For today’s edition of Ten Questions with Mia, I am happy to welcome the author of Bane of Souls, Thaddeus White!
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Author Bio: Thaddeus White is a Briton and author of the fantasy novel Bane of Souls. As well as writing (and reading) fantasy, he also enjoys classical history and Formula 1. When not working on books he offers tips on F1, and occasionally tennis.
1. What five words describe you?
Analytical, eccentric, pragmatic, creative, independent
2. What was the first story you ever wrote? I mean the really bad one we all have that you’re trying to hide in the back of closet now that you’re published?
That’s surprisingly hard to answer, because I’ve been writing stories since I was about five years old (and, if I’m honest, I rather like the story of the three-headed dragon that terrorises a village and then kills the hero they hire to slay it). The first semi-serious effort, which was abandoned, was about a small group of assassins. I didn’t put enough thought into planning the plot or world and it gradually ran out of steam.
3. What inspires you?
Reading stuff that other people have written, and really enjoying it, and trying to evoke that same feeling in readers. There’s also a scene I can still remember pretty vividly from the TV adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia [spoilers ahead]. A ship’s heading for somewhere or other, and the sailors are surprised to see an uncharted island ahead… except that it turns out not to be an island, but a monstrous sea serpent! It’s that kind of thing which makes me really enjoy fantasy.
4. What distracts you?
So many things. The telephone is one of my least favourite, especially when I’m interrupted halfway through a first draft and it’s someone attempting to sell me windows (NB telesales persons: my house already has windows). Low level background noise can sometimes put me off, but I’ve gotten a lot better at knuckling down and getting on with it.
5. What’s your favorite story? This can be specific, as in a particular book or even story-driven movie, or general, like “I’m a sucker for a hero looking for redemption story.”
In general terms I like moral ambiguity. I recently finished Red Country, by Joe Abercrombie, and if it’s not the best fantasy story I’ve ever read it’s certainly one of the best. I love the moral ambiguity and character development, and the story has a nuanced and balanced feel.
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About the Writing
1. Tell us about your currently available titles.
Right now Bane of Souls (a stand-alone story) is the only one out, but I’m hard at work on Journey to Altmortis (due out in the first half of 2013). Bane of Souls follows a young Kuhrisch man called Horst. Whilst with his uncle visiting the foreign city of Highford for trade they’re staggered to discover Horst is ‘cursed’ (the Kuhrisch consider those endowed with magical abilities abominations). His uncle abandons him and he cannot leave on pain of death. At the same time, Highford is undergoing a spate of murders, and the killer(s) has a liking for dead mages…
2. What’s your favorite part about writing these stories?
There are certain parts in each book which I know about long before writing them. I’m very much a visual sort of writer, and when I get a perfectly clear picture in my head of something writing it becomes really easy and especially enjoyable. In Bane of Souls one instance of this was the Blutbaum, which is both a cursed and sacred tree for the Kuhrisch.
3. What would your characters say about you? Be honest!
Horst would offer a sarcastic comment, Francis would probably like the fact I gamble a little and ask for a tip, and Lucia might suggest that I should work a bit harder.
4. Who would play your favorite character if they made a movie of their story?
That’s really hard (to both pick a single favourite and an actor/actress). It can’t happen (because he’s sadly departed) but Terry Thomas as Captain Urquhart would have been great to see. Urquhart’s a witty fellow and something of a bounder. Despite leading the City Watch, he probably commits more non-murderous crimes than anyone else in the book.
5. Do you have any projects currently in the works you want to talk about?
The book I’m presently writing is Journey to Altmortis, which will also be stand-alone. In it, Thaddeus Falchester and assorted ne’er-do-wells travel across the wilderness of the Kuhrland to find the ruins of Altmortis. The dead city’s rumoured to be crammed with treasure and, just as importantly, is the destination of Falchester’s enemies: the Brothers Whitworth. But the city holds more than glinting trinkets and treacherous brothers…
After Altmortis I have a trilogy planned about the civil war between the Regent and King in Denland (the kingdom east of Highford). That’s still very much in the planning stage, as you’d imagine, as I’m focusing on Altmortis right now.
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Thanks for joining us today, Thaddeus, and good luck!