Debut novelist Mark H. Williams to be published by Atomic Fez in 2013

Atomic Fez is delighted to announce details of a title for publication in the spring of 2013: Sleepless Knights by Mark H. Williams, with cover art by DC Comics and Vertigo artist Jimmy Broxton.

While Sleepless Knights is Mark Williams’ first novel, his writing has already been commissioned in the past by entities as diverse as BBC Cymru Wales TV and Radio, as well as Welsh National Opera, and the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford for whom he is also working on a future main stage adaptation.

Jimmy Broxton, whose work has graced the pages of Knight & Squire, Saucer Country and The Unwritten, will be providing his prodigious gifts to the outsides of Sleepless Knights, with a ‘concept sketch’ of the cover art already in hand.

“When I read the manuscript,” said Atomic Fez’s Publisher / Proprietor Ian Alexander Martin, “it was tough to remember it was a first novel by the author; it felt like something by a far more practised writer. I’m lucky to be trusted with the work.”

Tackling the Arthurian and ‘Knights of the Round Table’ legends was a daunting task which author Mark Williams undertook with respect and foreknowledge of its possibilities. “I’ve always loved the King Arthur legend,” says Mark. “For me, it’s the recipe for the perfect story.

“It’s got magic and monsters in spades,” he continued. “Incredible feats and outlandish quests. Heroes and villains, love and betrayal. Humour and scares, twists and turns. And, at its heart, a very human story of idealism and frailty; about the aspiration to create something good in this world, no matter how far you might fall short of it.”

Mark points to Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman as influences, calling them both “writers who inspired me with their entirely serious approach to comic fantasy. I started [during University] to develop a taste for novels like The Princess Bride – books that approach the fantasy genre with a spring in their step, a twinkle in their eye, and a strong story at their heart.”

About the Book:
It’s not easy being the man behind the myth.

Sir Lucas is butler to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the person who managed every epic legend behind the scenes. He’s the one who made sure each quest happened in the right place at the right time, and that everyone involved had comfortable accommodation for the weekend. The man whose average working day involved fighting dragons, defeating witches, banishing demons, and ensuring the Royal pot of tea never crossed the thin line separating ‘brewed’ from ‘stewed’. What’s more, 1,500 years after that golden age, he’s still doing it: here in modern Britain, right under our noses…

Through ten working days in the life of Sir Lucas the Butler, discover what really went on at Camelot. The story behind Lancelot’s affair with Guinevere. The truth about the quest for the Grail. And find out what happens one fateful day in June, when King Arthur and six of his knights are revealed as living among us. A revelation that brings about the return of Merlin and the end of the world, uncovering secrets from the past that King Arthur would rather stay buried, and forcing Lucas to confront the truth about his own unique and peculiar destiny. A destiny he will do anything to avoid, even if it means sacrificing the love of his life in the service of his master.

In short, the kind of crisis only the ultimate butler can resolve.