1. What is the title of your book(s)?
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s the second book in the Gathandrian Trilogy, so is a follow-up to The Gifting, also published by Bluewood Publishing. I’ve always been fascinated in how someone who’s a loner by nature responds to social and cultural demands, as my main character, Simon Hartstongue, has to do in the series. I’ve also always loved the thought of being able to read minds, so that’s an important part of Simon’s character and culture too!
3: What genre does your book come under?
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Loner and scribe Simon would definitely be played by Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd, but he’d have to dye his hair blond! I’d love Colin Firth to play the mysterious Ralph Tregannon, Simon’s enemy and some-time lover. As for the people of Gathandria, lovely redhaired Karen Gillan – who played Amy Pond in the recent Dr Who series – is a must for feisty redhead and would-be elder, Annyeke Hallsfoot. Finally, I mustn’t forget the powerful and dangerous enemy of them all, Duncan Gelahn; the only actor who can do evil and threatening well enough for that role – as well as being very sexy indeed – just has to be Alan Rickman. So there you go – the perfect casting all round!
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When your whole country is under threat of destruction, just where can you look for a saviour?
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
The trilogy is published by independent press, Bluewood Publishing.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It’s taken me about 18 months or so to write and edit each book of the series, although that’s a flexible estimate, especially as work and life often get in the way.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The first book in the trilogy, The Gifting, has been compared to the fantasy work of Stephen R Donaldson, especially his books involving the chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever. There are definitely echoes between the two stories, for instance in the inclusion of a damaged loner (in my case, Simon Hallsfoot) and the epic journeys to other lands. I’m definitely thrilled to be compared to such a writer, that’s for sure!
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See above – Stephen R Donaldson’s work is a definite inspiration! I devoured the Covenant stories when I was younger, and they’ve always stayed with me.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The trilogy has a strong spiritual theme, where the characters are searching for salvation and a sense of identity – as a long-term Christian, I find religious or spiritual themes often appear in my fiction in some form or other. I also keep returning to the themes of love in all its guises, and how that can be a force for good or bad. There are two couples in the series – Annyeke and her companion Johan, and the far more difficult relationship between Simon and Ralph – and it’s been interesting to see how these two relationships have developed. And the psychology of revenge is always fascinating too, as evidenced by the actions and state of mind of Duncan Gelahn. A good enemy is always vital! I do hope readers enjoy the story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
While you're here, don't forget to catch up on the latest information about two Bluewood Publishing stalwarts - David Bowman and Paulette Rae. Happy reading!
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy