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