Got my ARC of The Heron Kings!

Got my ARC of The Heron Kings!

The Heron Kings by Eric Lewis dark fantasy debut novel grimdark author


I received the Advance Review Copy of The Heron Kings in the mail the other day. It’s weird, I always dreamed of physically holding my book in my hands for the first time, and this is…kinda that? It’s not anywhere near the final version–it’s full of typos and placeholder marks and the like. More like a prototype of the book. Still exciting, though. Between going over this and writing the intro to Tricks of the Blade, I probably won’t be making any progress on novel #2 this weekend.

So, about the cover. Yeah. I wasn’t really involved in the production of it, until the very end. The publisher sent me a late revision, which wasn’t quite what I had in mind. It was almost identical to this one, but the background was a kind of bright red-orange, and it had a different title font. I had an immediate, negative emotional reaction to it, and went a little bonkers begging my editor to change it. Embarrassing, really.

Luckily they were willing to make a few changes (on a weekend, no less) that in my opinion vastly improved it. I suggested that title font they ended up using, which is nice. But my agent said it reminded him of the old Twilight Zone title, and now I can’t unsee it. Thanks a lot, Nathan! Nah, just kidding. It’s much better to my eyes, and I’m grateful they were willing to make changes that they had absolutely no obligation to make. As an author, especially a debut author at the very bottom of the totem pole, you really have no authority over things like that, so finding a publisher who’s willing to work with you is a nice treat.

Going through the text, I realized a few things that I never did when reading on a screen. I use a lot of ellipses, a lot of interjection em dashes, a lot of dialogue and dialect. I mean I kind of knew these things, but it didn’t really hit me how much until reading it on paper. This is the part, I guess, where I start to panic, worry that my book really isn’t very good at all, and this is all just some big mistake that cannot possibly end well.  Scientists with advanced degrees are usually very well acquainted with impostor syndrome, and get pretty good at dismissing it after a time. But this is an entirely different area of endeavor, and I can’t shake the terrible fear that I’m in way over my head.

I managed to blow through the text in a day and a half, being pretty familiar with it. I noted 42 43 typos or errors within its 97,000 or so words. Not too shabby, considering the multiple wringers it’s been through. The cover lists it as publishing in April 2020, so we still have a bit of a ways to go. I hope you’ll come along with me to see the end, and maybe the beginning of an entirely new adventure…



heron kings logo The Heron Kings by Eric Lewis dark grimdark fantasy novel