| AUTHORized is a new segment on this blog that features Authors|
in an interview or guest post
If you were thinking that I didn't plan to revive this blog of mine, well, you’re obviously wrong because my first interviewee on my new segment is someone epic. I mean, someone who writes Epic fantasy books. Yes, an author. But take note, he’s one of my favorite authors currently. So open your eyes and enjoy my conversation with Mr. Anthony Ryan, who authored the book Blood Song.
AR: I don't generally get flashes of inspiration, just a germ of an idea that gestates over a long period of time until it becomes something worth writing down. Blood Song emerged from a combination of influences including my studies for a part-time history degree, contemporary politics and various musings on the nature of religion.
How do you build your characters and world?
AR: I didn't do all that much note taking or pre-writing for Blood Song, for the most part the world and the characters emerged during the course of writing. I tend to see story and character as much the same thing, since one continually informs the other. For me, one of the keys to writing convincing characters is consistency, you have to ensure you don't have them doing things they would never do or saying things they would never say. I find world-building largely a matter of providing enough detail to illustrate those elements that impact the story without piling on so much information the reader gets bored.
Who is your favorite character in your book?
AR: At the risk of being predictable, Vaelin has done a lot for my career so I'll probably always put him first.
Who do you think is the character in your books who's Anthony Ryan in disguise?
AR: Frankly none. The only writer in the book is Verniers and I like to think I'm nowhere near as pompous as him. If I was to appear in the story I'd almost certainly perish in the first battle scene.
Read or Write?
AR: Read, it's easier.
Given that you're a big fan of Gemmell, what single book of his you want to book push to other readers?
AR: Wolf in Shadow, on of his earliest books and still his best in my opinion, though they're all great and anyone who likes my work will almost certainly like his.
What did you feel the first time you knew someone bought your book? How about when the publisher offered to traditionally publish your work?
AR: I'll always be grateful for that first single digit on my sales report, the fact that someone thought something I'd written was worth their money remains a source of delight and surprise. The approach from Ace which led to my publishing deal was more of a shock, since I honestly wasn't expecting it. Once I'd calmed down though, I found the process of being published a fairly straightforward one, even oddly anti-climactic since my day to day life hardly changed, until I gave up my day job of course. I certainly don't regret it though.
Why chose Science Fiction and Fantasy?
AR: I think it chose me. I do read other genres, primarily crime and historical fiction, but science fiction and fantasy remain my first loves. I think I'm drawn most to the infinite possibilities offered by speculative fiction, it can be both escapist and nightmarish, beautiful and brutal, all in the same story.
How do you feel that you book is being compared to other published books?
AR: It's extremely flattering to be mentioned in the same breath as George RR Martin and Robin Hobb. I also get compared to Patrick Rothfuss a lot, even though I still haven't read him.
What is next to expect from you?
AR: Foreign language rights for Blood Song have been sold to 17 countries so far, though I think only the Italian version has actually been published. So anyone who doesn't speak English as a first language and wants a copy in their own tongue should keep a close eye on the Amazon new release listings over the next few months. Tower Lord, Book 2 of the Raven's Shadow trilogy, is currently with my editor at Ace and should be published in summer of 2014. I'm currently working on book 3, tentatively entitled Queen of Fire, and hope to deliver it by the end of the year. After that I have a couple of short story anthology invites to meet and I'll be returning to my Slab City Blues stories, which I'm continuing to self-publish. In addition to all that I'll need to start plotting out my next fantasy series, but it'll probably be a couple of years before that sees the light of day.
To know more about Anthony Ryan, you can freely visit him over at his website.