10 CHATS WITH AMAZING FANTASY AUTHORS

Since my new Fantasy novel The Ice House is coming out (yes, this is a link to where you can buy it), I thought I’d share some of my favourite chats with Fantasy authors who’ve come on my podcast for writers, Death Of 1000 Cuts. I’ve always felt a bit of an outsider in the Fantasy genre, a bit like maybe I’m not accepted as a ‘proper’ Fantasy author, so it was so great to speak with some inspirational authors whose work I really admire. I came away each time buzzing with ideas, energised and, frankly, a better storyteller. Here are 10 episodes where I chat to authors who write Fantasy.

VE SCHWAB

In this episode I chat with New York Times Bestselling Author VE Schwab about magic, moving between worlds and some surprising revelations about pain.

We chat about her early work, the very first book she got published, the perils of the ‘sophomore slump’, rediscovering joy and autonomy in novel writing, and exploring aspects of your personality through different characters.

If you’d like to read some VE Schwab a perfect place to start is VICIOUS.

KIRSTY LOGAN

This episode I chat to author Kirsty Logan about fairy tales, the subconscious, and stories outside the mainstream.

Kirsty Logan is the author of Fantasy novel THE GRACEKEEPERS, about an ocean-filled world where land is scarce, a travelling circus boat, a bear, and a girl charged with tending the souls of the dead. We talk about her fascination with fairy tales while growing up, her short stories, writing retreats, perceptions of mainstream versus niche books, and why weird is good.

If you’d like to read Kirsty’s work for yourself click here to get THE GRACEKEEPERS.

MICAH YONGO

This episode I chat to debut Fantasy novelist Micah Yongo about his novel of warring assassins and clashing ideologies, LOST GODS.

We get into everything, from working with an editor to researching crossbow physics, to how you go from big ideas and sprawling, complex imaginary worlds down to a story, and the character who’s going to propel you through it. Micah also talks about what it’s like to be published for the first time, building a writing routine, and representation in SFF and beyond.

I know you are awesome and I can rely on you to treat yourself and support Micah Yongo by ordering LOST GODS right now – do it, it’s ace!

RF KUANG

In this episode I chat to author R F Kuang about her debut novel THE POPPY WAR.

We chat Fantasy, grimdark, character arcs, representation of marginalised people, Shonen Manga, maintaining a positive attitude towards your work and writing great fight scenes.

You can grab a copy of THE POPPY WAR here.

GARETH HANRAHAN

In this episode I chat with author Gareth Hanrahan about his Fantasy debut THE GUTTER PRAYER.

We geek out about tabletop roleplaying, and the lessons he’s learned from making stories up on the spot. He talks through his process for creating worlds and cool stuff within them, and the challenge of writing stories with no protagonists for players to immerse themselves in, versus the challenge of having to write a world in which we follow someone who does stuff and makes things happen.

Grab yourself a copy of THE GUTTER PRAYER by Gareth Hanrahan here.

JEANNETTE NG

In this episode I chat to author Jeannette Ng about her Gothic Fantasy novel UNDER THE PENDULUM SUN. We discuss how she came upon her tale of a gothic heroine travelling to the mysterious and threatening continent of Arcadia, in search of her missionary brother who has been trying to convert the Fair Folk. We chat about Chinese vampires, world-building, colonialism, the creative freedom of youth, borrowing from established story structures, dreaded second novel syndrome, and writing in the long shadow of the Bront√ęs.

If you got value out of this episode please support Jeannette Ng by ordering her novel, UNDER THE PENDULUM SUN.

PETER NEWMAN

This episode I chat to Peter Newman, author of Fantasy trilogy THE VAGRANT, THE MALICE and THE SEVEN, and his latest, THE DEATHLESS. I grill him for precious, precious info on how he builds worlds, his philosophy on creating characters, and what makes Fantasy so compelling. We end up chatting about everything from roleplaying on school buses, to why goats make the perfect jesters to critique humankind. Whatever genre you write in, there are bucketloads of down-to-earth advice from an experienced author on how to keep writing and find the good stuff.

Peter Newman’s latest novel is THE DEATHLESS, and you can grab yourself a copy here.

GARTH NIX

This episode I chat to Australian Fantasy novelist Garth Nix.

His career spans over two decades and he’s sold more than 5 million books around the world. We chat about how he got started, his love of libraries and Dungeons & Dragons, Tolkien, his time working in publishing, his breakout novel Sabriel and how he wrote it, his philosophy on planning versus discovering as you write, his writing routine, advice on what an amazing first page looks like, and more.

Why not try SABRIEL by Garth Nix?

JONATHAN STROUD

This episode I speak to bestselling author Jonathan Stroud about finding stories, developing characters, and channelling demons.

Jonathan Stroud is the author of the 4-book BARTIMAEUS series – about an alternate London run by magicians, and the demons who serve them – which is published in 35 languages and has sold over 6 million copies. He also wrote the LOCKWOOD & CO series, about a plague of ghosts haunting Great Britain and the child agents sent to tackle them. We talk about his start in publishing, how he writes and how the challenges differ from book to book. We also talk about the value of walks for the creative process.

Here is the first book in Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus series. I urge you, mortal, DO NOT BE SILLY, buy these books immediately. They are so great and you will have a wonderful time! THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND.

MARK STAY

This episode is a chat with author Mark Stay. He’s an indie author, he’s worked in traditional publishing, he’s co-authored a novel and a screenplay, and he’s crowd-funded a Fantasy novel, THE END OF MAGIC. Not only that, but he’s a presenter of the podcast for writers, THE BESTSELLER EXPERIMENT.

Here’s where you can get THE END OF MAGIC.