In November of 2010, I spent two weeks writing. The result was ~100,000 words of an action adventure novel following Alrik Olvirson, the last Viking, on his journey out of exile in search of a cure for the Black Death.
Exactly a year on, in November of 2011, my book was selected by the Authonomy community for review by publishing house HarperCollins. You can go there and see the shiny medal it received, as well as read an excerpt of the book for free.
Now, HarperCollins have sent me their initial impressions, and importantly, have requested the full manuscript for consideration to be published.
This is a huge step forward in the journey toward publication, and I am confident that they will see the potential the book has to be a commercial success as well as a worthy original property in its own right.
Here is just some of what they had to say:
“Alrik, though a stoic barbarian figure, is a compelling protagonist, largely because he is a mythological figure in a new Europe he does not quite understand. He is powerful because of his hardened warrior ways, yet vulnerable to trickery and deceit in the complex, bustling cities ravaged by plague.
His quest – to find a cure for the Black Death – has a desperate edge to it, and we root for Alrik due to his stubbornness and drive as much as his children.
Indeed, characters are for the most part strong – Parsifal is the perfect contrast to Alrik, and allows you to play with subtlety, science and atheism, which add much needed depth to the journey.
Enemies are nicely sketched with positive attributes to make them compelling – Charles may be a fanatical Templar, but he doesn’t lack for bravery. The Bishop alternates between pious and broken, world-weary and prideful – mixed with his genuine concern for Charles after the duel. If anything, my strongest reaction to him was one of pity. I hope the ruler of Milan (who, fingers crossed, certainly is in league with dark magic!) is similarly complex and intriguing.
Overall, I loved the story so far and would be very interested in seeing the rest of this manuscript…”