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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

SPFBO Finalist Interview: T.L. Greylock the author of Shadows of Ivory (The Godforged Chronicles Book 1)

Read FBC's interview with T.L.
Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: T L Greylock is the author of THE GODFORGED CHRONICLES series and THE SONG OF THE ASH TREE trilogy.

She can only wink her left eye, jumped out of an airplane at 13,000 feet while strapped to a Navy SEAL, had a dog named Agamemnon and a cat named Odysseus, and has been swimming with stingrays in the Caribbean.

P.S. One of the above statements is false. Can you guess which?

Publication Date: August 4, 2020 Publisher: Wraithmarked Creative Page Count: 500 Cover art: Tatiana Anor Formats: ebook, paperback, audiobook

Hello, thanks so much for joining us! Would you tell us a little about yourselves, and what made you want to start working together?

Bryce and I first crossed paths in 2018 as part of the same online circle of authors. We’ve been fortunate enough to get to meet up in real life a few times now, and we realized that we were capable of having and maintaining both a professional relationship and a friendship. The initial conversation about working together revolved around the question of how we could use Bryce’s larger existing audience to help grow my audience. At the time, I had a project I was already working on, and we began to discuss a partnership.

Collaborative work is… Well, it’s not for everyone. But you’ve pulled it off. What does it take to successfully co-write a novel? And what was the process for Shadows of Ivory?

We’re a bit unusual in that our partnership is more business than creative. Because I already had the bones of Shadows of Ivory established by the time he got involved, we agreed that I’d continue to be the driving creative force behind it and the entire series. Bryce contributed some world building and plot ideas, especially when I was running into sticky situations, and we edited the book together.

Who are some of your favorite writers, and why is their work important to you?

My favorite author is Guy Gavriel Kay, who I introduced Bryce to. Not only do I find his writing and style beautiful, I appreciate the emphasis on character and story over magic and the fantastical. Josiah Bancroft is another author high on my list; his creativity and writing continue to astonish me.

What do you think characterizes your writing style?

Oh man, this is tough. I’ve been told I have a lyrical style that is still easy to read.

What made you decide to self-publish Shadows of Ivory as opposed to traditional publishing?

I never considered anything else. Having self-published my first series, I know how viable self-publishing is and this is the career path I’ve chosen.

What do you think the greatest advantage of self-publishing is?

Not having to live within the submission/rejection cycle. Most authors will tell you the control that comes with self-publishing is paramount, and, yes, that’s true. But I know for me personally, the joy that comes with writing would decrease rapidly if I were trying to do this the traditional way.

On the other hand, is there anything you feel self-published authors may miss out on?

There’s still a stigma attached to self-pubbed work. I think it seems diminished to us now, but the reality is that many authors and readers in the self-publishing world exist in a relatively small online bubble where self-publishing is celebrated and accepted. Outside of that bubble, it’s still there. So we miss out on the innate acceptance that comes with a traditional contract.

Why did you enter SPFBO?

I entered the second iteration of SPFBO back in 2016, and now that I had another eligible first-in-series, I wanted to give it another shot! SPFBO 2 was how I met my initial core group of author friends, which has been incredibly important to me both professionally and personally.

What would you do if you won the SPFBO?


How would you describe the plot of Shadows of Ivory if you had to do so in just one or two sentences?

Indiana Jones meets Renaissance Italy

What was your initial inspiration for Shadows of Ivory? How long have you been working on it? Has it evolved from its original idea?

I started the first draft in the summer of 2019, and I knew from the start that I wanted to have an archaeologist grapple with the ethics of museums, preservation, conservation, the effects of colonialism on material culture, etc. One of the biggest evolutions came when I realized I wasn’t just telling the main character’s adventure story, but rather that I was gearing up to tackle questions about revolution, freedom, tyranny, and systems of government. The story definitely grew into something bigger, and I hope it feels relevant as a result.

Is it part of the series or a standalone? If series, how many books have you planned for it?

Shadows is first in the series, which is called The Godforged Chronicles. It will be a trilogy.

Who are the key players in this story? Could you introduce us to the protagonists/antagonists?

The two primary PoVs in the first book are Eska de Caraval and Manon Barca. They are rivals in the field of archaeology, heads of their family companies, and possess decidedly different methods and reasons for doing the work. Eska is an academic who conducts both personal and sponsored research. While some of her discoveries may end up on an auction block, she’s in it for the knowledge and the preservation of history and culture. Manon, on the other hand, inherited her father’s treasure-seeking ways and is in it for money and recognition.

How did you select the names of your characters?

Because the world reflects the Italian city states and Europe at the time of the Renaissance, I went for a bit of a mash up between French and Italian names. In terms of specifics, I don’t remember choosing Eska or Manon, but I do know that I never write a character until they have a name–and the names almost never change.

Does your book feature a magic/magic system? If yes, can you describe it?

The magic revolves around those known as Carriers, who possess the ability to wield elements–namely fire and water. Thanks to a dynasty of cruel, tyrannical Carrier kings and queens that came to an end 300 years before this story, Carriers occupy a tenuous place in society, equally as likely to be marginalized and scorned out of fear as they are to rise to any positions of influence, and as a result of this, their skills and abilities are seldom studied and poorly understood. The dead tyrants are suspected to have possessed the power to wield more than fire and water, but specifics are lost to history and the more extreme and fantastical stories are considered unreliable. Carrying is considered relatively rare and is not believed to be hereditary. Many who Carry choose to hide their ability; some can do no more, for example, than light a candle; and others may possess so little talent that they never fully realize they have any at all. Carrier abilities can be augmented by certain substances and devices, which are expensive, rare, and a closely guarded secret.

Which question about the book do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Is the archaeology real?

Sort of? I do have a MA in classical archaeology, but I’ve never been on a dig in my life. The techniques Eska uses are variations on things I picked up in my research, but a real archaeologist would probably raise an eyebrow.

Can you, please, offer us a taste of your book, via one completely out-of-context sentence.

“I’m not sure how they’ve managed it,” Albus said, “but Onaxos is even more tedious now that I’m supposed to be dead.”

What’s your publishing schedule for 2021/2022?

The sequel to Shadows, which is called Legacy of Bronze, will be out in 2022. No precise date yet.

Thank you for taking the time to answer all the questions. 



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