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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mini Q&A with Rob J. Hayes (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website
Order the book HERE (US) and HERE (UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Heresy Within
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Colour Of Vengeance
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Northern Sunrise
Read Fantasy Book Critic interview with Rob J. Hayes

Rob J. Hayes is an author who currently is in the top echelons of my anticipated author list.  His most recent release The Northern Sunrise was a surprising steampunk and magical mix plus with the ever reliable top-notch characterization. Read ahead to find out what were his thoughts behind his newest standalone and what he plans on writing next...

Q] Welcome back to Fantasy Book Critic, while most writers are comfortable writing in their debut milieus, you have gone against the grain and written a standalone story set in a completely different world. What was your line of reasoning behind this bold step? 

RJH: Thanks for having me back. I think I wanted to try something a bit different and, after spending the past five years working on the world I created in The Ties that Bind trilogy, I wanted to take a break from it. I have a few worlds swirling about in my imagination, as I would assume most fantasy authors do, and a whole host of stories taking part in those worlds.

While I was writing The Price of Faith I had this idea for a short story involving the two protagonists from The Northern Sunrise and after putting it onto paper I found it so charming that I wanted to take it further and adapt it into a full novel.

Q] The Northern Sunrise while being a heist story is also miles away from your grimdark debut with regards to characters, plot bleakness and language. Did you feel that this story needed to be different from your debut or was this just what the story required? 

RJH: A little bit of both really. The story itself doesn't call for much violence, sex or harsh language so I made a conscious decision that there would be as little as possible. I think the character's attitude is a reflection of the world; the world I created in The Ties that Bind is dark, hard, cruel and unforgiving and the characters that inhabit it are very much a product of that. The world I created in The Northern Sunrise is full of intrigue, deceit and hope and I think, once again, the characters reflect those qualities.


Q] Please tell us about how The Northern Sunrise came to be? What were your inspirations for the story and what were you aiming for with it? 

RJH: So it started off as a short story set in a world that I've been designing for a while now to be one part steampunk-esque science, one part elemental magic and one part religious zealotry. A bit of a mash I know but I'm hoping it'll pull together in the end. :D

I love heist capers. From films like Ocean's Eleven to books like The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, I love the idea of a group of thieves overcoming impossible odds and stealing something that cannot be stolen. At the same time I wanted to include the romance of Bonnie and Clyde (only without the rampant murder), with a couple whose lives revolved around the obvious and deep love they have for each other and the thrill of the steal.

Q] Again in The Northern Sunrise, the characters are the highlight of the story particularly Isabel & Jacques who share a very warm and loving relationship. Also dangerously fascinating were Amaury & Franseza, what's your secret in the creation of such intriguing people? 

RJH: I think growing up with a psychologist for a mother probably helped. :D I try to create realistic characters wherever possible, giving them strengths and flaws, hopes and dreams, and conflicts both with other characters and also with themselves.

Q] Since this is a standalone story, what are you planning to write about next? Will you be returning to the world of The Ties That Bind trilogy? 

RJH: I am indeed. My next project follows on pretty directly from where The Ties that Bind trilogy left off. It will contain some of the old cast and many new characters as well. That's about as much as I'm giving away at the moment.


Q] With Indie books, cover art is always a tricky issue. I was very impressed with the cover art for The Northern Sunrise. Did you have any input in regards to it? If yes please elaborate... 

RJH: I think with cover art you really get what you pay for and, despite the old adage, people do judge books by their covers; so I've discovered the trick is to find (and pay for) a good artist and they will usually want quite a lot of input from the author. For the cover of The Northern Sunrise I chose the shape of the airship, and wrote all the annotations you see on the cover. Luckily the artist I found had a really good idea of what I wanted doing so there was very little conflict and what we came up with looks pretty damned good. :D

Q] Thank you once again for your time, what can your fans expect in 2014 and near future? 

RJH: Well hopefully towards the end of this year or the beginning of the next, I'll have the first book of the new series ready. On that note if people want to keep up to date with what's going on with myself and my scribblings they can do so by visiting my webpage, where they'll find news and short stories by myself, or by following me on Facebook at Rob J. Hayes, or on Twitter at @RoboftheHayes.

1 comments:

Jenna Christopherson said...

This is a great interview!

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