Author edits latest novel while backpacking in South America

Having escaped from an attempted drugging/mugging on a bus in Ecuador, Tej Turner completed the editing of the third book in his epic series in hostels and the rainforest.

DARTFORD, KENT – 26 February 2024 – Tej Turner, author, chef, and inveterate traveller, recently returned from a nine-months trip backpacking around South America. On his travelblog he tells of being drugged and mugged on a public bus as well as volunteering in a wildlife sanctuary in Ecuador. While he was travelling, Blood War, the third book in his Avatars of Ruin fantasy series was in the process of being prepared for publication by Elsewhen Press, a UK publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thoughtful speculative fiction from talented authors like Tej. Part of the pre-publication process is an interaction between the author and their editor, to finesse the final text (and root out any typos). At times, Tej was editing the text on his laptop in exotic locations that made the editorial team highly envious, although they did not let their envy stop them helping him to complete the book, which was published as an eBook in January and in print this month. Of course, at other times Tej was trying to edit in an oven-like hostel room with no air conditioning and loudly snoring companions; or even on a bus (not while being mugged!).

Tej says: “Having the occasional mishap is all part of having an adventure, and it was overall a great trip that I will look back on fondly. I am back in the UK now, and I have even started working on my new novel. It has certainly been an inspiring year and that should give me plenty of material for the next book. I hope that my readers enjoy Blood War as it is possibly my most ambitious work to date.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press, says: “This is not the first time that Tej has been completing the editing of a book while backpacking in exotic locations. When you’re sitting in an office in Kent on a rainy afternoon and Tej sends a picture of his ‘office for the day’ with lush vegetation and a waterfall just beyond the veranda of his hostel, it’s hard not to feel a little envious. But, on the other hand, sitting in an office is generally not as dangerous as travelling alone in some parts of South America!”

One reader described Tej’s Avatars of Ruin series as ‘Wheel of Time meets The Walking Dead’. It is an epic fantasy series about a group of survivors forced to band together when their world takes a dark turn. It has some illustrious fans. Trip Galey, author of A Market of Dreams and Destiny said, “This is epic fantasy with a touch of the mythic to it. There were villains I loved to hate, and a queer protagonist I loved rooting for. Action, magic, a world in peril…what more could you ask for?” Bestselling science fiction and fantasy author Christopher G. Nuttall called Bloodsworn, the first book in the series, “a stunning introduction to a new fantasy world” and renowned grimdark author Anna Smith Spark said “Classic epic fantasy. I enjoyed it enormously.” Allen Stroud, Chair of the British Science Fiction Association, said “a journey into Fantasy, only it’s not quite the journey you expected, and it’s all the better for it”. David Craig, author of the Sooty Feathers gothic fantasy series, said of Blood Legacy, the second book in Tej’s series, “an exciting book which ups the stakes, mixing traditional fantasy with an element of possession horror”. Fantasy author Joanne Hall said “a nuanced, smart high fantasy novel with intelligent, complex characters, good LGBT rep and some killer twists”.

The first three books of Tej’s Avatars of Ruin series, Bloodsworn, Blood Legacy and Blood War are all available in ebook and paperback format from good book retailers.

Notes for Editors

About Tej Turner

Tej Turner is an SFF author and travel-blogger. His debut novel The Janus Cycle was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015 and its sequel Dinnusos Rises was released in 2017. Both are hard to classify within typical genres but were contemporary and semi-biographical with elements of surrealism. He has since branched off into writing epic fantasy and has an ongoing series called the Avatars of Ruin. The first instalment – Bloodsworn – was released in 2021, and its sequel Blood Legacy in 2022. The third – Blood War – was published in early 2024.

He does not have any particular place he would say he is ‘from’, as his family moved between various parts of England during his childhood. He eventually settled in Wales, where he studied Creative Writing and Film at Trinity College in Carmarthen, followed by a master’s degree at The University of Wales Lampeter.

Since then, Tej has mostly resided in Cardiff, where he works as a chef by day and writes by moonlight. His childhood on the move seems to have rubbed off on him because when he is not in Cardiff, it is usually because he has strapped on a backpack and flown off to another part of the world to go on an adventure.

He has so far clocked two years in Asia and two years in South America, and when he travels, he takes a particular interest in historic sites, jungles, wildlife, native cultures, and mountains. He also spent some time volunteering at the Merazonia Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Ecuador.

Firsthand accounts of Tej’s adventures abroad can be found on his travel blog at

About Avatars of Ruin

A reader described the Avatars of Ruin series as ‘Wheel of Time meets The Walking Dead’.

Bloodsworn by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck
Blood Legacy by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck
Blood War by Tej Turner; Cover by Alison Buck
Cover: Alison Buck

It is an epic fantasy series about a group of survivors forced to band together when their world takes a dark turn. The story starts in Bloodsworn where we meet the villagers of Jalard. Once a year they are visited by representatives from the Academy who choose two of them to be taken away to their institute in the capital. To be Chosen is considered a great honour… of which most of Jalard’s children dream. But this year the Academy representatives make an announcement which is so shocking it causes friction between the villagers, and some of them begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Just where are they taking the Chosen, and why? Some of them intend to find out, but what they discover will change their lives forever and set them on a long and bloody path to seek vengeance…

The story continues in Blood Legacy and Blood War.

Find out more at