Posts Tagged ‘Thor’

Benedict Jacka interviews Francis Knight, author of FADE TO BLACK

Next week sees the release of the fantasy novel BEFORE THE FALL (UK|US|ANZ), the second Rojan Dizon novel by Francis Knight (following FADE TO BLACK – UK|US|ANZ).

Below, another Orbit fantasy star Benedict Jacka, author highly popular Alex Verus novels, interviews Francis on the towering fantasy world of Mahala . . .

Before the Fall, book two of the Rojan Dizon novels, following Fade to Black by Francis Knight - a dark, noir fantasy series with a dystopian feel - perfect for fans of Scott Lynch, Douglas Hulick, Benedict Jacka and Ben AaronvitchBenedict Jacka: One way to describe the Rojan Dizon books would be dark fantasy – how did you end up moving into that genre, and what’s it like to write in compared to other things you’ve done in the past?

Francis Knight: By accident! It started off as an antidote to what I had been writing – romance – and went from there. I like to challenge myself each time I start something new, and this was it. Every genre has its restraints, and I wanted to explore not-so-nice “heroes” and not-so-Happy-Ever-After endings and lots of other things that a romance reader might be very disappointed to find in her book! In particular I wanted to explore how being a not particularly nice chap doesn’t have to prevent you from doing the right thing.

BJ: How difficult do you find it to write a protagonist of the opposite sex?  Do you find yourself asking guys for advice on how a male character would react in a particular scene you’re writing?

FK: The first time it was hard, I have to say. I actually find I prefer it nowadays. It’s a lot easier to separate my characters from me for a start! Also I love trying to get inside a guy’s head, see what makes them tick. I do sometimes ask husband/male friends/betas for advice about whether a guy would do X – but it’s just not that simple. It’s not about whether he’s a guy or not, it’s about who he is. Some guys would do one thing, and others would do the opposite. They’re still both guys.

Fade to Black, book one of the Rojan Dizon novels, by Francis Knight - a dark, noir fantasy series with a dystopian feel - perfect for fans of Scott Lynch, Douglas Hulick, Benedict Jacka and Ben AaronvitchBJ: So, the scenes in Fade to Black which go into detail on exactly what Rojan and the other pain-mages do to themselves to fuel their pain magic . . . did you deliberately make them wince-inducing or did it just work out that way?

FK: I actually tried not to be too graphic there, but it was necessary to show something, I think, or it wouldn’t have been honest. There’s a fine line between glossing over something important and showing graphic things that are unnecessary. Of course, that line is going to be different for everyone. I inferred more than I showed (I think/hope), but that goes for lots of things. (more…)

How to become a superhero

Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillia, an alternative history of World War II featuring superhuman Nazis and British WarlocksHow does one create a superhero? Movies such as The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man make it look straightforward, if not exactly easy. Hollywood would have us believe superpowers aren’t all that unusual. Perhaps I’m a skeptic, but I sometimes wonder if the difficulties in become superhuman aren’t underestimated just a bit.

After all, you can’t plan for a freak accident. You can’t plan on being bitten by a special arachnid, as was Spider-Man. You can’t plan to accidentally survive a massive dose of gamma radiation, like the Hulk. You can’t plan to be born of Asgard, like Thor. Most of us will never have the opportunity to volunteer for an experimental super-soldier program, as did Captain America.

But what about the self-made superheroes? Those who deliberately transcend their limitations, using technology and (frankly) vast piles of money? Well, as much as I’d like to become Iron Man, I’m not a supergenius billionaire industrialist with massive technological resources at my disposal. What about Batman? I’m out of luck there, too, because I’m not a reclusive borderline-sociopath multi-millionaire with the peak physical conditioning of a dozen Olympic athletes combined. It’s safe to say these paths are closed off to most people.

So what to do if you’re cash-strapped but can’t rely upon serendipity to do the hard work? (more…)