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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Self-published Stonewylde scores!

The global rights for one of my favourite book series has been bought by publisher Orion/Gollancz, which will bring out the books from August 2011 in Australia.

I'm writing of course about the Stonewylde series by Kit Berry, which has to be one of the most successful UK self-publishing ventures in recent times.

Kit has done a tremendous job not only conceiving, writing, publishing and promoting the books (which will number five in all), but in securing a mainstream publishing deal after spending several years establishing an enthusiastic fan base, largely via the Internet.

The books themselves are highly original and engaging, and I for one will be lining up to secure book #4, Shadows at Stonewylde, to see what else lies ahead for its protagonists.

So what is Stonewylde?

It's an alternative community hidden away behind high boundary walls in a corner of Dorset, led by the charismatic Magus, and initially seems a haven of tranquillity and beauty. But it's not all idyllic. 

There is a secret at the magical heart of this seemingly perfect community - and a young girl and her mother are about to discover what it is.

The series begins with a young girl, Sylvie, who is slowly dying in a city hospital. She and her mother are extended the opportunity to visit Stonewylde and, after falling in love with the community, move there permanently after Sylvie's health dramatically improves.

But like any fairytale, a cost must be exacted for a cure, and Sylvie and her mother are slowly drawn in to the dark secrets that plague this seemingly perfect haven.

I gobbled up the first three books and have patiently waited a few years for book #4, which is close, oh so close, with author Kit Berry putting the finishing touches on it and getting ready to embark on book #5. 

As if that's not exciting enough, all the books will have fresh jacket cover art (see above) and will also be issued in hardback for collectors. Hardback! Yay!

And can I make a tiny confession? Not to be negative, but I think I prefer the original book cover art (see below) - so I will cherish my original self-published trio of books.

But will that stop me from acquiring the new-look books? Not a chance!

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