A fantasy author from Horsham is thanking his former English teacher as his second book is now available to buy.
Sam Leeves’ new read ‘In the footsteps of the Behemoth’ has been published by Netherworld Books.
The 20 year old from Redford Avenue cites everything from The Catcher and the Rye to fantasy video games in his influences, but credits his Collyers A-level English teacher Martin Nichols for kicking him in the right direction.
“Martin read a creative writing assignment I did, where I rewrote an extract from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in the Style of Cormac McCarthy,” said Sam.
“He said he thought I understood the characters and expressed their emotions very well, and that I should send something to a publisher.
“So it’s my teacher to thank really.”
Following the modest sales of his first book ‘Endless Tides’, Sam was delighted to strike another deal with Netherworld Books.
Claire Ashton, Netherworld Books commissioning editor, said: “Sam’s approach to fantasy is refreshing, especially considering his age.”
“His stories have a pace and pathos which gives a sense of tragedy”
The publisher confirmed they have ‘great hopes for him’.
Talking of his new work, Sam said: “‘In the footsteps of the Behemoth’ is set on the same nameless planet as my first book but a thousand years later.”
“The continent has been torn apart by warlords and there’s a group of people hunting for a creature called the Behemoth, as they believe it will bring peace to the land.”
Sam, who works as a barista at Horsham’s Real Eating Co. in East Street, believes his new book is the perfect blend for fantasy lovers.
He is proud that it offers an alternative to repetitive ‘lets save humanity’ story-lines, as he believes it balances action with a comedic quirk that offers something unique.
Sam stressed how promoting his material had been harder than expected, but is more confident this time around, having built a greater online profile to help market his new title.
“I need to devote a lot more time to promotion as publishers are making a lot less money than they used to, so whilst they cover the printing costs, it’s down to me to promote it, but it’s do-able.”
Despite loving writing, the young author said that finding the time to write the new book had been challenging: “With the second book I’ve had to fit it around work, but if you love writing you find the time somehow.”
Sam said he enjoys hanging up his milk frother after a long days coffee making, and immersing himself in the fantasy world of his books.
“Writing is what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.
You can follow Sam’s eccentric insight into life on Twitter @CptSkyheart or via his blog: samleeves.blogspot.co.uk
‘In the footsteps of the Behemoth’ is available on Amazon for £8.99.