The Blog

Return to Ithaca


I’ve been a bit tardy in updating my website lately, so sorry to all those who have been awaiting information on the sixth (and final!) installment in the Odysseus series.

The good news is that things are well on their way. I finished the first draft of Return to Ithaca back in February, and the first edit was completed by the end of March. The manuscript then went to my new publishers – Canelo – for a second round of editing.

This is always a moment of truth, when a second set of eyes gets to assess the book you’ve been working on for the past year or so. It’s also quite nerve-racking. By the time I get to the end of a book I always feel a sense of despair, believing everything I’ve written to be a disaster (some Amazon reviewers might agree!) But I usually remind myself that I’ve felt this way after finishing every book in the series so far, and just hope readers will like it. Thankfully most do. But here’s what my editor prefaced his notes with for Return to Ithaca:

“I’ve finished RETURN TO ITHACA and wanted to say firstly: congratulations! It is a magnificent novel, a really great achievement and a fantastic way to round off the series. It is a very different book, and it has an incredibly complex structure, but I still felt that despite that it fits in wonderfully. You said that in many ways it was a difficult book to write. I have no doubt that is true, but there is absolutely no sense of that from the reader. It flows and fits together perfectly. As a publisher I often find that, contrary to the expectations of their writers, books that are difficult to write are very good indeed; they have been carefully constructed and laboured over, but, as is the case here, that work is completely veiled. What remains is just a brilliant novel which feels completely natural and effortless to the reader. I can see why it was a challenge as the intricacy of the plot and the change in stakes and conflicts is a tricky act to pull off. But pull it off you do – and more!”

Hopefully his enthusiasm will whet your appetites for the novel. The second round of editing was completed and sent to my publisher today. This will be followed by copy editing and proofreading, after which Return to Ithaca should be available as an e-book as early as June (the print version will arrive a couple of months later).

As the editor mentions, the final book in the series is very different to the first five. Anyone who has read the Odyssey will know that the story moves away from the warlike and supernatural settings of the earlier myths to one that is very domestic. The tension and drama remain, though, and I hope you will find the book an enjoyable and suitable ending to the series. I admit feeling quite sad when I wrote the last paragraph and knew I wouldn’t be working with these characters again. Like saying goodbye to old friends forever.

So what comes next? I’ve got ideas for at least three or four books, including a two-parter about the labours of Herakles – Hercules to the Romans – and a standalone novel about Theseus and the Minotaur. I’ve already got some strong interest in my Herakles idea, so that’ll be first on the list.

As a departure from my usual era, I’m also planning a book set in the First World War. I had a few relatives who served in the war and have always had an interest in it. The story is loosely based on a true account about a British tank that gets stuck in no man’s land for three days. The problem will be in persuading a publisher to take a risk on something new. And my readers, of course.

22 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Paul Bennett
    April 28, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Excellent…been waiting for this. 🙂


  2. stewart cresswell
    May 7, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Glyn,
    Cannot wait for Return to Ithica the printed book glad you continuing to write a new series featuring another Greek hero. If it’s only half as good as Achilles it will be brilliant and gives me something to look foreward to.
    S. Cresswell

  3. Rob Upton
    May 29, 2017 at 9:35 am #

    Hi Glyn,
    I have really enjoyed the whole series so far ,none of the books have lagged in any way like some others I have read. I cannot wait for the last instalment and pleased that you are thinking of more books in this genre.

    • Glyn Iliffe
      May 29, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks Rob, Stewart and Paul.
      Hope you enjoy the final installment as much as the rest of the series. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve enjoyed it and I can look back with a sense of satisfaction.
      Best wishes,

  4. Jeff Currie
    May 31, 2017 at 12:02 am #

    Glyn, my heartfelt thanks for your titanic efforts writing such epic stories of my favorite heroes of all time, wily Odysseus. Your ability to put the reader alongside him in battle or in peace, seeing everything through his eyes, is astounding. When my son and I march once again to Pennsic War this August to stand in the battle line with our shield brothers, as always one of your novels will be waiting for me when we return to camp after the days’ fighting. Well done my friend…

    • Glyn Iliffe
      May 31, 2017 at 10:18 am #

      Many thanks, Jeff. All encouragement is much appreciated.
      I’ve just looked up the Pennsic War event on Google – looks fantastic. We have the Military Odyssey event here in the UK, which I can’t wait to attend later this year.
      Feel free to post a picture or link of you and your son in full battle garb
      Best wishes,

  5. John C NZ
    June 8, 2017 at 2:33 am #

    Hi Glyn

    Only just downloaded your final book Return to Ithaca today. I haven’t as yet started to read this but most certainly will tonight. I have always favoured books based on Mythology but find that that your easy to read style of writing very much to my taste and will continue to read your work regardless of the content. Thanks for making my day today.

    Best wishes John c.

    • Glyn Iliffe
      June 8, 2017 at 8:44 am #

      Hi John
      Thanks for your kind comments. The easy style of writing is deceptively hard to achieve, but lots of people have said how much they enjoy it.
      I’ve now made a start on the next series of books, about the labours of Heracles. As usual with a new book, I’m struggling to get going (a sort of writer’s block). But past experience tells me I’ll soon get in to it.
      Hope you enjoy Return to Ithaca.
      Best wishes,

  6. Dave Crawley
    July 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    Hi Glyn
    When will Return to Ithaca be published in book form, as I have greatly enjoyed the ride so far. I’m not a fan of electronic books.
    Best wishes Dave C

    • Glyn Iliffe
      July 24, 2017 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Dave.
      I’m hoping to get this published in paperback some time during August. I’ll put a note on my website once it’s available.
      Best wishes,
      PS Sorry for the late reply – I’ve been away in the Yorkshire Dales for the past week

  7. Dave Crawley
    July 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    Hi Glyn
    When will Return to Ithaca be published in book form, as I have greatly enjoyed the ride so far. I’m not a fan of electronic books.
    Best wishes Dave C

  8. J
    July 24, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

    The wait is finally over, on what has been one of my favorite series based on the Odyssey(and I’ve read a lot of them) Glyn your books are one of the best versions I’ve read. When is this latest masterpiece due out as an actual book though??? Can’t stand the wait whilst the e-readers start posting glowing reviews….. Any updates on the REAL release?

    • J
      July 24, 2017 at 10:00 pm #

      OOPS just seen the other comment, I look forward to sometime in August then!

      • Glyn Iliffe
        July 25, 2017 at 10:18 am #

        As an update to my reply to Dave, the cover is already sorted and I’ve now received the manuscript in paperback format. Just need to check everything is there and then it should be ready for launch sometime within the next two or three weeks (assuming nothing goes wrong!)

        • Gert Falbe
          August 24, 2017 at 9:41 am #

          Hi Glyn, four weeks have passed. Did something go wrong or did you and the publisher just got caught up by the summer holidays the crept up on you and surprised everybody?
          Best regards

          • Glyn Iliffe
            August 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

            Hi Gert. My publisher only does e-books, so the paperback version is arranged by myself. I work with Justine Elliott in New Zealand, who laid out the text and adjusted the artwork for a paperback format. I’ve now received the proof copy from Amazon in the US and should be able to make it available for order within the next few days. It feels damned good to have a paperback copy in my hand! Best wishes, Glyn

  9. Greg Sharp
    August 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

    Yes, Herakles and Theseus – been hoping you would do that.

  10. Glyn Iliffe
    August 17, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    Good news is I’ve now got a publishing contract for a trilogy about Heracles. If everything goes well it should be available next spring.

  11. Andres
    August 30, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    Great news!!! Keep us updated.

  12. Linos
    November 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm #

    Just ordered the paperback… happy because more Odysseus and Eperitus. But sad because this great series comes to an end.

    Looking forward to the Iraklis books!

  13. Ken
    July 1, 2018 at 2:08 am #

    Any chance of a series based on the life of Alexander the Great!

    • Glyn Iliffe
      July 1, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

      Hi Ken
      Alexander is a great subject for a fiction, and has already been the subject of several excellent novels by Valerio Manfredi, Steven Pressfield and others. He’s around a thousand years later than the period I write on, though. I also tend to write books that have a mythological element.
      The next chapter from the Greek myths that I’m planning to cover will be Jason and the Argonauts. It’s always been on my radar, as watching the film as a child is what started my passion for the Classics.
      Best wishes,

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