Staying in with C.F. Barrington

It’s a real pleasure to welcome C F Barrington to Linda’s Book Bag today to stay in with me to chat all about his latest book about to be released in paperback as I think it sounds brilliant and I’m sure you will too!

Let’s find out more:

Staying in with C F Barrington

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Thank you for inviting me, Linda. Staying in is something we’ve all been getting very used to over this last year or so isn’t it?

It certainly has. This new ‘freedom’ feels a bit weird to me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

I’ve brought with me my debut novel – The Wolf Mile – which was by launched Head of Zeus adventure imprint, Aries Fiction, on 6th May in e-book and is about to come out in paperback on 5th August.

How exciting Chris and congratulations. Is The Wolf Mile a stand alone?

It is the first in a five-book saga about The Pantheon, with Book 2 (The Blood Isles) launching in October 2021 and Book 3 (The Hastening Storm) coming in spring 2022.

You must be thrilled to be writing such a series. Tell me a bit more about The Wolf Mile.

I’ve chosen it tonight because the story – and indeed the genre – has sparked much discussion amongst my early readers, because it is hard to pin into a single category and defies my many attempts to condense it into a snappy teaser.

You’ve got me intrigued now.

The most concise description came from one of my advance readers, who said it was ‘Fight Club with swords’. I’ll take that! And my agent (Laura Macdougall at United Agents) said it had ‘elements of The Hunger Games’ when she first read it.

I love a book that doesn’t readily fit a precise genre and this sounds so exciting. What can we expect from an evening in with The Wolf Mile?

It is a story which, first and foremost, is inspired by a sense of place. Apart from a sojourn into the forests of the Highlands, the book’s action all takes place in the closes, tunnels and rooftops which flow from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Indeed, it was Edinburgh’s Old Town which really allowed the story to manifest. The dark, malevolent history of the Old Town and its stunning architecture and rumours of tunnels and secret passages, set my mind ticking. I am sure that the whole concept of The Pantheon could not have come together if it had not been for my life in and around Edinburgh.

This aspect of Edinburgh sounds perfect to inspire a series.

The story was also prompted by two other factors: Firstly, I had always wanted to take my love of historical fiction and coax it into a modern thriller – without going down the well-trodden route of some sort of time-travel. Secondly, after a career spent in major gift fundraising for charities and universities, I had communicated with many very wealthy individuals and I got to wondering what makes someone excited when they can buy everything? As the book asks….. Imagine riches beyond your wildest dreams. What would you do with them? Travel the world? Buy a yacht? Now times it by ten.  A hundred. We’re talking mega-wealth – the kind that buys governments, shapes economies, enervates security forces and makes a mockery of justice systems. NOW what would you do with it? Less certain?

Crikey – that’s got me thinking…

In ancient times, the wealthy of Rome spent their money and energies on forsaking human life in the gladiatorial stadia – and that’s where the concept of The Pantheon grew from in my head.

The Wolf Mile charts the rise of Tyler Maitland and Lana Cameron as they are plucked from their normal lives to become players in The Pantheon, a secret game bankrolled by the world’s wealthy elite and watched online by thousands. Warriors from seven ancient civilisations are trained, sworn to allegiance, then pitted against each other in battles amongst the claustrophobic alleys which flow from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and filmed in real-time.

The Wolf Mile sounds thrilling.

Set in today’s city, this is very much a modern thriller, but it mixes elements of historical fiction, as well as a sweeping romance over the five-book series, which takes the protagonists from friends, to sworn enemies and finally to lovers. So when Aries came along and declared it was, above all, adventure fiction, it was perfect – because this is exactly what the saga is: A twisting, turning, relentless adventure with a big cast of characters, which propels the protagonists on a journey more horrifying and wondrous than they could ever have dreamed, into a world which perhaps we all secretly wish we experience.

I’m hooked! I need to add The Wolf Mile to my TBR immediately. How is it being received?

The book has yet to launch in paperback and so reviews are only just beginning to come in. But comments so far include:

‘Featuring two compelling yet flawed lead characters, an intriguing mystery and unrelenting action, I can’t wait to see where Mr Barrington takes us in the future.’

‘It is a very cool idea and I think if done right will become one of my favourite secret societies.’

‘Get ready for a rip-roaring adventure through the streets of Edinburgh – The Wolf Mile is the perfect escapist read!’

You must be delighted with those responses.

What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?

I’ve brought a few of my photos of the Old Town which have helped inspire me.

One evening before the pandemic, a friend and I toured the Old Town cameras in hand. We ended up climbing onto buildings and lying in the middle of roads, getting carried away discovering the dark, brooding essence of The Pantheon.

It was great fun and hopefully the images provide a taste of what to expect in The Wolf Mile.

These photos make me want to travel to Edinburgh immediately! As it’s a bit of a trek from here in south Lincolnshire I’ll just have to go vicariously through reading The Wolf Mile. Thank you so much for staying in to tell me all about it. I think it sounds a cracking start to your new series. Let me me give blog readers a few essential details:

The Wolf Mile

An action-packed adventure thriller, where modern-day recruits compete in an ancient, deadly game in the streets of Edinburgh.

Welcome to the Pantheon Games. Let the streets of Edinburgh run with blood…

The Games are the biggest underground event in the world, followed by millions online. New recruits must leave behind their twenty-first century lives and vie for dominance in a gruelling battle to the death armed only with ancient weapons – and their wits.

Tyler Maitland and Lana Cameron have their own reasons for signing up. Now they must risk their lives and join the ranks of seven ancient warrior teams that inhabit this illicit world. Their journey will be more extraordinary and horrifying than anything they could have dreamed, testing them to breaking point.

Let the Season begin.

Published by Head of Zeus imprint Aries Fiction on 5th August, The Wolf Mile is available for purchase through these links.

About C F Barington

C F Barrington spent twenty years intending to write a novel, but found life kept getting in the way. Instead, his career took him into major gift fundraising, leading teams in organisations as varied as the RSPB, Oxford University and the National Trust.

When his role as Head of Communications at Edinburgh Zoo meant a third year of fielding endless media enquiries about the possible birth of a baby panda, he finally retreated to a quiet desk beside the sea and discovered the inspiration for the Pantheon saga.

Raised in Hertfordshire and educated at Oxford, he now divides his time between running over the hills of the Lake District and dog walking on the beaches of Fife.

For more information, visit C F Barrington’s website and find him on Facebook. You can also follow him on Twitter @barrington_cf and Instagram which shows lots of his hill-running adventures with his spaniel, Albie!

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