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New mega deal for John Jarrold

21/02/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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John Jarrold has confirmed a World Rights deal with Simon Spanton of Gollancz for three fantasy novels by new US writer Robert V. S. Redick. Spanton pre-empted for a good six-figure sum in pounds sterling.

The first book in the series, The Red Wolf Conspiracy, will be published early in 2008. It is set largely aboard a huge, 600-year-old ship and takes in sorcery, murder and politicking, with a cast of believable characters ranging from a teenage ship’s boy and the ship’s captain, who is famed for his sadism, to a girl being offered up as a bride to a foreign prince by her emperor and her father, the new ambassador to that power - but not all is as it seems. Empires may fall, mighty spells may be unleashed, and a dead king may live again.

‘When I read this novel, I realised that it was one of the best intelligent fantasies I had seen in over ten years,’ said Jarrold. ‘Robert is an amazing storyteller - even his synopses are page-turners! - and his command of setting, plot and characterisation is wonderful, as is his imagination. I’m very pleased to have done this deal with Simon and Gollancz. Their track record with new writers in recent years is phenomenal, and I look forward to their plans for Robert!’

Simon Spanton said: ‘I fell in love with The Red Wolf Conspiracy very quickly. I’m really impressed with what Robert has done: this is an intelligent and immensely original fantasy. He takes chances, he is confident enough to hold things back from you, he knows exactly how and exactly when to throw the reader a surprise, whether it be a plot twist or a new facet to the world. This is a wonderfully entertaining and mature fantasy novel set in a superbly drawn and involving world. I’m delighted to be able to welcome Robert to Gollancz and very much look forward to launching his career with us.’

Redick works as the editor for the Spanish and French websites of Oxfam America and as an instructor in the International Development and Social Change program at Clark University. Born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, he lives in rural western Massachusetts. His unpublished novel Conquistadors was a finalist for the 2002 AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Award (under the title Wilderness). An excerpt was published in the 40th anniversary (2005) edition of Puerto del Sol.

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