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Angry Robot Purchases Dan Hanks Debut

Dan HanksToday we are thrilled to announce that our own Dan Hanks is to be published by Angry Robot Books! Dan has been with our team since 2012 and we can’t wait to read his debut novel, Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire!

In post-war 1952, the good guys are supposed to have won. But not everything is as it seems when ex-Spitfire pilot Captain Samantha Moxley is dragged into a fight against the shadowy US government agency she used to work for. Now, with former Nazis and otherworldly monsters on her trail, Captain Moxley is forced into protecting her archaeologist sister in a race to retrieve two ancient keys that will unlock the secrets of a long-lost empire—to ensure a civilisation-destroying weapon doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what will she have to sacrifice to save the world?

Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Cover design will be by Daniel Strange and we will keep you updated on when the book will be released.

For those of you who don’t know Dan as well as we do, we have a short interview with him done by Angry Robot Editorial and Publicity Coordinator, Gemma Creffield.

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This is your debut novel—how does it feel to be a published author?

Never thought I’d say this, but that’s a difficult question to answer! I’m absolutely chuffed to bits and yet can’t quite believe it’s happeningif that makes sense? I’ve been writing for so long now, thinking about this moment for years, that for it to finally happen with a publisher as wonderful as Angry Robot is pretty ridiculous. But I love it. 

How long did it take to write the book?

It took about six months to write, which is very fast for me. However, this was an interesting one because it’s actually based off a screenplay I wrote many years ago. So, a lot of it was already written down and I knew what needed to happen over the course of the story. Yes, this made some things easier, but surprisingly also made a lot of things harder than simply writing from scratch. It required a lot of reworking and expanding and far more considerate thought of the ‘why’ of the characters and the story. Also, action scenes: easy to write into a screenplay, but will cost you blood and actual tears to adapt them for a novel.

What was the inspiration for the book?

There is a long and funny story behind this which I might share one day. But the short version is I grew up on Indiana Jones and those films played a big part in me eventually studying archaeology and trying to work in the field. It didn’t quite work out as I expected (hence I’m now a freelance fiction editor!), but it was inevitable that if I couldn’t actually be inone of those stories for real, I would try to write one instead.

The good news is that sitting on your couch with a cup of tea and a laptop is a lot easier than digging excavation trenches. So, I am okay with this.

Without giving too much away, who is your favorite character (Moxley not included), and why?

I’ve got a couple in this story, but I think perhaps the most fun character I get to play with is Dr. William Sandford. He’s a bit of a stick-in-the-mud academic, as if C-3P0 came to life and put on a tux and then watched, horrified, as hell unfolded around him. Having a character like that—that the reader can relate to when things are at their most bizarre and scary and everyone else is bravely carrying on as normal—is a gift.

Who are your favourite current writers and who are your greatest influencers?

Ha, well I hate to get all cliché here, but my wife! She’s a copywriter of immense talent and without her influential support all these years, on many levels, I just wouldn’t be doing this (at least not well).

In terms of current fiction writers, I’ve just finished S. A. Sidor’s The Beast of Nightfall Lodge which was so much fun—such an incredible voice. And I’m currently in the middle of Rebecca Roanhorse’s Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, which is pure Star Wars joy. These two I foresee being firm favourites, alongside many others like V. E. Schwab (who I met briefly at WorldCon and she was SO lovely!), Chuck Wendig, Delilah S. Dawson and Stephen King. Those authors have all been huge writing influences. Not only because of their storytelling talents, but also the fact they seem to be superb human beings—and in our current hellscape we need as many people like that as possible.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve been given?

Good writing is rewriting. Get the first draft down as best you can, then worry about making it perfect later. Because without the words on the page, you don’t have anything to work with.

Of course, the second-best piece of advice I’ve been given is you will probably never consider it perfect. At some point, you have to learn to tear your fingers away from the keyboard and move on, crying, to think about what comes next.

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A big congrats to Dan from everyone at Fantasy-Faction! Good luck on the release and we can’t wait to read it!

You can learn more about Dan and his work on his website and follow him on Twitter!


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