Reporting from the field

that thorn guy

GR Matthews, Mariëlle Ooms-Voges

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend two bookish events in London, both amazing and unique in their own rights. Knowing that, despite many invitations, Mark can almost never make it to such gatherings, I usually try my best to report back to him after each occasion, telling him all about who was there, what happened and I even pick up a book for him when I can.  I always work on the assumption that my reflections on such things would be of little interest to anyone else, but for once I decided to share some of it here and see if there’s any demand for such a thing.

Despite my original plan I’m running somewhat late writing this post, that is all down to being incredibly busy these last few weeks, trying to cough my lungs out following a chest infection, but…

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Things I Love: The Malazan Book Of The Fallen

An excellent, spoiler free tour of Malazan.
I’ll start reading it after I finish my spring TBR!

Word Whiskey

In the 90s, Canadian writers and archaeologists Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esselmont created the Malaz world to play a role playing game in. Erikson would go on to take the characters and history of the world and craft a novel out if it, Gardens of the Moon, the first in a ten book series collectively known as The Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Since then, Erikson has written a couple novellas also set in the world and Esselmont has joined him as an author by penning some novels of his own detailing other events and characters that help flesh out the world and the thousands of years of lore that define it. But I haven’t read those yet.

The ten giant tomes that Erikson scribed, however, are some of my favorite pieces of prose ever written. Often overshadowed by George R. R. Martin’s hugely popular A Song of…

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The production of a fantasy debut: Interview with Anna Smith-Spark

This one is for writers who want to be traditionally published. There’s a lot of good info and valuable tips shedding light on the whole process. I highly recommend reading the whole interview if you are aspiring to get an agent and go the tradpub way.

Michael Everest

Following on from my interview with Nicholas Eames yesterday, I’ve invited Anna Smith-Spark to talk about the ‘production’ behind her fantasy debut ‘The Court of Broken Knives’, book one of ‘The Empires of Dust’ series. Anna’s already making a name for herself amongst the fantasy community, and her novel, pitched as a favourite for fans of Mark Lawrence and R Scott Bakker, promises to be an explosion of grimdark epic-ness. Back this up with the fact she’s represented by Ian Drury, Lawrence’s agent, and the twitter tag of @queenofgrimdark twitter handle sounds like a challenge to all would be contenders. Heck, if the crown fits, wear it. Or as Jorg Ancrath proves – take it!

So, without further adieu, I introduce, to you ladies and gentlemen, the Queen of Grimdark herself, Anna Smith-Spark.anna-smith-spark-author-photoME: Hi Anna!Before we begin, let’s start with some introductions – who are you, what do you…

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Interview with Mark Lawrence

Great insights from Mark Lawrence about self publishing.
I think SPFBO is a great community service, for helping stellar indie authors get visibility and the fantasy readers find true gems they would otherwise never discover.

I’m planning to read all the finalists and semi-finalists of the SPFBO that are my cup of tea, I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve read the reviews and added quite a few books to my TBR.

Josiah Bancoft’s Books of Babel is a great example to what kind of gems there are buried in the Kindle store. You can read my reviews by using the search widget.

Anyway, this is a great interview and I highly recommend all my blogger and reader friends to check out the SPFBO.

shona kinsella

This is the first in a series of interviews with people involved in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO). For any of you who haven’t heard of it, you can read more here but essentially, self-published fantasy writers submitted their book to the blog-off. Ten book bloggers acted as literary agents, working through a slush pile and selecting their favourite. The ten finalists were then read and graded by each blogger until one was selected as a winner. The winning book received reviews on all ten blogs.

As an indie reviewer with BFS, I have come across some excellent self-published work (as well as excellent books published by small presses) and this competition fascinated me. I love the idea behind it and the recognition that self-published does not mean a book is not worth reading. I was really excited when Mark Lawrence agreed to be interviewed about setting up and co-ordinating the…

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Red Sister Art Contest

that thorn guy

This post is to announce a fan art contest with entries featuring characters from any Mark Lawrence novels. The three best entries will receive anAdvance Reading Copy of Mark Lawrence’s highly anticipated new novel:


 provided as prize for this competition byACE Books

A random winner will also receive a signed (or dedicated) Mark Lawrence novel, which they can choose from a wide selection, including foreign editions where available.



To enter the competition create an original piece of two-dimensional art (Painting, Drawing, Photography, Digital Art, etc) and email it to us by clicking HERE.

We are looking to receive entries featuring original elements conceived and created by you, the artist. Please make sure that your entry doesn’t violate any copyright laws and doesn’t include any copyrighted material, trademarks or logos owned by another party. Your entry mustn’t be a copy of a photo/artwork that you…

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That Thorn Guy Second Birthday Interview with Mark Lawrence

A stellar Mark Lawrence interview from Agnes Meszaros, creator of That Thorn Guy (the unofficial Mark Lawrence site.)

There are cat photos in it!
And some exciting news.

that thorn guy


It’s been a year since my last interview with you and a lot has happened during this year. I can think of several good things as far as your work is concerned. What were your highlights?

It’s been a busy year. My first complete calendar year as a full-time writer. Let me make a list!

–       Released The Wheel of Osheim to a great reception. The whole Red Queen’s War trilogy now being in print.

–       Finished writing Grey Sister.

–       Started and finished writing Holy Sister, thereby completing the Book of the Ancestor trilogy.

–       Started and finished writing a new stand-alone book called Power Word Kill.

–       Started a new Broken Empire book with an old character. I won’t identify them for fear of spoiling earlier books by naming survivor/s.

–       Started writing for a multiplayer Xbox game. A bit of variety!

–       Won the Gemmell Legend Award…

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Here is my interview with Meriweather and Lillian Asterios


Name Meriweather and Lillian Asterios

Age 33, 37

Where are you from: The Ozarks, Arkansas

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:

I am a married transgender man with three step children. I write fantasy books with my wife, Lillian. I am also an artist! I work in watercolor, ink, and oil. I studied at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I just finished a book called “Terminus.” It is in the editing stage right now, and will be out in the spring. I am currently working on the second act of “Terminus,” I see it coming in three parts. It is about the apocalyptic end of the world, as seen through several perspectives– including what happens ‘on the other side,’ in the afterlife as a result of the world ending. I am also working on…

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