Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Audio Book of Banquo's Son (aka a post about reading aloud)

I've been an English teacher for a long time and I don't recall a time I wasn't able to tame a class of wild animals year 10 boys or disinterested Y12 girls with a story read out loud. In fact, I have read the entire book of To Kill A Mockingbird at least 15 times, scores of Shakespeare's plays (with accents when I can though I usually hand the job over to more capable readers) as well as lots and lots of novels over and over as each new year brings a fresh batch of readers.

This morning, the audio copies of Banquo's Son arrived via the courier. Produced by Brilliance Audio and performed by Napoleon Ryan, I knew that there was a very good chance it was going to be excellent (I have a number of Brilliance Audio books on my laptop and phone and I've been stalking Napoleon Ryan since I learned he would be the reader).

I was nervous because the voice of Fleance has been in my head for so long. How would it feel to hear it out loud? Would I be disappointed? Would Napoleon 'get it right'?

Well, the dogs didn't know what to make of my squeals of delight as each new 'voice' came on but it was when Fleance spoke, I whooped with joy. Even the hubby was grinning.

It is so good. No, the audio is awesome. Napoleon makes me sound like such a great writer. Thanks to him and the team at Brilliance Audio. You've made my day, week, year.

I love reading, I love reading out loud to others, and I love being read to. Long car trips or bus rides, long walks, times waiting, all empty spaces of time are coloured in with the beauty of audio books.

Here's a wee taste of the audio

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Count down to international release of Banquo's Son

In less than 20 days, Fleance and his adventures will become available to readers in the UK and the US. In anticipation, my publisher Thomas & Mercer are offering a Good Reads giveaway 

It's been very satisfying having the chance to tweak the books but also interesting to see how much I have 'grown' (read: improved) as a writer.

When the advance copies arrived (all the way from Seattle, home of 'Grey's Anatomy'), it felt for me like they were tangible evidence that my life had shifted back onto the road of writer I had left behind to become a teacher. (Don't get me wrong - I have adored my career as a teacher. Students energise me!)

The other thing I recognised as I held one of the books is that it was a symbol of so many joys and tears and disappointments and jubilations since September 2008 when I woke from the dream which began Banquo's Son. The book represents the unworded story of faithful friends and staunch supporters of the potential of the narrative and its characters as well as the writer (me who penned it). In particular, I would like to acknowledge Vicki Marsdon, who first got excited about the story and Josh Getzler who became my wonderful agent, as the cheerleaders who drove me the book toward a world wide audience.

It takes huge commitment and persistence to be a writer or to do writing (the more active phrase). When you look at these books, you see pretty and new and, hopefully, when you open to read, you won't see the working parts because of the incredible skill of the editors, my agent, my faithful gaggle of 'babes', my family - all who helped me knock this book into touch. To them: Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa (thank you, thank you. thank you, all).

When I look at this book, I can't avoid seeing the shadow of a small stone of dried grief that sits to the side of the whole writing of the trilogy because I continued to write Fleance's story through very very hard times - battling with a close family member's ill mental health as a result of inexplicably bad behaviour of a few in position of power and the repercussions to me personally of standing up to injustice. We all got through it and the years of suffering and, like my characters (who had it much worse), we became better people: wiser, stronger, and, for me, a deeper faith in God.

So I like happy endings and there are happy endings to this as well. The family member is healthy and flourishing, as am I. The books are set to reach the world. Let this post be a lesson/reminder/encouragement - never lose hope; never give up. Langston Hughes says it better:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Crown of Blood and Honour

The release of books one and two (Banquo's Son and Bloodlines) is approaching and rapidly. Book one has had a thorough review and tweaking and book two is now about to get a good going over. Here are the new covers of the novels and I'm utterly delighted. Go here to pre-order in kindle, hardback, paper back and/or audio.
Publication date August 16th

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Banquo's Son novels go international

It's been a very long wait but my faithful agent never gave up and has now found the perfect international home for my boy, Fleance, and his friends. Here's the press release:

General Fiction, Digital
Longtime New Zealand best-selling author T.K. Roxborogh's 2010 New Zealand Award winning BANQUO'S SON, beginning ten years after Macbeth; following Fleance, who escaped the chaos in the castle and fled to England, where he was raised by another dispossessed family. Now his destiny, in the form of Prince Duncan, comes calling, and Banquo's Son begins an adventure that takes him from the backwoods of Northern England to the Royal Court of Scotland. To Emilie Marneur at Thomas & Mercer, in a two-book deal by Josh Getzler at HSG Agency. (World) (Film/TV: Jgetzler@hsgagency.com)

Thomas and Mercer has shown itself to be a powerful force in the publishing world, particularly with its successful publications of such historical novels as Oliver Poetsch's Hangman's Daughter series and EM Powell's Fifth Knight books. With the power of Amazon behind it, it now has the chance to replicate that success with Banquo's Son.

Roxborogh's agent, Josh Getzler, says: "I've been waiting quite a while to see Banquo's Son released around the globe, and I'm just so pleased and excited that everyone is going to be able to understand what New Zealand readers have known for years: TK Roxborogh's books are exciting, compulsively readable, emotional, and marvelous. I can't wait to see how the market reacts."

Editor, Emilie Marneur, says: "I'm thrilled at the prospect of working with you Tania and publishing Banquo's Son this year. I absolutely loved it! It's beautifully written, magical, emotional, epic... It has so many facets and had me hooked from the very first pages...it was a beautiful story – ambitious, emotional, very well written, great vibrant characters…"

Banquo's Son will be published in August 2015 and Bloodlines will be published in January 2016