It’s time to announce Candlemark & Gleam’s first title!
I’ve been in touch with the author for awhile now, and we’ve had an informal agreement for a bit, but the signed contract came in over the weekend, and the author has given me permission to start shouting to the heavens about my glee at acquiring this manuscript. So it’s officially official. The first Candlemark & Gleam title is…
Erekos, by the immensely talented A.M. Tuomala.
It is, quite frankly, the best fantasy novel I’ve read in years. I’m incredibly pleased to have been given the opportunity to publish this work, because it really, really deserves an audience.
The problem is, though, I don’t quite know how to describe it. It is, to borrow a friend’s lovely categorization, mythic fantasy. There are kings, and witches, and warriors. It is in a world that is not our own, but that has echoes of cultures and ideas that are hauntingly familiar. And yet, it’s not a Fantasy Novel ™. The magic that takes place, and the fighting – these are not the point. The point is the characters, the people, their interactions and their impressions and the impressions they make upon the world.
Erekos is more than an engaging fantasy novel, although it’s certainly that. It’s the story of two sisters who are bound by a love even death cannot break; of two men who are bound by an affection that needs no name or explanation, who come together despite different backgrounds to defend a society that doesn’t welcome either of them with entirely open arms; of a king and queen beset by a war they didn’t begin, and bound by a marriage that isn’t entirely satisfactory to either, who are more dedicated to their ideals than to each other.
It’s a story of stories, of how history comes to be, of how gods can shape man and man can shape gods, of how legends are created in the depths of time.
It is mythic, in every sense of the word – it drops you firmly into a time and place not our own, one where magic coexists with steamboats, where gods walk among men and magic is quite real. At the same time, it is mythic in that it not only creates a mythos to explore, but also explores the very concept of myth, of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of our world and our lives, of the origins of history and fable.
Erekos is all of this, wrapped up in gorgeous prose and shimmering imagery that you just can’t get out of your head. It’s hard to sum up in jacket copy – I have my work cut out for me there – but it’s truly haunting and lovely and engrossing.
You’re going to love it.
And all through the process of bringing this manuscript to you in finished form, I’ll be blogging…explaining how a manuscript is rewritten and honed, how the copy-editing and proofing process works, how cover art is designed and selected, how typesetting happens – all the myriad things that go into making a book.
If you have any questions or comments, or you want me to focus on a specific part of the process, let me know!