Milton Keynes-based author self-publishes debut novel — and you could too!

‘Amber: Incendiary Secrets’ is MK author Cam Brierley’s first entry into the literary world.
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Milton Keynes-based author Cam Brierley has released his debut young adult novel, promising readers an emotionally-charged journey as they experience coming-of-age through the eyes of his fiery protagonist.

Titled Amber: Incendiary Secrets, it took Cam more than a year to write and edit. But when it came to actually self-publishing the book, he was surprised how smooth the process was.

“Publishing a book has always been a dream of mine, even if it felt like an unreachable one,” Cam commented.

'Amber: Incendiary Secrets' is a magical realism book for young adults'Amber: Incendiary Secrets' is a magical realism book for young adults
'Amber: Incendiary Secrets' is a magical realism book for young adults

“To see your story, your words, sitting on a bookshelf of a store you’ve wandered into? That has to be a surreal feeling. With self-publishing, though, I really feel like that door has been opened a little bit. Now all you need is an idea, a laptop and the commitment to see it through and you can produce something that could sit among tomorrow’s best-sellers.”

Cam’s book has been live on Amazon and its Kindle eBook store since September 27. And that’s not restricted to Amazon in the UK; he’s been able to list it worldwide.

“The USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and even Japan — the list is endless,” he continued. “You get this screen pop up asking you to select the book’s price in each of these countries.

"At first it feels like: is anybody in Japan even going to see this thing? But then you consider the reach that Amazon has and it all becomes plausible. As writers, we’re able to publish a book from our bedrooms and have it reach readers on the other side of the globe. There’s something special about that.”

While Amber: Incendiary Secrets is set primarily in Texas, in the United States, Cam is happy to call Milton Keynes home. “It’s a unique city,” he added, “where you meet a broad range of people like you would in London but without the crazy fast tempo.

"It feels like the best of both worlds. You have peaceful lakes and a bustling city centre within a stone’s throw away from each other, which is surely any creative’s dream.”

Despite this being Cam’s debut novel, he’s quietly confident about the effect it’ll have on readers. He’s been published in the ‘My Shrewsbury’ magazine and commended in the Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation’s ‘Author of Tomorrow’ competition.

“The aim, especially while I was editing the book, was to marry the emotional pull of HBO’s Euphoria with the suspense of Netflix’s Stranger Things. I think they’re two really poignant shows that leave you feeling…something after you’re done with them. What that feeling is depends on the person. But that’s the same effect I want my book to have — for it to leave people with something, you know?”

Amber: Incendiary Secrets is live now on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. It’s also available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers to read for free.