Today I'm pleased to welcome author James Calbraith to the blog to talk a little bit about his novel The Shadow of Black Wings and being a writer.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know you wanted to be a writer?
I always wrote. I know it’s a cliché to say “since I first put pen to paper”, but I think I wrote my first stories at the age of 7-8.
What inspired The Shadow of Black Wings?
My journeys to Japan and Wales, and my interest in the history of Japan.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging when you were writing The Shadow of Black Wings?
Balancing amount of research and world-building with action and character building. Pacing.
If you could be one of your characters from any of your books, who would you chose? Why?
I don’t think I’d like to live in the world of my books. I really like the here and now. If I had to, I would probably be one of the scholars in the Llambed Academy, like Doctor Campion or Ma’am Magnusdottir. Edern, of the Faer Folk, is probably the most fun character to be. But then, he’s practically an Elf.
When writing The Shadow of Black Wings, was there anyone or anything specific that inspired the character Dylan?
He’s a mixture of all the cool guys from all the cool movies; Indiana Jones, James Bond, Sharpe, mixed into one, but with a twist: what if any of these guys had a wife and kid, that he actually loved and cared about?
What are your three favorite novels and why?
Lord of the Rings, Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin, Ubik by Philip K. Dick. Can’t really say why in a brief answer – they are just masterpieces each in its particular genre.
Which do you prefer hard copy books or e-books? Why?
E-books all the way. It’s just the next step in technology; paper is dead, Jim.
What kind of weather do you write best in?
Rainy and gloomy. It means I get to stay home and write.
In your opinion what three words best describe Dylan?
Dashing, dapper, debonair.
Who are your favorite three authors and why?
Same as with favourite books: Tolkien, Le Guin and Philip K. Dick. Three greatest names in the history of fantasy and science-fiction.
If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?
For the main characters from my “The Year of the Dragon” series:
Bran ap Dylan: Aneurin Barnard
Sato Takashima: Chiaki Kuriyama
Nagomi Ito: Riisa Naka
Dylan ab Ifor: Luke Evans
Edern: Ioan Gruffudd
Gwennlian: Katie McGrath
*A big thank you to James Calbraith for stopping by and letting us interview him! For more information on his books check out the sites below!
James Calbraith is a 34 year old Poland-born writer, foodie and traveller, currently residing in South London.
Growing up in communist Poland on a diet of powdered milk, Lord of the Rings and soviet science-fiction, he had his first story published at the ripe age of eight. After years of bouncing around university faculties, he moved to London in 2007, found a decent IT job and started writing in English. His debut historical fantasy novel, ""The Shadow of Black Wings"", has reached ABNA semi-finals. It was published in July 2012 and hit the Historical Fantasy and Alternate History bestseller lists on Amazon US & UK.
Giveaway: (8) eBook copies and (2) print copies of The Shadow of Black Wings by James Calbraith