My Dearest Fellow Conspirators,

I just put Travelers to bed.

First of all, that’s a figurative, not literal, reference to my latest novel, and not to a child or a to a dog…just in case you haven’t been paying attention.

Travelers is Book 1 of the Transcendent Trilogy. It also serves double-duty as book 7 of the Conspiracy Chronicles, a 9-part series—also known as an ennealogy—that follows the adventures of 17-year-old Kress and her Conspiracy of friends.

(If you really are late to the game, a “Conspiracy” is one of the more colorful terms referring to a group or family of ravens. If you’re still confused, read Recruitment, the book that started it all!)

Travelers takes place almost entirely in London, England.

How fun is that, right?

I had a blast in England on my last visit. Of course, I’ve never had a bad visit to England, so that really isn’t saying all that much.

The people of London are amazingly great, fun, fiery, and ready to welcome you with open arms and the perpetual offer to buy you a pint. It’s an offer I’ve accepted far too often for my poor liver to handle. But then again, it’s just a liver. It’s not like it’s my heart or brain or duodenum or clavicle or something important like that.

I never really considered myself an According-to-Hoyle Anglophile. I’m just someone who really loves England.

Of course, as some friends pointed out to me recently, that’s what an Anglophile is. So I guess it’s a mantle I’ll have to bear.

My last trip to England was recreation, but it was also research. I wrote the majority of Travelers while I was in London before and during the early days of the corona virus pandemic, patiently awaiting the apocalypse.

Once the pubs shut down, I figured the next step would be riots, Simon Pegg inspired zombies, mass hysteria, and probably an implosion of the world as we know it.

After all, this is British pubs we’re talking about. Probably the most stable, reliable places in the world and an absolute necessity for sustaining all the best parts of human existence.

Fortunately, things just went sideways instead of cataclysmically haywire.

I continue to shed my share of tears for the city and for the people I’ve grown to love over the years.

Travelers touches on many of the iconic landmarks of the Old Smoke: Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower), the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Moorgate Station, the Museum of London, and even the famed London Wall of ancient Londinium.

Of course, it all happens in a made-up, future world, so it’s not exactly the same London you’ll see today when you step out of Heathrow.

And it gave me no pleasure imagining my beloved London as a slag heap of post-apocalyptic rubble.

But London was always the inspiration for this book. Its history. Its culture. Its people. Its permanent place, warts and all, at the apex of Western civilization.

If you’re reading Travelers as an American, I’m hoping it will inspire you to travel to and maybe stir you to give a tip of your hat to the country that gave birth to you, that you rebelled against, and that you learned from and ultimately grew to love.

If you’re reading it as a Brit and/or Londoner, I hope you’ll forgive me for my errors and know that every bit of it comes directly from my Anglophilic heart. (If “Anglophilic” isn’t a word, it should be.)

Anyway, all this is to say that I love London, I love England, it broke my heart to write about its demise, and I hope you’ll enjoy the whirlwind ride that is the result!

Thank you for reading!

Conspiratorially yours,

— KAR