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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