Hello. I write this stuff. Why? See below:
Not for fame and riches. Most published authors sell roughly 1-2,000 copies of their book, and earn something like £7,000 per annum. I wrote it because I love writing fiction and, as far as I could tell, there wasn’t much else like it in the market. So I was motivated by excitement, frustration, and an impulse to plug that gap. Also writing is what I do – whether specifications, memos, presentations, proposals, business cases, blog posts, poems or books – it’s one of the few things at which I’m vaguely competent.
Read this for some background. It’s dark, gritty, epic, shocking and moving. With lots of twists. And battles.
First and foremost it is an historical thriller. But with substantial layers of fantasy, supernatural and horror – like a grim and foul-tasting trifle.
A non-definitive list:
Alan Garner, Tim Willocks, Joe Abercrombie, CJ Samson, Karen Maitland, Dan Simmons, Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, Herman Hesse, Gene Wolfe, Ursula Le Guin, Robert Holdstock, William Hope Hodgson, Bernard Cornwell, Pip Vaughan-Hughes, Michelle Paver, Jasper Kent, Sarah Waters, M D Lachlan, Robert Low, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Philip Pullman.
My all-time favourite novel has to be The Religion by Tim Willocks – epic historical fiction in a totally different class; I’ve been waiting for the sequel for years and still no sign of it.
I cannot divorce the novel from the music I was listening to throughout the period of writing. Apart from film and other books, certain music was hugely influential in providing me with an ‘internal movie’ that, in turn, inspired whole chunks of the book. Once finished, I wanted to make an explicit connection between the writing and the music, so turned to a select band of ‘underground’ illustrators – who would usually provide artwork for band CD covers, shirts and posters; specifically, the type of band I listened to throughout the writing process.
As it happens, I’m a big fan of these illustrators in their own right. Each of them is hugely talented, and with a distinct style that I consider appropriate for depicting key scenes in the book. It was a massive thrill to see these guys interpret my words in their own unique way. So now I have four illustrations which perfectly complement the written material, and provide a unique selling point for the book.
I’m a bit of a music nerd, and love discovering new bands to fire my imagination. Some of my favourites, old and new, include: Sleep, Ufomammut, Camel of Doom, Enslaved, OM, Grand Magus, Led Zeppelin, Wardruna, Fields of the Nephilim, Naam, Daylight Dies, Esoteric, YOB, Earth Ride, Arcana, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, Teeth of the Sea, Abunai!, Hawkwind, Goatsnake, Comets on Fire, Jex Thoth, Earthless, Agalloch, Black Bombaim, Opeth, Sunn, Saint Vitus, Nachtmystium, Tangerine Dream, White Hills, Forest of Shadows, Urgehal, Gnod, Doom Vs, Colour Haze, Wolves in the Throne Room, Mammatus, Draconian, Gehenna, Negura Bunget, Earth, Popol Vuh, Ramesses, Kyuss,