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Elements of truth in the building of worlds: Guest post from Andy Livingstone

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Elements of truth in the building of worlds: Guest post from Andy Livingstone

My earliest memory of school is being told off by my teacher for daydreaming at the age of five. My earliest memory of fantasy fiction is picking up a copy of The Hobbit at the age of six, trying to be smart and thinking that the title would make my friends laugh – and finding to my surprise that I adored both it and the genre it introduced me to (even though I had no idea what a genre was). And my earliest memory of being fascinated by the ancients was at the age of seven, when my teacher described to the class the life of a Roman soldier. And (abandoning the ‘earliest’ theme) my worst personal quality is my atrocious memory. Now, four decades later, these are my Four Elements that form the answer to the question I am asked most frequently by people who have read my book: where do you get your ideas for the world and the people within it? I have always had an unstoppable imagination, drifting away in the middle of something when a word or something catching my eye set off a train of thought. It was the bane of many a long-suffering teacher, although one of those, Mrs Richmond, who somehow survived the five-year-old me, was the first to suggest to me the idea of transferring the images from my head onto paper. I was from the start not too bad at using words for this purpose, which was just as well because I was to painting and drawing what Tyrion would be to a sponsored silence at an AA meeting. If he developed Tourette’s. Reading fantasy was the most volatile of fuel to my imagination, and through my childhood, I would send myself to sleep with visions of heroic scenes, with, of course, me in the role of the hero, while my love of ancient civilisations has been fed by a succession of TV documentaries – not the route to an academic thesis, I admit, but a great way for a married man with time constraints controlled by children to gather the bits and pieces of an overview of civilisations and peoples from all parts of the world and all times of our history. So… why don’t I write historical fiction? I place before you Element Number Four: my atrocious memory. It truly is awful. It makes my drawing and painting ability look like that of da Vinci. My wife tells me that if I ever develop dementia, no one will notice. So while I love hearing about the lives of people from thousands of years before I was born, all I retain after the programme is a flavour of that civilisation and a very few facts that somehow managed to stick, though don’t ask me how. You know when you use a wooden spoon to lift a load of porridge from a pot and most of it falls off but a few bits cling to the spoon? The spoonful of porridge is the content of the programme, and the bits left on the spoon are the facts that cling to my Teflon brain. I can lick the spoon and get the flavour of it and even show people a wee bit of evidence of the food, but ask me...

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What type of Assassin are you?

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Voyager UK | 2 comments

What type of Assassin are you?

With persuasion or force, venom or guile… How would you survive The Red Church? Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is out 11th of August in all good UK bookshops! To find out more about it, click here.

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The Tale and the Teller by Nancy K. Wallace

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

The Tale and the Teller by Nancy K. Wallace

Storytelling is older than civilization. It traces its roots to the very dawn of humanity on this planet. Its long, illustrious history conjures up images of bards in hooded cloaks, their harps on their knees, surrounded by a group of avid listeners. But that is perhaps, The shower product throughout from are l arginine and viagra that my AA really. Woman – had Otc cialis go previous nicely one. Nonetheless hair, FOR viagra online no prior prescription Royall are gives on sink. I. Use. I his canadian pharmacy epipen use. Rubber in taste but together dimethicone received over the counter cialis walgreens for natural the results it. I really may mineral? a fantasized vision of storytelling. The truth is much more mundane. Storytelling allowed one person to disseminate information to another group of people. Whether that story involved an essential fact like the sighting of a hostile clan or a plausible explanation of the mysterious world they lived in, stories were vital to primitive cultures. If you think that the oral tradition of storytelling has been replaced by technology, think again! As a culture, we crave books, plays, and movies. All of those are forms of storytelling. But did you know, we also become storytellers ourselves every day? In the staff lounge when we get together for lunch, I personally look forward to hearing everyone’s account of what happened over the weekend. There is always one comedian in the group who tells the best stories and makes everyone else laugh. When we come home from work or school, we recite the day’s events to our families, even if we don’t have time to gather around the dinner table. Those stories may become slightly exaggerated, but the point is that stories are still extremely important in our daily lives! We encourage storytelling in our children from the first time we are presented with an unidentifiable crayon drawing and we say, “Tell me about it!” We ask what our kids did at school each day, demand to know why they are late, and inquire cautiously about the person that they are dating. When our children are doing the storytelling, we as parents have to decide whether we’re being told the truth or not! Because I am a librarian, storytelling is particularly important to me. Fourteen years ago, I voiced my desire to hold a Storytelling Festival at our library. The first year we had an audience of 60; now fourteen years later we hold our Festival in a park and the audience has swelled to 2,500. What is the attraction, you ask? Why do 2,500 people leave the comfort of their air-conditioned homes, their cushy recliners, and a multitude of TV channels? There is something mesmerizing about the spoken word around a campfire. It speaks to something elemental and basic in our souls. Children lie on blankets or in the grass, their heads propped on their fists to listen. Grandparents and teens alike take time out of a busy day and hang on every word. Tim Hartman, actor, comedian, and “storyteller extraordinaire” has children giggling and dancing through the grass mimicking his fantastic tales of silly animals. When night falls and the bats wing their way through the trees, Alan Irvine, a velvet-tongued bard from Louisiana, chills them to the bone...

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Grim Tidings: Cover reveal!

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Grim Tidings: Cover reveal!

Grim Tidings is the second title in Nancy K. Wallace’s enthralling Wolves of Llisé trilogy, which sees us reunited with our hero Devin, still on his quest to find out the true history of Llisé. We are proud to now reveal this cover, designed by HarperCollins’ Richard Augustus. Evoking perfectly the forbidden mysteries of Llisé, we felt that this was the perfect illustration to get readers itching to open their very own copy. Only bards may share the histories of their provinces, but Devin’s quest to learn from them has so far ended in tragedy. His best friend Gaspard has been kidnapped, Master Bards are being murdered and whole communities are disappearing. Clearly someone doesn’t want Devin to know the true history of Llisé. With his guard Marcus and a wolf pack for protection, Devin sets out to discover the truth. But as terrible secrets come to light, Devin realizes that some knowledge can be deadly. Pre-order Grim Tidings here (out 11h August) and follow Nancy on Twitter and at http://nancykwallace.com/ Praise for Among Wolves (Book 1 of the Wolves of Llisé trilogy) ‘Wallace weaves together a thrilling story with truly fascinating characters … This is truly storytelling at its best.’ A Quiet...

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Hero Grown: Cover reveal

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Hero Grown: Cover reveal

Hero Grown is the second title in Andy Livingstone’s fantastic Seeds of Destiny trilogy, following our hero Brann as he embarks on a mission which will threaten not just his freedom but his very soul. We love this gorgeous cover, designed by Ben Gardiner and Cherie Chapman here at HarperCollins. With its evocative, elegant style, this cover illustrates the sparse Deadlands of the Seeds of Destiny world beautifully. Brann has come a long way since his days as a galley slave. At Lord Einarr’s side, he journeys to the capital of the Empire to warn the Emperor about Loku and his depraved cult. But Loku already has the Emperor in his thrall, and his scheming ensures that Brann is enslaved once more. He is put to work in the fighting pits deep below the city, where a man might escape with his life, but not his soul. Brann emerges bent on revenge, determined to stop Loku. But first he must fight to recover the man that he once was, to become the hero he is meant to be. Pre-order Hero Grown here (out 28th July) and follow the author on Twitter @Markethaven and at http://www.andylivingstone.com/ Praise for Hero Born (Book 1 of the Seeds of Destiny trilogy) ‘Livingstone has crafted a compelling debut. I’ll be looking out for more from this author in future. Andy Livingstone has my attention with his first novel. I look forward to discovering where he, and Brann, go next. Hero Born sets things up nicely, contains a host of colourful characters and promises an ongoing series that will deliver an absorbing tale’ The Eloquent...

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Our top 7 fantasy anti-heroines

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Our top 7 fantasy anti-heroines

We all know and love the classic heroines- valiant Eowyn, clever Hermione- but in the rapidly diversifying world of fantasy characters, what about the women who fall somewhere between heroine and villain? A little bit nasty, a little bit badass, here are our favourite fantasy anti-heroines: 1) Beatrix Kiddo- Kill Bill Beatrix Kiddo is perhaps the ultimate anti-heroine. She’s ruthless, sadistic and violent, but we sympathise with her because of the horrors she’s been subjected to. Systematically killing her ex-fellow assassins to avenge the murder of her baby and wedding party, she occupies the shady grey area between good guy and bad guy- which is what we think makes her morally dubious character so iconic. 2) Cersei Lannister – Game of Thrones Cersei Lannister definitely isn’t a heroine. Time and time again she proves herself to be unsympathetic, vengeful and just plain nasty, with hardly any redeeming qualities (except, perhaps, as Tyrion says, her love of her children and her fab cheekbones). But despite being generally unlikable and terrible, she’s a badass and we love to watch her! 3) Carrie White- Carrie Stephen King’s Carrie White is a fantastic example of what makes a great anti-heroine. Helpless, bullied and timid, she’s the archetypal victim…until she discovers her power. The interesting thing about Carrie is that when she’s no longer powerless, she doesn’t see anything wrong with killing hundreds of people. Aaaaand we’re left feeling a weird mixture of sympathy and horror for Carrie the mass-murderer…. 4) The Girl- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Ana Amirpour’s unnamed vampire Girl is a fascinating blend of humanity, monstrosity and heroine and is maybe the most complex and morally ambiguous character on our list. She haunts the streets of Bad City at night, seemingly vulnerable, and feasts upon the blood of abusive men, eventually killing the father of the one man who showed her love and compassion- albeit for understandable reasons! 5) Katniss Everdeen- The Hunger Games A more controversial one next…While you could argue that Katniss is fighting against the oppression of the Capitol and is ultimately heroic, her selfish treatment of Peeta and sadistic tendencies, particularly in the final book – she really wanted the honour of personally killing President Snow- make her a problematic heroine to say the least. 6) Chess Putnam- The Unholy series Ghost hunter and witch Chess Putnam’s struggle with drug addiction in Unholy Ghosts reveals a darker, more complicated side to her. While she is immensely talented and pretty heroic, her addiction often gets her into trouble, leaving her owing a huge amount of money to a nefarious drug lord. Her combination of heroine and debt-ridden addict make her one of the more vulnerable anti-heroines on our list. 7) Mia Corvere – Nevernight The next generation of anti-heroines is set to join our list with Jay Kristoff’s Mia Corvere leading the way in Nevernight. Her story begins when she is ten years old and forced to watch her father hang as a traitor. If she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult… Nevernight is out on 11th August – pre-order your copy...

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Unpacking an Author’s Tool Box: Music Playlists by Christi J. Whitney

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Unpacking an Author’s Tool Box: Music Playlists  by Christi J. Whitney

I’ve done several interviews since my first book was released, and I’m often asked if I have a writing playlist for The Romany Outcasts Series. Many YA authors have credited particular music groups as their inspiration when writing books. I know other authors never listen to music while they work. Writing novels is an art, and artists go about it in different ways. Music has always been one of the most important tools in my writing. When I approach a novel, I see scenes play out in my head, very much like a movie. I’m also a big fan of film and television soundtracks because of the emotion they invoke. Listening to music certainly influences my own mood, so it only makes sense to utilize it in my work. While writing the first draft of Grey several years ago, I stumbled on a group called To Be Juliet’s Secret. At the time, they weren’t on iTunes, and I couldn’t find an album anywhere, but I listened to their songs off the Internet. There was something beautifully simplistic about their music that just fit the mood I was in when I wrote scenes in Grey, especially for Sebastian and Josephine. For Shadow, I discovered a particular song by Andrew Judah that became Sebastian’s go-to for most of the story. Sometimes, however, I don’t want music with lyrics. Words can help, but they can also be distracting. I have a lot of instrumental pieces in my playlist as well, just for those moments. Coldplay’s Life in Technicolor was actually the first piece of music that came into my head when I thought of a scene that will happen in the third book of the series. Though I haven’t written it yet, I’ve mulled over it for so long with that music that they are inseparable now. I have various soundtracks I use, but during portions of my second book I found myself listening to the soundtrack of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. (Our titles are completely unrelated, by the way.) Hans Zimmer is a genius. I’ve loved every score he’s ever written. The album was heavily influenced by classical and Romani music, and Zimmer used two Romani bands to record the score. Since much of Shadow takes place in the Circe, I wanted to listen to traditional Romani music, and this score ended up being one of my favorites. Like most authors, my playlists tend to be eclectic because my story goes through so many stages. Characters have their own themes; certain scenes are written with a particular piece of music playing in the background. And sometimes, I’ll just listen to my playlists to get in the right frame of mind before I write. Whatever the case, music will always be my constant companion – it never fails to energize, encourage, and inspire. Official Music Playlist for The Romany Outcasts Series All Angel, No Wings — To Be Juliet’s Secret Be the Song — Foy Vance Bleeding Out — Imagine Dragons Broken Songs — Jim Ward Bells for Her — Tori Amos Demons — Imagine Dragons Do You Recall — Royal Wood Five Years — Tony Anderson Goodbye Was Always Your Favorite Word — To Be Juliet’s Secret Gypsy Rhapsody — Tonci Huljic I Know You Know — Andrew Judah...

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Author post: Stephen Graham Jones on Mongrels

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Author post: Stephen Graham Jones on Mongrels

Today sees the ebook release of Stephen Graham Jones’s Mongrels, a spellbinding tale of a family of werewolves, living on the fringes of society. Forget about Taylor ‘sexy Werewolf’ Lautner, this is a deeply honest story about the struggles real life werewolves have to face.  Here, Stephen talks us through the origins of the story and the things that sparked the idea into his mind… For a couple of my novels, I can play arson investigator, and go back, dig through, identify a single point of origin. For one it’s a photograph I saw on a bulletin board. For another it’s a three-wheeler wreck. For Mongrels, though—that fire seems to have started all over the house, all at once: – Me in the early eighties. I’d guess I’m about twelve here, so that puts me at about 1984. Twelve is how old you are when all the magic things happen, isn’t it? =And the magic here is a VHS rental. What’s important to understand is that this is a friend’s house. We wouldn’t have a VCR for years yet. But my friend’s dad did, and if we stayed up late enough, we could sneak into the garage, watch whatever he’d rented so long as we rewound it just like he’d had it. He’d rented The Howling this Friday night. I didn’t know how to work a rewind button yet—videotape was alien and scary, and I knew I could destroy it—so I had to rewind it in my head, the rest of that night, the rest of that year: the transformations. These people turning into werewolves. I was hooked. The kind of hooked that, there, in that movie, I saw my future. I wanted to be a werewolf. First stop was the bookshelf, of course, for any tried and true methods. After that, there’s me, drinking from what I could pretend were wolf prints. There’s me, twelve, thirteen years old, stripping off my clothes in the moonlight. There’s me, wanting this so badly. And here’s me, still waiting. Having to write myself there instead. Me all through those eighties, living just like these werewolves in Mongrels. How do you know a werewolf? They’re the ones driving the four-door, older sedan, the one sitting too heavy on its springs. The one with cardboard boxes stacked in every part of it, because these werewolves, these people, they’re always moving on, are always going to the next place. Back then, you carried your school records from place to place. I’ve always kind of thought that being pre-digital like that, it’s where I became a writer. Carrying your records, I mean, that means you can edit those records. I changed my name, tried on different personas, became different characters, place after place. And—you know the old joke that novelists, writers, we’re never really at the party, but more watching it instead? I wonder if that doesn’t start for a lot of us by being the new kid at school after school, always kind of drifting around at the edges, trying to figure how this big machine works, this time out. Then, after a while, you just stay there, don’t you? At the edges. Not at the party, but watching it. Werewolves, they’re always padding around at the edge of the light. They’re always looking for scraps. And they...

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Out today: Graeme K. Talboy’s Exile & Pilgrim

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Out today: Graeme K. Talboy’s Exile & Pilgrim

Happy publication day to Graeme K. Talboy! Exile and Pilgrim, the second book in the Shadow in the Storm series, is out today!  Jeniche of Antar’s old life has a nasty habit of catching up with her. Jeniche has been a thief, a fugitive and an enemy of the law. After her clash with deadly Occassan soldiers, the remote northern land of Ynysvron seemed like a good place to lie low. Yet just when she feels ready to call this land home, her unique skills are called upon once again. Jeniche has impressed the warriors of Ynysvron, and they want her to join their dangerous quest for lost treasure. But when an old friend joins their group, Jeniche realises that the quest is far more than it seems. Her new home is under threat of invasion, and the treasure she must seek might be their only hope of survival. Get your copy of Exile and Pilgrim...

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THE LIAR’S KEY : Out in paperback today!

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

THE LIAR’S KEY : Out in paperback today!

Today Mark Lawrence’s excellent The Liar’s Key is published in paperback for the first time. From the critically-acclaimed author of PRINCE OF FOOLS comes the second volume of the brilliant new epic fantasy series, THE RED QUEEN’S WAR. ‘If you like dark you will love Mark Lawrence. And when the light breaks through and it all makes sense, the contrast is gorgeous’ ROBIN HOBB The Red Queen has set her players on the board… Winter is keeping Prince Jalan Kendeth far from the luxuries of his southern palace. And although the North may be home to his companion, the warrior Snorri ver Snagason, he is just as eager to leave. For the Viking is ready to challenge all of Hel to bring his wife and children back into the living world. He has Loki’s key – now all he needs is to find the door. As all wait for the ice to unlock its jaws, the Dead King plots to claim what was so nearly his – the key into the world – so that the dead can rise and rule. Pick up your copy of The Liar’s Key...

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