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Gloucester author Christopher Byford signs publishing deal with HarperCollins

All Areas > Entertainment > Literature

Author: Patrick Baines, Posted: Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 09:00

Christopher Byford Christopher Byford

Christopher Byford says he’s realised a lifelong dream after signing a multiple book deal to get his ‘Gambler’s Den’ book series published by HarperCollins.

Christopher, a resident of Gloucester, was approached by HarperCollins who were keen to speak to him about his debut fantasy western series. “It came completely out of the blue really,” says Christopher. “The phone rang, I spoke with a representative from HarperCollins who then offered me a book deal. I was speechless. It’s always been my dream to be a published author. It was a very emotional moment,” he added.

What makes Christopher’s story even more remarkable is the health troubles he’s had to endure. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis back in 2006 he faces constant battles against crippling pain. He’s recently undergone major surgery to combat the effects of the chronic condition. Continued Christopher: “
The surgery has been difficult but if I can do it, so can others. My ambition is to inspire. Too many people prefer to suffer in silence – I did.”

After being made redundant from his job in IT in 2015 Christopher devoted all his spare time to completing the books he started writing while at secondary school. “I had a vivid imagination when I was young. I always loved reading comics and fiction books. I started writing my Gambler’s Den series at secondary school. When I was made redundant three years ago I took the time to finish the books off. I sent them to all the publishers I could. You have to wait weeks to hear back which can be quite dispiriting. You do lose a bit of confidence when you get knocked-back but you’ve got to keep the faith. It was just an incredible moment when I was offered the deal with HarperCollins. I was punching the air and shouting in the house! All the hard work, the hours and hours of writing, had been worth it. The best thing about being a published author is the feedback you receive from people who have read the book. It’s incredibly rewarding to receive positive messages of support.”

The book is set in the wilderness of the desert. It revolves around the owner of a travelling casino. The casino is run by Franco, a man keen to stay within the boundaries of the law. Something happens that makes him question whether living by the rule book is the best thing to do. He faces a battle against both the bad guys and the law and things turn very dark. What follows is an epic story of intrigue and adventure.

Christopher says his ambition is to carry on writing once he completes his current series. He said: “Writing will always be my passion. I haven’t thought too much about the future. I’d quite like to get into writing for comics or video games, but books will always be my first love.”

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Christopher’s debut novel

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