8-18 Media: Releasing my first novel


Over the course of my life up to this point, I have worked on a wide variety of projects.

However, none of them has been as significant as the creation of my first novel, Forsaken City. This has been a multi-year project that started before the COVID-19 pandemic began and is now coming to an exciting conclusion!

Telling stories is one of my oldest passions. The methods I use to tell these stories have changed significantly over the years, but the underlying hobby has remained constant. I started playing card games of my own design with friends at summer camp. In elementary and middle school, I played Dungeons and Dragons religiously, usually as the Dungeon Master creating and guiding the narrative of an adventure.

Later, in eighth grade, I got an amazing opportunity to challenge myself in the writing field. My English teacher Mrs. Diedrich told me about a competition called the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. This is an initiative created to encourage young writers, and features a variety of interesting categories ranging from Poetry to Novel Writing. The latter category is what I was most interested in, so I spent several months writing a science-fiction story before proudly turning it in. That story went on to win a silver national medal, which encouraged me to seriously consider a career in creative writing.

In summer of 2020, I started work on Forsaken City, my first foray into the daunting genre of science fiction. The process was long and difficult at times 一 with my work slowed by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic 一 but I eventually completed it in late 2021.

Forsaken City is the first installment in the Iron Spires Trilogy, and sets the scene and tone for future books. The book focuses on a young soldier named Atoll, who is sent to the “forsaken city” of Iron Spires. This notorious place has been ravaged by warfare and is riddled with untold dangers. Atoll, along with his squad, must struggle for survival and unity in the crucible of Iron Spires, where lethal challenges lurk around every corner.

The book is a novella, a comparatively small opening chapter to the greater narrative of the Iron Spires Trilogy. It thrusts you right into the action alongside Atoll and his companions and sets in motion a chain of events that will radically change each of them.

Forsaken City is being published by Fox Pointe Publishing and the official release date is July 20th, 2022. You can pre-order a signed copy at https://author-liam-ulland-joy.square.site. Softcover and hardcover copies are available!

If you want updates on the Iron Spires Trilogy, you can also follow me on Facebook at “Author Liam Ulland-Joy” or on Instagram at “authorliamullandjoy.” If you have any questions, you can email me at ironspirestrilogy@gmail.com. I greatly appreciate the support I have received so far and I’m looking forward to getting books in peoples’ hands!

Having the opportunity to tell a story to a wider audience, especially at such a young age, is an exciting prospect. I’m hoping to continue writing the Iron Spires Trilogy over the summer and get the next book finished as soon as possible!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Liam Ulland-Joy, 17, is a youth writer for 8-18 Media.


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