Well, it seems to be a weekend full of firsts on the MAVONDURI TRILOGY OFFICIAL BLOG! Today I have my first author interview with Shane Porteous, author of the extremely well reviewed dark fantasy novels RASCISS and, what this interview is really about, HOW GODS BLEED, a dark fantasy saga featuring--you guessed it--werewolves. Now while I wouldn't go so far as to call ourselves "rivals", Shane and I are actually pretty good friends, so it's great to have him be the first interview I do for the Blog.
You can download HOW GODS BLEED by clicking this link http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/101158. It's free, and it's a fantastic book to boot!
Now, let's get started!
Shane, it’s great to have you on the MTOB! I’d like to start off by asking, how do you sum up your writing style for those who’ve never read your work before?
The best way to describe my style is “Different.” I pride myself on not writing in a “by the numbers way”. That’s really important to me, that I avoid the stock-standard way of storytelling.
How was writing HOW GODS BLEED different from your best known work, RASCISS?
Good question, I feel I had a lot more experience and interaction with both readers and fellow writers when I wrote How Gods Bleed. Because of that my mind was in a far different place to what it was when I wrote Rasciss.
Cada Varl is certainly a dark character, as is Hollowawk. Are you drawn to dark characters in particular, and if so why?
I am definitely drawn to darker characters because they seem to have far more depth to them than most of their light hearted counterparts. Their histories also tend to be more interesting and less predictable.
What were some of your favorite scenes to write in HOW GODS BLEED?
There were so many! But in terms of sheer fun, the scene right at the beginning when I got to introduce Granzool, the king of Helluv, was a lot of fun to write. The battle between Aneeku and Cada Varl was great to write because that was the beginning of when the story turned up a thousand notches. But the scene I am most proud of is the conversation and following duel between Cada Varl and Gosfear. I just love it after I had finished writing it.
Now, let’s get to something I’m very passionate about personally: backstory. The illusion of depth is a central element in great fantasy. How do you bring that depth to the page? Do you build the world of the story beforehand or do you discover it along with your characters as you write?
I have a basic idea of the world I want to represent to the reader, but I don’t map out every nook and cranny beforehand. I feel doing that would constrict my characters too much. I prefer my world to be dictated by the characters that live in it, not the other way around. Besides, sometimes it is fun to take the journey with the characters and see what they see, when they make their journey.
What, in your mind, makes for a great villain? And how do you strive to make each antagonist unique in each new work?
Put simply a great antagonist is someone you can understand. Even if you don’t agree with what they do, you can understand why they do it. I don’t think an antagonist has to be necessarily evil, in fact I find it more interesting when they are not. In terms of a great fantasy antagonist, I think the reader must respect their power. The reader must believe the antagonist can defeat the protagonist in a direct confrontation.
As for my own work, my antagonists are not evil. They merely find themselves in a situation where they can no longer co-exist with protagonists. They are unique from one another because of the situations they find themselves in.
Is there an overall scheme to these works? Do you plan on tying them in together or are they going to remain separate stories?
It is actually a long time goal of mine to one day write an epic story where the main characters of each of my books are brought together at the same time. The stories aren’t really tied together, but they all take place in the same world, just in different lands and continents.
Alright, last question then I’ll let you go! Out of all the characters you’ve come up with, in all your stories, which one is your absolute FAVORITE to write for and why?
This is a difficult question to answer, because my favorite character is from a story that I have yet to introduce to the world, in other words a story that hasn’t been published yet. But out of all my introduced characters that has to be Hollowawk.
I feel that I owe him a lot, I have written my entire life, I have told hundreds of stories and created countless worlds. Rasciss was the first story I introduced to the world, my lifelong dream was finally accomplished and Hollowawk had to carry all of that on his shoulders. He had the responsibility of showing the real world what my created world was like. He will always hold a special place in my thoughts because of that. If I may say judging by the reviews and the fan art I have received, Hollowawk has accomplished his purpose wholeheartedly. He will always have a specific legacy and so writing stories for him will always be a pleasure.
Shane, thanks so much for coming on here! I look forward to having you come back again sometime.
My pleasure Jeff, I had a lot fun and if I may add, to anyone reading this post, please help yourself to a FREE copy of How Gods Bleed. A tale that has been called “The most original werewolf story ever told,” by more than one reviewer. That is a fact that I will always be proud of!