A few months ago, Steve Sullivan tagged me on this Next Big Thing meme. I started to answer but ended up busy and forgot about it after setting it aside “for just a day or two.”
More recently, Violette Malan did the same thing to me, I think as some sort of punishment. I don’t think I deserve it, but she strikes me as quite dangerous in her Spanish cape, so to be safe I guess I’d better follow through.
Originally I’d threatened to go rogue and rewrite the questions, but as it turns out I’ve struck out only one and left it visible, so you can see which it was.
Now I’m obligated to tag five more writers, but that’s where I will be disobedient. Link back to me if this looks like a fun exercise; otherwise, you’re free to go on living your life—perhaps to keep writing!
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing
What is your working title of your book?
I’ve been asked not to reveal the title yet, but the previous volumes are Prince of Wolves, Master of Devils, and Queen of Thorns. If you’ve been paying attention and read the description, you’ve got a better-than-average chance of guessing it.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Because the Pathfinder Tales line is still relatively young, we’re still experimenting with ways to attract different portions of the audience to the novels. I’ve felt for a while that the Pathfinder gamers weren’t showing up in droves, so I’ve been hoping for a chance to connect a novel more directly to one of Paizo’s Adventure Paths. That chance came with the announcement of the Wrath of the Righteous AP set in the Worldwound.
This novel takes place at the same time as the AP, and players of that adventure will gain a much fuller appreciation for the setting and the conflict around the Worldwound by reading the novel. Best of all, there are absolutely no spoilers for the novel in the AP and vice versa.
At the same time, readers who aren’t playing the game won’t notice any difference. It’s still a Radovan & the count novel whether or not you even know the game exists.
What genre does your book fall under?
All the Radovan & the count novels are sword & sorcery adventures with a healthy dose of humor and mayhem.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I recently answered this question in a Q&A at paizo.com (check out the awesome desktop wallpaper with art by Mathias Kollros), but I love giving alternate answers. Jeremy Brett (of Sherlock Holmes) would make a splendid Count Jeggare, while Josh Holloway (Lost’s Sawyer) would be a terrific Radovan. For younger actors, I’d pick Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers’ Loki) and Chris Pine (the new James Kirk).
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Radovan and the Count go to Hell (well, the Abyss) on Earth.
How would you describe the Pathfinder Tales line?
One of the coolest things about the line is that every book is different, even moreso than in other tie-in lines. Of course part of that is because each author is an individual, but the line editor has allowed us a broader range of stylistic freedom than you often see in novels set in a shared world. Thus, books like Winter Witch and Plague of Shadows are a little closer to classical fantasy quests, while Death’s Heretic and City of the Fallen Sky have a more contemporary fantasy vibe.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’ll let you know when I’m finished. I’ve written previous books of this length in anywhere from two to six months. This one will have been closer to two.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m probably too close to my own work to label it with direct influences, but I’d say the works of Leiber, Zelazny, and Asprin have all permanently altered the sword & sorcery portion of my brain in various ways.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Film and television often inspire my novels. For this one, I didn’t have any conscious cinematic influences, but I’ll be re-watching Band of Brothers and The Pacific as mood pieces as I continue writing. Ultimately, however, like Queen of Thorns, the influence for this novel comes almost entirely from the Pathfinder campaign setting and the background of the characters we’ve seen over the past few novels, novellas, and short stories.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
In Master of Devils I introduced a third, secondary POV character. This book also features a third POV character, but one who is equal to and completely different from the boys in ability and outlook. Those who’ve wanted to see Radovan and the count through different eyes will have that chance in this book.