Tom Lloyd was born in 1979 and showed almost no interest in writing until the age of eighteen. I blame the teachers myself.

Nevertheless he did eventually find himself with a long summer to spare before university, and decided to start a novel when it was suggested he get a job to pass the time. This tells you much of what there is to know about him. The rest can be derived from the fact that he first had the idea of writing a book to annoy a school friend, by getting published before him.

No, honestly; he’s actually that shallow.

It was swiftly apparent that this was not the quick route to fame and fortune that he’d hoped for. The first sign of this was the realisation that being good at writing was required, but he managed to surprise everyone by not giving up on something he didn’t show immediate promise in.

Studying Politics and International Relations at Southampton University had very little appreciable effect on him, beyond giving him a couple of ideas for novels, but that was largely due to spending most of those years in London shacked up with the god-daughter of an Asian dictator. Upon leaving university he decided – along with what seemed like half of all other graduates, some of whom had had the temerity to study English – that doing “book stuff” sounded like a fun alternative to getting a proper, well-paid job. As a result of a little work experience at Simon and Schuster – combined with some shameless flirting with the HR manager – he got a job as an editorial assistant on the Scribner list, which allowed him to mistype letters to a whole host of talented writers.

Certain luminary examples there made it clear that before he became a fantasy editor he was going to have to spend several years iron-cladding his liver. Towards this goal, he decamped to the A M Heath Literary Agency by way of Random House, which was silly because walking down Longacre would have been a lot quicker, to work in foreign rights while constantly revising what was slowly becoming The Stormcaller.

After three years at A M Heath he resigned to force himself to find that elusive editorial job and took a temporary post as contracts manager at Blake Friedmann to pay the bills in the meantime. Almost immediately he was signed up by John Parker at MBA and found himself sitting in the office of Jo Fletcher at Gollancz trying to persuade her how much of a geek he was.

The editing dream was quickly shelved for one of being the idiot who made the mess of a manuscript in the first place and soon the Twilight Reign was thrust upon the world. Four years later he switched to Atlantic Books for a bit of experience on the publisher side of contracts and more time to write. One wedding, two kids and nine books later he realised he’d been there well over a decade and everyone was probably sick of the sight of him, so he moved to Canongate Books instead. Everyone there agrees it’s best for all concerned if he’s only allowed around other people for the bare minimum necessary and the rest of the time he’s exiled to the not-so-smart part of Oxford where his personality doesn’t get the way so much.

He now splits his time between Canongate, Aevitas Creative Management and whining about not having enough time to write.

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