Today, I am pleased to welcome back to my blog, author J. Michael Radcliffe, one of my favourite people. Michael is one of those people that brightens my day when I'm navigating my way around the Internet jungle. He is a truly genuine and supportive friend and he also happens to be an awesomely talented author.
Those of you who follow my blog may remember I interviewed Michael last year after reading his wonderful book The Guardian's Apprentice, the first book in his Beyond the Veil series.
Here's a link to that interview: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_...
Since then Michael has published the second book in the series, Bloodstone - The Guardian's Curse, and after reading it I was keen to invite Michael back here for another chat.
As well as answering my questions, Michael has also generously offered to give away one signed print copy and one e-book of Bloodstone to followers of my blog. If you'd like to be in with the chance to win a copy, please leave a comment below, or simply 'like' the blog post. Winners will be picked on 30th May 2012.
Here's the interview:
Having just read Bloodstone - The Guardian's Curse, I have to say I am in awe of your storytelling abilities and am now a fantasy genre fan. I shall be reading more books about dragons, wizards and witches etc. What is it about the genre that made you decide to become a fantasy author?
Thank you, Maria, I am very flattered! I have always been drawn to the fantasy and science fiction genres, starting with Tolkein's The Hobbit and Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars series when I was kid. As an introvert, I had few friends in school, so I would lose myself in those worlds of magic for hours on end. It seems I always had a book in my hands, and eventually I decided to craft a story of my own. I think what I love most about the genre is that you can create entire worlds out of your imagination where anything is possible. I think this ability to create and structure worlds of my own is what appealed to me most.
One of your characters' names in the Bloodstone novel was inspired by my surname. Sava is a very evil character, but in a strange way I felt honoured to have her named after me lol. When writing a fantasy book, it must be quite a task picking the characters' names. How do you come up with such original names? Do they just pop into your head, or is there a method to how you name characters?
Names are perhaps one of the most difficult things for me ('Keegan' is actually the third name I came up with for the main character). Believe it or not, when I see a name that I find interesting I will sometimes jot it down for future use in my notes. I have a list of astronomical names that I found years ago - in fact that is where 'Acamar' received his name. When trying to develop the right name, I try to picture the character in my mind and imagine what they are like, and then try to pick a name that fits that picture. Sometimes a name will strike a chord with me and I can immediately imagine a character for it - such was the case with your surname. I thought 'Sava, Stealer of Souls' had a ring to it, and I am so glad you consented to its use in 'Forsaken' and 'Bloodstone'! And I should point out to readers that you are most certainly NOT evil - as one of the nicest online authors I have ever had the pleasure to meet, you are quite the opposite, in fact! :)
Shimmerscale, the dragon from an ornament you own, made an appearance in your novel, Bloodstone. I had to smile when I read that part because I already knew of your purchase of that ornament. I know that you state on your website that he speaks to you ;) Did he approve of the role you cast for him in the novel?
Idris (a.k.a. Shimmerscale) is a demanding taskmaster and can be incredibly snarky, even for a dragon. He is a devious little fellow and as you can see, he managed to work his way into the story. I will say he was quite pleased to have a permanent place on the Guardian's desk. ;)
Bloodstone - The Guardian's Curse, is the second book in the Beyond the Veil series. I was very excited to read on your website that you are planning a third book. What progress have you made and can you tell us a bit about it?
I am pleased to say that I am indeed working on Book 3 - tentatively named 'Rise of the Shadow'. I am currently up to chapter 5, I think, and have also written the last paragraph of the last chapter. I know that may seem strange, but with both of my books I knew exactly how they would end before I wrote the beginning! I will give you a preview for Book 3 as follows:
On the thirteenth hour, of the thirteenth day, of the thirteenth month after he was killed, the spirit of Ducat returns in the form of a wraith with the help of the Shadow. With the power of the Shadow, Ducat's wraith travels 5,000 years in the past in order to rewrite history and destroy the Guardian before he ever exists. A large part of the story will take place in Sakkara, Egypt - the birthplace of magic in our world. You will also learn a great deal more about Ms. Hoskins, who has always been more than she seems. Not only will Keegan have to stop a murder 5,000 years in the past, but he will also face a terrible choice that will determine his future and that of the magical world.
If you were given the choice to live in the World of Magic created by your series, would you? If so why? If no, why not?
I would love to have the chance to experience the magic, but only if I could share it with my family. If it meant being separated from them, then I am destined to remain a muggle. :)
If you could live for a day as one of your characters, which one would you choose to be, and why?
Now that is a difficult question!! I think I would choose to be Acamar - he is quite an accomplished wizard, plus he can turn into a cat - I think that would be an interesting perspective.
I saw on Facebook that you recently took part in a local library event for authors. Can you tell us a bit more about how that came about and what was involved. Any interesting stories to relate from the events of the day?
I received a call from one of the librarian's organizing the event - a friend of mine whose sister works at the library had submitted my name. I was surprised to find out that there were so many people here locally who were authors. The vast majority (probably 80%) were self published like me, although there were several traditionally published authors as well. There were about twenty of us total. One of the published authors spoke for about fifteen minutes about her process of finding an agent and publisher. All of the authors were seated around the perimeter of the room with the audience in the middle and there was a short Q&A session and then people were given a chance to chat with us, buy books, get them signed, etc. I must admit the most wonderful thing happened when a young lady came up who had already read the ebook version of both my novels - she purchased signed copies of both and couldn't wait to tell her friends she had met me. Getting to meet my first "fan" was really a neat experience.
Your sister, Maeve Greyson, is also an author. I think it's really cool that you both write. Do you read each other's books? Is there or has there ever been any sibling rivalry or competitiveness involved, or do you support each other?
I am very blessed to have such a supportive sister. We both occasionally will email paragraphs/pages/chapters to each other for opinions/critique, or sometimes we will just bounce ideas off of each other. It is really nice to have that resource, and I truly appreciate and respect her advice and opinions. There really hasn't been a rivalry, as we write in different genres - me in fantasy and her in paranormal romance, though her novels often have an element of magic in them. Plus, she loves dragons, so that makes us kindred spirits!
Do you have any other news for your readers?
I hope to have 'Rise of the Shadow' out by the Spring of 2013. I know that seems like a long way off, but it is a huge challenge trying to find time to write. I decided however that posting a definite date will give me a goal and keep me accountable (hopefully). :)
Thank you for being a wonderful guest as usual, Michael!
Remember, if you'd like a chance to win a copy of Bloodstone, please leave a comment below, or 'like' the post :)
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