John Wordsworth, Commissioning Editor at Headline, has concluded a pre-emptive three-book World rights deal for an epic fantasy series by UK author Richard Ford with the agent John Jarrold. The first volume is provisionally titled Steelhaven and introduces a strong cast of characters in a fascinatingly constructed world and city setting.
Richard is a freelance editor and proof-reader who has just had his debut steampunk novel Kultus published by Solaris. “Iâ€™ve always loved fantasy that pushes the boundaries; that takes no prisoners and does what you least expect from the genre,” he said. “With Steelhaven I wanted to see what would happen if you took popular fantasy tropes and attacked them with modern concepts from TV and film. What if David Gemmellâ€™s Legend was mixed with HBOâ€™s The Wire? What if you took the characters from a Tarantino movie and stuck them in a fantasy metropolis on the brink of destruction?”
John Jarrold said: “Steelhaven blew me away. The interweaving storylines and varied characters drew me in from the first page, as did the fluid, involving prose and story-telling. I believe we are talking about a major new fantasy talent here, to rank with Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett and others.Â The immediate enthusiasm from John and his colleagues was wonderful and Iâ€™m delighted to conclude the agencyâ€™s first deal with Headline.”
“Steelhaven is about as edgy a fantasy as Iâ€™ve ever read,” said John Wordsworth. “It feels both modern and classic at the same time. I am absolutely thrilled that Richard is joining Headline and I canâ€™t wait to help unleash this monster upon the unsuspecting public.”