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Category: Fantasy

Author Interview: Georgina Makalani

This week I am interviewing fantasy author, Georgina Makalani. Georgina’s new book The Caged Raven will be out on June 1, 2018 and to celebrate she has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions.

What is the first book that made you cry?

The Hole in the Forest and I was probably only 8 years old at the time. Although I can’t remember the story at all now, I can still remember the terrible feeling of loss that had overwhelmed me. It was the first time I really felt connected to the characters and lost within the world I was reading.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I have to say both. Usually when I get lost in the writing I feel completely energized by it and I know that if I don’t start my day with writing I don’t quite feel right during the day. It is an essential part of my being. But then there are those crazy editing days that I walk away feeling utterly wrung out.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Can I say Netflix? I’m prone to distraction. I try hard not to but I can’t help it. And I love a story, a good story that sucks you in and won’t let you go (both reading and on screen). If I get caught up in a good series I can lose whole days before I realise what has happened.

What is your favorite fantasy trope?

That is a hard question. I enjoy most. I love a good quest.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have lots of ideas burning away and several of those are in the planning phase. That doesn’t exactly answer your question though as I plan to finish all of them. I do have a romance novel tucked away in a box somewhere that I spent five years writing only to realise romance was not my genre and I needed to work on my craft a bit more.

How do you select the names of your characters?

I love naming characters. It depends on the book as to what I do, sometimes I mash two words together to create something different, or mis-spell or aim to pronounce a known word differently. I’m amazed sometimes to find a name I thought I made up in someone else’s book and so I try to google the names to ensure they don’t mean something odd or rude or are the main character in someone else’s work.

I have a list of medieval English names that I refer to for a lot of my current work. Sometimes I’ll search out different lists to see what I can find. For example the little men in one of Iski’s adventures all had magic. I searched up old names that meant “little” and the power they had.  Such as Egan which means little fire.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It always feels like too long. At the moment it is taking me about two years from planning to publishing. If I’m focused it doesn’t take as long, but then I get distracted easily.

What was your hardest book to write?

There are two here both of them within the Iski Flare Series:

Episode Five – The Tree Maiden.

I had this book planned from the beginning of the series, everything before it led to this point and so it should have been easy. But it was a huge emotional roller coaster and I found it quite emotionally draining to write.

Episode Six – Reflections

This one was harder for Iski. Things weren’t going the way he wanted them to and he refused to work with me. He huffed and puffed and I scowled at the screen. It seemed to take a very long time to come together.

You recently released Raven’s Dawn: The Raven Crown Book 1. What was your favorite thing about writing this book?

I tried something a bit different with this book, writing from multiple points of view and I learnt a lot more about my characters that way. I think I found that the most enjoyable part.

What was the hardest thing about writing Raven’s Dawn?

This was my first novel size series and I wanted to make sure the story was strong enough for three books. I spent a lot of time revisiting who was doing what and what that led to and how it would impact on the following books. It did teach me that I needed to plan better and I have changed my planning and outlining process since then.

Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite?

I love Meg in the Raven Crown Series she is a super strong woman and I’m really impressed with who she has grown to be.

But that said, I still have a soft spot for Pira in The Mark of Oldra. If I could write my perfect man, I think he would be it.

Of all of the characters you have created, which do you dislike the most?

Everard Whitton – he turned out to be far nastier than I expected.

What book/series has had the greatest influence on your writing?

This is a hard question. I have read so much and not just within the fantasy genre; I can’t attribute it to any one series or book. I love to get lost in a story, where you connect completely with the world and the characters and you forget about the real world for a while. I wanted to write stories like that. I’m not sure that I have for my readers, I hope so, but I know that I have lost myself to those worlds and characters when writing them.

If you could write in any fantasy world, which would you choose and why?

Terry Pratchett’s discworld. There are so many options with a world this big and I love every story he wrote. There are so many things that could happen on the disc.

What is your favorite thing about worldbuilding?

The fact that you can create a whole new world from nothing and transport the reader there.

What is the thing you dislike most about worldbuilding?

Despite being able to make it all up, you still have to ground the reader in the known and I worry that the reader will know more than me (which is highly likely) particularly when writing in a medieval setting. One of my beta readers often says that “in a setting like this, people would be doing x rather than y.”

I love how you can make anything happen with fantasy and that it can happen anywhere, but it still has to connect.


About Georgina’s Books

Raven’s Dawn

With the death of the King of Rocfeld a new queen is expected to be marked from among his three daughters. The Gods will mark their choice with raven hair but as the days turn into weeks without a new queen, speculation and suspicion grows. The youngest daughter, Meg has been raised to put her duty first and has determined the Gods will make the right decision.

But Rocfeld is not what it was. The harder Meg tries to help her kingdom, the more dangerous her world becomes. Elalia, her eldest sister makes decisions as though she is already queen. Enemies hide in the shadows whispering of magic and death and her allies may not be as they appear.

Which sister will be queen and what will she do with the power of the Raven Crown?

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The Caged Raven

Scared of being sold to another land, Princess Meg is relieved when exiled to a rundown family estate. But she is far from the world she longs for and the people she loves.

Trapped and surrounded by soldiers, Meg fears the soothsayer’s prophesy. She believes the old woman mistaken when told she would become queen and that the men she spoke of will never reach her. Yet Meg continues to dream of death and darkness and fears the motives of the Silent Sisters and what that might mean for her kingdom.

Struggling with her captivity, Meg seeks solace with the gods. How much could the gods give and what could they take away? The chance to return to Rocfeld comes at a high price.

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About Georgina Makalani

Georgina Makalani survives life as a servant of the public by hiding in cafes at lunch time with dragons, witches, a laptop and a little bit of magic. Georgina and her daughter live in beautiful southern Tasmania, with two crazy cats and a writing desk that overlooks the water.

You can find out more about Georgina’s writing journey at
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Battle of the Sub-Genres: Noblebright vs Grimdark

I have always loved fantasy. SciFi and thrillers are great, but fantasy will always be my one true love. I read pretty broadly in the genre too. From sprawling epics like the Wheel of Time, to nice quick urban fantasy reads, I like a mixture. One thing I have come across in the past year or two is the rise of two new sub-genres; grimdark and noblebright.

The two terms originally came about in the gaming community and eventually expanded to book genres. Grimdark and noblebright have both been around for a fair while, but the terms have become more widely spread and more prominent over the past year or two. Thanks to some stellar authors like Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, and Miles Cameron, grimdark has by far become the more popular and widely used term. What exactly is encompassed within each of the sub-genres can be pretty vague and whether a book is considered grimdark or noblebright will vary depending on who you ask. I think C.J. Brightley put it best in her article on


The notion that the actions of one person can do little to improve this world in decline, that the forces of evil and inertia and temptation will ensure that all of us are doomed. The best we can hope for is a little struggle with morally ambiguous heroes to oppose danger and maybe rescue for a brief time a few others.


The notion that the actions of one person can make a difference, that even if the person is flawed and opposed by strong forces, he can (and wants to) rise to heroic actions that, even if they may cost him his life, improve the lives of others.

One thing that I have come to realize, is that a lot of people seem to think that you have to choose one or the other. Fans of grimdark will often slander noblebright saying that it is all just unicorns and rainbows and fans of noblebright will do the same of grimdark (obviously without the rainbows and unicorns. If someone can write a grimdark book with rainbows and unicorns in it, I would be seriously impressed). I see people insisting that if you like one, you cannot like the other. And I hear this from both authors and readers. But I’ve never understood why.

Both grimdark and noblebright are fantastic sub-genres and both have their place. I have books in both genres that I love. Miles Cameron’s ‘The Red Knight’ is a great book that I absolutely loved reading. Yes, it can be a bit dark and yes it can be violent, but it’s a great book. Even though I haven’t gotten to the other books in the series yet, I’ve already bought most of them and they are sitting on my shelf glaring at me. I also love Chris Riddel and Paul Stewarts ‘The Edge Chronicles.’ They are brilliant examples of noblebright and they definitely don’t have unicorns and rainbows in them and I have loved them since I first found them when I was a teenager.

And that is what really bugs me about this. I get that people have different tastes and like reading different things but given the broad range in both sub-genres, I’m sure if people gave it a try, they’d find something to enjoy in both.

Anyway, that’s the end of my mini-rant. But I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Drop me a comment below and tell me what you think!

Author Interview: Martin Owton

First off, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Real life scientific researcher (drug designer), married no kids. Diagnosed with CLL in 2014, lost my hearing 2016, cochlear implant 2017.

What book are you currently reading and are you enjoying it?

Darkmage by ML Spencer. Certainly enjoying it, but it’s difficult to turn off the internal editor that suggests enhancements to the tale.

You’ve been writing and publishing short stories since 1995 and you published your first novel, Exile, in 2016. What was the hardest part about transitioning from writing short stories to a full novel?

 I didn’t find much difficulty.  I had no intention of writing a novel; Exile was a short story that just grew unexpectedly. Now I find it very difficult to go back and write short stories.

What inspired you to write Exile?  

The old ‘what happened next’ plus ‘you can’t end it there, that’s too easy’.

Which of your characters do you most enjoy writing and Why?  

Lord Tirellan, he has all the best lines. The guy is very smart, very ambitious and totally amoral.

What was the hardest thing about writing Exile?  

Same as with all my work – characterisation. I’m fairly good with plot but giving my characters real depth is a continuing challenge. Fortunately I have great beta readers who pull me up on it.

What book/series has had the greatest influence on your writing?  

The works of David Gemmell.

In your opinion, which fantasy series has had the greatest influence on the fantasy genre?

I think that has to be Lord of the Rings and the rest of the Tolkien universe.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the fantasy genre since you first started writing?  

The rise of e-books and self-publishing. When I started only the desperate resorted to it, but now with e-books it is a very viable alternative. My agent failed to get a deal for Exile and it would still be sitting on my hard drive if electronic publishing had not delivered a whole new world to smaller publishers and self-publishers.

If you could write in any fantasy world, which would you choose and why?

Gemmell’s Drenai world. Because it is full of possibilities and Gemmell’s world-building is loose enough to accomodate them.

If you could write a book using another writer’s character, which character would you choose and why?  

Conan, again a world of almost endless possibilities. Also plenty of other authors have written in this setting so there’s less chance of upsetting fans.

An evil wizard casts a spell on you and transports you to a world from a fantasy novel. Which fantasy world would you want it to be?  

Juliet McKenna’s, because she builds such a very coherent world you can imagine it carrying on working when you close the book.

You cannot return from the fantasy world you have been sent to and are doomed to spend the rest of your days there, what profession do you choose to take up?


What is the weirdest place you have found yourself working on a book?

Hospital ward.

What weird writing rituals or habits do you have?

Writing without much of a plan – though I don’t think that’s weird. I’ve written a couple of books with no idea of what the end will be.

Why should readers check out your books?  

If they love fast-paced adventure with real (as real as I can make them) characters facing real threats then my work should suit them. They are deliberately non-epic so if the bad guys triumph its rotten for the characters but the world keeps turning; the Dread Emperor and his endless army of zombie penguins will not take over everything.



About Martin’s Books

‘The Exile of Darien’ is a fast-moving tightly-plotted fantasy adventure story with a strong thread of romance.

Aron of Darien, raised in exile after his homeland is conquered by a treacherous warlord, makes his way in the world on the strength of his wits and skill with a sword. Both are sorely tested when he is impressed into the service of the Earl of Nandor to rescue his heir from captivity in the fortress of Sarazan. The rescue goes awry. Aron and his companions are betrayed and must flee for their lives. Pursued by steel and magic, they find new friends and old enemies on the road that leads, after many turns, to the city of the High King. There Aron must face his father’s murderer before risking everything in a fight to the death with the deadliest swordsman in the kingdom.

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About Martin Owton

Fantasy and Science Fiction writer.

I am Martin Owton, I write fantasy and science fiction stories and novels. I am a member of the London-based T-Party writers’ group , and am represented by Ian Drury of Sheil Land Associates.

My first completed novel is a secondary world adventure fantasy called ‘The Exile of Darien’. It is available from the Phantasia imprint of Ticketyboo Press since April 2016, and the sequel ‘Return to Nandor’ will follow shortly.

Author Interview: Brandon Draga

This week I am interviewing fantasy author Brandon Draga. Brandon is the author of the recently concluded fantasy series, ‘The Four Kingdoms Saga’.

First off, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Certainly! My name’s Brandon Draga which, despite what’s now become a bit of a joke over on /r/Fantasy, is my real name and not a lazy nom de plume. I’m the author of The Four Kingdoms Saga, a high fantasy quartet that’s been compared to Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, R.A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf novels, and other sorts of popcorn-fantasy. I live just outside Toronto, Canada. I’m a nerd in all that I do, so I’ll be just as quick to bloviate for hours about books as I would about tabletop gaming, punk rock, skateboarding, and video games.

What book are you currently reading and are you enjoying it?

I most recently started the audiobook version of Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft. Ninety-five percent of my reading since I started writing seriously is via audiobooks, and so I was really excited when I saw Orbit was releasing Josiah’s books as such. Senlin has, so far, lived up to every bit of praise it’s received.

You published the conclusion to your Fantasy series ‘The Four Kingdoms Saga’ in May last year, how did it feel to end the series?

I’ve tried on a few occasions now to really accurately put into words how I felt throughout the process of writing and releasing Collapse of Kingdoms. Writing the final book in a series is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever experienced, and the amount of empathy I gained for Pat Rothfuss and George R.R. Martin, who have infinitely greater outside pressure to finish their series’, multiplied exponentially.

After all was said and done, finishing the series was ultimately bittersweet. Yes, in some ways it was a weight lifted, but it was a weight that I charged myself with carrying. It’s easy when you surround yourself with other authors to start feeling like writing and publishing a book isn’t such a great achievement, but it absolutely is, and to say I’ve finished an entire series is something I can really take pride in.

What can readers expect from you next?

I have a few different projects on the go at the moment. I’m working on a short for a new digital magazine being launched by Ellen Michelle, the editor of the Dwarves of the World anthology, I have a dark fantasy novelette I wrote a few years back that I’m hoping to do something with by year’s end, and I’m working on a new full-length novel set six years after the end of Collapse of Kingdoms tentatively titled Shadows and Sand.

Which of your characters do you most enjoy writing and Why?

Most recently, I think I had a lot of fun with O’Den Overhill. I had the opportunity to write him at two very different points in his life: first as a side character in Collapse, and then as the main protagonist of my story in the Art of War anthology, which is nearly twenty years prior. It was fun getting to write this glimpse of who he is, and then to write a pivotal point in shaping that. I actually might try and do more with him in the future.

What was the hardest thing about writing The Four Kingdoms Saga?

If I’m being totally honest, I think the hardest thing was when Realmwalker Publishing Group folded. I wrote and self-published the first two books, as well as the picture book I did with my fiancee, when RPG approached me. In the brief time I was with them, I was emboldened to really try and make the third book worthy to be next to the other authors RPG published. Despite the whole operation being small, I was seeing greater success in terms of sales than I had seen when I self-published, and it really felt like a step in the right direction.

By now I’m sure most of the industry knows that RPG ended with a lot of drama. Beyond all of that for me, though, was the sense that, despite working harder than ever to write a good book, do boots-on-the-ground promotion, and really up my own level of professionalism, it felt like I had made no headway in the end. It was something I struggled a lot with when writing Collapse, and is probably a large part of why it took me as long as it did to finish.

What book/series has had the greatest influence on your writing?

I think in the beginning I tried really hard to emulate R.A. Salvatore’s pacing, whether I knew it or not. As I’ve grown and evolved as a writer, I simply take mental notes on what other authors do that excite me, and figure out a way to make those things work in my books, and on my terms.

In your opinion, which fantasy series has had the greatest influence on the fantasy genre?

I think, whether people like it or not, Lord of the Rings is the stepping stone upon which nearly all modern fantasy stems. Those books are to fantasy what The Ramones’ first album is to punk rock.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the fantasy genre since you first started writing?

The change had already began as I entered the world of published writing, but the destigmatization of self-publishing. In a lot of ways it’s starting to feel like self-publishing your work has gone from the fringe vanity act of someone unable or unwilling to find an agent, to becoming an integral step in getting oneself published by a larger house. Five years ago most publishers wouldn’t touch work that had been self-published with a ten foot pole, and now Mark Lawrence is organizing his annual SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off), and agents are using it to scout under-the-radar talent. It’s a fascinating paradigm shift to be privy to.

If you could write in any fantasy world, which would you choose and why?

The whole team behind the Art of War anthology recently did an AMA on /r/Fantasy the day the book came out, and I sort-of half joked that I’d love to write a short story set in Nicholas Eames’ Heartwyld. For those who haven’t read Nicholas’ debut, Kings of the Wyld (first off: do), it’s a setting that leans heavily on rock and roll analogues, and I’m enough of a geek that I think I could do a fair job injecting some punk rock into the world.

If you could write a book using another writers character, which character would you choose and why?

I feel like I’d be incredibly self-conscious writing any one writer’s characters, but I would willingly have several non-vital organs removed for the opportunity to write Batman.

An evil wizard casts a spell on you and transports you to a world from a fantasy novel. Which fantasy world would you want it to be?

Most likely Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. It seems like as long as I kept my head down, I’d have the least chance of dying a gruesome death there.

You cannot return from the fantasy world you have been sent to and are doomed to spend the rest of your days there, what profession do you choose to take up?

Writing. I figure I’ll stick with what I know.

What is the weirdest place you have found yourself working on a book?

Most of my writing happens in the places that aren’t that weird to us writers: at home, in a coffee shop, on a bus, at work when no one is looking. I’m sure at some point I’ve furiously scribbled lines or plot points while on a forklift. Don’t worry, it wouldn’t have been moving at the time.

What weird writing rituals or habits do you have?

Nothing too crazy, really. I just make sure I have coffee handy, cue up my writing playlist on Spotify, sacrifice exactly twelve grams of cotton candy and two ounces of triple sec to the elder god Shoggoth, and just let the words flow out.

Why should readers check out your books?

Because they’re fun! I referenced popcorn fantasy earlier, and I didn’t mean it in a derogatory sense. I think there is plenty of room in the genre for books that are light, fun jaunts, and I think I’m pretty good at writing them. Fantasy is an infinitely long buffet of all the foods in the world, but if you’re in the mood for some comfort food, I make a mean shepherd’s pie.

Sounds delicious, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions today!

About Brandon’s Books

Enna Summerlark has spent her entire life as a farmer’s daughter in the kingdom of Hallowspire, paying little mind to anything past what to sell at the next market day. When the next market day comes, however, strange events take place that will reunite her with an old friend, bring her into the world of a pair of sell-swords, and reveal a secret that will change Hallowspire forever, and cause ripples across the whole of the Four Kingdoms.

The first book in “The Four Kingdoms Saga”, The Summerlark Elf introduces readers to compelling characters in an engaging world of swords and sorcery, personal turmoil and political intrigue!

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About Brandon Draga

Brandon Draga was born in 1986, just outside Toronto, Ontario. His love of all things fantasy began at an early age with games like The Legend of Zelda, Heroquest, and Dungeons and Dragons. This affinity for the arcane and archaic led to his studying history in university from 2005 to 2011. In late 2012, he began writing a D&D campaign setting that would lay the groundwork for the world of the Four Kingdoms. Brandon still lives just outside Toronto, and when he is not writing enjoys skateboarding, playing guitar, and playing tabletop games.



Author Interview: A.Z. Anthony

This week I am interviewing fantasy author A.Z. Anthony. A.Z. Anthony has previoulsy written a number of short stories and his debut novel, Servant Of Rage, is due to be released in April this year!

First off, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m renowned author A.Z. Anthony, best known for my genre-warping fiction which crashes global markets, and my humility. More realistically, I’m the author of several award-winning stories, as well as my debut novel, Servant of Rage. I’m also a ghostwriter by trade and a contributor at The Fantasy Hive.

What book are you currently reading and are you enjoying it?

I’m currently reading Supremacy’s Shadow by T. Erik Bakutis and I am absolutely enjoying it. It’s billed as “grimsnark” and it’s definitely had me laughing a fair bit.

Your debut novel, Servant of Rage, the First Book of the Bloodrage Trilogy, is set to launch on April 3, 2018, what is the book about?

Well, some anonymous, but really important person (who’s definitely not me), has called it “Avatar: The Last Airbender as directed by Quentin Tarantino.” But, just in case that word of that really important, definitely famous person isn’t enough, here’s a quick summary:

To kill an heir is to claim their power. But at what cost?

When the khan’s fiercest headhunters, brothers Subei and Bataar, are struck by lightning from a freak storm, they awake to find unnatural powers growing inside them. And they’re not alone – all across the land other “heirs of the ancestors” have been similarly blessed. To kill one of these heirs is to consume their power, but as the brothers do just this, and their power grows, so too does a primal, uncontrollable madness within.

What was your favorite thing about writing this book?

Actually writing it. I’m not the biggest fan of plotting or editing, but I love writing. I always draw up outlines for my novels, but they inevitably change in some ways when I get to the act of physically writing the story. I love that. I love following the text as it develops in unexpected ways and takes me in new directions.

What was the hardest thing about writing Servant of Rage?

Character growth, for sure. I didn’t mean to write a book that required so much character growth, but it turned out to be essential to the plot. I don’t think it’s one of my strongest areas of writing, but advanced reviews have said they liked how the characters grew and changed, so I’ll take it!

How does it feel to be releasing your first book?

At first, it was more stressful. I was worried about a dozen things, primarily, that no one would buy the book. But all that worrying built into an important realization: I was so worried about the book doing well, I’d forgotten to just enjoy my writing. That realization has helped me get back to the basics. Writing for writing’s sake, and releasing the books when they’re done, because, what else do you do with a finished manuscript anyway, eh?

What drew you to writing Grimdark Fantasy?

Joe Abercrombie. He was the gateway drug that led me down this dastardly path. I’ve always appreciated the depth and mixed morality of his characters. I love a good morally gray protagonist, or outright anti-hero. They’re so much more interesting than your typical “good guy.” Also, I’ve always loved hard rock / metal as a music genre, and grimdark really is just the hard rock of the literary world, isn’t it?

What book/series has had the greatest influence on your writing?

Ooh. This one is tough. Based on how Servant of Rage turned out, I’d say Abercrombie’s standalone novel, Best Served Cold. But, my current WIP is a standalone that draws much heavier on survival thriller influences such as Jurassic Park. I’d like to think my writing is moving in a direction to be some abominable mashup of grimdark and man vs. wild, survival thrillers.

In your opinion, which fantasy series has had the greatest influence on the fantasy genre? 

I mean, I have to say Lord of the Rings, right? It’s good – not my favorite story out there – but the influence it has had and still does on the fantasy genre is undeniable.

If you could write in any fantasy world, which would you choose and why?

I’d have to go with the universe of Andrew Rowe’s Sufficiently Advanced Magic. I read that book recently and, while I can’t explain why, it’s just really stuck with me. Something about the world he created fascinated me. I’d love to take a crack at writing in it. But he’s almost done with work on the sequel, and I think reading that will satisfy the craving for a while.

If you could write a book using another writers character, which character would you choose and why?

Oh, jeez. That’s a tough one. I hardly feel qualified to write another author’s characters. I suppose, if I had to answer, I’d want to write Nicomo Cosca from Abercrombie’s works. He’s always been one of my favorite scoundrels. That being said, I’m absolutely sure I’d not be able to do the character justice.

An evil wizard casts a spell on you and transports you to a world from a fantasy novel. Which fantasy world would you want it to be?

I quite like living. Thus, I’d definitely want to go to a world where consequences are not quite ever-lasting and I’d have a better chance of not being randomly slaughtered by a passing lord. So…I’d go with the fantasy world of Nicholas Eames’ Kings of the Wyld. Also, airships. Yes please.

You cannot return from the fantasy world you have been sent to and are doomed to spend the rest of your days there, what profession do you choose to take up?

Airship mate, and if I work really hard, maybe I can make it to First Mate. I’d not want to be captain, though. Too much responsibility. I just want to sail the skies in a badass ancient relic ship and watch the sunset over the horizon.

What is the weirdest place you have found yourself working on a book?

The weirdest place I’ve found myself working on a book is in the pick up / drop off lane of our local T (Boston subway) station. Sometimes while I’m waiting to pick up my fiancee, I’ll write on my phone. Not planning, but actual writing. It’s strange to write on your phone, and it’s much slower than  keyboard, but it gets the job done, eventually.

What weird writing rituals or habits do you have?

The first time I answered this question in an interview, I had to ask my fiancée if I did anything weird while writing, because of course I don’t. Without hesitating, she reminded me that I work out while I write. Every forty-five minutes or so, I do a quick set of exercises with free weights. I find it helps keep me active, encourages the creativity to flow, and the ever-increasing physical exhaustion makes it easier to stay at the keyboard (a comfy computer chair is far preferred to crunches on the hardwood floor with a weight on my head).

Why should readers check out your book?

It’ll fix your love life!* It’ll whip you into impeccable physical shape!** It’ll put money in your bank account!*** And because, as one advanced reviewer put it, Servant of Rage is “a dark yet hopeful tale of magic and morality in a violent world…packed with action, conflict, and enough fighting to satisfy any fantasy reader’s cravings for magical battles.”

*It probably won’t
**It definitely won’t
***It’ll do the opposite, actually

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions today!


About The Book

To kill an heir is to claim their power. But at what cost? 

As the khan’s fiercest headhunters, brothers Subei and Bataar are feared across the steppe. When they’re struck by lightning from a freak storm, however, they awake to find unnatural powers growing within them. And what’s more, they’re not alone.

All across the land other “heirs of the ancestors” have been imbued with these powers. Some call it a gift. Others, a curse. The khan calls it opportunity.
Under the tutelage of two infamous women – one a conqueror, the other a monk – the brothers are sent to the lands of the mighty Zhong empire to hunt heirs and consume their power for the good of the khanate.
With each kill, their powers grow. But so too does something else, boiling beneath the surface until it breaks free in uncontrollable fits of violence. As these so called bloodrages grow stronger and last longer, Subei and Bataar must weigh their duty, and their honor, against the unnatural madness growing within.

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About A.Z. Anthony

A.Z. Anthony is best known for his genre-warping fiction whose popularity commonly crashes global markets. Also, his humility.

More realistically, he is the author of several award-winning short stories. His debut novel, Servant of Rage, releases April 3, 2018. He’s also hard at work on an additional standalone novel, the two sequels to Servant of Rage, and is a contributor at The Fantasy Hive.

Should you wish to reach out to A.Z. you should know he prefers to be contacted exclusively through Sasquatch-esque whoops and tree knocks. However, he can also be reached through these less effective means:

Twitter: @GrindarkGuy
Goodreads: A.Z. Anthony



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