3 book deal with Titan Books for Mark Morris

Fantasy author Mark Morris.Cath Trechman of Titan Books has concluded a world rights deal for three dark fantasy novels by British author Mark Morris. The series is called Obsidian Heart, and the first volume, titled The Wolves of London, is due for delivery in Spring 2013.

Alex Locke is a rough diamond, an ex-con turned psychology lecturer, who one day receives an offer that he cannot refuse. What follows drags him down into a nightmare more terrifying than anything he could ever have imagined, a nightmare in which he is pursued not only across the country, but ultimately across time by the fabled Wolves of London, a group of ruthless assassins with unbelievable powers at their fingertips. Blending crime, horror, steampunk and dark urban fantasy, Obsidian Heart is a huge, phantasmagorical jigsaw puzzle of a story told in three very distinct parts, each with its own unique atmosphere. Full of twists and turns, it is a Weaveworld for the twenty-first century – brash, audacious and packed with surreal and outrageous imagery.

Cath Trechman said: "We’re delighted to be publishing Mark Morris’s brand-new series Obsidian Heart. It’s a dark supernatural time-travel thriller which readers will find impossible to resist."

The agent was John Jarrold.

New World Rights deal for urban fantasy author Suzanne McLeod

An image of urban fantasy author Suzanne McLeod.Gillian Redfearn of Gollancz has acquired World Rights to two supernatural thrillers by Suzanne McLeod.

The titles offer an exciting new twist to the Spellcrackers.com series, set in London, but the details are currently being kept under wraps for now and will remain so until closer to publication.

Speaking about the deal, Gillian said, "We’re really thrilled with this new proposal from Suzanne McLeod. Her characters are warm and engaging, their relationships zing, her magic is clever and her London is beautifully evoked. The Spellcrackers novels are perfect for fans of Kim Harrison and Karen Marie Moning, and I think (when we share it!) readers will share our excitement about these novels."
McLeod’s novels have been sold in Europe and the US, and have received praise from the mainstream and genre press. Authors as varied as Sunday Times bestseller Ben Aaronovitch, the critically acclaimed Mike Carey, and international bestseller Charlaine Harris, have all read and praised the Spellcrackers.com series.

Suzanne McLeod lives on the South Coast of England with her husband.

The agent was John Jarrold.

Film option deal for Adam Nevill’s Apartment 16

Cover image of Adam Nevill's Apartment 16.I am delighted to announce that Adam Nevill’s Apartment 16 has been optioned by Matt and Ray Marshall of Blind Monkey Pictures, the horror offshoot of UK production company Festival Film and TV.

Apartment 16 was the Fantasy Book Review Book of the Month for March 2010 and this is what Floresiensis had to say about it, "You just can’t beat a damn good horror book, particularly one that manages to scare and disturb you late at night, even though you are safe and sound in your own home. Adam Nevill’s Apartment 16 is one such book. Not since reading Stephen King’s It has a book managed to instil such a feeling of fear and disquiet in me."

The novel is a contemporary horror tale set in an imposing block of Victorian apartments in London. No. 16 has been empty for decades. No-one goes in and no-one comes out – until the young night porter hears a noise coming from inside the apartment and opens the door. From that moment, nothing will ever be the same again…

The deal was brokered by the Gotham Group in Los Angeles, representing the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

Congratulations to Adam and we highly recommend reading one of Britain’s finest horror writers – as well as Apartment 16 there is The Ritual and the recently released Last Days, of which I have a review copy that I plan to read as soon as I possibly can.

Gollancz acquire new Stephen Hunt fantasy trilogy

Gillian Redfearn of Gollancz has acquired The Far-Called, a three-book fantasy series by Stephen Hunt. The first novel will be called In Dark Service and will be published in 2013.

Hunt is the author of six fantasy novels published by HarperCollins Voyager in the UK and Tor in the US, as well as in various translation editions, and runs the SF Crowsnest news and reviews site.

Plenas has two unique characteristics worth noting, the first – and most significant of which – is that it’s a world on a mind-boggling scale where peddler caravans can take a thousand years to complete a limited circuit of their trade territory, a land where the guild of radio signallers can relay messages between their stations for multiple lifetimes and still never make a clean circumnavigation of the globe.

It is a world where, should a youngster be gripped by wanderlust, they can simply head off and travel with merchant nomads for their entire lifetime, taking in thousands of exotic nations, strange races and mysterious wonders, while still only travelling across a minute fraction of the globe.

The second distinctive facet of Plenas is that the land has no mineral resources worth mining except around the stratovolcanoes dotted across the world, massive shield volcanoes that stand about three times the elevation of Mount Everest above sea level. These vomit out great gobs of ore-bearing rocks into the air for harvesting by sky mines, and this wealth is always jealously hoarded by the empires that rise to pre-eminence around the stratovolcanoes, growing rich with their monopoly over metals, crystals and coals.

Reliance on sustainable resources means that most societies, races and nations on Plenas are throttled somewhere between a Roman and Victorian level of progress, with only the great empires of the stratovolcanoes reaching a higher level of development.

"I’ve always admired Stephen Hunt’s vast imagination, deftness with detail and stunning ideas, and it was a delight to open In Dark Service and find all of that and more. The characters are larger than life, and the adventure is full-screen – I can’t wait to share this story and we are all absolutely delighted to welcome Stephen to the Gollancz list," commented Gillian Redfearn.

"I was knocked out by the concept, but even more so by the darkness and immediacy of Stephen’s writing. I’m delighted that Gillian and the team at Gollancz agreed with me," added literary agent John Jarrold.

In further news from the John Jarrold Literary Agency John Jarrold was the announcement that the agency now represents all international translation rights of the Grand Master of British horror fiction, Ramsey Campbell. The agency already represented UK and Commonwealth rights.

"I and my sub-agents will be talking to publishers around the world about Ramsey. I have read his work since the sixties, and known him personally since the eighties as a fan, publisher and agent. I am delighted to make this announcement," said Jarrold.

Pre-emptive three-book World rights deal for Richard Ford

John Wordsworth, Commissioning Editor at Headline, has concluded a pre-emptive three-book World rights deal for an epic fantasy series by UK author Richard Ford. The first volume is provisionally titled Steelhaven.

"I’ve always loved fantasy that pushes the boundaries; that takes no prisoners and does what you least expect from the genre. With Steelhaven I wanted to see what would happen if you took popular fantasy tropes and attacked them with modern concepts from TV and film. What if David Gemmell’s Legend was mixed with HBO’s The Wire? What if you took the characters from a Tarantino movie and stuck them in a fantasy metropolis on the brink of destruction?" said Ford, a freelance editor and proof-reader who has just had his debut Steampunk novel Kultus published by Solaris.

"Steelhaven blew me away. The interweaving storylines and varied characters drew me in from the first page, as did the fluid, involving prose and story-telling. I believe we are talking about a major new fantasy talent here, to rank with Joe Abercrombie, Peter V Brett and others. The immediate enthusiasm from John and his colleagues was wonderful and I’m delighted to conclude the agency’s first deal with Headline," enthused John Jarrold, who concluded the deal.

"Steelhaven is about as edgy a fantasy as I’ve ever read. It feels both modern and classic at the same time. I am absolutely thrilled that Richard is joining Headline and I can’t wait to help unleash this monster upon the unsuspecting public," added John Wordsworth.

3-book World English language rights deal for David Barnett

Claire Eddy, Senior Editor at Tor Books in New York, has concluded a three-book World English Language rights deal for British author David Barnett, for a strong five-figure sum in US dollars. The agent was John Jarrold.

The first volume in this Steampunk series is titled Hero of the Empire and introduces a young protagonist, Gideon Smith, who faces perils both natural and supernatural in Victorian England.

“David’s writing and invention has fascinated me and drawn me in from the day I took him on. I’m delighted that he now has a major deal, quite rightly,” commented John Jarrold.

David Barnett is an author and award-winning journalist. He was born in Wigan in 1970 and has worked in regional newspapers since he was 19 years old. He is currently Assistant Editor (Content) at the Telegraph & Argus in Bradford, West Yorkshire, following a 22 year career in newspapers, predominantly as a writer/editorial manager for regional newspapers but which has also included work for publications as diverse as the Daily Star and the Guardian Online. He is the author of three published novels, Hinterland (2005), and Angelglass (2007), both published by Immanion Press, and popCULT! (2011), Pendragon Press.

“I’ve always loved fantastical fiction, especially that which is grounded in some form of recognisable reality. I think that’s why the alternative Victorian setting appeals to me so much – it’s just far enough away to be shrouded in the mystery of life lived beyond living memory, yet close enough to reflect our world and the way we live life today. It’s perfect for adding a veneer of the fantastic to. The Gideon Smith books were born out of a desire to write something which combined the rip-roaring adventure that Victorian writers did so well with the sensibilities of a modern novel. I think it was watching my two young children rapt in front of Raiders of the Lost Ark which made me want to try to create something that even approached inspiring such jaw-dropping attention… but at the same time questioned the concept of the “hero”, from the point of view of the heroes themselves and the public who worship them. Given Tor’s track record in publishing some of the novels in this genre that I love, I think they are the perfect outfit to bring Gideon Smith and his compatriots to the world and I am absolutely delighted to be working with them,” added the author.

Major US book deal for Wereworld author Curtis Jobling

A cover image of Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling.Some more great news from the John Jarrold Literary Agency!

Kendra Levin at Penguin has acquired US rights to Curtis Jobling’s Wereworld books number 3 and 4 from Zosia Knopp, Rights Director at Puffin UK.

“Curtis and I are both delighted about this deal. Considering that Penguin US only published the first volume this month and still have the second book awaiting publication, to acquire the third and fourth books in the series in a major deal this early shows huge enthusiasm and commitment,” commented John Jarrold on the deal.

Wereworld follows the story of Drew, a shepherd’s son, as he comes of age and discovers he’s the last of the long line of Werewolves, and rightful (yet reluctant) ruler of the land of Lyssia, where shape-shifting ‘Werelords’ reign. Drew is chased across the Seven Realms by the agents of the king, encountering an ever-expanding cast of both benign and fearsome Werelords along the way. The first two volumes in the epic fantasy series are already published by Puffin UK, with two more to follow in 2012.

Sean Mason, who is covering the Wereworld series us here is lavish in his praise, “If you’re not reading this series, you should be. Jobling really pushes the horror elements of the series; we have necromancy, zombies, monstrous rats, and ghosts. All of it feels real, a part of the world.”

Read Sean’s full Rage of Lions review here and his review of the first book in the series, Rise of the Wolf, here.

For more information, Curtis Jobling’s website can be found here – http://www.curtisjobling.com.

Film option deal for Adam Nevill’s The Ritual

An image of the book cover of Adam Nevill's The Ritual.A couple of days ago we received some really good news from the John Jarrold Literacy Agency in that a book by Fantasy Book Review favourite, Adam Nevill, has be optioned by Stillking Films.

The Ritual (Fantasy Book Review Book of the Month, June 2011) was published in the UK in 2011 by Macmillan UK and the book will be published in the US by St Martin’s Press in 2012. It is a contemporary horror tale that follows four men hiking in the northern European forests and the hellish things they discover there…

The deal was brokered by the Gotham Group in Los Angeles, representing the John Jarrold Literary Agency. Stillking Films have produced many major films including CASINO ROYALE, THE ILLUSIONIST, FROM HELL and THE BOURNE IDENTITY.

I would just like to congratulate Adam on this most excellent news and say that I look forward to watching the film adaptation in a few year’s time!

Mark Morris commissioned to write Hammer film novelisation

Arrow have commissioned a novelisation of the Hammer film Vampire Circus from author Mark Morris.

“My love affair with Hammer began when I saw – and was terrified by – my first Hammer film, The Brides of Dracula, at the age of eleven or twelve. Because Hammer has been hugely responsible for my life-long love of the horror genre, and a seminal influence on my career, I am absolutely thrilled to now have the opportunity to become a part of the official Hammer brand. Writing a novel based on one of my favourite Hammer movies, the gloriously savage and nightmarish Vampire Circus, is an enormous thrill. This will be a real labour of love for me and I can’t wait to get started!” commented Morris.

Mark Morris became a full-time writer in 1988 on the Enterprise Allowance Scheme, and a year later saw the release of his first novel, Toady. He has since published a further sixteen novels, among which are Stitch, The Immaculate, The Secret of Anatomy, Fiddleback, The Deluge and four books in the popular Doctor Who range.

His short stories, novellas, articles and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and magazines, and he is editor of Cinema Macabre, a book of fifty horror movie essays, for which he won the 2007 British Fantasy Award.

New book deals for William King and Nathan Hawke

Here is the latest news, fresh from the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

William King has signed a major new deal with the Black Library for a Warhammer 40K series, The Macharian Trilogy, based within the Imperial Guard.

William King, born in Stranraer, is one of Black Library’s best-selling authors, with sales in excess of half a million books. His swords and sorcery series Gotrek & Felix and his Space Wolf novels have become a staple in the Black Library range. His short fiction has appeared in Interzone, Zenith, and a Year’s Best SF collection. He currently lives in Prague.

The trilogy will feature the high elf characters Tyrion and Teclis and the first volume, Blood of Aenarion, will be published in December 2011.

And there is also good news for British fantasy writer Nathan Hawke, who has signed a new three-book deal. The new series will features a hero that will appeal to fans of David Gemmell. The lead characters, Gallow, finds himself on the wrong side of wars, through his belief in honour.  As the series progresses, he must deal with the consequences of his actions and the truth of his relationships with others whose sense of honour is more tarnished than his own.

"Fantasy has been built on the exploits of those troubled, all too human men and women who have tried to make a difference, tried to do the right thing. Nathan’s conception of Gallow made it clear that here was a man who could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of them. It’s going to be great fun helping Nathan bring a new hero to a new generation of readers," commented Simon Spanton, Deputy Publishing Director of Gollancz, who acquired world rights to the series from John Jarrold.

All three books will be published in quick succession in 2013.

In September 2009 we interviewed John Jarrold asking him questions ranging from his love of books to the correct way to approach literary agents. It makes for fascinating reading and can be seen here.