Tuesday, 27 September 2022

The Book That Wouldn't Burn

In May 2023 I have a new book coming out!  Pre-order it (please)  https://lnk.to/tbtwb

& here's Tom Roberts's glorious art unadulterated by my name etc

(drink in that detail!)

It's called The Book That Wouldn't Burn, and it's book 1 in a trilogy (provisionally called The Library Trilogy). 

You can help me (& you) out by marking it "to read" on Goodreads.

& you can pre-order it in many places, including Barnes & Noble, US Amazon, and UK Amazon.

Pre-ordering is a great help to any author!

Books 2 & 3 are finished (bar editing) and due for release in May 2024 and May 2025.

I don't like discussing what my books are about, never have done. It feels as if it lessens them. But I know many readers like to know. Hell, some readers turn to the back page and read that before starting on page 1. I mean ... those people are evil, and there should be laws against such behaviour. But yes, it takes all sorts.

If you read on you'll get a series of progressively more expansive (though still vague) descriptions of the content / themes / motivations.

The books concern a vast, ancient library. I mean big. Like REALLY big. (see how good I am with the words!)

The blurb on Goodreads says:

"A boy has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities. A girl has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes. The world has never even noticed them. That's about to change. 

Their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another. A journey on which knowledge erodes certainty, and on which, though the pen may be mightier than the sword, blood will be spilled and cities burned."

It's a story that plays out across worlds and times, and involves doorways to new places. It features, unsurprisingly, a lot of books, and librarians, and some bookshops too!

A real bookshop in Porto, Portugal - they have my books in Portuguese!

It surprises me, but I’m actually more excited for the release of my 16th book than perhaps for any of its predecessors. Prediction is notoriously difficult in this business – which is why publishers need to be brave souls, prepared to gamble on their instincts and experience – but I feel THE BOOK THAT WOULDN’T BURN has the potential to reach my widest audience yet. The reaction from my editors and test readers has shown it to be a book that generates enthusiasm. And it’s that kind of excitement that can catch fire and make great things happen.

            It’s a book that’s been bubbling around inside me for a long time. My oldest memories are of libraries. When my (English) parents brought me to the UK from the US for the first time at age 1 my mother’s first job was as a librarian, and I still carry those toddlerhood impressions of wandering what seemed huge halls filled with impossibly tall book-laden shelves. I wanted to wrap up every book-thing I had in me, from library to bookshop to home-shelf and make it into a story. In the end it was clear to me that the story had to be inside a library, lost in it, trapped in it, sustained by it.

            THE BOOK THAT WOULDN’T BURN is about many things, adventure, discovery, and romance for starters, but across the trilogy it becomes obvious that it’s also a love letter to books and the places that they live. The focus is on one vast and timeless library, but the love expands to encompass smaller more personal collections, and bookshops of all shades too.

            It’s a novel wrapped around theme of books, and society, and how they interact. About access to information, the difference between information and truth, the seduction of convenient lies, and the danger of knowledge not tempered by wisdom. It’s also about the almost sacred awe a big library, church-quiet, can inspire. And about the comfortable heaping of paperbacks in a second-hand shop. Also, there’s kissing. 

An imagined bookshop, drawn for you by the AI Midjourney.

And here's Tom Roberts' original colouring on the cover art:

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  1. Three things.
    1, I have preordered, can't wait.
    2, Who, in the name of reason, reads the last page first?
    3, Love the Princess Bride reference.

    1. 1. Very many thanks - it's a big help. 2. My best friend does - I hate him. 3 :)

    2. I am listening to 'the book that wouldn't burn' and I am completely absorbed by it, i love it a lot, thanks for writting it and ofcourse I'd show my gratitude on patreon💀but still I love it so very much ಥ‿ಥthanks again for writting it can't wait for the other two books but will wait definitely, read your other works untill then ig welp thanks again.

    3. My small fraction of the cover price is ample reward - but yes, patreon is there for folks who want to (and are able to) go above and beyond - plus, there's extras! :)

  2. If you’re still considering a name for the series, perhaps The Atheneum Trilogy

  3. The Enduring Repository Trilogy - like it

  4. Sounds like it's " The Hidden Library".

  5. Sounds like it's "A Hidden Library".

  6. That library in the first pic looks a bit small.

  7. Why do I have to wait two fucking years for all three books when they're already all done? I don't understand this publishing policy. Am I the only one who likes to read everything in a row and therefore always waits until the series is completely published?

    1. That's how the publishing industry works. Would it remove your anger if I simply hadn't told you they were already written, and left you fearing they might not ever be completed or released on a reasonable timescale?

    2. Personally, I absolutely *love* the way you do it. Of course I don't want to wait for each book! But I love that I can start a new, huge trilogy and *know* the rest is coming. It feels like a profound care for your readers.

  8. Do these books connect to the Broken Empire and/or Path of the Ancestor stories? Or do we have to find out ourselves? Dont worry, I will be reading them in the hope of finding more characters as memorable as Jorg and Nona.

    1. They don't, no. Hopefully you'll find the characters memorable!

  9. Just missed a night of sleep engrossed in the end of The Girl and the Moon (I started Broken Empire in paperback so for some reason I felt I had to collect all 15 this way) - absolutely loved it, as I have with every book! Was that the end of the Taproot saga in your mind or might you go further or adjacent later on?

    Also I feel I must give you credit and unending gratitude for inspiring the lore in my D&D worldbuilding. You are, hands down, my favourite author and worldbuilder. Can't wait for this new trilogy! I'll start getting them in hardback so I don't have to wait.

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence and going hardback! Much appreciated. I don't plan the future so I've no idea if Taproot might crop up in future. It's possible, but - by definition - I have no plans for it :)