While Sleepless Knights is Mr. Williams’s first novel, his writing has already been commissioned in the past by entities as diverse as BBC Cymru Wales TV and Radio, as well as Welsh National Opera, and the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford for whom he is also working on a future main stage adaptation.
Jimmy Broxton, whose work has graced the pages of Knight & Squire, Saucer Country and The Unwritten, will be providing his prodigious gifts to the outsides of Sleepless Knights, with a ‘concept sketch’ of the cover art already in hand.
Mr. Broxton’s contribution brings ‘the final piece of the puzzle’ for a project that has been quietly bubbling away at Atomic Fez Publishing for nearly a year.
“When I read the manuscript,” said Atomic Fez’s Publisher/Proprietor Ian Alexander Martin, “it was tough to remember it was a first novel by the author; it felt like something by a far more practised writer. I’m lucky to be trusted with the work.”
Tackling the Arthurian and ‘Knights of the Round Table’ legends was a daunting task which author Mark H. Williams [left] undertook with respect and foreknowledge of its possibilities. “I’ve always loved the King Arthur legend,” says Mr. Williams. “For me, it’s the recipe for the perfect story.
“It’s got magic and monsters in spades,” he continued. “Incredible feats and outlandish quests. Heroes and villains, love and betrayal. Humour and scares, twists and turns. And, at its heart, a very human story of idealism and frailty; about the aspiration to create something good in this world, no matter how far you might fall short of it.”
Mr. Williams points to Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman as influences, calling them both “writers who inspired me with their entirely serious approach to comic fantasy. I started [during University] to develop a taste for novels like The Princess Bride–books that approach the fantasy genre with a spring in their step, a twinkle in their eye, and a strong story at their heart.”
“For my money”, states Mr. Martin, “this marks a start for a new, great author’s exposure to the world’s readers.”
About the Book: Sleepless Knights!
It’s not easy being the man behind the myth.
Sir Lucas is butler to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the person who managed every epic legend behind the scenes. He’s the one who made sure each quest happened in the right place at the right time, and that everyone involved had comfortable accommodation for the weekend. The man whose average working day involved fighting dragons, defeating witches, banishing demons, and ensuring the Royal pot of tea never crossed the thin line separating ‘brewed’ from ‘stewed’. What’s more, 1,500 years after that golden age, he’s still doing it: here in modern Britain, right under our noses…
Through ten working days in the life of Sir Lucas the Butler, discover what really went on at Camelot. The story behind Lancelot’s affair with Guinevere. The truth about the quest for the Grail. And find out what happens one fateful day in June, when King Arthur and six of his knights are revealed as living among us. A revelation that brings about the return of Merlin and the end of the world, uncovering secrets from the past that King Arthur would rather stay buried, and forcing Lucas to confront the truth about his own unique and peculiar destiny. A destiny he will do anything to avoid, even if it means sacrificing the love of his life in the service of his master.
In short, the kind of crisis only the ultimate butler can resolve.
About the Author: Mark H. Williams!
Mr. Williams is a screenwriter, playwright and novelist. He’s written two UK-touring stage adaptations for The Birmingham Stage Company – Horrible Histories: The Frightful First World War (nominated for a Manchester Evening News Award, “Best Family Show”) and Horrible Science.
He’s written for BBC Cymru Wales TV and Radio, as well as Welsh National Opera; the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford; Sherman Theatre / Sherman Cymru; Cwmni Theatr 3D; The Desperate Men Theatre Company; and Dirty Protest. Mark is under commission to Theatr Iolo for a new play for a family audience, touring Wales in the summer of 2013. He’s also currently working on a main stage adaptation for the Courtyard Theatre Hereford, and research & development with Cartoon De Salvo and National Theatre Wales.
About the Artist: Jimmy Broxton!
Mr. Broxton is a UK based graphic artist, illustrator and designer. He is best known for his work on DC/Vertigo’s “The Unwritten” with Mike Carey; Paul Cornell’s “Knight and Squire” six issue mini series also for DC comics (collected in Batman: Knight and Squire), and most recently a run of short stories for Dark Horse Comics Presents, working with writer by Martin Conaghan. His hobbies include: cooking, cycling, boxing, and pretending to be somebody else.