What’s happening with the Quinton series?
Right, that’s a long story… Recently, e-book editions of the entire series, plus print-on-demand versions of the two most recent titles (The Rage of Fortune and The Devil Upon the Wave), have been published by Endeavour Press, who did a great job with them. But Endeavour has encountered ‘a little local difficulty’, leading to the liquidation of the company, a process that rendered all contracts with them void. Don’t panic, though – I was in the fortunate and gratifying position of having several publishers being really keen to sign me, and after lengthy discussions with my agent, we’ve decided to sign up with Canelo, already a very successful e-book publisher with a very strong author list – including two fellow naval writers, Jonathan Lunn and the late Alexander Fullerton, whose work they’ve been promoting with tremendous success. They’ve expressed genuine prior knowledge of, and huge enthusiasm for, the series, so I hope it’s going to be a really fruitful relationship.
There will be a few temporary issues, though, and I’m sorry for these. For one thing, it’ll take Canelo a little while to reformat and republish all the titles, so there’ll be a brief period – hopefully very brief – where none of the Quinton titles are likely to be available as e-books on any platform. For another, Canelo aren’t currently producing print editions. But they’ve got plans to move in that direction in the near future, and are also hoping to make more of the titles available as audiobooks, something I know that many of you will welcome. So the message is…please be patient!
Meanwhile, though, and as if things weren’t complicated enough already, Old Street Publishing retain the traditional print rights to the first six titles – Gentleman Captain through to Death’s Bright Angel – and these should remain available in bookshops, on Amazon, etc.
All this means that I’m changing the information on the ‘contact’ page of this website to reflect the new situation. In a nutshell, this can be summarised as a plea to contact the publishers directly for information on the availability of the Quinton books, rather than contacting me – until things get sorted out and settle down, I’m unlikely to know more than you do!
What about availability outside the UK?
Again, please check with my publishers, or else with my agent, Peter Buckman!
So when will the next Quinton title come out, and what will it be about?
Canelo are very keen to publish further Quintons, but there’s a more immediate priority in the short term (see next question). However, I’m currently hoping to write the next book in the series over the winter…and if it all goes to plan, it’ll contain pirates and will be set in the Caribbean. However, my agent informs me that there might be some piffling little legal reason why I can’t use the obvious title.
What about the Tudor naval series you were meant to be writing?
I previously announced (here and here) a new set of Tudor naval stories that Endeavour would be publishing. The good news is that Canelo are very keen on this idea – so much so that we’ve agreed to recast them as a trilogy of conventional novels, rather than the three e-novellas, combined into one print book, which Endeavour would have brought out. In other words, I get a lot more words with which to develop characters and storylines, and to describe some terrific naval action spanning the era from the sinking of the Mary Rose to the defeat of the Spanish Armada! But as I’d already written the first story as a novella, I need to spend a little time expanding it into a full-length novel (i.e. the immediate priority in the short term that I mentioned above), and Canelo need to like the end result. So watch this space!
When will your next non-fiction book come out, and what will it be about?
Last year was pretty insane, with two Quinton titles and Kings of the Sea coming out in relatively short order. The latter also involved a great deal of work, and after it was published, I vowed that I wouldn’t embark on a new non-fiction project for at least a couple of years or so, in order to give myself a slightly quieter time for a while. But, of course, that doesn’t cover resuming work on an old non-fiction project! So I’ve finally restarted work on my book about the extraordinary Stepney family, which I’d put on the back burner for several years – partly because of other commitments, party because of the closure in controversial circumstances of the record office in Carmarthen, which contained most of the primary material (this blog, passim). I’m certainly not working flat out on this, especially as there’s no contractual deadline and I’m still intent on that slightly quieter time for a bit, but I’d certainly like to finish this sometime in the next 12-18 months, as the primary material in question is now available again, albeit temporarily in Cardiff, not Carmarthen. Of course, there’ll then be the search for a publisher, but I’ll worry about that in due course – as I’ve been working on this book on and off for about 20 years, simply finishing it will be the main objective!
Of course, sod’s law dictated that the moment I decided that I wouldn’t begin work on new non-fiction books for a couple of years, the ideas for two or three really juicy projects occurred to me. But I’m being good and keeping them on the back burner for the time being!
Couldn’t your website do with a makeover?
Definitely. I hope to address that in the near future.
Favourite crisp flavour?
OK, forget rugby, I meant favourite football team?