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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Art Of War Anthology Cover Reveal + Interview with Petros Triantafyllou (by Mihir Wanchoo)

Pre-order The Art Of War Anthology Over HERE

The Booknest blog is made of several cool folks and while they are a relatively newer blog, they are doing things better than most accomplished ones. Last year they raised funds (to the tune of $4400) to support the Doctors Without Borders program. This year they decided to go one step further and create an anthology with an amazing roster of authors. The anthology is titled ART OF WAR and here’s the impressive lineup of authors assembled:

- Mark Lawrence

- Ed Greenwood

- Brian Scott Staveley

- Christian G. (Miles) Cameron

- John Gwynne

- Sebastien De Castell

- Mitchell Hogan

- Stan Nicholls

- Rob Hayes

- Charles Phipps

- Mazarkis Williams

- Ben Galley

- Graham Austin-King

- Michael R. Fletcher

- Nicholas Eames

- Anna Smith Spark

- Anna Stephens

- Ed McDonald

- RJ Barker

- Sue Tingey

- Benedict Patrick

- Michael R. Miller

- Dyrk Ashton

- Laura M Hughes

- Steven Poore

- Timandra Whitecastle

- Steven Kelliher

- J.P. Ashman

- Brandon Draga

- David T. Palmer

- Anne Nicholls

- Dominick M. Murray

- RB Watkinson

- M. L. Spencer

- Charles F Bond

- Andrew Rowe

- Ulff Lehmann

- Tom Gaskin

- Zachary Barnes 

- Nathan Boyce

- With a foreword by Brian D. Anderson

The beauty of it all is that Petros spent his own hard-earned money in getting everything assembled and lined up. he then also hired one of the best cover art & designers teams around namely John Anthony Di Giovanni & Shawn King. Tim Marquitz was also super kind to assist with the editing, proofreading & formatting for the anthology.

So today we are extremely excited to do the cover reveal for this awesome beast of an anthology, kindly feast your eyes on the beauty below:

(click on pic to enlarge)

The anthology will be released on February 13th 2018 and you can add it to your Goodreads profiles as well. checkout the blurb for it:

Official Book Blurb: “War, my friend, is a thing of beauty.”

How do you get forty fantasy authors to contribute short stories for a war-themed anthology without paying them? It sounds as if there should be a good punchline to that, but all Petros Triantafyllou did was twist the moral thumbscrews and tell them all the profits would go to Doctors Without Borders, a charity that works tirelessly across the world to alleviate the effects of conflict, sickness and poverty.

So, with clear consciences, several busloads of excellent and acclaimed fantasy authors have applied themselves to the task of penning a veritable mountain of words on the subject of The Art of War, expect bloodshed, gore, pathos, insight, passion, and laughs. Maybe even a wombat.

Who knows. Anyway, as the original blurb said: “It’s good. Buy it.” - Mark Lawrence

Doesn’t that sound amazing? And to top it off the print version of the anthology will contain 40 black & white interior art pieces by Jason Deem, one for nearly every story it seems.

I thought it would be great to find out more about the anthology and I was my sincere  pleasure when Petros T. agreed to answer a few questions about the anthology’s creation, the Booknest blog and some other tidbits.

So please give a warm welcome to Petros, Booknest owner, blogger buddy & a super smart dude:

Q] Thank you for this opportunity and welcome to Fantasy Book Critic. Could you please tell us about yourself, your life in Greece and how you came to be a blogger?

PT: Hello Mihir. Thanks for hosting this interview. I think you already mentioned the two most important things about me, or at least the ones that would interest the readers. I am from Greece and I am a blogger. What else? Hmm. I am a betting agent working on OPAP (a national network organizing and conducting games of chance). When I’m not reading I’m either fishing or watching three dozen tv series, and I have an infatuation with sloths which I share with the infamous Dyrk Ashton. I am also quite handsome and smart, according to my mum.

As for the blogger part, I used to write reviews on GoodReads, mostly to give a little bit of joy to the authors whose books I enjoyed reading, but for some reason my reviews gained a fair bit of popularity. At some point I was discussing with Agnes Meszaros (beta-reader of Mark Lawrence) about how I would love to get my hands on an ARC of The Liar’s Key, and she said that the best shot I had in an ARC was through a blog. Everything started from there.

Q] The blog while being a newer one has made a name for itself with the sheer amount of reviews and wonderful content that you folks provide. Please tell us about its creation and how did you assemble your terrific blogger team?

PT: As I mentioned above, it was Agnes that first nudged me into creating BookNest. When I put my mind on a project, I always try to get the best out of it. So, I looked around to other famous fantasy blogs such as Fantasy Faction and Fantasy Book Critic, and figured that a successful blog has more than one reviewer. So my first step was to contact two fellow reviewers from Goodreads (Katerina & Ojo) and offer them the opportunity to start this blog together. While three reviewers made a good starting point, throughout the last two years I recruited more members, reaching a point where 9 different people wrote reviews and articles for BookNest, producing an impressive amount of daily content.

Of course not every recruited member was a perfect fit, but through trial and error I believe that at this point, all of my reviewers are professionals beyond doubt. And to name them, the current BN members are: Katerina, Petrik, Celeste, Mary, TS, Charles and Michael.

Q] Tell us about your genre reading interests and which books & authors do you count among your favourites?

PT: While on BN we review over a dozen different genres, I am a fantasy guy through and through. My favorite books are The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks (the books that made me set aside all other genres and focus only on Fantasy) and my favorite authors are Mark Lawrence and Michael R. Fletcher, for whom I occasionally beta-read.

Q] Last year you guys raised nearly about $4400 for Doctors Without Borders. Please tell us more about the initiation & successful completion of this fundraising experience? What motivated you to develop & run it?

PT: I could probably weave a terrific story about how this project came to life, but the truth is that it was a spur of the moment decision. I wanted to raise a few bucks for a charity, ANY charity, to help some people through the holidays, and I figured that the best way to do it would be through a fantasy fundraiser. So, with the help of Laura M. Hughes (who named the project “BookNest’s Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser”) I got the word out, gathered 100 fantasy authors with each one of them offering a signed paperback, and we managed to raise $4,400 through a ruffle. The charity organization (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) was selected by the authors themselves through a poll.

Q] Following on from your last year’s efforts, you guys are going one step further and planning a charity anthology for the same cause. Could you tell us more about the ART OF WAR anthology and how did its inception occur?

PT: Art Of War is the combination of two different projects. I was planning the second annual Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser, and at the same point I was trying to figure out how I could pull off a fantasy anthology, inspired by Adrian Collins’ Evil is a Matter of Perspective anthology. The only possible way that I could pull off both of them successfully was to combine them, and that’s how I got the idea of an anthology for charity. I sent an open invitation to the same authors from FFF, and then personally invited a few more to complete the line-up.

Q] The title is certainly a famous one. Please tell us how you decided upon it and what lead you to focus on this topic for the charity anthology?

PT: Truth be told, the theme of the anthology was decided through a misunderstanding. The first person I contacted for the anthology was Mark Lawrence, and his reply was “how can I say no?”.

He also said that he wasn’t going to write a new story, but he would use an older one. Ok, he didn’t really said such a thing, but I somehow thought that he did. And since I really wanted him in Art Of War, I figured that the best way to do it would be to pick such a loose theme (aka war) so Mark and/or any other author who couldn’t write a new story due to deadlines etc could adjust and use an older one. In the end, this was more or less wasted, since 39 out of the 40 stories were written specifically for Art Of War.

Q] The artwork is beyond gorgeous and I believe you have gotten the dream team of John Anthony Di Giovanni & Shawn King to showcase their magic. What input did you have for that cover (if any) and what was your first reaction when you viewed it? Also tell us about the ARC cover I believe you had a special hand to play in its creation?

PT: Dream Team indeed! While every other aspect of the anthology was discussed and pondered over , I knew from the very first moment the people I needed to recruit to bring Art Of War to life. Tim Marquitz would be our editor, Di Giovanni alongside King would create the cover, and Jason Deem would create the interior art. I wasn’t really sure I could afford them since the project wasn’t fundraised, but all four of them were extremely generous.

As for the input, I gave complete artistic license to all of them. Jason read all 40 stories and illustrated scenes of his own choosing, and John only heard a rough idea from me and made everything else on his own.

Suffice to say that I was thunderstruck twice, once when I saw the cover illustration, and a second time when Shawn transformed the already amazing piece of art to something even greater.

Q] This question might be a bit difficult, but among this varied collection which ones are your favourite one as a reader?

PT: Asking a parent to choose among his children? That’s a tough one Mihir. If I was forced to, I would pick Mark’s, for the sole reason that it is set after the events of The Broken Empire. [Spoiler] A glimpse to the events after the death of Jorg Ancrath, and the fate of the Empire after the Wheel of Osheim is stopped? YES PLEASE.

Q] So what can readers expect from this amazing collection and what should they be looking forward to according to you?

PT: They should expect a whopping one hundred forty-four thousand (144,000) words epic anthology by forty Masters of Fantasy. What more is there to say?

Q] In closing, do you have any last thoughts or comments you’d like to share with our readers?

PT: Call me an idealist, but I believe that there is goodness in everyone. All of us feel empathy. Every single one of us want to help those in need, but sometimes we simply can’t afford to. This is an opportunity to change this by combining charity with pleasure. By getting a copy of Art Of War not only are you buying dozens of hours of entertainment, but you also help those who are suffering. All proceeds of Art Of War are going to Doctors Without Borders.

Even if you can’t afford to buy a copy, simply spreading the word is a great help.

NOTE: Fall Of Gods artwork by Rasmus Berggreen. All other artwork courtesy of Petros.


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