Peter New­man

The Tea And Jeop­ardy co- writer step­ping into the world of epic fan­tasy

SFX - - Red Alert -

What would you write as The Va­grant’s cover blurb? Hope­fully this won’t seem like a cheat but I’d go for the blurb on the back of the book: “For more than a thou­sand years the crack in the ground known as the Breach has been watched. It was proph­e­sied that the Breach would one day open, spilling ter­ror. But as the cen­turies passed and that day did not come mankind low­ered its guard. And so the first in­vaders to float up from the depths end a sleepy thousandyear watch with screams and blood. When fi­nally an army ar­rives at the Breach, the en­emy are wait­ing…”

How long did you work on it?

I started writ­ing The Va­grant in 2011. It went through a num­ber of drafts and past my ( very lovely) test read­ers be­fore be­ing subbed in Au­gust 2013. It then went through an edit from my ( very lovely) agent and, af­ter Harper Voy­ager picked it up, it went through fur­ther ed­its with my ( also very lovely) edi­tor and copy edi­tor. I made the last changes to­wards the end of 2014.

Are there any fan­tasy tropes you’ve de­lib­er­ately tried to avoid in

The Va­grant? Not re­ally. It fea­tures singing swords, in­fer­nal knights and de­struc­tive en­er­gies wreak­ing havoc with the world. On the other hand it’s in a far fu­ture, post- de­monic apoca­lypse set­ting rather than some­thing based on me­dieval Europe. It also fea­tures a baby and a goat as main char­ac­ters. It’s not ex­actly a trope but I was mind­ful that in some fan­tasy, women only ap­pear as witches, bar­maids and princesses and I tried hard to avoid that.

Which SF/ fan­tasy au­thors would you like to be com­pared to in a dream re­view?

Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman and China Miéville. The Va­grant is pub­lished on Thurs­day 23 April by Harper Voy­ager.

New­man says he built The Va­grant’s world “very slowly”.

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