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An Interview With John Gwynne

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If you’re a fan of fantasy, you’ll have read John’s novels. John is the author of David Gemmell’s Morningstar award-winning novel Malice John Gwynne that launched The Faithful and the Fallen series. Another series you may have read about, Of Blood and Bone which takes place 100 years following the events that concluded The Faithful and the Fallen. He has just unveiled his brand new series, with the world of a completely new one, The Bloodsworn Saga with the first novel due out in the month of March, The Shadow of the Gods.

We are very fortunate to be fortunate to John in our midst for a conversation about his writing process and personal life.

Your birthplace was Singapore and was often moved around because your father was employed in the RAF. Does your nomadic life style influenced your writing style and how you create stories?

It’s a great question. I’m not certain what extent my move has changed my writing style but I’m sure that it had an impact on my development as an author. Being constantly moving around was certainly a factor in the reason I read so many books. When you move several times throughout your childhood , you become accustomed to being away from your friends and for an extended period of time, books became my companions. In the course of time, I became an individual as well, and reading was one of my most beloved friends.

A good story that isn’t tragic However I did settle down at the age of mid-teenage and met wonderful people for the rest of my the rest of my life.

You are famous by your action scenes, battles and speed. What is your approach to creating battle scenes?

It’s truly wonderful to hear. Thank you.

I’ve always approached writing combat the same manner and this approach was heavily affected by an experience that I had in the cinema. This was when I saw the film Braveheart back in 1995/96?

In terms of the way it depicted war, it was revolutionary in its time, taking away the Hollywood glamour and removing all the glamour from war, revealing the terror, horror and pain. The manner in which it was shot with this multi-faceted kaleidoscope of images that drew you in at you, awe-inspiring your senses it was as if you were on the battlefield.

Since the first moment I started writing, I wanted to record that moment and put it on paper.

I’m hoping that being an Viking replicator has helped and. It definitely gives depth that make combat more authentic with all those tiny details that I would have never imagined. Like how heavy the shield feels after about 10 minutes of combat and how important it is to be sure to put on your gloves at the end of the day and to clean up every buckle – belts, weapons, the chin strap, and so on prior to putting your gloves on. gloves can make you stumble and slow.

Additionally, there are other instances that have to do with battle or combat that have nothing to do with be associated with combat, such as how it feels to put on an envelope of mail and how difficult it can be wearing it. Yes, I’ve been caught in my mail at times to the delight of my family and friends who are around me. Being a Viking isn’t as simple as it seems.

What did you prefer to do first either restoring antique furniture or reenacting a scene and practicing using the sword, spear, and shield?

Rejuvenating vintage furniture. By that I’m talking about my wife. She was the brains, and my part was doing fixing, painting transporting, and sanding

My child, Harriett, is profoundly disabled. My spouse, Caroline, and I are her primary caregivers. Harriett always requires a lot of attention, all the time however there was a time when I was employed at the local University that Harriett was suffering from severe illness and I decided to step out of Uni to provide more assistance at home. However, there were bills to be paid, and my wife was already running a profitable vintage furniture business and I was able to get more involved in that business as the business could easily be done at home, which was a good fit for our lifestyle.

I’ve been involved in reenactment over the past about five to six years and it’s an absolute thrill.

I’m sure you’re avid readers and writers and that you began reading before you were even a teenager. What was the first book that had a profound impact on you and for what reason?

The book that probably had the greatest influence for me and got me interested in fantasy was Lloyd Alexander’s “The Book of Three the first book of his ‘Chronicles from Prydain’ series. I was 7 or 8 years old, and I recall vividly my teacher sat my class on the floor in a circle with his desk and reading to us. The book was called ‘The Book of Three’. It captivated me to the point I decided the very next morning, I requested my mother to purchase book one and two. It was then an unforgiving slide of Hobbits and Ringwraiths of dragons, minotaurs, as well as the Holy Grails…

Without “The Book of Three’ I doubt I’d have the time to write today.

What do you think about where the world of fantasy will be going to go in the coming years? Do you think that we’ll continue to follow a dark path adding a touch of gritty with our fantasies? or, revert towards more noble-looking stories in response to 2030 and 2021.

It’s hard to say. There’s a degree of authenticity in the world of fantasy that people now expect to experience on an emotional level. However, this doesn’t mean each character has to be self-serving and anti-hero. In the real world, there are those who do heroic acts, like jumping off the bridge to save a person who is drowning. Just like there are those who are self-serving and generally act according to their own personal interests. There are certainly some trends in the world of fantasy but, more importantly I view the genre of fantasy as growing rather than focussing on certain genres and leaving out other genres. I believe there’s space for everyone and for every genre, as long that the writing is done in a true and engaging manner.

The Gwynne brothers have a wonderful channel on YouTube named Brothers Gwynne. Brothers Gwynne, where they discuss fantasy and also do book reviews. Do you have any thoughts of this channel do you have the chance to look it up?

I am so happy that they are making a YouTube channel. They’re enthusiastic about books, and it’s wonderful to see them share that enthusiasm and talking about books. I’ve seen their videos and even participated in an interview in one of their videos.

As I watch the kids now, it makes me think of those moments when me along with my spouse Caroline would read to them before bedtime and as they got older, I would look into their bedroom to see if that they were alright and then see the two of them in bed, with the light turned on and their heads in an e-book. It’s amazing that we are avid readers within the Gwynne family and that books are not far from our conversations.

I was recently able to see on Instagram that you had completed the second book of the Bloodsworn Saga, Dead Gods Rising. Congratulations. Would you like to share something about the novel that isn’t mentioned in the past? (If you have any brand new points of perspective characters? What is the number of pages?)

Thank you so much.

What else can I tell you? It’s not too much, as I’m afraid to step into spoiler territory. I’m worried. Um, okay. I’ve added two additional Points of View, so there are five POV’s in this book, in order to make sure that the issues are seen from all angles. Additionally, at present it’s slightly longer than book 1. Book 1 was around 160,000 words, while book 2 was 203,000 words (but this is even before the editor pulled their red pen ).

Within The Shadow of the Gods There are three perspectives available, Orka who is an former warrior who lives alongside her son, husband, and wife in an idyllic steading. Varg is a thrall who is fleeing his slave masters and Elvar is an aspiring young warrior who is trying to gain fame in battle through the monster-hunting warband known as the Battle-Grim. Of the three Which is the hardest to compose? If so, what was the reason for that?

Difficult? In this book , I am able to say that no one of them. I have had SO having a blast creating this book, both with the characters and the setting. It’s because I’d been spending long periods of contemplating the story as well as researching, and constructing the world and characters , that when it came to writing, it all came out of me.

The writing of book 2 was an arduous experience, but it was due to certain characters, I adopted a more gardener’s approach than I typically would (usually I’m doing a bit of both – some planning along with some gardening). I could envision one scene towards the end of the book. I needed a new set of eyes to present the story, since it could not be a good fit in conjunction with the other characters. So a brand new character took over the limelight – they appear in the first book, but not from a viewpoint of viewpoint. It was challenging to create this character since I was imagining the journey they took to get to that scene while I was writing the story. In retrospect it seems that they did a good job. I’m hoping. (Fingers crossed.)

It was mentioned previously about the amount of study into Norse mythology while creating The Shadow of the Gods. I was wondering what were the other influences that influenced you in writing The Bloodsworn Saga and Vigrid? I was struck by what I thought were references to Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories, which I’m aware of as a series which you love highly.

Yes My influences certainly expand to include Bernard Cornwell and the Last Kingdom series. This is due to the fact that I’m a huge Bernard Cornwell fan, so to tip my cap, I have included an original insult that his character Uhtred of Bebbanburgh makes use of (one of the most recognizable characters in classic novels).

Furthermore The Last Kingdom and my series do share a cross-over even though my Last Kingdom is a historical series, while the Bloodsworn Saga is a fantasy series. I wanted the series to be a bit historical and to evoke into a feeling of Norse or Viking-era culture (even that it contains dragons, trolls, and various other Scandinavian creatures lurking in it) This is why I did a lot of research into the historical period. The vessels they traveled on and the clothes they wore and how they fought, the food they consumed and so on. and then of course, the Last Kingdom is about the Anglo-Saxons and The Danish Invasion during the Viking period, and there’s some resemblance between them (at least , in my head ).

If there were the possibility that your two worlds of fantasy could be connected Are there two characters such as one from Vigrid and another from The Banished Lands, that you’d want to meet in a scene? If so, what kind of drama do you think could ensue? While studying The Shadow of the Gods I kept seeing images of Einar Half-Troll battling with Balur One Eye to the delight of everyone who watched this showdown of strength and might.

I like the thought Balur one-eye arm wrestlers alongside Einar Half-Troll.

I believe Craf meeting Orka might result in some hilarious discussions.