Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The Serpent's Quest has arrived

Before what I now fondly call the Great Panini, I laboured under the assumption that 2020 was going to be my year. I'd seen the release of my first traditionally published novel which had gone on to win an award or two, and I was due to appear at a few Comic-Con Cape Town panels, as well as a bunch of literary festivals. Go me. Then not. But let me backtrack a wee smidge.

October 31, 2019, Toby and I were sitting in the hotel lounge after we won our prizes, and we struck on the bright idea to collaborate. We had these grandiose ideas of a trilogy we could quickly put out. But even the best plans sometimes make detours (as we were to find out), and those three books quickly became four, and then five –The Splintered Fool series. 

Which we pretty much wrote during lockdown, and kept me sane as all my carefully laid plans turned to ashes, and then continued when the world slowly slid back into some semblance of regular abnormality. (Is there even such a thing as a New Normal? Ugh, I hate the term.)

I am now inordinately pleased to say, that after half a decade of hard work, writing, revising, editing and doing all the icky production stuff I won't bore you spitless with, we've got book 1, The Serpent's Quest, now live. It's available in paperback and ebook. Go get your copy now.

If you, like us, are a huge fan of adventure, magic, quests, elves, dragons... Maybe with a spot of tomb-raiding with a side-order of dastardly pirates, we've got you covered. Oh, and mad gods. Or, rather, a mad god.

Toby has this to say, "When I consider what makes me happiest about having written The Serpent’s Quest, I’d have to say: seeing a vision fulfilled. It’s hard to believe it was almost five years ago that Nerine and I began discussing a collaboration. 'We’ll write a book together' became three… then five… books, as we unspooled the narrative we’d so casually discussed, exploring realms that became more substantial the deeper we delved. I’m proud to say, we let our characters lead us and never stinted in telling their story. There was no knowing, when we planted those first seeds, that they would grow so far beyond our wildest expectations, but now I look back in wonder. For all the words we crafted, there are few to express the profound satisfaction of seeing the first book released, or the high hopes I have for those to follow."

And I'll close by saying, this work has been a lot rather like me and Toby were storytelling to each other as we went along. We're both huge fans of gaming and ttRPGs, so much of that sort of energy went into the narrative. I'm also pleased that I've had one of South Africa's top comic book artists, Daniƫl Hugo on board to assist with the cover art. Collaborations with him are always excellent, as it's as if he possesses an advanced degree in mind reading to fully get what's going on in my head.

What's next? We'll be typesetting book 2 next, and book 3 is currently in its last revision stages. Alas, I do not possess an army of clones, but we can confirm that the entire series has been written. We promise there is no GRRM The Winds of Winter scenario threatening to unfold here.

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