Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Relic Guild Blog Tour: Edward Cox Talks Writing and Teaching!

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

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls 100 feet high.

Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.

The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth - and the lives of one million humans - Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls.

The Relic Guild is published today in the UK, in eBook, trade paperback and audio book, by the amazing publisher Gollancz. It's Edward Cox's debut fantasy novel and my copy is calling to me as we speak! Oh and isn't the cover just brilliant?! I love it. Thanks to Edward for writing this post for me!

The Relic Guild is available as an eBook at the special price of £1.99 until September 25th, 2014.


by Edward Cox

During the 2012-2013 academic year, I lectured in creating writing at the University of Bedfordshire. It was my privilege to spend many hours in the company of keen-minded individuals, each of whom was eager to get better at what they did. Their passion fuelled my passion. They inspired me as I tried to inspire them. It was the beginning of a new career for me, and at the same university where I had earned a BA and MA in the subject I was lecturing. I’m very proud of the work I did there. However, I’ve known a lot of people who don’t trust writing courses of any kind, and their misgivings are not without some justification.
When I was searching for a suitable university running a creative writing degree, there were a few trapdoors that I successfully avoided. For example, anywhere promising to reveal the secret of how I could become the next J. K. Rowling deserved to be laughed at. The universities pretending that their creative writing courses really, honestly, weren’t English literature with a sparkly wrapper, were either clueless or sneaky little liars. And the worst offenders, the ones spinning their untruths to mislead the unwary into opening their wallets, were the courses claiming they could teach you how to write.
Any good writing course is founded upon a few basic rules that I embraced as a student, and imparted as a lecturer. The only person who can teach you how to write is you. Writing is a never-ending learning curve. The opinions you hear in workshops, in discussions and debates with your peers and lecturers, are subjective not definitive. Studying the works of other writers can be as fascinating as hell, but you won’t produce any work of your own unless you sit down and write it. And the icing on the cake: no one gets a book deal because they have a creative writing degree. Publishers don’t work like that. To get a book deal you need to write a book that’s worth publishing. And only you can achieve that.
The prime directive of a creative writing course should be to consider the individual first. There should be no prejudice towards style and genre, and students should have the freedom to write what they want to write. It’s about encouragement, support; it’s about fuelling passions and imagination; winding students up, and then sending them away to that lonely place where they’ll have to decide for themselves what writing means to them. It’s about getting beaten over the head with a work ethic and the reality that you will not become the writer you want to be unless you sit down and do it for yourself!
As I said, when I was lecturing in creative writing, it was the beginning of a new career. When my book was signed by Gollancz, I made the decision to take a few years out to focus on writing the sequels. But it’s certainly a job I’d like to go back to at some point. It really was a privilege to lecture those students, to fuel their passions, to spark their imaginations, and most importantly to impart the big truth that I would not be the one teaching them how to write.


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