Q&A with Nicholas Eames
The arrival of Bloody Rose is upon us and I am sure everyone is ready for it. Kings Of The Wyld was a hell of a ride and Bloody Rose only improves Nicholas Eames’ humorous, gritty and hearty fantasy narratives. I was given the chance to ask Nicholas a few question about his work, influences and favourite characters and he answered them all. It was a great Q&A opportunity and I hope everyone enjoys the post. Bloody Rose continues The Band series well and if you haven’t already picked up both novels then you need to drop everything and get involved!
30.08.2018 / Orbit / Fantasy / Paperback / 544pp / 978-0356509044
About Nicholas Eames
Nicholas Eames was born to parents of infinite patience and unstinting support in Wingham, Ontario. Though he attended college for theatre arts, he gave up acting to pursue the infinitely more attainable profession of ‘epic fantasy novelist’. Kings of the Wyld is his first novel. Nicholas loves black coffee, neat whiskey, the month of October and video games. He currently lives in Ontario, Canada, and is probably writing at this very moment.
About Bloody Rose
Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.
When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants-and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.
IT’S TIME TO TAKE A WALK ON THE WYLD SIDE
Thank you, Nicholas for taking some time to answer a few questions about your brilliant new sequel to Kings of The Wyld, Bloody Rose. Could you give us your own personal overview of what we should expect in within your new book?
More of the good stuff! Plenty of humour, oodles of heart, but a slightly more serious story. You get to explore the world and see first-hand how the ‘mercenaries as rock-bands’ thing works on a daily basis. I think the characters are more fleshed-out this time around, which should make for higher stakes when things get dire.
What was the initial inspiration for your fantasy series?
The book Ready Player One inspired me to abandon the super-serious, monstrously epic story I’d been slogging away on for years and write something that was essentially a love-letter to everything I love about fantasy. It also got me listening to Rush, for which I will always be grateful.
Can you give us a few details about what style/tone of fantasy you explore within Bloody Rose and Kings Of The Wyld?
I like to think of it as fairly realistic with an extra helping of humour. The books are about real people doing extraordinary things against all odds, drawing the strength to do so from the people around them. They’re sometimes harrowing, but always hopeful.
Is there a specific character or element in Bloody Rose that you especially enjoyed writing about?
As Moog was to Kings of the Wyld, Roderick is to Bloody Rose. He’s the band’s booker (a manager, of sorts), and is a pretty outrageous character. Almost every line he speaks is hilarious—to me, at least. As for an ‘element’, there’s a chapter called ‘Seventeen Seconds’ that literally takes place over seventeen seconds, though each one of them is as action-packed as possible. That was a fun one to write. And to read, I hope.
What sort of challenges did you face when writing a gritty yet fun and entertaining fantasy series?
Apart from the soul-crushing angst common to all writers, none at all! I’m a pretty funny person, but I’m also a ridiculously sentimental person. I’ll cry at a McDonald’s commercial if its about a father’s pride in his son, or an immigrant finding a home away from home. These books are an extension of me, and the fact that they’ve (thus far) resonated with people has been immensely gratifying.
Is this going to be a trilogy or a continuous series?
While there are three books planned in the series and a definite ‘arc’ throughout them all, each book is a standalone story featuring a new cast of characters. That said, I’d be very surprised if I don’t write more stories in this world someday down the road.
Had you always wanted to become a fantasy author/writer?
Not always. I wanted to be an animator for most of my childhood. I was always drawing and dreamed of working for Disney. I went to college for acting, but by then I’d started reading books that affected me deeply. Shortly after that I decided to give writing a go.
Are there any authors that you look up to as a writer that has helped shape your work?
First and foremost: Guy Gavriel Kay. It was his work that inspired me to take writing seriously, and, if my books ever mean to someone what his mean to be, I’d consider it all worthwhile. Also, both Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch wrote stories that featured humour despite the often-grim subject matter. If it wasn’t for them, I might not have believed it possible to do both, and doubtless editors would have been less likely to take a chance on something like Kings of the Wyld.
How does it feel to be compared to G. R. R. Martin and Terry Pratchett?
That’s crazy-talk! But it’s awesome nonetheless. Martin is a master of the craft, and Pratchett was pure genius. Ironically, I didn’t read my first Terry Pratchett book until after KotW was written and sold!
How long did it take you to plan and write Bloody Rose compared to Kings Of The Wyld?
A bit longer, since I changed some pretty fundamental parts of the story quite late in the process. The first book took me about a year and a half to write, while the second was more like two.
Can you tell us in five words what writing means to you?
Taking people to another world.
Did you take the time to celebrate the conclusion of writing your books and their releases?
Not reeeeeally. I needed a few months to regain my sanity after I’d finished Bloody Rose, and when she finally arrives I’ll be busy writing the next, though I AM having a launch party for her. Instead of major celebrations, I take a few minutes here and there to reflect on what I’ve accomplished and consider how fortunate I am that things have worked out as they have.
Have you got a hobby/activity you do to wind down from all the work and writing?
I love reading and video games, so although I don’t get to do either as much as I used to, they’re still my favourite ways to pass the time.
Finally, have you read a book/article recently that you would personally recommend to the readers of this post?
I’m partway through reading ‘The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet’ by Becky Chambers right now and it’s extraordinary. I’m also listening to Peirce Brown’s ‘Red Rising Saga’ on audiobook, which is absolutely incredible. But I’m quite late to that party and you probably knew that already.
Thanks for having me!
Thank you Nicholas Eames for those brilliant insights into Bloody Rose and your inspirations and how it feels to be compared to the big dogs. I absolutely loved The Kings Of Wyld right and I still can’t believe some of the antics within, especially the band falling through a magical mirror and foiling an assassination attempt whilst all of them have erections brought on by a medicinal enhancement powder unintentionally administered while running from a mad collector who is trying to kill them. So funny. Nicholas Eames is a genius and a lot of people appreciate his work. I love where this story is going and I thought Bloody Rose was a cracking addition to the series as well. I hope you enjoyed the Q&A and check out Bloody Rose and Kings Of The Wyld as soon as possible.