New Deal For John Gwynne
Huge congratulations to one of Britain’s finest fantasy talents, John Gwynne, who has had a new fantasy series picked up by Pan Macmillan in a six-figure deal.
Many Fantasy-Faction readers will know of John via his ‘The Faithful and the Fallen’ quartet, the first book of which earned him a Gemmell Award for best debut author. The series features just about everything modern readers demand from today’s fantasy: lots of pages, memorable characters, complex politics, twists & turns, violence, war, swords, demons, the potential end of mankind. You know… all the good stuff!
Well, John’s only two books through that first series, but already the number of people picking up John’s books, the reaction by readers and the ability of John to write a kick-ass synopsis for the new series (we presume this happened) has had Tor Books snap up a new series already. Fans of the aforementioned novels will be delighted to hear that these new titles will be set in the same dark world.
We don’t know too much about the plot, and we’re not sure we want to as it could contain some pretty big spoilers, as it seems to take place after the quartet, but… here’s what we’ve been told:
- It will be set in the same stirring Celtic-inspired world as John’s first quartet, the Faithful and the Fallen.
- Initially the Banished Lands will ‘seem’ to be at peace.
- However, guardians appointed to enforce said ‘peace’ have their own agenda, and mankind will suffer (again!).
- One of the central characters, Rae, is part-guardian and part-human.
- She ‘may’ hold the key to humanity’s ultimate freedom… (we’ll be rooting for her!).
John has said of the deal: “I’m absolutely overjoyed that Pan Macmillan will be publishing a new trilogy set in the Banished Lands. I’ve loved working with the team and it’s both wonderful and exciting news to hear their enthusiasm about expanding this world. Ideas have been worming their way into my head for quite some time now and my fingertips are itching to get typing on this new series.”
Bella Pagan, one of the UK’s finest editors and a good friend of ours, shared her enthusiasm, saying: ‘I couldn’t be happier about this new deal. John has proved he can write heart-pounding, character-driven adventures of the most immersive form, and his next works will be just as thrilling. Readers everywhere – prepare to be enthralled!’
One thing I would like to point-out about this announcement is that it is yet another ‘six-figure’ deal for an author based here in the UK. We’ve had a few of them these past few months. Off the top of my head: Laura Lam, Mark Lawrence and now John Gwynne have all picked up an undisclosed ‘six-figure’ advance. I’m not sure whether deals for a second series / six-figure deals for these second series’ would have been anywhere near as common for authors who emerged in the 90s/00s. Indeed, many of my writer friends who published books during this time were doing so with full-time jobs and I really don’t think that is right. Writing isn’t a part-time job and I feel that authors who are talented enough to be with a big six publisher should at very least be paid enough to live comfortably. I guess it would be easy to look at the likes of A Game of Thrones for pushing the demand and, therefore, payments for genre fiction up, but I like to think that it is a cumulative effort by the many authors pushing the genre in a new more widely appealing dark/historical/magical direction too. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter, I just hope we see more of it. Authors across the UK, Europe, US, Australia, etc, etc should, in my opinion, continue to get offered deals that are at least equal to a full-time wage.
Back to John’s deal specifically: this new series is a while off yet though… the new books are currently listed for release from Autumn 2017. Of course, until then we’ve still got the rest of John’s quartet to wait for. His next book, Ruin, will be published in July this year.