I have returned, with another author interview for you all!
A couple of things first about me to start off, however.
Firstly, I am finally on the mend I hope, it has been an extremely difficult couple of months with depression and health problems. Right now, I am in an okay place. Which leads me back to writing! Book 2 of Counterbalance is finally doing okay again, and I am making decent progress. More on this as it develops.
But enough about me! This is Graham Austin-King’s moment! Today, his fantasy novel Faithless finally launches on Amazon. I had the honor of talking to him and representing him on my blog, for which I am grateful for. I love doing this sort of thing, so if you desire an interview, please contact me.
Onto the interview! To reach his books, click on the Amazon button down below:
First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?
I write dark fantasy, I wouldn’t necessarily call it grimdark but I do like to have a bit of gritty realism.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
Some authors sit and meticulously plan out every aspect of their book. They write out character sheets and draw maps. They create huge piles of notes detailing every aspect of the economy and social structure. I, um, don’t. I write by the seat of my pants. I make 99% of it up on the fly. I’ve written myself into a corner a few times but on the plus side, I get to enjoy the book too as I have no idea what’s happening next.
Tell us about your current project.
My latest book, Faithless, will be out at the end of June. It’s a dark fantasy about an agnostic coward sold into the priesthood of the Forgefather, the god of fire and creation. The faith has been in decline since The Fall when the priests and defenders of the church lost their powers as the god fell silent and the book examines the notion of faith as it goes on. Ultimately it’s a book about the quest for lost knowledge as much as it is about overcoming cowardice and surviving abuse.
Who would you say is the main character of your novels? And tell me a little bit about them!
Wynn is a farmer’s son, sold into the church by his family in desperation after a drought. He’s young, and naïve, and stupid but he’s probably my favorite of the two main characters, at least at the beginning of the book. I suppose it’s because we’re introduced to so many things through him. Wynn gives the reader his first look at the Mines of Carnath and the City of Aspiration. He first shows us the mines, the chem-based technology, and the things that lurk in the darkness. Kharios is older, he’s been through a lot already and he carries his demons with him. He’s a novice already by the time we meet him so the reader learns a lot about the religion and the history of the church with him. There’s a lot more I could say but not without giving the story away.
What advice would you give new writers on how to delve into creative fiction?
I think the most important advice is to enjoy it. I know of quite a few writers who’ve tried to write things they think will sell, rather than a book they would enjoy reading themselves. They don’t tend to work very well.
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
I’ve been in a few disused mines and turned all the lights off. It’s worth doing if you’ve never experienced it. It almost sounds silly but it’s a very different kind of darkness. It’s very rare to find true darkness above ground – the kind of darkness where your eyes don’t adjust when you turn the lights back on because they didn’t even bother trying to adjust and see anything in the dark. Imagine being lost in that? I put that notion in.
7. What inspires you to write?
It’s a combination of the need to eat and pay bills, and the fact that I enjoy it. Writing is a bit like playing an RPG where you are both a player and the DM at the same time. I played a lot of roleplaying games when I was a teenager and a lot of this comes from there. As for what can spark inspiration? Almost anything. I’ve had concepts come to me whilst walking the dog, whilst in the shower, anywhere really.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
It’s almost certainly accepting that it was actually going to be a book. I started writing this after I’d just finished my Riven Wyrde trilogy. My mind was fried and I needed a break. I’ve learned the hard way that stopping writing altogether is a bad idea, it takes too long to get moving again. So I was trying to write a novella. This was supposed to be a fun, simple novella. A bit like the dungeon hack computer games of the 1990’s. It’s fairly safe to say I fucked up as 140,000 words don’t make for a good novella.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I think the section with the big reveal because [redacted because of spoilers]. It’s where everything comes together and, if it works, then it should be almost as big a twist as the Sixth Sense or Fight Club.
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I had to do a LOT of research for this book. I’ve learned everything from medieval/Roman mining techniques to how to build a forge fire and work with iron, steel and copper.
- It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?
I could write some nonsense about immersing myself into the character but the truth is I have no idea. I just write what makes sense to me at the time.
What are your future project(s)?
Faithless does lend itself to obvious sequels but for the immediate future I’ll be returning to the Riven Wyrde books with a novella or two. Of course given what happened the last time I tried to write a novella, anything could happen.
If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?
Restaurant critic, beer taster, game tester, superhero… the opportunities are endless.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
I’m probably easiest to reach via Facebook than anywhere else but you can reach me through any of these:
FB Author Page: http://bit.ly/2qJ0D2m
Huge thanks to Graham for his review, and I hope his launch goes well! If you like grim, dark fantasy, Faithless looks like a great addition to the genre.