E.M. Thomas will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Tell us about yourself:
I am a thirty-something with a passion for writing. I had a blast penning The Bulls of War (along with the rest of my novels) in addition to my full-time job, and I’ve been especially fortunate to enjoy both very much. I have a lovely wife and an adorable one year-old son who seemingly grows more precocious every passing day. Digging up the time to be a worker, writer, husband, and father isn’t the easiest, but it’s the life I’ve chosen!
What was your first book?
My first book was (is?) The Bulls of War, Book 1 of the Chronicles of the Andervold Thrones.
Describe your first break.
Getting the chance to work with a veteran editors in the fantasy industry has been my best break to date. Just getting to pick his brain on this is a privilege and immeasurably helpful at this stage in my career.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
I primarily write fantasy and historical fiction, and those are certainly my favorite fiction categories. I’ve said it before, but I think it’s really important to not only write in the categories you like to read, but to really study why it is that you like certain subject areas.
Are Happy Endings a must in your stories?
No – in fact, the golden rule is only that I am happy at the end of the story. J
What makes a protagonist interesting?
Flaws (nobody believes a person exists without them), sacrifice (no one cares about a story unless there’s something to lose), and realistic responses to the same (none of the foregoing matter if there are no consequences).
What is the best thing about being a writer?
The ability to bring old worlds back to life or create all-new ones. As you might expect, my favorite genres are historical fiction and fantasy…
What is the worst thing?
There never being enough time in the day to get everything written! Seriously, there is no more helpless feeling than having a story dancing around in your brain with no immediate means to put pen to paper.
Pantser or plotter?
Plotter, though it depends on the moment. Generally, I’ve had an easier go of it once I committed to what’s called the “snowflake method” in terms of storyboarding a manuscript. I won’t go into great detail about the approach, but it provides such depth and flexibility, that leaping back into the story is the easy part; the harder part, as always, is carving out time for writing in midst of a face-paced life.
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.
The first full-length book to follow The Bulls of War will be Fortress of the Sun, a historical fiction about ancient Greece – specifically, the battle of Corinth in the third century B.C. Fortress takes place within a larger historical arc for which I intend to write several more volumes. A sample is available on my website, for those interested.
In the nearer term, I will be releasing short stories set in the world of Andervold. I’m excited about these, as they will add several point of views to some of the events that took place in Bulls, to go along with some unrelated stand-alone tales from Andervold.
Bulls, of course, is only Book I of the Chronicles of the Andervold Thrones, and its sequels are fully fleshed out and ready to go. Whether I continue to alternate between releasing fantasy and historical fiction is tough to answer; either way, I truly believe fans of Bulls will equally enjoy Fortress and vice versa.
Just for fun
Cat or dog person?
Any and everything BBQ
I’ll begin with the standard cliché, “there are so many great ones, I can’t pick just one…”, and move on from there. On the non-fiction (and non-primary source) side, Empires of the Sea stands preeminent in my mind, which is a simply riveting tale of the Mediterranean World in the 16th century. It focuses on the brutal and protracted showdown between the Spanish and Ottoman Empires, complete with a recounting of the Siege of Malta and the Battle of Lepanto. I love hopelessly outnumbered last stands, and the tale of Malta is without a doubt one for the ages.
On the fiction side, it’s a toss-up between Shogun by James Clavell and Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire. I recognize these are not in the realm of literary classics, but since this question covers pure enjoyment, I’m sticking with these two novels. Both are stunning historical epics (especially the former, in terms of length) and redefined what the historical fiction genre meant to me; this is to say nothing, of course, of the endlessly interesting time periods in which their stories take place (the 16th century Japanese “Warring States” Period (Shogun) and the Greco-Persian wars (Gates of Fire)).
National Pet Day
Would you rather be the princess or the villain? Why?
Probably the villain. Antiheroes are all the rage these days, right?
Who has more fun, orcs or hobbits?
Hobbits – orcs don’t have the requisite consciousness for fun.
As clouds of civil war gather over a dying empire, two friends and generals find themselves on opposite sides of the factional divide. Now, they must sacrifice everything to save themselves from their realm and their realm from itself.
Ten years, two months and this morning, Kyrus thought, blinking away drops of sweat. Yet still… still it’s not any easier.
For the thousandth time, his hand slid to a blade’s hilt, body braced against a gust ripping through the sweltering berry thicket. Wide eyes scanned the crush of steamy greenery all around him, ears hearing only his own short breaths and a heart that pounded like a drum. Even as the wind petered out, his anxiety held firm, held him frozen in place.
Ten bloody years of this… a wonder I’ve any wits left about me at all. He grunted. Or do I have any?
He’d grayed since then, since his first days in Valogar. Wrinkled too. Bones ached from the constant marching, mind frayed from the perpetual fear of knowing they were out there, somewhere, always itching to add another Rokhish scalp to their belts…