Author Interview: Andrew Claydon

Today I am interviewing Andrew Claydon, debut author of the new fantasy novel, The Simple Delivery, first book in the Chronicles of the Dawnblade series!

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DJ: Hi Andrew! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Andrew:  Firstly, let me thank you, DJ, for offering to interview me. This is my first interview as an author, so it’s really exciting. 

So about me, I’m an independent author from Somerset in the United Kingdom who has just published his first book. I grew up a lover of fantasy and sci-fi in any form; films, television, books, whatever. I’ve also always been quite creative. Over the years I’ve tried multiple times to write a book, as it’s always been a dream of mine. My failing was self editing. I’d write a couple of chapters, go back over it, assume it made no sense and scrap the idea for a while. During lockdown I got that writing itch again. I’d started seriously at the gym just beforehand, weight lifting. With that comes a bit of mental discipline. As I started to write again, I was able to keep pushing myself on, ignoring the idea to edit too early and get my first draft finished. If I can push myself to do one more set on the squat rack I can certainly ignore those negative voices in my head. Finally, I had a first draft done. It was rough, but I saw the potential in it and so did others who read it. That was enough to give me the drive to keep working and get my book published, which I am massively excited about. It’s been an amazing journey so far.

DJ: What is The Simple Delivery about?

Andrew: It’s about a boy called Nicolas. I say boy, he’s just turned 21, but I’m thirty nine so that seems pretty young to me now. He is your atypical village boy and he is comfortable being just that. He has no big dreams of adventure or seeing the world. He is happy with his life as is. If I just let him do that, it wouldn’t make a very interesting book. Nicolas’s bubble bursts when he gets chosen to go and deliver a message. He, obviously, doesn’t want to go, but he’s in a situation where he has no real choice. He consoles himself with the fact that at least it’s a simple job. It is, until one near death experience changes everything, and suddenly he finds his life spiraling out of his control as he goes on an adventure to save a kingdom from a necromancer and a horde of vampires.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Simple Delivery and the series? 

Andrew: This could be quite a long answer. If I were to narrow it down I would say that the film Willow would be one of my biggest influences. It’s fantasy, but at times it can be light as well as serious, fun as well as action packed. That was the tone I went for with the world I built and how I wrote the story. There are serious moments of course, but also some tongue in cheek moments to balance it out. I think another influence would be Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I always loved the interplay between the characters, the banter. That’s something I hoped to replicate in my dialogue. Beyond that, there are just so many others; Warhammer games, Marvel, Skyrim, Conan to name a few. I think some of my influences are apparent in the book as I like to include little nods, or easter eggs, to my various influences. Sometimes it might just be a bit of dialogue that makes you think ‘hang on…’, or the name of a character. Some people will notice them, some may not. But for me it’s fun to include them anyways. 

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Author Interview: K.D. Edwards

Original Photo by York Wilson

Today I am interviewing K.D. Edwards, author of the new fantasy novel, The Hourglass Throne, final book in the first trilogy of The Tarot Sequence, which has been planned as a 9-book series!

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DJ: Hi K.D.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

K.D. Edwards: Absolutely! I’m…. Well, what am I? I’ve lived in a lot of states, and held a lot of jobs. Eventually I settled into HR, and built a life around that in higher education in North Carolina. I’ve wanted to be a published writer as long as I can remember–and set out to fulfill that dream over 10 years ago when I began planning this series of a reimagined, modern-day Atlantis.

DJ: What is The Hourglass Throne and then the Tarot sequence about?

K.D.: It’s the world as we know it – with an Atlantis. The island, which had remained hidden for all of human history, was finally revealed in the 1960s. In the modern day, my story focuses on the fallen prince of the Sun Court, and the found family he builds as he grows closer to reclaiming his family’s mantle. It’s series built around several core concepts: broad world-building, humor, found family, and queer identity. The HOURGLASS THRONE marked the climax of the first trilogy in the planned 3-trilogy series.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Tarot sequence

K.D.: Definitely the major arcana of the tarot deck. I use the archetypes as models for the power centers in my series. The main character, Rune, is the last prince of the Sun Throne. I was also inspired by the great urban fantasy series – Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, Ben Aaronovitch’s River of London…

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers will sympathize with them?  

K.D.: Oh good grief, I hope so. I try to make each of my characters as distinct as possible. I think I succeeded? I know my readers have their favorites, which is always a good sign. But the main character is Rune – the fallen prince. His most profound relationship is with his human bodyguard, Brand. They were bonded at birth in the crib, and have spent nearly every moment of their life together. They are not romantically intimate–but they are, in many ways, the love of each other’s lives. The sphere of characters expanded from there: the quirky prophet; the knight-like boyfriend; the accidentally-adopted teenaged ward…. I’m also trying to show, as the series progresses, greater representation of queer identity. Rune is best described as demisexual; Addam as pan sexual; Quinn as ace; Layne as non-binary…

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