Tag Archives: trilogy

It was the year of……

Coming up on the end of 2014 is making reflect about the last twelve months. It’s certainly been an interesting year with big highs and lows, but I’ll focus on the good for the most. Back in February (which seems like decades ago on one hand) I announced my book deal with Orbit. Since then I’ve been working really hard on editing book 1 and that’s nearly done now. Nearly. I’ve one final round of proof-checking to come and then it is out of my hands.

The hard work by myself, and other people, has gone on for years now, which sounds weird to say but it’s true. It was back in May 2013 that I announced I had an agent, in the form of the incredible Juliet Mushens from The Agency Group. For years getting an agent felt like the impossible mountain I’d never climb, but eventually I managed it by being picked off a slush pile. Also I didn’t realise how important and beneficial it is to have an agent. A champion who believes in you and will fight your corner.

Looking back over the last year I can say the hard work actually began after getting an agent. I also didn’t realise that until I started doing it. First I was working with Juliet to get the book ready to submit to publishers, which took about a year, and then I started all over again with my publisher, Orbit, several times.

As well as editing Battlemage (book 1), this year I’ve spent a good portion of it writing book 2. The title of book 2 will be confirmed soon. We have a proposed title for book 2, and book 3 in fact, but they need to get the nod from the right people, so I can’t mention it yet. When I’ve had time, I’ve also been plotting and makes notes on book 3 which I started writing in November. However, that’s now on hold as my first round of edits have come back on book 2. Learning how to juggle different projects is definitely an important skill to master, and it is one that I’m still working on. It takes me a bit of time to get my brain out of one creative head space and get it back into another. It helps that the books are connected and set in the same world, but there is still an adjustment period. Mine is definitely not a traditional trilogy so that has created its own challenges that I am trying to learn from for the future.

Writing is usually done in isolation, although I know of several authors who write in public places, even so it’s a solitary thing most of the time. Meeting other writers, talking to them and hearing their stories about their struggles, bumps in the road and just generally hearing their experiences has proven to be very helpful. Some of my friends are a few steps further down the road which has been great. It’s prepared me for some of what’s happened in the last year and that I’m not the first person to be faced with various problems and therefore mine are also not insurmountable.

Over the last year in particular I’ve made great friends with some fantastic writers which has given me a real sense of community. There are a lot more challenges ahead, but I am excited, nervous and anxious about what’s to come, which I think is a healthy approach. Roll on 2015.

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Publishing Adventures in London

Earlier this week I had my first official trip to London as a soon to be published author. It was an intense and pretty exhausting time, but overall proved to be fascinating. On Monday morning I visited my fantastic agent, Juliet Mushens, and Sarah, her lovely assistant, at their offices for a chat about the book and the trilogy, my plans and what happens next.

After that it was my first trip to the Orbit offices to meet with my editor, Jenni Hill, for the first time. Orbit have their offices at 100 Victoria Embankment, which is a massive and very impressive building, inside and out. I was nervous about being late, so rather than risk getting lost, I got off the tube and did the sensible thing. I asked the nearest security person at the station how tin find the building. The woman was very kind and patient, as she walked with me to the entrance to the tube station and then pointed at the giant edifice directly across the road. Whoops! I grinned sheepishly and scuttled off.

Over lunch Jenni and I talked about the book, the characters, and really got into a meaty chat about the first book, Battlemage, and how it connects to the others in the trilogy. I think it’s the first time I’ve had a proper discussion about the series and the shape of it with someone who had read the first book. For the longest time characters have just lived inside my head and on the page, but suddenly they were breathing again as we talked about the future and what happened next. I could answer all of the questions but I think it was the first time I’d said some of it aloud to someone else. I probably got a few strange looks from other people in the restaurant but I didn’t notice.

After that I was shown around the Orbit offices and met the rest of the team who were all fabulous and so enthusiastic. With little time to spare I zipped back across London, checked into my hotel, then ran back out again for an early dinner with some friends. The rest of the evening I could just sit back and try to unwind and unclench, as the attention was firmly on Jen Williams (she of the fabulous The Copper Promise fame) and Den Patrick (he of the equally awesome The Boy with The Porcelain Blade). At Blackwells on Charing Cross Road, Jared Shurin was asking the questions and the topics ranged from influences to monsters to magic. There was a great crowd who queued up in the typically polite English fashion to get a copy of each book signed. Technically Porcelain wasn’t out on Monday, but there were a few cheeky copies that had been released early, so I made sure I snagged one and got it signed by Den.

Not long after we adjourned to a local pub for drinks where I nobly battled to stay awake after a long and tiring day. I think I managed fairly well and had a few geeky conversations as well as getting a chance to talk archery with Gillian Redfearn. It wasn’t a late finish, for which I was grateful, and I crashed out in my hotel.

Tuesday morning I was back on the train, headed north again, towards home and also an appointment with a photographer. I think they came out quite well, despite the bags under my eyes and the stubble, but they’re both usually there anyway, so it’s going to be accurate.

It’s quite a few months until my next convention, 9 Worlds in August in London. I’ve settled back into my normal daily routine again, and have got back to work on book 2, but somewhere in the back of my mind I am now aware that other people are talking about the characters from Battlemage, and that they’re waiting to see what I do next in book 2. I also have a deadline for the first time, but so far, very little has changed day to day. I’m sure that will change next year but for now, it’s head down and keep writing.

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Book Deal News

So the big news came out today on the Bookseller website, and here is a copy of the press release in full announcing my book deal with Orbit.

Orbit has signed a trilogy of books from British author Stephen Aryan.

Jenni Hill, commissioning editor at Orbit, signed world English rights in the Battlemage trilogy from Juliet Mushens at The Agency Group.

Battlemage, which was taken from the slush pile, is set in a world experiencing its first global conflict, with the story told from three points of view – the leaders of the fighting nations, the frontline warriors, and the Battlemages, powerful magical outsiders who are both feared and respected.

Mushens said: “I was blown away by how polished a debut this was – it’s original and wholly engrossing.”

Hill said: “Stephen Aryan makes mages look cool. Battlemage has everything that’s great about epic fantasy: big battle scenes; valiant heroes and heroines; and evil forces in need of a damn good thwarting.”

Aryan lives in Yorkshire and works fulltime in marketing for a software company.

Orbit will release the the first in the series in the UK and US in 2015.

I am absolutely over the moon! Orbit publish some of my favourite authors from Jim Butcher to Mike Carey and I’m excited and nervous about what comes next, but really looking forward to it. A lot of hard work has gone into getting here and there is definitely more ahead but I can’t wait to get stuck in.

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