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  1. #1
    Registered User AJS's Avatar
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    The Black Guard by AJ Smith

    [QUOTE=Symbolic;709590]
    Quote Originally Posted by AJS View Post

    Very cool to have you here ,welcome! (if it really is A J Smith )

    P.S. - Could you tell us a little more about your series ?
    www.headofzeus.co.uk

    I think it's on page 14 of their new catalogue.

    It's about the relationship between men and gods... how the machiavellian scheming of timeless immortal giants translates to common folk and nobles.
    I think I originally described it thusly: "A tale of clerics, knights, assassins, death and Lovecraftian monsters."

    Although, I'm pretty **** at describing my own work... hence I have an agent. I'm just getting used to people actually being interested in what I have to say. Writing, it seems, is not a great career for people who are uncomfortable with compliments

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJS View Post

    www.headofzeus.co.uk

    I think it's on page 14 of their new catalogue.

    It's about the relationship between men and gods... how the machiavellian scheming of timeless immortal giants translates to common folk and nobles.
    I think I originally described it thusly: "A tale of clerics, knights, assassins, death and Lovecraftian monsters."

    Although, I'm pretty **** at describing my own work... hence I have an agent. I'm just getting used to people actually being interested in what I have to say. Writing, it seems, is not a great career for people who are uncomfortable with compliments
    Actually,i did read the blurb from the catalogue,that's how i hunted down the book cover that you posted on twitter,i couldn't find your site/blog.

    So,apart from the official blurb,what more can you tell us ?

    Is it a traditional epic fantasy ? a coming-of-age story ? is it more character driven than plot/action driven ?

  3. #3
    Registered User AJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symbolic View Post
    Actually,i did read the blurb from the catalogue,that's how i hunted down the book cover that you posted on twitter,i couldn't find your site/blog.

    So,apart from the official blurb,what more can you tell us ?

    Is it a traditional epic fantasy ? a coming-of-age story ? is it more character driven than plot/action driven ?

    It's hard fantasy. There are no heroes with magic swords... they were all killed by anti-heroes with bad attitudes.

    It intertwines different character stories across the lands of men as they deal with the latest move in "The Long War." Though most of them have no idea that their actions are dictated by the Gods.
    The idea that the kingdoms of men are but a cough in the geological time of the world is a key theme and the characters are reminded of this by the monsters who share their world.

    The scope is epic, but the tone is gritty and character driven... I hope

    AJS

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJS View Post
    It's hard fantasy. There are no heroes with magic swords... they were all killed by anti-heroes with bad attitudes.

    It intertwines different character stories across the lands of men as they deal with the latest move in "The Long War." Though most of them have no idea that their actions are dictated by the Gods.
    The idea that the kingdoms of men are but a cough in the geological time of the world is a key theme and the characters are reminded of this by the monsters who share their world.

    The scope is epic, but the tone is gritty and character driven... I hope

    AJS
    So,it's sort of more in the tradition of Abercrombie,Mark Lawrence etc. ? How many books will there be in the series ? Also,is the setting faux medieval ? Multiple-POV's ?

    Sorry for all these questions. , but i always get excited when i hear about a new author/debut book .

  5. #5
    Registered User AJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symbolic View Post
    So,it's sort of more in the tradition of Abercrombie,Mark Lawrence etc. ? How many books will there be in the series ? Also,is the setting faux medieval ? Multiple-POV's ?

    Sorry for all these questions. , but i always get excited when i hear about a new author/debut book .
    Nah, it's cool... I'm just concerned that my answers are rubbish.

    The world it's set in is stoooopidly detailed, with well-defined heraldry and geography. It's somewhat analogous to medieval europe. Influences wise, I'm steeped in Feist, Clive Barker and Lovecraft... but with more swearing and violence. I've not read The First Law, but I've been told my stuff's in a similar vein.

    There are four books, but HOZ are splitting them each in two (they were quite long), so it'll be eight books in total. The first two, THE BLACK GUARD and DAUGHTER OF THE WOLF will be coming out together in a collectors hardback.

    And, yeah, there are multiple "eye ball" characters (who are not always main protagonists) who experience the story. They all intersect at various points.

    AJS

    LL Cool Smith to his friends.
    Last edited by AJS; January 30th, 2013 at 05:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJS View Post
    Nah, it's cool... I'm just concerned that my answers are rubbish.

    The world it's set in is stoooopidly detailed, with well-defined heraldry and geography. It's somewhat analogous to medieval europe. Influences wise, I'm steeped in Feist, Clive Barker and Lovecraft... but with more swearing and violence. I've not read The First Law, but I've been told my stuff's in a similar vein.

    There are four books, but HOZ are splitting them each in two (they were quite long), so it'll be eight books in total. The first two, THE BLACK GUARD and DAUGHTER OF THE WOLF will be coming out together in a collectors hardback.

    And, yeah, there are multiple "eye ball" characters (who are not always main protagonists) who experience the story. They all intersect at various points.

    AJS

    LL Cool Smith to his friends.
    Thanks for all the details.Two last questions:

    1. What will be the publishing schedule ? 1 book/year ? (i'm assuming you have finished writing the series )

    2. Will there be a map ?
    Last edited by Symbolic; January 30th, 2013 at 05:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User AJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symbolic View Post
    Thanks for all the details.Two last questions:

    1. What will be the publishing schedule ? 1 book/year ? (i'm assuming you have finished writing the series )

    2. Will there be a map ?

    I've written the first six (three originally). I think the plan is to bring out two a year.

    And, yes, I like a good map myself... In fact, there are likely to be three maps at the front... The Lands of Ranen, The Lands of Ro and The Lands of Karesia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJS View Post
    I've written the first six (three originally). I think the plan is to bring out two a year.

    And, yes, I like a good map myself... In fact, there are likely to be three maps at the front... The Lands of Ranen, The Lands of Ro and The Lands of Karesia.
    oh,excellent,2 books/year is pretty good (other publishers have done this too),it maintains reader interest as compared to long gaps between books.

    3 maps are def. better than 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJS View Post
    I've written the first six (three originally). I think the plan is to bring out two a year.

    And, yes, I like a good map myself... In fact, there are likely to be three maps at the front... The Lands of Ranen, The Lands of Ro and The Lands of Karesia.
    Any chance we will see an excerpt soon? And the maps? I'm a total map-fanatic

  10. #10
    Registered User AJS's Avatar
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    The Black Guard by AJ Smith

    Through forum naivety I posted a bunch o' junk about my debut novel in another thread. I have since been informed that this is the proper place for self-promotion.

    Hi...

    I'm AJ Smith and the first four novels of THE LONG WAR are being published by Head of Zeus, with THE BLACK GUARD coming out on August 1st. Their new catalogue can be seen here www.headofzeus.co.uk. I think I'm on page 16.

    It's hard, character-driven fantasy with the struggles of men against gods as the central theme. The secondary world in which it's set is huge and has well-defined heraldry and history. The maps themselves have been knocking around in one form or another for ten years or more... as have some of the characters.

    I prefer influences to comparisons, so I'll say that THE LONG WAR is influenced by Raymond E Feist, H.P Lovecraft, George RR Martin and, to some extent, Clive Barker.

    "In the long ages of deep time, uncountable millenia before the rise of men, there lived a race of Giants..."

    I'll post more as and when interesting things occur to me.

    @Smith23AJ

    Rock on!

    AJS

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    Hi again

    Great that you opened this thread,now i can ask away

    So,how did you come to be introduced to genre fiction ? Do you only write fantasy or will you write SF in future also ? Which contemporary SFF authors have most impressed you ? Do you have a website/blog ?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Anglachel View Post
    Any chance we will see an excerpt soon? And the maps? I'm a total map-fanatic
    This sounds like exactly what I've been hunting for! I also would like to know if we can expect an excerpt anytime soon??????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lordwalker View Post
    This sounds like exactly what I've been hunting for! I also would like to know if we can expect an excerpt anytime soon??????
    I'll see if I can sort out an appropriate excerpt in the next few days.

    AJS

  14. #14
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Hi AJ

    Will US readers see the book from a publisher this side of the pond?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJS View Post
    I'll see if I can sort out an appropriate excerpt in the next few days.

    AJS
    Nice!

    Now, for those maps.... WHAT?! If you tease us with telling us that you have more than one map, what do you expect??!!? ;D

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