Author of The Shadow of Death.
Joining me today is another of my co-conspirators from the Realm of Darkness boxset. I am chatting with Fantasy author, Becky James about her contribution to the boxset, The Shadow of Death, which releases today! October 4th, 2022 and is currently available to order.
Helen: Welcome Becky, I am so excited that we get to chat about your book on launch day!! Tell us a little about your book.
Becky: I have always loved Scotland, and spent four years living there next to the sea, so I knew I wanted something Scottish. I researched and played around with some Celtic myths and legends for a romantic fantasy collaboration project. In some parts of Scotland, it was believed that a Cu Sidhe, a dog fae, could sense imminent death, and in other parts, they thought a black cat fae called a Cat Sidhe would steal the souls of the recently departed. Talking to an author friend, she suggested they were at war with each other over souls, and I started to put together why they would be at odds. What do they use souls for, or what do they believe is happening to them?
I came up with the Cu Sidhe taking them to be sent to the Otherworld, but they don’t know what that is, and the Cat Sidhe using them to generate magic, which they need to live. It’s been fun putting together a world that allows for shifters, a magic system based around different gemstones and selkies!
Helen: Your cover is very mystical with your main characters shadowed by their other forms. How did you come up with the design?
Becky: I knew I wanted Allegra Pescatore to make a cover: I love her vibrant styles and clever details. When she showed me the concept for Neri I was blown away, she is perfect! She has carried that style over into Book 2, The Thief of Souls, and done a fantastic job!
Helen: Allegar did a fantastic job! What made you write a novel for an anthology?
Becky: Writing can be a lonely hobby. Yes, you’re spending time with your characters, but it’s lovely to have a support system, a place where everyone is going through the same thing. Release week is full of ups and downs, it’s one of my favourite and least favourite times! It’s great to have your characters go off and meet new friends, but it can also be very stressful as you watch for fan reactions.
Joining into an anthology was a no-brainer for me. Working alongside other committed, caring individuals has been so refreshing. I have learnt so much, and also helped out a ton! My network has grown considerably.
Helen: I agree. It has been such a valuable experience. If you put in the hard work, then we all reap the benefits. Launch day is here, which is so exciting! Writing is so much fun, but what made you take that first step and begin writing?
Becky: Well, characters will stride into my life first and foremost, and then loudly demand that their stories are told. It took a few years to build up my writing skill to the point where I felt able to do their stories justice, although I’m still learning things every day. I write very character driven stories, so I’ll often only get a glimpse of the plot and then they will react to it faster than I can type!
Helen: Tell us about some of the other books have you written.
Becky: If you like sword and sorcery portal fantasy mixed with a bit of multiverse (think the good doctors – Doctor Who and Doctor Strange!), then The King’s Swordsman series is for you. It follows the adventures of a cocky swordsman and his exasperated companions. I’m over the moon to have people say good things about the series and how they enjoyed hanging out with these guys as much as I have.
Helen: I am already intrigued to meet your characters!. Readers can find links to book one at the end of the interview. Was their anyone special who inspired you to publish your books?
Becky: I grew up reading Tamora Pierce, Robin Hobb / Megan Lindholm, and Anne McCaffrey. McCaffrey is an interesting blend of sci-fi and fantasy but it’s all character driven to a large extent: Hobb very much so as well. Pierce has that wonderful blend of characters coming to terms with hard real life issues and not always making the right choices. The works I most admire are those by Leigh Eddings, as in David and Leigh Eddings, because she’s recognised as the “secret” co-author on some of the books too. The Redemption of Althalus was my first “grown up” fantasy, and I absolutely loved the characters with their balance of humour and heart.
Helen: Oh yes, I love the Eddings books; they inspired much of my writing as well. We’re almost at the end of our time. Just to close us out, how do you fit writing into your daily life?
Becky: I usually write early in the morning or on public transport. I’ll be working on a Google doc to start with so I can use both laptop or phone, and then transfer it to Word for prettifying and self-editing before it goes to betas and my editors.
I’ll listen to music when running, and have a story playlist where songs relate to how the characters are feeling, but I write in silence. I like to get up before anyone else and have time when no one is asking for a snack or where something is: just me and the page.
Helen: Thank you, Becky, for chatting with me today. We can go and start celebrating now, as it’s launch day!! I hope all you readers come and join us for the party in the Dark Book Boyfriend Facebook Group. Play the games and comment on the giveaway posts for a chance to win prizes. Spread the word – Realm of Darkness is now live!
You can order the anthology here for the insane price of 99c!
Make sure you can check out some of my other posts as I interview and spotlight the authors!
Want to know which is the best book for you in the boxset? Take the ‘Which book is for me quiz‘.
About the Author:
Becky James is the author of The King’s Swordsman series. Based in the UK, she has a deep love of the British countryside, canals, and all things fantasy; she devours anything that has magic, swords, good friends and good times.
For all the latest news:
Other books by Becky James
The Tenets in the Tattoos, Book One of the King’s Swordsman series
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If you enjoy fantasy romance books then you will love my new release SoulBreather, part of the Realm of Darkness Anthology, and my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.
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