Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Count down to international release of Banquo's Son

In less than 20 days, Fleance and his adventures will become available to readers in the UK and the US. In anticipation, my publisher Thomas & Mercer are offering a Good Reads giveaway 

It's been very satisfying having the chance to tweak the books but also interesting to see how much I have 'grown' (read: improved) as a writer.

When the advance copies arrived (all the way from Seattle, home of 'Grey's Anatomy'), it felt for me like they were tangible evidence that my life had shifted back onto the road of writer I had left behind to become a teacher. (Don't get me wrong - I have adored my career as a teacher. Students energise me!)

The other thing I recognised as I held one of the books is that it was a symbol of so many joys and tears and disappointments and jubilations since September 2008 when I woke from the dream which began Banquo's Son. The book represents the unworded story of faithful friends and staunch supporters of the potential of the narrative and its characters as well as the writer (me who penned it). In particular, I would like to acknowledge Vicki Marsdon, who first got excited about the story and Josh Getzler who became my wonderful agent, as the cheerleaders who drove me the book toward a world wide audience.

It takes huge commitment and persistence to be a writer or to do writing (the more active phrase). When you look at these books, you see pretty and new and, hopefully, when you open to read, you won't see the working parts because of the incredible skill of the editors, my agent, my faithful gaggle of 'babes', my family - all who helped me knock this book into touch. To them: Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa (thank you, thank you. thank you, all).

When I look at this book, I can't avoid seeing the shadow of a small stone of dried grief that sits to the side of the whole writing of the trilogy because I continued to write Fleance's story through very very hard times - battling with a close family member's ill mental health as a result of inexplicably bad behaviour of a few in position of power and the repercussions to me personally of standing up to injustice. We all got through it and the years of suffering and, like my characters (who had it much worse), we became better people: wiser, stronger, and, for me, a deeper faith in God.

So I like happy endings and there are happy endings to this as well. The family member is healthy and flourishing, as am I. The books are set to reach the world. Let this post be a lesson/reminder/encouragement - never lose hope; never give up. Langston Hughes says it better:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Crown of Blood and Honour

The release of books one and two (Banquo's Son and Bloodlines) is approaching and rapidly. Book one has had a thorough review and tweaking and book two is now about to get a good going over. Here are the new covers of the novels and I'm utterly delighted. Go here to pre-order in kindle, hardback, paper back and/or audio.
Publication date August 16th

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Banquo's Son novels go international


It's been a very long wait but my faithful agent never gave up and has now found the perfect international home for my boy, Fleance, and his friends. Here's the press release:


General Fiction, Digital
Longtime New Zealand best-selling author T.K. Roxborogh's 2010 New Zealand Award winning BANQUO'S SON, beginning ten years after Macbeth; following Fleance, who escaped the chaos in the castle and fled to England, where he was raised by another dispossessed family. Now his destiny, in the form of Prince Duncan, comes calling, and Banquo's Son begins an adventure that takes him from the backwoods of Northern England to the Royal Court of Scotland. To Emilie Marneur at Thomas & Mercer, in a two-book deal by Josh Getzler at HSG Agency. (World) (Film/TV: Jgetzler@hsgagency.com)

Thomas and Mercer has shown itself to be a powerful force in the publishing world, particularly with its successful publications of such historical novels as Oliver Poetsch's Hangman's Daughter series and EM Powell's Fifth Knight books. With the power of Amazon behind it, it now has the chance to replicate that success with Banquo's Son.

Roxborogh's agent, Josh Getzler, says: "I've been waiting quite a while to see Banquo's Son released around the globe, and I'm just so pleased and excited that everyone is going to be able to understand what New Zealand readers have known for years: TK Roxborogh's books are exciting, compulsively readable, emotional, and marvelous. I can't wait to see how the market reacts."

Editor, Emilie Marneur, says: "I'm thrilled at the prospect of working with you Tania and publishing Banquo's Son this year. I absolutely loved it! It's beautifully written, magical, emotional, epic... It has so many facets and had me hooked from the very first pages...it was a beautiful story – ambitious, emotional, very well written, great vibrant characters…"

Banquo's Son will be published in August 2015 and Bloodlines will be published in January 2016

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The uncomfortableness of working/writing for future reward(s)

I haven't written on this blog because there has been no new 'news'. Very soon, however, there WILL be NEWS about Banquo's Son's next adventure. Before that happens, I have some thoughts about the logistics of writing as an occupation to generate a living income.

In my immediate past life, I wrote in the gaps between my 'real job' as an English teacher. In 2014, I was a student again thanks to a generous teaching award which allowed me to go to university full time on my teacher's salary. This year, as a result of the NEWS above, I am not going back into the classroom but will finish my degree (a paper per semester) and WRITE BOOKS - at least two with major research and drafting of another.

Therein lies the thing I'm having difficulty getting my head around/used to: spending my working/writing time on something that will not yield income for at least two years - if at all. Yet, I need to do the work now because
a) like my vegetable garden(*) where I need to plant for there to be plants to eat in the coming months, I have to actually write something for there to be a book to consider publishing
and
b) if I don't get the stories written, I think my head will explode (or my husband and children take up nagging me to 'just write the damn thing!' again).

As a self-confessed impatient procrastinator, I'm feeling uncomfortable in this position. I hate waiting for things. I'm much better with deadlines and commitments but the truth of my situation is this:
I need to produce the goods first before the potential publishers of these books will make a commitment to them. 

However, such is the fickle/uncertain world of publishing (esp in New Zealand) there are no guarantees that a project I spend two years on will be produce a bumper harvest like my awesome crop radishes or fizzle away to nothing (like my pathetic capsicum plants and dying lemon tree).

Many of us have written novels, plays and stories that don't get to see the light of day. I call these my unborn babies. Some of us get these works almost to the contract stage only to have them falter at the last minute. It's so discouraging but we keep going.

So, like the seeds and seedlings I plant in the best soil I can cultivate, I jot down plot outlines, do the research, talk to my agent and my editor(s) and hope that pushing myself to go into my library (with coffee, chocolate, lap top and cat) to bang out words, will, in a few years time, produce an outcome where the world gets to see the results.

I have got to have faith in myself and the hope that today's effort will reap a bountiful harvest in future.

(*) the overwrought gardening metaphor is because I now have TIME to grow vegetables. In fact, the husband has noticed that the garden, the housework, the repairs, and all manner of little jobs, are getting done whereas the times spent with my butt on the writing chair are few and far between. I fear I am going to run out of things to distract me from the call of my characters who are currently lurking down the other end of the house.
A new planting: broccoli, spring onions, lettuce and, at the back, ready to eat mint, parsley, chives, basil and rosemary.