It’s almost time for The End of the Line to come out in ebook and audio. Here are a few things to know about the author…
I’ve been writing every day (well, almost every day) since I was 20. So that’s over 15 years!
I minored in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. This helped get me into the habit of writing every day, which is probably my most valuable takeaway for writing. I majored in Geographical Information Systems & Remote Sensing. I’m probably the only person in the UK to have that combination!
I wrote six novels before The End of the Line. All of them are terrible but one of them did get an offer of representation from an agent but they wanted me to tear the book down at start from scratch.
I have written a dozen short stories, most of them never got published but they sure attracted a lot of rejection letters from magazines and websites.
I passed an early draft of one of my short stories to a colleague. She liked it so much she asked me out! We’re now married.
I love stories. Give them too me in books, on the stage, in the cinema, as comics, as video games, even board games. If a medium tells a good story then I am there for it.
My first short story was published in 2008. They even paid me £10 for it. I don’t dare go back and read it.
It was May 2017 that I sent The End of the Line to agents. I sent to 27 agents and had 19 requests for the full manuscript and five offers of representation! I signed with my agent, Juliet Mushens in June 2017.
During the day, I work in marketing in publishing. Having worked for Usborne, Orion and Bounce, I have worked on campaigns for some of the UK’s biggest crime authors, including Ian Rankin, Michael Connolly and Linwood Barclay. I even did the marketing for the paperback of Keith Richards’ autobiography!
Thanks so much for reading, remember, you can have these links delivered right to your inbox by signing up to my newsletter. It even comes with a free short story!
Hello! Welcome to the inaugural Gray Williams / The End of the Line blog post. I plan to update this on a monthly basis and I’ll be filling it with things about me, the book, as well as writing tips and, well, anything else that’s on my mind.
But let’s start with the essentials. If you’re here, it’s probably to do with the book, so here’s a few things you should know about it…
The seed of the book came to me when I lived in a bedsit in Wood Green, London. The idea was ‘what if you were trapped with a psychic Hannibal Lecter?’.
It will be available all around the world in English in ebook from 8th July 2019 from Canelo with an audio book from Bolinda Publishing to follow. The ebook is available to pre-order now on Amazon and Apple, with more retailers coming up. News on the audio is very TBC at the moment but when I know, you’ll know. I’m afraid I don’t know who’s reading it yet.
The End of the Line took me roughly 10 years to write – though between the first draft and the last I have written a screenplay, a few other novels and a few short stories that were published.
It’s set in our world, but not as we know it. The book is set in the modern day with one small difference: magic is real and anyone can do it. Magic in TEOTL is like anything else in our world, like computer hacking or chemistry, anyone can do it and do it well if they take the time to learn it, but since it exacts a terrible cost and technology does many of the simpler things that magic can, most people don’t use it and don’t need to. Magic to these people as as real and ubiquitous as learning a second language. It is currently illegal to use in the UK but as the internet makes sharing spells and wards more easy, the issue is back on the debate table.
The main character is Amanda Coleman. Notorious in the criminal underworld, Amanda is known as one of the best heist-artists and con-women in business. She has an even bigger rep amongst illegal magic users (Abras) for killing her father, the legendary gangster David Coleman, when she was barely in her teens. Thanks to her father, she hates magic and would do anything not to use it. Not that she needs it, she’s smart enough to run rings around anyone who thinks they can take her on.
The story follows Amanda and the remnants of the gang she ran with. On the gang leader’s instructions, an ambitious Abra summoned a demon to help them pull the biggest of robberies. She quickly lost control of the creature and now most of the gang are dead or in hiding. With so few left, it’s fallen to Amanda to kill the thing – a task that everyone would say is impossible. With the thing in chains (how she did that is revealed later in the book), she and the dregs of the gang are taking It to the only place it can be banished, a ring of stones in the middle of nowhere of Siberia. But as the wards that keep the thing’s power in check, she and her crew have to wonder, is it trapped on there with them? Or are they trapped on there with it?
The book has been described as Reservoir Dogs meets American Gods, which I love. There are a lot of magical police and PIs out there. I wanted to write about the opposition. I would also compare it to Jim Butcher, John Connelly and Lauren Beukes’ Zoo City. Amanda Coleman would definitively give Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant a run for his money.
If you like books with heists, cons, magic, drama, arguments, action, demons, swearing and pace, I would say this book is for you.
The cover was designed by the amazing Tom Sanderson, who has also designed covers for Philip Pullman, James Patterson, Dan Brown, Charles Stross, Charlie Higson, Douglas Adams and more.
There will be a follow-up book set in the same world. I’m writing it right now and we hope it’ll come out January 2020.
There’s a short story available. A prequel of sorts, it follows another of Amanda’s jobs that didn’t entirely go to plan. You can download it right now, all you have to do is sign up to my newsletter.
It’s already proving popular! On submission to agents, I had five offers of representation before signing with the brilliant Juliet Mushens. Some lovely writers have already given it glowing reviews, including Linwood Barclay, Steve Cavanagh, Mason Cross, Mark Stay and Michael Miller.
If you have any more questions, then get in touch with me via the contact page or on Twitter. I’m more than happy to talk about my book, rather than bother people in the line at the coffee shop. If getting on the blog was too much effort, as I mentioned, you can get links delivered to your inbox by signing up to my newsletter.
Did I mention there was a short story in it for you?