Sorry that I've been quiet for a while but things have been a bit busy. I turned in the first draft of Hero Grown, the sequel to Hero Born, last October and then earlier this year was sent the structural edits. This is the major editing work for me, comprising as it does the sort of editing that involves changing sections, adding or altering plot development or characters and filling holes in logic, etc. Basically it is enjoying the advantage of a professional, caring, understanding, skilful second eye after I have battered out the story, and I was highly fortunate to have the brilliant Rachel Winterbottom taking care of it as she did with the first book. It took me longer than it normally would have done as I took a bit ill during the process in a way that made my brain slow and with little concentration (or at least more than usual), but it's done and they are now back with Voyager. The next stage will be the copy edits, which is basically a massive proof-reading exercise, then my involvement with the book will be done and the next time I see it will be when the e-book is published in the summer. I'll keep you posted about that stage and the revealing of the cover when they come about, so watch this space...
Hero Born is released today as a paperback! To mark the occasion, HarperVoyager have kindly put on their website a standalone short story I wrote, in which some of the characters from the book discuss the notion of the hero. Well, when I say "discuss", their conversation is interrupted by a touch of violence, of course. You can find it here. (If they haven't uploaded it yet, they will do very soon.)
The paperback is available from Amazon here for £17.99, although if you shop around you can often find it cheaper, such as at the following (although I'm sure other online retailers are available):
Wordery (currently £14.89 and free worldwide delivery);
Book Depository (currently full price but recently £14.00, and free worldwide delivery);
Hive (currently £12.95 and free home delivery, although they only deliver to the UK).
Don't worry if it says that it is out of stock. HarperVoyager are releasing it on a print-on-demand basis and some websites list these as "out of stock" or "not currently available" or something similar. However, this is just their terminology as they aren't sitting with copies in their warehouse and it can still be ordered as normal.
Watch out for delivery timescales - I'm not sure exactly how this works as it's new to me, but my understanding is that Book Depository is the quickest, especially for international orders (please note that this is based on the minimum of scanty research).
Anyway, I'm chuffed. I'm in print!
One week today (ie 3rd December), Hero Born will be published in paperback! It was amazing to have Hero Born released as an ebook but, as an author trying to be published over the years, the dream you have is to hold a copy of your book in your hands and so it is wonderful now to see it in paperback also.
Just as the ebook is available from various digital retailers to be suitable for all of the major types of e-readers, the paperback is also on sale from different sites such as Amazon and www.bookdepository.com and it is worth shopping around as you can often find it at cheaper prices on one site or another, and it is usually available with free shipping. Currently, Book Depository is the cheapest source I have found.
One thing to watch out for is that you shouldn't worry if there is a note on the site saying that it is "out of print" or "not currently available". With it being a book from a new author, Voyager are making it available as print-on-demand and there is an anomaly in some of the systems that lists it with these misleading comments. All that it means is that when you order it, your copy will be printed and posted specifically for you… and so you will have a very personal copy!
Book Two has been written! As of last night, the second book in the Seeds of Destiny series, Hero Grown, was completed and has now been sent to Voyager. The release date for the digital version is 16th June, 2016, just in time for Summer holiday reading (shameless hint).
Apologies that there haven't been many updates on the website recently, but I had a fairly short timescale, roughly four months, to complete it from scratch. Consequently, my free time outside work has been consumed by trying to keep to a weekly word-count, leaving few opportunities for anything else. To put it into context, I wrote Hero Born in 18 months, whereas Hero Grown took just 18 weeks. (And, no, that doesn't mean that the next book will be written in 18 days..!) I will now reintroduce myself to my neglected family and start planning the final book in the trilogy.
I will keep you posted as to progress of Hero Grown as each stage occurs.
I am delighted that Mieneke van der Salm has featured me on her excellent site, A Fantastical Librarian. It's an excellent interview (well, the questions are excellent!) and there's a fair bit of background I may not have put out elsewhere. Many thanks to Mieneke, and you can find it here: www.afantasticallibrarian.com/2015/09/author-query-andy-livingstone.html
Bit of news for American people and, in fact, anyone who uses amazon.com: from 1st to 14th September, Hero Born will be part of a price promotion that will see it available for just 99c. So if you haven't got it yet...
Now that the excitement and flurry of activity that was the #VirtualVoyager week has successfully concluded, it is back to the work of writing the sequel to Hero Born. The draft of the second book in the Seeds of Destiny trilogy, Hero Grown, is due to be with Voyager by the end of October so, after taking two weeks off for the online promotion, I am now trying to get back on track to meet the deadline. By the end of this week, I should be 50,000 words into it - about a third of the way there (if it ends up the same length as Hero Born). I'll keep you posted as to progress...
Following the five exciting questions and answers posted earlier as part of #VirtualVoyager, HarperVoyager have now put my blog article on their website. You can see my views on creating a new world here:
And, by the way, you can still buy Hero Born for just 99p/$1.99... but the promotion finishes after today, so bargain-hunters should get their skates on!
Special promotion: for one week only, Hero Born is available for just 99p on amazon.co.uk and $1.99 on amazon.com
Along with the other authors who were signed by HarperVoyager's UK office for their digital-first project, I am taking part in a brilliant set of events next week unde the title of VirtualVoyager. Run by the good people at the publishers from Monday (3rd August) to Friday and with new stuff being put out every morning and afternoon, it will involve a series of giveaways, promos, interviews, Q&As, and much more and is already generating great interest in the SciFi/Fantasy community. It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun and it will be packed full of never-before-seen info on the authors, the characters and the background to the books. I'll try to keep you updated here as much as time allows, but your best and most immediate way of keeping track of it will be on Twitter using #VirtualVoyager. Well worth a look, I'd say!
Andy Livingstone is the author of the epic fantasy novel Hero Born (the first book in the Seeds of Destiny sequence, published by HarperVoyager) as well as The Siege of Markethaven: A Tale of Old and the Sidney Squirrel series of children's books.