Brian McClellan’s debut novel, Promise of Blood just came out from Orbit Books, and he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions!
Also, Orbit has kindly offered a copy of the book for giveaway to one winner, so be sure to check out the details at the bottom of the post. Please welcome Brian to the blog!
You’ve been writing from a very young age! What’s one of the first things you can remember writing?
I entered a class contest in third grade with a short story about being kidnapped, and my daring escape from the kidnapper. The story even had a second chapter where the exact same thing happened (surprise!). All in all, it couldn’t have been more than 400 words long.
What inspired you to write Promise of Blood? Will you tell us a bit about it?
Several different things. I wanted to write an epic fantasy that was technologically different. I liked the idea of an industrializing world, and a magic system based around gunpowder. The British television show, Sharpe, gave me the idea for a Napoleonic-era setting.
How did you celebrate when you found out Promise of Blood had sold?
Wife and I danced around the house for an hour, then both called our parents.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas, the authors of my favorite books (Les Miserables and The Count of Monte Cristo). I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Tolkien, Lewis, Alexander, and Howard as some of my earliest fantasy reads. It was Robert Jordan that really got me into the doorstop epic fantasies as we know them today.
What kind of research did you do for Promise of Blood?
Lots of reading. I spent a great deal of time on wikipedia, and going to the library to check sources. Research can be a very enjoyable hunt for tiny details that will make the book more real.
What do you enjoy most about writing fantasy?
I like that anything can happen. The rules are what I make them, and as long as I stay within those rules, the sky is the limit.
If you could experience one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
The River Why by David James Duncan. That book had a profound effect on how I thought of life as a teenager.
When you’re not busy writing your next novel, how do you like to spend your free time?
I play a ton of computer games—Civilization, Total War, League of Legends, and the like. I enjoy strategy and city builder games the most. I’m also a beekeeper and gardener. I try to spend as much time outside as I can during the summer.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be turning in the final version of book two of the Powder Mage Trilogy, The Crimson Campaign, in just a couple weeks. When that’s out of my hands I’ll start book three, and maybe spend a little time on some of my side projects.
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan to 1 winner
3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses only
4. You must enter on or before 5/4/13
5. Giveaway book courtesy of Orbit Books
6. Please see my Giveaway Policy.