It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly six months now since the release of The Riders of Thunder Realm. A lot has happened in that time, the least of which includes the book receiving some very generous reviews. The biggest thing – for my wife and me at least – was the birth of our son, Max.
Max is our first child, and we had all these ideas of how he would arrive in the world. He defied almost all of them, with an emergency c-section leading to a week spent in the NICU. I’m happy and relieved to say that he’s in the best of health now, but there were times where that was much less certain, and they were the scariest of my life.
In the midst of Max’s dramatic arrival, I was also writing and editing the second book in the Paladero series. Meeting deadlines proved to be a challenge between hospital visits, meeting with doctors and eventually making it home with a newborn to look after, but somehow those tricky waters were navigated and the manuscript was delivered.
And even more exciting than that – the cover reveal! This happened at the Centre for Youth Literature’s 2017 YA Showcase, as presented by my fantastic publisher Marisa Pintado. Not being very good at ze tweets, I tried to play it off like I was unaware of what was going on, with the intention of turning around and being all ‘Whoop! There it is!’ when the image finally dropped.
Mostly, though, I think I came off a bit bewildered, reinforcing to myself that I need to develop a new tweeting style that less resembles a certain spray-tanned autocrat’s; declarative statement, end on excited exclamation mark!
Ahem. I have, again, wandered off-topic. All of this is to say … Paladero Book 2 will be released in February 2017. It’s called The City of Night Neverending, which can be added to your Goodreads TBR list here. And this is its absolutely stunning cover, as once again provided by dynamo illustrator Jeremy Love:
And to do you one better, here’s the blurb:
Joss has always wanted to become a paladero, and now he finally has that chance. But before he can start training, the town is attacked by vicious pyrates who abduct half the villagers, including Joss’s best friend Edgar … and then vanish into thin air.
Joss has no choice but to forge alliances with merchant captains, merfolk and ancient creatures from the deep in an effort to rescue his fellow prentice – all while risking the paladero training he’s worked so hard for. But the stakes are even higher than he knows. Joss’s rescue mission will set him on a crash course with his own tragic past, and a mysterious figure he’s long-thought dead …
I still have the original pitch document for the Paladero series saved on my computer, where the plot for this book was originally allocated as belonging to the third entry in the series. The story demanded that it be moved forward, and I began writing it at the start of 2016, a year that would turn out to be horrible in so many ways and the absolute best in one very particular instance.
The thing that strikes me most is how a book that has so much to do with fathers and sons would be getting finalised, entirely by coincidence, just as I was becoming a father to a son.
Accordingly, I’ve dedicated it to Max. Hopefully he’ll get the chance to read it one day, and maybe even enjoy it. If he’s not too embarrassed by how mushy his dad is about him.
Happy holidays, everyone. Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it. And may the new year find you trying new things, making new friends, discovering new places, reading life-changing books, and dreaming the biggest and best dreams.
End on excited exclamation mark!