Godblind is my first book. When I say that, it’s the first that is actually going to be published. It’s been a long and often laborious process, and the period between February 2016 (when I signed with my agent Harry) and publication (June 2017) has been even more labour-intensive.
Edits are hard. Like, really hard. The author/editor relationship is built on trust. As in, when Natasha tells me I need to lose four POV characters, I trust that she’s right. I mean, I hate her a little bit for it, but then I calm down and realise that the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is this little thing called a professional editor who knows what the hell they’re talking about and if she says cut, then you damn well cut.
Love you, Tash.
So, Godblind is done and in the world. People are reading it. People are liking it. My Mum is reading it (this is the most terrifying thing in the world). My husband is reading it (much less terrifying – he has a more in depth understanding of my daily weirdness). It’s Goldsboro Books’s June Book of the Month, meaning they did a sprayed edges limited, signed first edition of 750 copies and it gets its own window display!
Some authors have also been kind enough to read and comment on Godblind:
“A brilliantly brutal debut from an exciting new voice in dark fantasy. Highly recommended!”—Michael R. Fletcher, author of Swarm and Steel and Beyond Redemption
“Intriguing, fast-paced, and grimly fiendish. . . . Godblind sweeps you up and doesn’t let you go.”—Edward Cox, author of The Relic Guild trilogy
“A fierce, bold, and epic novel, Stephens’s debut will leave blood on your hands, dirt beneath your nails, and the stench of battle clinging to your sweaty flesh. For fans of dark fantasy, this one comes highly recommended!”—Ronald Malfi, author of The Night Parade
Obviously, I couldn’t be more pleased with these comments, so I’m a happy writer right now.
So, what’s it all about?
Godblind is gritty, epic and dark, but never loses sight of the human relationships at the heart of the chaos. Gods and people do battle for the heart and soul of Rilpor and its inhabitants while Dom Templeson, warrior and prophet, faces a much larger challenge – he is the key to Rilpor’s downfall or survival, and in him, the gods take a particular – and messy – interest.
All Dom wants is a quiet life and the chance to fight for his home like the rest of his clan. Instead, he’s plagued with visions most people won’t believe and tormented by the mistake he made years before and which has put his life, his soul, and the world, in jeopardy. Poor bastard.
Meanwhile in the capital, political rivalry and nefarious schemes are afoot, which culminate in a crime shocking enough to bring the monarchy to its knees and the country under the sway of the Red Gods.
Inevitably, it comes down to a war for religious and personal freedom, and the men and women tasked with defending Rilpor from the ravages of the invading Mireces and their Rilporian traitor allies.
But Dom has a task of his own, and not even he knows whether it’s to aid, or to destroy, Rilpor and its gods.
To learn a little bit more about it, you can read Harper Voyager’s press release, below.
HarperVoyager has pre-empted rights to Godblind, a debut trilogy featuring strong female characters and black comedy in an intricate world.
Natasha Bardon, deputy publishing director at HarperVoyager, pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada for the Godblind trilogy by debut author Anna Stephens in a six-figure deal with Harry Illingworth at D H H Literary Agency.
Godblind is the first in a grimdark series reminiscent of Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence, according to HarperVoyager.
The publisher said the book is “set in a vast and intricate world, filled with strong female characters, black comedy and themes including religious fanaticism and political machinations.”
Bardon said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Anna is joining the Harper Voyager family. I’ve been looking in this area for a while and knew as soon as I started reading that this was exactly what I had been after – I had to have it. Anna is a superb talent, this book is fantastic and I couldn’t be happier to be publishing her.”
Stephens added: “It’s great to be surrounded with people who are as enthusiastic about Godblind as I am, and I’m particularly grateful to my agent Harry and to Natasha for taking a chance on a debut author.”
Illingworth said that Stephens had a “huge career” ahead of her. “It’s an ambitious story with powerful themes and Anna weaves multiple perspectives so expertly it’s hard to recognise this as a debut,” he added.
The book will be published in spring 2017.