James Islington


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James Islington

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Member Since
July 2014


James Islington was born and raised in southern Victoria, Australia. His influences growing up were the stories of Raymond E. Feist and Robert Jordan, but it wasn't until later, when he read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series - followed soon after by Patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind - that he was finally inspired to sit down and write something of his own. He now lives with his wife and daughter on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

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James Islington Sure! It wasn’t *quite* as abrupt as that – I absolutely loved creative writing as a teen, and the ambition to write a novel ‘one day’ was always…moreSure! It wasn’t *quite* as abrupt as that – I absolutely loved creative writing as a teen, and the ambition to write a novel ‘one day’ was always there. Most of my twenties, though, was spent running a startup with a friend of mine. It was pretty successful and a major learning experience, but also an insane amount of work and stress. I barely had time to read fiction, let alone write anything.

So when I finally got around to discovering Brandon’s and Patrick’s books, it wasn’t that they necessarily created my first ‘I want to be an author’ moment – I think everyone who enjoys writing has a little bit of that in them already anyway. It was more that they rekindled my *enthusiasm* for the idea, which to me is actually a much harder thing to inspire. Those books really got me excited about the genre again, and that in turn motivated me to give my own story a go.

In terms of finding the time, when I turned thirty I basically decided to scale back my involvement in the business so that it became a not-quite-full-time endeavour - less money, of course, but it allowed me both the opportunity and head space to write while still earning a paycheck. I'd already been working from home and on my own schedule for years, so self-discipline wasn't really an issue. From there it was just a case of being diligent about getting something down on the page every day. It took a couple of years and a fair amount of patience - a lot of drafts and a lot of edits based on feedback, especially early on - but eventually 'Shadow' got to the point where I was comfortable releasing it.

I think that about sums it up. Cheers for the question!(less)
James Islington Thanks! The origins of the story are actually a little tricky to explain, as they kind of give away the ending to 'The Shadow of What Was Lost'. So…moreThanks! The origins of the story are actually a little tricky to explain, as they kind of give away the ending to 'The Shadow of What Was Lost'. So I'm marking below as a spoiler - I'd advise holding off reading any further here until you've finished the book....


------SPOILER------

I've always loved stories about redemption, characters with dark pasts striving to change but struggling with who they've become. So I was interested in exploring the idea of an epic fantasy bad guy - the legendary enemy who everyone 'knows' is evil - in that situation. Looking at why he was on the wrong side in the first place, and then how he'd go about trying to make up for / escape the terrible things he'd done.

That led to me thinking about memories and how much they shape who a person is - how their past experiences, decisions and knowledge influence them and make them capable of things they might not be otherwise.

I also wanted to write a story where prophecies weren't so wishy-washy and open to interpretation ("and the seven eagles shall rise on wings of fire, and the crown of iron shall be shattered, and blah blah blah"). It's not that this never works in a story, but I think it's an area of fantasy that still tends to get away with little to no explanation of why it's like that. In most cases it seems to just fall into the 'because magic' category, which I'm personally not a big fan of.

Anyway, that line of thinking ultimately resulted in the Augurs, as well as (to some extent) the inclusion of time travel in the story.

------END SPOILER------


So, I guess I had a lot of disparate ideas/inspirations rattling around in my head over the years. Then when I started reading Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss a while back, I finally got inspired enough that I really knuckled down and gave writing a serious amount of my time. Thus, 'The Shadow of What Was Lost'.

Hope that answers your question!

Edit: Looks like spoiler tags don't work on answering questions, so I'm marking the whole thing as a spoiler.

Edit 2: Apparently I can't mark the whole thing as a spoiler after it's been submitted. I'll change the heading so it's nice and obvious instead. (less)
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More books by James Islington…

Edits for 'The Light of All That Falls' (Licanius #3) submitted!

Hey everyone,

Just a very quick update - edits for Licanius #3 have now been submitted to Orbit. Getting close now! I'm really pleased with how this final book in the trilogy has turned out, and the release date of December 10 is looking rock-solid.

For those interested, some (very slightly) more detail is up over on the website. Read more of this blog post »
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Published on February 18, 2019 16:16 Tags: licanius, the-light-of-all-that-falls
The Shadow of What Was Lost An Echo of Things to Come The Light of All That Falls
(3 books)
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4.19 avg rating — 23,594 ratings

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This book was awesome - intense, inventive and action-packed from beginning to end. It included a ton of things that I like in a story, and then executed that story really, really well.

Where the blurb mentions Game of Thrones, I’d liken it more to s
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Excellent heroic fantasy – I really enjoyed A Time of Dread, but I think this book was even better. With the main characters already established, the story moves along at a terrific pace, with plenty of tension and rousing action to propel things for ...more
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Went to write reviews of another couple of books I’ve just read, and realised I’d forgotten to leave even a rating for this (despite having read the ARC for it… mid last year, I think?). That’s somewhat to my shame, because it’s a wonderfully written ...more
" Mark wrote: "I'm excited that the audiobook will be released at the same time with Michael Kramer returning as narrator. I love using Audible for audi ...more "
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I’ve had a hectic start to this year and there’s certainly plenty for me to be doing over the next six months, so I wasn’t really planning to review (or in fact read) much of anything for a while. However I enjoyed Greatcoats quite a bit, so when I w ...more
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I read A Time of Dread a little over a month ago, and was waiting for some time to put together a more thorough review... which thanks to both Christmas and a new baby in the house(!), never eventuated. But with it being released today in the UK, I w ...more
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Wonderful stuff. What I said for Traitor’s Blade consistently holds true for the entire series – it’s great fun in (a ton of) parts, and genuinely poignant in many others. In particular, I found the last third or so of the final book to be just about ...more
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Blew through this in three days, have already ordered the rest of the series (i.e. yes, it was excellent). I won't go into a detailed review as there are plenty of those already, and many of them are accurate - saying it's a fun-but-dark (or dark-but ...more
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“You can put your trust in something that’s obvious, that’s measurable or predictable - but that's not faith. Nor is believing in something that gives you no pause for doubt, no reason or desire to question. Faith is something more than that. By definition, it cannot have proof as its foundation.”
James Islington, The Shadow Of What Was Lost

“All that I wanted, I received
All that I dreamed, I achieved
All that I feared, I conquered
All that I hated, I destroyed
All that I loved, I saved
And so, I lay down my head weary with despair, for;
All that I needed, I lost”
James Islington, The Shadow of What Was Lost

“You can put your trust in something that’s obvious, that’s measurable or predictable - but that's not faith.”
James Islington, The Shadow Of What Was Lost

Polls

May 2015 Fantasy Selection

 
  26 votes 32.1%

 
  18 votes 22.2%

 
  13 votes 16.0%

 
  12 votes 14.8%

 
  6 votes 7.4%

 
  6 votes 7.4%

81 total votes
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message 2: by James

James Islington Mike wrote: "Beta reader, right here! Lol. Great story man."

Cheers Mike! :-) If you're interested in beta reading AEoTTC, just shoot me an e-mail (james@jamesislington.com) or message via http://jamesislington.com/contact.aspx, so I can add your e-mail address to the list. I'll only be picking a few people at random off what's already a very long list though, so definitely no guarantees. Thanks again!


Mike Beta reader, right here! Lol. Great story man.


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