ABOUT GABRIEL KING
Gabriel King is actually two authors--Jane Johnson and M. John Harrison.
Jane Johnson is Publishing Director of Voyager and Tolkien for
HarperCollins UK. She has worked in the field for nearly 14 years--authors
she has bought and helped to develop include Raymond Feist, Stan Robinson,
Katharine Kerr, Barbara Hambly, Robin Hobb,
Michael Marshall Smith, Jack Womack, Geoff Ryman, Colin Greenland, Robert
Holdstock, Janny Wurts, Julian May, David Zindell, and Guy Gavriel Kay. She
has also handled the entire Tolkien list, including the Alan Lee illustrated
editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. She says:
I live in rural isolation in the beautiful English village of Coleshill,
Buckinghamshire; opposite the village duckpond and next to the pub, in a tiny
19th century cottage (with roses round the door, oak beams, and a primitive,
but efficient, drainage system!) with my partner, Jad, a forester, and my
Norwegian Forest Cat, Thorfinna Dorcas Lizzara (Finn). She has many grand
champions in her pedigree, but has no airs and graces, spending most of her
time outdoors, hunting and climbing trees. When I'm not editing or tending to
the garden, I'm often to be found scaling sea-cliffs around the British coast.
Born in 1960 in Cornwall (the ancient country of The Wild Road), I moved to
London in 1978 to attend university and took a First in English, then a Masters
degree in Old Icelandic--inspired directly by my great love of Tolkien and his
fascination with the old languages. After teaching drama at high school,
working in a betting office, and at the deeply eccentric Foyles bookshop, I
moved into publishing by mistake after bumping into my next door neighbor,
who worked at George Allen & Unwin (Tolkien's publishers since 1937)--and
before I knew it had landed a PA job for the company.
One of the first authors I worked with was M. John Harrison (see below): we
fell for each other in a big way and lived together for nearly 10 years,
before splitting amicably in 1995. That same year we started working on The Wild Road,
and the collaboration has, amazingly, kept us on very good terms,
despite the inevitable aethestic wrangles! We are currently hard at work on
the follow-up to The Wild Road, The Golden Cat, which completes
this story cycle.
M. John Harrison (Mike Harrison) was born in Warwickshire in 1945 under
the sign of Leo. He moved to London
during the 1960s, working on the controversial and groundbreaking sf magazine
New Worlds with authors like Michael Moorcock, JG Ballard, and
Brian Aldiss. He has been a full-time writer all his adult life. His novels
include The Pastel City, A Storm of Wings, The Centauri Device,
In Viriconium (shortlisted
for the Guardian Fiction Prize), Climbers (winner of the Boardman Tasker
Prize for Mountain Literature) and The Course of the Heart
(published in the US by
Doubleday, Arbor House, and St Martins Press). His latest solo novel, Signs of
Life--due out from St Martins Press shortly--is a genetics thriller combined
with a powerful modern romance.
He has led a twenty-year love affair with cats, since rescuing a stray in 1970s
Camden Town. He currently lives in North London with a gorgeous black-tipped
Burmilla cat who has an embarrassing pedigree name: Wychwynd Kojak, but known by friends
simply as Iggy (for Iggy Pop--he had so much energy as a kitten that he
broke his foot, running full-tilt the length of a vast polished wooden floor the
very first night we had him). We saw him in a pet shop in the East End after
a regular trip to the Mile End Climbing Wall, and despite his price tag (high)
we had to save him. He is, of course, Tag, the hero of The Wild Road.
Knowing this has made him very vain. It is his photo you see on the front cover
of the UK edition of the book.