Okay, so it’s a new month, a new week, a new Monday, and I have a new resolution: I will talk you, our Beloved Readers, myself, much more regularly than I have heretofore. Of course I know you all understand just how busy I’ve been putting Jo Fletcher Books together, but it’s really no excuse for not putting aside an hour a week to tell you what I’m up to. Apparently you’re all dying to know? (I understand you might not have known that, but be assured, you are!)
So here are my immediate plans: I’m nearly at the end of copy-editing a magnificent Indian epic I’ve taken on: Amish is a massive bestseller in his native India with the first two books in his Shiva trilogy. The first, The Immortals of Meluha, is the story of how Shiva, a barbarian tribesman from Tibet, comes to be known as the Neelkanth, the man with the blue throat prophesied by Lord Ram who will come to destroy evil. In the fantasy world we’re well used to authors using myths and legends to explore all manner of stories, and I found myself gripped by this one because I know far too little about the wealth of legend from one of the world’s most ancient civilisations. The only trouble is: that means I’ve spent a great deal of the last several weeks looking up Devas and Asuras and pandits and Agniparikshas and all manner of new things. You won’t need to wait long; I’ll publish the first book next spring – and Amish has put together a handy-dandy glossary so you won’t need Jane’s All the World’s Hindu Myths by your bedside.
If you’re wondering why editing always takes so long, it’s because I can’t just shut myself away and devote myself to one thing, much as I’d love to. At the same time we’re finalising the cover for David Hair’s Mage’s Blood – this is the first of a quartet that his German editor (quite rightly) describes as ‘a cross between George R.R. Martin and Trudi Canavan’ – and as the company publishes both, she should know! This combines the best of mediaeval European fantasy with the lushness of Silk Road fantasy, and I’m tremendously excited by it.
And we’re expecting the proofs in for Evie Manieri’s Blood’s Pride, the first of her ‘Shattered Kingdoms’ trilogy. We sent this out to some of our top bloggers, to get some quotes for the jacket – and I was thrilled by their excited reaction; it’s a real boost to see I’ve chosen well. Fancy an advance look yourself? Check at the end tomorrow for details of how to win one!
And we’ll also talking to the British Film Institute about how we can jointly promote M.R. James – they’re bringing out a series of DVDs, and we’ve just published the most magnificent leatherbound collection ever (and yes: it is real leather, chaps!). It’s edited by Stephen Jones, who’s also provided an extensive illustrated afterword, and it’s copiously illustrated by Les Edwards, with some of the best art of his I’ve ever seen – and it’s got some fragments of James’ stories which have never before seen mainstream publication.
And we brief books at the beginning of the month, so I’ve got to get together a pile of briefs (thank heavens for Nicola!).
And then after lunch…
Okay, so it turned into a bit of a puff-piece for JFB’s authors, but what do you expect? I’ve been publishing here for less than a year and I am still ridiculously excited about it all. So watch this space: lots more cool things are coming from me, and Jo Fletcher Books.