The Serpent and the Dead, my first prose novel for Marvel Comics/Aconyte Books, is now published in paperback in the US (28 September 2021).
It’s already available in ebook worldwide (maybe you want to buy it?) but for me there’s still something a little bit magical about knowing my book exists in a physical format. The UK paperback is published on 11 November, so you lovely people don’t have much longer to wait if you, too, want a physical copy.
TS&TD was a 2020/21 lockdown project – I contacted Aconyte Books to submit my interest in writing for them, fully expecting that if they took me on at all, it would be in a non-Marvel IP, as they also produce tie-in fiction for a lot of games and other IPs. Instead, they not only offered me Marvel, but they offered me TWO of Agard’s most interesting – and under-represented (in my opinion) – characters! To say I struck lucky is an understatement.
It was a genuine privilege to be able to write Lady Sif and Brunnhilde the Valkyrie taking on ancient enemies and new foes across Asgard and Jotunheim, to give them agency and depth and nuance and, critically, for them to act and choose and fight without the permission or assistance of Asgard’s male heroes.
I deliberately added in moments where they examine how different their quest might have been like if they were accompanied by Thor or Heimdall, and I turned the historic ‘weakness’ of women – their capacity for emotion and empathy – into a critical strength. Was this a deliberate choice?
*Turns to camera*
What do you think?
Now, maybe there are some masculine readers who won’t like that, to which I say: each to their own. What’s significant, however, is that MARVEL did like it. And I’ll take that approval, thanks very much.
So, if you’re looking for a classic quest adventure, brimming with battles and magic and monsters, with Realm-jumping and emotions and friendship, plus a bit of girl on girl kissing, maybe The Serpten and The Dead is the book for you.
I hope you check it out, but if youn need a bit more encouragement, people have said some good things about it on Goodreads.