Thursday, April 10, 2014

Author Interview - Freya Robertson

It is time for another author interview in my blog and this time its "Freya Robertson", who is answering my question celebrating the release of her second novel from Angry Robots names "Sunstone". This is also the second novel in the "Elemental Wars" series. Thanks to this brilliant writer from the beautiful land of New Zealand for answering my question and also to "Angry Robots" for giving me this opportunity. Without farther a due, here is the interview -

1) First of all welcome and tell us some things about your new novel "Sunstone", will you?
Freya Robertson

Well hi and thank you for having me here!
Sunstone is the second book in The Elemental Wars series of epic fantasies focussing on the elements—earth, water, fire and air. In Heartwood, the people of Anguis discovered they were once earth elementals, but over the previous few thousand years the knowledge of their origins had faded into myth and legend. They had lost their connection with the Arbor—the holy tree that transfers energy to the land through its roots, and because of this, the fertility of the land had failed, and they were slowly descending into famine and war. The balance of the elements had shifted, and the element of water gained in strength until the Darkwater Lords rose from the sea to invade Heartwood and attack the Arbor.
In Sunstone, the Darkwater Lords have been defeated, but the elements are still out of balance and fire is now on the rise. Sunstone further explores the themes of birth, death and rebirth that were present in Heartwood, and it also investigates the theme of cycles by examining the rise and fall of civilizations over time. It tells three stories—the first is set 22 years after Heartwood, the second 500 years after that, and the third a thousand years later. The stories are told concurrently, though, and they interweave throughout, including meeting at the end in the “Apex”, an event that connects and concludes all three timelines. Sunstone is about the passing of time, about cycles, and about how love and strength can last an eternity, even though civilizations may rise and fall.

2) This is the 2nd book in the series, so is it accessible to someone who has not read the first 1?

Sunstone continues the story set in Heartwood and some of the characters in Heartwood appear in the second book, so readers who have read the first will hopefully enjoy re-visiting the people and places they are familiar with. However, those who haven’t read Heartwood should still be able to enjoy the story of Sunstone—prior knowledge isn’t essential to understanding the story.

3) What makes this title different from other 'epic fantasy' novels? Or would you say this book belongs in some other genre?

The Elemental Wars are very much epic fantasies. Various definitions of epic are “classic”, “heroic” and “ambitious”, and Sunstone fits all of these. It’s classic because it follows some of the traditions of epic fantasy—it has a recognisable medieval-style setting, it features a large cast of characters, and it involves journeys across vast lands. It’s heroic because it has high stakes in both the sense of saving the world and of overcoming personal conflicts, and the characters have to dig deep to find their inner strengths and step out of their comfort zones to fight battles and defeat evil. And it’s ambitious because it tries to be a bit different to the old-fashioned Tolkienesque epic fantasies which, while wonderful, have to evolve to avoid becoming stale and overused (see next question!)

4) Would care to tell a bit about your world-building? You seem to use a bit of different sort of races instead of typical elf, dwarf, ogre etc. Would you please us a bit about the races you write on this series?
Cover of "Sunstone"

As I mentioned above, Sunstone uses a recognizable medieval-style setting because that is what I am most comfortable with, and I also wanted readers of epic fantasy to feel comfortable in the world too. However, much as I love dwarves and elves, I wanted to write about something different. I chose elementals because I thought they gave great scope for new and interesting races. In Heartwood, the Darkwater Lords are evil mermen who will hopefully change your view of the Disney-style mermaids forever! In Sunstone, the element of fire is on the rise, and the king of the Incendi fire elementals is a firebird. Originally I was going to make him a salamander, but as the book formed and the themes of birth, death, and rebirth/resurrection grew in importance, it became clear to me that a firebird was the only option.

5) May I ask what to come for this series in the future? Are there gonna be more books featuring these characters?

I have ideas for a third book in the series featuring the element of air. And I have lots of ideas for other books too! We’ll have to wait and see :-)

6) Are there any more projects coming from you this year? If so please tell us about them.

As I said, I have a few projects in hand, but they are in the planning stage at the moment. The only thing about epic fantasies is that they take such a long time to write!!

About Freya Robertson -

Freya is a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, as well as a dedicated gamer. She has a deep and abiding fascination for the history and archaeology of the middle ages and spent many hours as a teenager writing out notecards detailing the battles of the Wars of the Roses, or moping around museums looking at ancient skeletons, bits of rusted iron and broken pots.

She has published over twenty romance novels under other pseudonyms and won prizes in fifteen short story and poetry competitions.

Freya lives in the glorious country of New Zealand Aotearoa, where the countryside was made to inspire fantasy writers and filmmakers, and where they brew the best coffee in the world.

You can find her online at her website as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
Amazon Author Link:

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