Nathan Hall’s interview with me about science fiction, fantasy which included some very insightful questions. This interview took place over Facebook which was a new experience, but also allowed a more conversational tone. Nathan was a great interviewer and we had a really good time discussing the aspects of science fiction/fantasy and the current publishing world. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with (via Facebook) and interview author R.A. McCandless, author of Tears of Heaven published by Wild Child Publishing. Our discussion was as follows (give or take the occasional typo).
|Ride, boldly, ride!|
Was there a certain book that got you into Science Fiction and Fantasy? Could you describe it, and why it connected with you so strongly?
Tolkien’s The Hobbit was given to me as a gift and really opened the castle gates of fantasy to me. Suddenly, there was a whole world of swords, magic and fantastical creatures to meet. Immediately after I finished, I took all the money I had and biked down to the bookstore to buy everything else Tolkien had written. I had no idea I was getting the seminal fantasy series: The Lord of the Rings.
I’m compelled by any world where dragons can make an appearance. They don’t have to show up, but the idea that they can? Please and thank you. I also like any world where a woman is as strong or stronger that most of the men around. Personally, I prefer a woman who can go toe-to-toe and sword-to-sword with anyone else. So my preferred genre is fantasy, but I’ll take urban fantasy, science fiction and even historic fiction off the shelves for those reasons.
I have a similar story. The Hobbit was a childhood favorite.
It and LOTR remain in my top ten despite numerous excellent authors over the years.
They both have a lot to offer, even after all these years. There's a reason he's the first name people think of in Fantasy.
What is your work about? Would you care to describe it?
|Don't worry. He's a leaf on the wind!|
Telling a good story well and hitting some epic high note moments. It’s hard to not to get carried away from the reality of, say, a sword fight or a battle scene, and into the unrealistic. Keeping the physics of actions and reactions on target is something I really strive for and enjoy. This is especially enjoyable when readers catch the effort that went into making a fight scene exciting, but still within the realm of the real. I have to say that my favorite is when a reader comes to me and says, “You bastard, I can’t believe you killed this character. He was my favorite.” They really aren’t mad at me, but it means that I connected with them through that character, and I achieved a realism of life between their mind and the book with that character. That’s magic right there.
Haha I've heard that a writer's job is to make the reader go through things they'd never willingly choose to go through on their own.
Or things they can't go through. It's really tricky to get on the back of a dragon and go for a ride these days, what with all those damned knights riding off to slay them all the time.
But there's JK Rowling, writing about Harry Potter and his friends climbing on board a dragon in the underground vaults of Gringotts, riding a dragon to freedom. Wow
That was a good one!
Yeah, amazing ride!
Such a great scene.
Iconic really, if you think about it. If you talk fantasy, you think about dragons, but how many fantasy novels actually have dragons in them? That's not a slam on authors or fantasy as a genre. Too much, and we'd get tired of "another dragon in another fantasy book". Rowling did a good job of showing us dragons in her fantasy, but not overselling the creatures.
She did, very much so. One of her greatest triumphs, I think.