Interview (& Giveaway): Brian McClellan, author of Promise of Blood

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!

brianmcclellanYou’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.

PromiseofBloodWhat 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.

Keep up with Brian: Website | Twitter

1. You MUST fill out the form below (if you’ve signed into Rafflecopter before, it will remember you!)
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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats on the book – looking forward to seeing what’s next!

  2. Thanks, Kristin.

    The Dumas and Hugo are not surprising, given the social-technological time period of POB

  3. Congrats on the book. It sounds good.

  4. Looking forward to the book!

  5. Looking forward to reading your book.

  6. Fantastic book, can’t wait for the next one.

  7. I definitely cannot recommend this book more! It was a nice bit of fresh air in the fantasy genre.

  8. Roxanna Preterson

    Not only does the cover art look incredible, the title is awesome and the whole book sounds amazing. I want to read this book so much.

  9. Been watching this one for awhile — seems very cool and unique. Can’t wait for the experience.

  10. Victoria Zumbrum

    Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. I would love to read this book.

  11. This looks really good; I just put it on my wishlist.

  12. congrats Brian on the new release! Thanks for sharing! This sounds fantastic!

  13. Promise of Blood sounds like a wonderful story and I’m looking forward to reading it.

  14. Want. Caught his reddit AMA and it made me more curious about this book.

  15. How intriguing! 🙂

  16. Congratulations on the book! I’m looking forward to reading it!

  17. Can’t wait to read it one way or another. Sounds like its right down my alley.

  18. I have REALLY been looking forward to this one coming out. Unfortunately, my library doesn’t have it yet, and my book budget is very slim (having a wife is a blessing and a curse sometimes…mostly a blessing :-D).

    I hope I get the chance to read this book soon. I have heard lots of good things about it on all the blogs.

  19. Looking forward to reading the book.

  20. I first heard about this book at ConFusion in January and have been reading really excellent reviews for it ever since. I’m excited to read it!

  21. So excited to read your book!

  22. Read the preview of the first four chapters! Awesome concept! Love it!

  23. Sounds so exciting! Thank you for the giveaway!!

  24. I love finding new authors to read. I cant wait to read this book. Sound interesting.

  25. I just love the cover and the blurb on the cover. This is will be on my TRB pile but I love presents too!

  26. Blogged about this book coming out a couple weeks back… Black powder in fantasy is something I enjoy seeing ….. Hope to get to read it soonish…

  27. The book looks really good, can’t wait to read it.

  28. Oh my. I had this book in my hands at the bookstore but didn’t have the money so put it back. Looks like I may have to read it soon!!!

  29. Haha wikipedia! Find that funny since I always remember in school being told ‘never use wikipedia’ of course if you’re researching for creative writing I could see being able to.

  30. I’m taking you down, Brian!

    To lunch that is. And maybe drinks afterward?

  31. This looks great. I can’t wait until I get the chance to sit down and read it!

  32. Pingback: Trilogia The Powder Mage | D R A G O N M O U N T B O O K S

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