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How Jamey Stegmaier Red Rising board game inspired Newbury author's debut novel

Georgina Bartlett has her old English teacher to thank for suggesting she did some serious writing. The 29-year-old author, who lives in Newbury with her husband Colin, is currently studying English literature and creative writing through the Open University and has just published her first book.

"I began writing poems and short stories in school, but didn’t get really passionate about it till my secondary school English teacher – Mrs Reardon – pushed me to enter a short story competition because she always saw me writing," she said.

"I didn’t win but it was the first moment I thought about writing as more than a hobby."

Georgina Bartlett
Georgina Bartlett

Georgina took part in a competition on Twitter called PITMAD - the concept is that you write a blurb for your book and put #PITMAD at the end.

After this, publishers and literary agents who take part in the competition have a chance to read through and see if they like it - if they do you get to send them your work and jump all the wait piles.

"This happened for me when I put up the blurb for my book – Eight - and got a like from Darkstroke Publishing. Since then I haven’t looked back. Darkstroke are a really great publisher to work with."

Georgina Bartlett's 8
Georgina Bartlett's 8

Eight is a YA (Young Adult) fantasy novel.

"I had the idea for the book when I saw the cover for the board game Red Rising by Jamey Stegmaier.

"I already had the idea down for Eight, but I had no idea where I wanted it to go, when I saw the cover for Red Rising I was instantly inspired and can’t thank my husband enough for being a huge board game geek and massive fan of Jamey."

A taster of Eight:

These things were not born, they were bred. They don’t eat, don’t sleep, and never tire.

The land of Tincture is nature as far as the eye can see, but in the middle sits a palace made purely of stained glass.

When their sister Harmony is murdered, three remaining siblings Forrest, Mort, and Amour notice that their colour is starting to fade. The people of Tincture are born with an eye colour that corresponds to an ability. Those with green eyes can control the growth of nature, or those with silver eyes can bend and shape metal without the use of tools.

But the siblings are even more unique, their powers reaching farther and wider than any other Tincturian. And King Tinc wants to control that power.

Private investigator Justine Brick always knows her next move and never takes on more than she can handle. When she is approached with a new case to find a missing girl, she confidently takes it on, unafraid to ask the hard questions or open the guarded doors. But fear has a way of taking new forms and uncovering our deepest doubts…

Is Justine prepared to look behind a door she has never encountered before?

As Forrest, Mort and Amour begin to investigate, they find themselves thrust into a new and terrifying reality, putting not only themselves but those they love in danger.

Will they meet the same fate as their sister? Or find the answers they need in another realm?

Eight is available to pre-order through Amazon now.

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