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Friday, March 20, 2015

Mini-interview with Rob J. Hayes (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Author Website
Order It Takes A Thief To Catch A Sunrise here (US) and here (UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of It Takes A Thief To Catch A Sunrise
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 interview with Rob J. Hayes

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 IT TAKES A THIEF TO CATCH A 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] "It Takes A Thief To Catch A 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 IT TAKES A THIEF TO CATCH A SUNRISE is full of intrigue, deceit and hope and I think, once again, the characters reflect those qualities.

Q] Please tell us about how "It Takes A Thief To Catch A 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] Now with this title being re-published, there was a title and cover-art change. Could you walk us through this process? 

RJH:  I decided I wanted to re-launch The Northern Sunrise with the possibility of sequels and with a more eye-catching cover. I had the image I wanted in my head and found an artist who could do it justice (and he really did). Then I spent about a month trying to come up with a new name for the book. Eventually my sister suggested IT TAKES A THEIF TO CATCH A SUNRISE, and I liked it right away. It gives me the scope to write a sequel (or sequels) and name them IT TAKES A THIEF...

Q] Again in It Takes A Thief To Catch A 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 for creating such intriguing & devious 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] Will this be a standalone story, if yes what are you planning to write about next? Will you be returning to the world of The Ties That Bind trilogy? If not what will be your focus for the sequel ?

RJH: At this point in time I do have a sequel planned but it's a ways off yet. It will be set in a different part of the world where elemental magic is a lot more prevalent and will see Jacques and Isabel coming up against some stiff competition. Next up for me, however, is BEST LAID PLANS, a follow-up series to The Ties that Bind, set in the same world with some of the same characters and a lot more pirates. 

Q] Thank you once again for your time, what can your fans expect in 2015 and beyond?  

RJH: Thanks for having me again. This year sees the re-release of The Price of Faith (Book 3 of The Ties that Bind) by Ragnarok Publications will be out in May and there's always the possibility that the first book of Best Laid Plans will arrive before the year is out.


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