Bury St Edmunds: Writer Joshua Winning is due to publish first novel Sentinel on May 19

Joshua Winning with his debut novel, Sentinel

Joshua Winning with his debut novel, Sentinel - Credit: Robert Gershinson

A writer from Bury St Edmunds is looking forward to the release of his debut novel – and the launch of an exciting new fantasy series.

Joshua Winning’s book Sentinel will be published by Peridot Press on May 19. It is the first in a trilogy of books that the 30-year-old began writing in his teens.

“I’m very excited. It’s been a very long journey from the initial idea to getting Sentinel into print, but it’s fantastic that people will finally be able to read it. Hopefully they won’t have too many nightmares!”

The book, which is a dark fantasy aimed at young adults, follows the story of an underground society of guardians who are mobilised against the return of ancient evil forces to the world.

Set in Cambridge, the central character is a 15-year-old boy who is drawn into a world of demons, dark magic and murder after his parents are killed in a suspicious train crash.

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Joshua, who went to County Upper School, spent many years fine-tuning his work and had the customary knockbacks from publishers that led him to self-publish the story on Amazon Kindle.

It had some excellent reviews and sales figures, and a print publishing deal arrived when he was put in touch with Woodbridge-based Peridot Press, an imprint of John Catt Educational.

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The book has already achieved high praise. Nev Pierce, Editor-at-Large at Empire magazine, described it as “a great, imaginative, gripping read” and added it would also make for a “cracking” movie.

Joshua, who works as a freelance journalist and is a contributing editor to Total Film, said: “The reviews so far have been great, I’m so pleased that people seem to be enjoying the dark world of Sentinel as much as I did creating it. The positive response has only spurred me on as I write the second book in the series.”

Jonathan Barnes, head of editorial at Peridot Press, said: “Our intention is to give an opportunity to talented young writers with great stories to tell – and Josh fits the bill perfectly.

“We were extremely impressed how far he was able to take the book under his own steam, and we are delighted to be publishing Sentinel. We really hope it becomes the great success it deserves to be.”

Sentinel is available direct from the publisher – www.johncattbookshop.com/sentinel – or from all major book retailers.

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