So I was looking it up the other day and my first book, The Magpie Lord, was published on 3 September 2013. It’s free right now, should you not have read it: help yourself.
I have been (in Lawrence Block’s immortal phrase) telling lies for fun and profit for ten years. Gosh.
I’m mildly stunned. In that time I’ve written thirty novels, which have been translated into eight languages. I’ve worked with seven publishers with an eighth coming. (Check out this gallery of Magpie Lord’s many incarnations, it’s really quite something.) I’ve gone from publishing to self publishing and back again. (I’ve also gone from having two adorable small children to having look let’s just say two teenagers and leave it there, lived through a pandemic, and watched my cat become too old and lazy to murder. Time is weird.)
And, mostly, I’ve had the immense good fortune that people have bought the damn books, thus allowing me to keep doing it.
I quit my job three years after my first publication with the intention of writing backed up by freelance editing. My uberboss at that time, head of a large chunk of a major publisher, laughed when she heard I wanted to make a living by writing and sarcastically said “Good luck with that.” I bring this up a lot because authors really ought to know that publishing does not expect or even intend you to make a living by writing.
But, for now, I am making a living, which means I get to keep on writing. I am well aware this makes me one of the luckiest people on earth and I am doing my best to earn it.
Ten years. Crikey.
So, I should clearly do something to celebrate. I did think about elaborate plans but let’s be real, I have deadlines queued into 2026/infinity and am going quietly hatstand over here, so I think it’s going to be a giveaway.
So! I have a new book coming out 19 September. It’s the second in my Doomsday Books duo.
Book 1 is about Joss Doomsday, smuggler, and Sir Gareth Inglis, baronet, getting mixed up in all sorts of shenanigans on remote Romney Marsh. Book 2 returns to the Marsh thirteen years later, where Joss’s little cousin Luke is now secretary to the new and chaotic Earl of Oxney. Both of them offer family feuds, dark deeds, cross-class, and other alliterative joys. Published by Sourcebooks; the gorgeous cover art is by Jyotirmayee Patra.
I’m going to give away three sets of print copies (ie both books) to three winners. I will sign both copies as you wish: personalised dedication, rude comment on the last page to startle your friend, marriage proposal (that would have to be on your behalf, I’m already married). Postage to anywhere in the world.
EDIT: the giveaway is now closed, winners notified, and books sent!