Monday, 21 March 2016

The Serpent King - crossing the finishing line


Over the last month or so I've been busy putting the finishing touches to The Serpent King. First there was the copy-edit to go through, and then the final proofs to check for those tiny errors that always lurk . . .

'How did we miss such obvious typo?' Cleo asked. 'We must have read this text fifty tims!'
Ryan shook his his head. 'It's a total mystery'.
I'm very grateful to all the people who've been involved; brilliant editors, copy-editors and proof-readers all play a vital part in making sure the book is as good as it can be.

And then, very excitingly, a chance to look through the rough versions of the forty chapter head illustrations by super-brilliant illustrator, Leo Hartas, and give feedback for the final versions.



I've been very lucky that Leo has illustrated all the books in both the Adventure Island and Secrets of the Tombs series.  For Secrets of the Tombs Leo has cleverly adapted the line drawing style to match the setting of each book.

For The Phoenix Code it was ancient Egyptian wall painting style;



 for The Dragon Path, Chinese wood cut style;


and for The Serpent King . . .  (sneak preview alert here!!!) Maya stone carving style;

In each case, the modern elements of the story are brilliantly combined with the traditional style to create mini works of art.

What's that you say? Why is Ryan licking ants in this picture? Good question. Well, there's a stray baby anteater and you know how Ryan can't resist puppy-dog-eyes from an animal in need and, . . . it's a long story . . . it will all become clear when you read The Serpent King.

Unfortunately, it won't be out until July, but you could always pre-order . . . 

As for me, coming to the end of a book, and in fact, a series, feels like crossing a finishing line . . .

Cambridge Half-Marathon:ok,not quite Eddie Izzard but still exciting to cross that line

Now it's time to start work on a whole new series!

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