Ask the Author: Ed Cox

Thanks again to the wonderful people at Orion books, I interviewed debut author Ed Cox about his writing process and upcoming novel.

the relic guild

Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

Cox, with over a decade of writing behind him and a host of short stories, has decided to turn his hand to compelling fantasy fiction. Based in the UK, Cox has a BA 1st class with honours in creative writing, and a Master degree in the same subject. He then went on to teach creative writing at the University of Bedfordshire.

Described as ‘a highly commercial fantasy with a complicated heroine’, The Relic Guild is the first in an epic trilogy, following a young woman who must control her magic and escape her prison. According to Cox himself, ‘The Relic Guild is a story about intrigue, isolation, magic and adventure. It’s about people doing the right thing even when they’ve been given every reason not to.’

Set in an amazingly visualised city with a host of memorable characters, The Relic Guild is a must-read for lovers of adventure, mystery, magic and monsters, and complex characters.

The Relic Guild will be published on September 18th by Gollancz, in trade paperback, e-book and audiobook. The digital edition will be available for £1.99 until the 25th September.

According to Cox, it was only a matter of time before he caught the writing bug:

As far back as I can remember I’ve always had a love for stories.

He quotes the Ray Harryhausen movies as an early inspiration, but reading David Gemmell showed him how much he wanted to write fantasy stories. Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter and Tad Williams are also his literary heroes.

Like many authors, Cox says that his ideas come from everywhere and anywhere:

A conversation, a story that didn’t go in the direction I thought it would, walking, driving, having a bath, cooking dinner, TV – anywhere. I’ve learned not to go looking for story ideas; they’ll just come to me when they feel like it. This sounds like I’m being glib, but the harder I try to force ideas the less likely they are to happen. In fact, every time I stress about any aspect of writing I just end up making it tougher for myself.

Cox’s tip for aspiring writers is that it’s important to keep your perspective focused on what you’re creating.

The story always comes first. Focus on that and nothing else until it is as good as you can make it. Then get your story read, get some feedback, and then make it even better. Only when it’s finished should you concern yourself with agents and publishers. I say this from experience. There have been times when I’ve written with one eye on getting published and making money. The work suffers for it, and I always fall flat on my face.

The amount of waiting, and patience required, is what Cox would have liked to have known before he was published.

It’s taken 18 months for The Relic Guild to be published, but it has felt like my desk chair has been on fire since the moment I signed the contract. Patience is an important part of a book deal, but not always easy to find, and you go through a whole host of emotions waiting for publication day. And then, of course, publication day comes around and you panic. There’s suddenly a shedload of work to do, and you worry that you’re not prepared for it at all! It’s all part of the fun.

Cox is currently waiting for his editor to send back the edits on book two of The Relic Guild, and then for the next year or so he’ll be writing book three. He’ll be making an appearance at Goldsboro Books in London on the 18th of September for the official launch.

He’s currently reading Happy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams, and will move on to Banished by Liz de Jager next.

The Relic Guild will be available on Lovereading.co.uk from 18th September, the UK’s No 1 book recommendation website.

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