Friday, 11 December 2015

Launching a signature list with Genghis Khan

Not with the warrior himself, since he's been dead for almost eight hundred years. But if the great Khan's spirit is still around, then I'm hoping he'll approve of my new series of novellas The Legend Of Genghis Khan.


These books are being launched under my middle initial 'Katherine A Roberts' because they're intended for a slightly older readership than my middle grade and teen titles. They're also my first venture into independent publishing - hence the 'signature' list. (Well, supermarkets have one, so why not authors?) In this case, it simply means the kind of book that came from my heart, as opposed to the sort of book preferred by publishers that's easy to market and might sell a million copies if they're lucky and the wind is in the right direction. It also means I have to do everything myself, which is why this one has been so long in coming! I started writing the story back in 2006, but in those days there was no way to get the book into readers' hands without a publishing contract, and nobody I knew possessed an e-reader.

All that has changed. The first title Prince of Wolves is available now as an ebook for Kindle, with epub and print on demand versions to follow.

A yurt (or ger) on the Mongolian steppe
Picture credit: Adagio at English Wikipedia (Original text: en:User:Adagio) Wikimedia Commons

The legend is based on a fascinating 13th century prose-poem known as The Secret History of the Mongols, in which spirits walk the steppe alongside the human characters, and shamans play violins fashioned from the skulls of stallions. Horses don't feature as prominently in these books as they do in my historical novel about Alexander the Great I am the Great Horse, since Genghis Khan lived a lot longer than Alexander did, built a larger empire, and would have ridden many of the tough little steppe horses in his time. But his people measured their wealth in horses, so even when his family is exiled after his father's murder they are allowed to keep their small herd of silver-bay geldings... until raiders steal them and the boy Temujin rides out alone to get them back, on the way recruiting the first of his loyal warriors who will help him avenge his father's death and set him on the path to become the leader of all the 'people who live in felt tents'.

Each book in the series is told from the viewpoint of a different character, starting in Prince of Wolves with the young Genghis Khan himself, then known by his childhood name of Temujin. The series continues in book two from the point of view of the Khan's young wife Borta, and finishes with his blood brother Jamukha's version of events. I was going to publish this project as one long book, but early readers found the three interwoven first-person viewpoints confusing, especially when the wolf spirit starts to appear! So I have decided to return to my original concept and publish it as three novellas each covering the same 12 year period, which means these books can be read alone from the viewpoint of your favourite character, or read together as part of a trilogy to add depth to the story.

Book 1: Prince of Wolves (Temujin's story)
Book 2: Bride of Wolves (Borta's story)
Book 3: Blood of Wolves (Jamukha's story) - coming soon!

You can download these ebooks from amazon UK for £1.99 or from amazon US for $2.99. They are also available from the other amazon stores in the English language.

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