It is my pleasure to introduce our interview with Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose, two incredibly beloved books in The Band fantasy series.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
Most often I’ll walk to a coffee shop, read for a bit, then start working. If things are going well, I’ll go home and keep at it. If things aren’t going well, I’ll go home and do whatever it takes (exercise, video-games, binge-watching shows, etc.) to forget how awful writing went!
What makes a great character?
Relatability, I think. Can the reader empathize with them, or see things from that character’s perspective even it’s vastly different from their own? Being able to overcome adversity through strength-of-will as opposed to skill or strength alone is key too, I think. A few good jokes here and there doesn’t hurt either.
What elements of fantasy make you like reading and writing in the genre?
This one’s easy. It’s the fact that pretty much anything can happen. You can tell a story exactly like any other genre, except you can add dragons or magic to yours and those poor bastards writing stories about family dynamics in rural Nova Scotia have to play by the rules.
Your books Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose get a lot of love from the book community (to say the least!) – What have been some of your highlights since the release of Kings of the Wyld?
Oh, there’s been quite a few! Winning awards is great, as is being invited overseas and having everything paid for! But far and away the best part has been meeting and befriending some of my favourite authors, all of whom are amazing, empathetic, impossibly talented people. Having them as peers is truly a dream come true.
What can you tell us, if anything, about book three in The Band, Outlaw Empire?
It takes place about 14 years after Bloody Rose (so 20 years after Kings of the Wyld) and features a whole new band in a whole new era inspired by the anti-establishment rock and rap of the 1990s . While it will, like the first two books, be a standalone story, I’m also hoping to make it feel like the end of a very satisfying arc. Wish me luck.
If you could be any fantasy character, who would it be and why?
Probably someone with magic at their disposal. Rand al’Thor was pretty cool. He could do magic, sword-fight, and always wore very fashionable coats. That, and he got all the girls…
When did you start reading? And what books/series did you read over and over again?
The first fantasy book I read by myself was—prepare to be not-shocked-whatsoever—The Lord of the Rings. These days, the only books I re-read are those by my favourite author: Guy Gavriel Kay. His novel, Lord of Emperors, was the book that inspired me to write, and every so often I’ll go back to his stuff for inspiration.
What are some of your favourite recent reads?
Player of Games by Iain Banks was amazing. It’s a book I’ve wanted to read for a long time and it did not disappoint. Among Thieves by M.J. Kuhn was really fun, as was Travis Baldree’s Legends and Lattes. I listen to quite a few audiobooks as well, and Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao was excellent.
What do you enjoy doing outside of writing and reading?
I’m a huge fan of video games. Final Fantasy and Total War are my go-to games, but I’m a sucker for pretty much any turn-based tactics game or JRPG. Also, as someone who worked in restaurants for many years, I love going out for fancy (or not-so-fancy) dinners. And wine. And whisky, obviously.
If you only had one piece of advice to give to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Read. A lot. And critically. Try and figure out why a book’s pacing works (or doesn’t), why its prose sets your soul on fire (or doesn’t), what it’s done (or didn’t) to make you care about its characters. Also, a lot of writers (myself included) tend to write a book similar to what they read when they were younger, but the industry has changed a great deal over the past several years, so I think it’s important to read books that are popular now.
Are you working on any other new books or projects at the moment?
Aside from the third book in The Band series, I’ve got a novella sketched out that takes place between Bloody Rose and Outlaw Empire, though I’m not sure if it’ll happen or not. Also, I recently wrote my first ever comic: a one-shot issue of BARBARIC for Vault Comics. It was a ton of fun, and it looks as though I’ll have an opportunity to write a comic of my own soon—which is great, because boy do I have some awesome ideas.
Thanks for the questions!
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