I suspect he might be reluctant to wear that particular crown. In essence, I think consumers demand more honesty from their entertainment. That's what "grittiness" should be about, really: embracing the darker truths of the human condition as well as (not at the expense of) the heroic.

The second interview was done by the excellent David Emrys for his blog "Written With A Sword":

With a second name so close to ‘skull’ it’s little surprise that you went for the grittier, and excuse the second pun, ‘grim’ side of fantasy. Was this something you had planned for, or did the story darken/realise of its own accord? 
Luke: Having such a grimdark-friendly name was obviously fate at work. The only other avenue open to me was Olympic rower, and even with my prodigious physical gifts I'm not certain I'd have improved Team GB that much.
When I began writing The Grim Company I was already working on a teen-rated fantasy CRPG set in a pseudo middle-eastern fantasy world. I had to make the two projects very different, to avoid feelings of repetition or crossover. With my gaming project taking place in an "exotic" setting, I decided to go in the other direction with the novel and play with some familiar tropes whilst embracing an edgier tone.