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Sitting Down With John Gwynne

If you’re a lover of fantasy, you’ll be familiar with John’s books. John is the writer of David Gemmell’s Morningstar named novel Malice that launched The Faithful and the Fallen series. Another series you may have read about, Of Blood and Bone which takes place 100 years following the events that concluded The Faithful and the Fallen. The author has now unveiled his brand new series, with the world of a completely new one, The Bloodsworn Saga with the debut book due out later this month, The Shadow of the Gods.

We are very fortunate to be fortunate to John joining us to talk about his writing process and personal life.

Your birthplace was Singapore and was often moved around because your father was employed in the RAF. Do you think your semi-nomadic existence has influenced your writing style and how you how you approach story development?

It’s a great question. I’m not certain how much my travels have had an impact on my writing however I’d guess that it had an impact on my development as an author. Moving so frequently is definitely part of the reason I read so many books. When you move several times throughout your youth, you are used to being away from your friends and over many years, books were my companions. In the course of time, I became an individual as well, and reading was one of my preferred friends.

A good story that isn’t tragic However I did find my way at the age of mid-teenage and made great friends for throughout my life.

You are well-known by your action scenes, battles and pace. What is your approach to the creation of battle scenes?

It’s truly lovely to hear. Thank you.

I’ve always approached writing combat the same manner I was greatly inspired by an experience I had in the cinema. It was the time I saw the film Braveheart back in 1995/96?

Regarding the way in which it depicted combat, it was revolutionary in its time, taking away the Hollywood shine and removing all the glamour from war, revealing the terror, horror and pain. The method of filming in this way, with the kaleidoscope-like images swathed over you at you, awe-inspiring your senses it was as if you were in the battlefield.

From the time I began writing, I tried to record that moment and put it on paper.

I’m sure that being an Viking replicator has helped and. It definitely provides a layer of detail that make combat more authentic with all those tiny details that I would have never imagined. For instance, how heavy a shield feels after around 10-15 minutes of combat and how important it is to ensure that you put on your gloves last and to clean up every buckle – belts, weapons, chin-strap , etc. before putting your gloves on. gloves cause you to stumble and slow.

There are also other occasions related to battle and combat, but that don’t have to involve actual combat, such as the way it feels to put on mail-order clothes, and how difficult it can be for you to wear it. Yes, I’ve been caught in my mail previously to the delight of my family and friends who are around me. Being a Viking isn’t as simple as it seems.

What was the first thing that you thought of either restoring antique furniture or reenacting an event and playing with the sword, spear, and shield?

Rejuvenating vintage furniture. By that I’m talking about my wife. She was the brains behind it and my part was to do the painting, fixing carrying, sanding and fixing.

My child, Harriett, is profoundly disabled, and my partner, Caroline, and I are her caregivers. Harriett always requires a lot of attention and care all day long however, there was a time when I worked at the local University that Harriett was very sick and so I took a break of Uni to provide more assistance at home. However, bills had to be paid, and my wife was already running a profitable vintage furniture business and I was able to get more involved in that business as the business could easily be handled from home, and so it was an ideal fit with our lifestyle.

I’ve been involved with re-enactments for the past about five to six years and it’s an absolute thrill.

I’m sure you’re an avid reader as well as a writer and you began reading books early. What was the first book that had a profound impact on you and why?

Perhaps the book that made the greatest influence for me and sparked my interest in fantasy was Lloyd Alexander’s “The Book of Three the first book of his ‘Chronicles from Prydain’ series. I was between seven and eight years old, and I recall vividly my teacher sitting me sitting in a circle around him , and then beginning to read to us. The book was called ‘The Book of Three’. It captivated me to such an extent I decided the very next morning, I asked my mom to purchase the first book and two. It was then an unforgiving slide of Hobbits and Ringwraiths of dragons and minotaurs And the Holy Grails…

Without “The Book of Three’ I do not think I’d have the time to write today.

Visit this website when searching for John Gwynne books.

What do you think about where the genre of fantasy is going to go over the next few years? Do you think that we’ll remain on the dark side, with a little gritty with our fantasies? Perhaps, we can switch towards more noble-looking stories to counteract the events of 2030 and 2021.

It’s hard to say. There’s a degree of authenticity in fiction that readers now demand to experience on an emotional level. This doesn’t mean every character must be an anti-hero who is self-serving. In reality, there are individuals who carry out heroic actions, like jumping off an overpass to save someone who is drowning. Just as as there are those who are self-serving and typically act in their own interest. There are definitely some trends in the world of fantasy but, more importantly I see the genre of fantasy as growing rather than focused on certain genres while excluding other ones. I believe there’s space for everyone and in every genre, so long that the writing is done in a true captivating and enjoyable manner.

Your boys have a fantastic YouTube channel named the Brothers Gwynne, where they discuss fantasy and write book reviews. Are you a fan? of it or have you even had the chance to look it up?

I am so happy that they are creating their own YouTube channel. They’re so committed to books and it’s great to see them share that passion while discussing books. I’ve watched their videos , and even participated in an interview in one of them.

When I look at them now, it brings back memories of the moments when me along with my spouse Caroline would read to them in bed and later, as they grew older , I would peek into their bedroom to see if they were fine and find the two of them in bed, with the light turned on and their heads in the pages of a book. It’s amazing that we are avid readers within the Gwynne family and that books are not far from our conversations.

I just saw on Instagram that you had completed the second book of the Bloodsworn Saga, Dead Gods Rising. Congratulations. Would you like to divulge something about this novel that hasn’t been discussed before? (If you have any brand new points of point of How many pages are there?)

Thank you for your kind words.

What else can I tell you? It’s not too much, as I’m afraid to step into spoiler territory, and I’m worried. Um, okay. I’ve added two additional Points of View, so we’ve got five POV’s this book, in order to make sure that the conflict can be seen from multiple angles. In addition, right now it’s slightly longer than book 1. Book 1 was about 160,000 words. Book 2 weighed in at 203,000 words (but this is even before the editor pulled their red pen ).

The story of The Shadow of the Gods There are three perspectives available, Orka is an old warrior who lives alongside her son, husband, and wife in the quiet steading. Varg is a thrall who is on the run to escape his slave masters and Elvar who is an aspiring young warrior who is trying to make it big in battle with the warband that hunts monsters, the Battle-Grim. Of the three Which was most challenging to create? And what was the reason for that?

Difficult? In this book , I am able to say that there isn’t a single one. I have had SO great fun creating this book, both with the characters and the entire world. I believe it was because I’d spent long periods of contemplating the story and researching, creating the characters and world that when I finally got to writing it , it kind came out of me.

The writing of book 2 was a more difficult to write, but this was due to some of my characters, I adopted a more gardener’s approach than I typically would (usually I’m doing a bit of both – some planning as well as some garden work). I could clearly see one scene towards the end of the novel, and I needed a fresh set of eyes to present this story. It could not be a good fit in conjunction with the other characters. So a brand new character took over the spotlight . They appear in the first book, but not from a point of viewpoint. It was an uphill task to create this character since I was planning their journey towards the end scene while I was writing the story. In retrospect I feel as if they were written well. I’m hoping. (Fingers crossed.)

I’ve heard you say about the amount of study into Norse mythology while creating The Shadow of the Gods. I was wondering what were your other influences that helped you in writing The Bloodsworn Saga and Vigrid? I was struck by what I thought were references to Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories, which I’m sure is a book that you highly recommend.

Yes My influences do expand to include Bernard Cornwell and the Last Kingdom series. It’s because I’m a huge Bernard Cornwell fan, so to tip my cap, I have included an original insult that his character Uhtred of Bebbanburgh makes use of (one of the most recognizable characters from the historical novel).

Furthermore it is true that the Last Kingdom and my series do share a crossover point even though they are not the same. Last Kingdom is a historical series, and My Bloodsworn Saga is a fantasy series. I wanted the series to be a bit historical in its feel, and to convey an understanding of Norse or Viking-era culture (even even though it is filled with dragons, trolls, and many other Scandinavian monsters lurking within) This is why I did a lot of research into the historical period. The vessels they used and the clothes they wore and how they fought, the food they consumed and so on, and of course , the Last Kingdom is about the Anglo-Saxons as well as their battles and the Danish Invasion during the Viking period, which means there’s some resemblance between them (at least , to my mind ).

If there were an opportunity for your two worlds of fantasy could meet Are there two characters such as one from Vigrid and another from The Banished Lands, that you’d like to see in a scene? If so, what kind of drama do you think could ensue? When studying The Shadow of the Gods I kept seeing images of Einar Half-Troll battling with Balur One-Eye , to the delight of everyone who watched this showdown of power and strength.

I like the thought Balur one-eye arm wrestlers alongside Einar Half-Troll.

I’m thinking Craf meeting Orka might result in some funny discussions.