Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?
I have always had a lot of creative and artistic hobbies, and through my childhood I dabbled a bit with everything. Music, acting, singing, you name it. I was a very daydreamy kid as well, always off in my own worlds, always with my nose in a book. If I liked a story or a movie, I tended to become obsessed, and just read/watch it over and over.
Writing books was just a natural extension of those tendencies, and my desire to just replicate in some small way the stories I grew up loving.
Describe your desk / writing space.
I write on a computer that had once been for games, which is on top of a fairly beaten-up second-hand white desk. There’s a little turtle-shaped lamp, and the light shines out through a mosaic of stained-glass pieces that make up its shell. I also have a couple fidget toys on hand to help when my brain is idling.
Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspired?
I definitely try to be strict with myself, but I know that the inspiration comes in waves. When the inspiration comes, there’s no problem, but I work hard to try and let myself back off a bit when it feels like the creative juice is drying up. It can sometimes be hard to keep from being disappointed during those lulls!
What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?
Hardest scene to write: There was a scene which amounted to being a philosophical showdown between the protagonist and the antagonist. I wanted to make it an interesting, climactic back-and-forth that had all the stakes of a sword fight. As tough as I found it to carry out a conversation as though it had all the excitement of a life-or-death battle, I think I did the best I could and I hope it comes across well.
Favorite scene to write: There was a chariot chase through the streets of a Mesopotamian-inspired city, and I just found it super exciting to write, which also made it easy to write. You just don’t see chariot chases much outside of old sword & sandal movies!
What inspired your book/series?
I became really excited about the idea of writing in an ancient, Mesopotamian-inspired setting like the one in The King & Kishar. I had been spending time reading about the Epic of Gilgamesh and leafing through old encyclopedias about the Sumerians, and the idea just really took hold of me. I thought a lot about how the invention of writing was such a crucial turning point in those days, and that’s reflected in the writing-based magic system.
Who is your favorite character from your book and would you get along?
My favorite character was Sannan, who was a little bit of a side character to be honest. She is a bit of an outcast, and has a quite sad backstory. I am sure we would get along, because she has a good heart, but she is also perceptive and brutally honest at times. Hard truths, even those delivered by a friend, can still sting.
If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?
It would have to be Bag End. I’m quite tall, and would have to crouch to avoid constantly bumping my head on the ceiling.
Still worth it!
How do you come up with the title to your books?
It’s different for every book, and I honestly don’t think I have a process down yet. Sometimes it’s the setting or situation, sometimes it’s a character’s name. It’s something I’m actively working on getting better at, because after all, the title is one of the first things a reader will see.
What are you working on next?
Next I’m going way the other way in terms of historical settings, and I’m writing a trilogy that has flintlock technology, humans and elves, and telepathic magic. It will be different in pretty much every way, especially in terms of its much larger scope.
What authors or books have influenced your writing?
Garth Nix, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ernest Hemingway, JRR Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, John Steinbeck, David Gemmell, Weis & Hickman, Neil Gaiman, Brian Jacques, Josiah Bancroft, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many more.
What is your favorite meal?
For me, nothing beats chicken vindaloo with fresh naan.
Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?
Coffee over tea, wine over beer. In both cases, that’s only a 60/40 preference.
Describe yourself in three words.
Creative, inquisitive, indecisive.
“I am a fantasy author living in Bunbury in Western Australia.
It’s a city in a region with amazing biodiversity and criss-crossed all over with hiking trails, so you can bet nature is an inspiration in a lot of my stories. The wineries are killer, too.
I have a thousand hobbies, some big and some little. They wax and wane over time. Right now I’m super into gardening, gaming, re-watching The Office twice a year, squash (the sport not the veg), and staring blankly at walls while I figure plot points out.”
Every word King Adzi Akkatha writes on sacred stones is binding, and lasts for all eternity.
But how can he rule when he has been cursed to forget everything?
His city is in chaos. Hinatsi rebels clash with his soldiers, and their mysterious leaders try to capture the King.
With the help of High Priestess Idza and General Qanatha, he must relearn their laws and customs, and who he was as a King. His former self seemed cruel and cold, and he is plagued with doubts. He is an imposter in King’s clothing—do they even have the right man?
They must flee to the great Temple of Mesopos where the King’s memory might be restored. The rebels are never far behind, and day by day the curse progresses.
There is little hope they will reach the temple in time.
Even if they do, will the King want to continue ruling as a cold tyrant?