JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Thaddeus White, author of Bane of Souls
Horst is visiting the city of Highford with his uncle during a trade festival but finds himself conscripted by the city’s mages. His uncle abandons him, and he is forbidden to leave Highford on pain of death.
But worse is to come, when he learns the city is terrorized by a spate of murders, and the killer has a taste for dead mages…
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “Bane of Souls”?
Thaddeus White: That’s hard to answer, as I’ve been writing (with a brief break when I was about 12-14) for as long as I can remember. More recently gritty fantasy, such as “Game of Thrones” and the First Law Trilogy, has rekindled my love of the genre, although my own style is less grim than either Martin or Abercrombie.
I wanted to write a fantasy story that was character-driven, and. at the same time, one that had a real feeling of uncertainty and danger regarding the cast. Too often in books the question is “How will the good guy win?” rather than “Will the good guy win?” or “Will the good guy survive?”
JP: What sets Bane of Souls apart from other books in the same genre?
TW: I hope that “Bane of Souls” breaks the mould in a few ways. There are quite a few twists and turns in the plot. Tthe main characters are just as likely to end up dead as anyone else. Whenever a book involves murder or war, and every main character survives with only token wounds, it always seems a bit unbelievable to me.
The protagonist is a stubborn, sarcastic chap who becomes an apprentice mage, despite being from a culture that considers magic despicable. There’s a fantasy stereotype of a meek and nice weakling learning to become a man, whereas Horst is already quite capable of handling himself and is not happy to be forced into being a mage in a foreign land.
Although “Bane of Souls” is serious, there is some humour in it. I think the fact that fantasy demands suspension of disbelief for magic means that the characters have to carry the weight of credulity, and for me a city populated by people who never made snide remarks, laughed together or took the piss out of others would be incredible.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Bane of Souls getting out to the public?
TW: Well, interviews like this help a lot. To be honest, I’m still learning the ropes of publicity/marketing (it does feel a bit awkward and unBritish to promote onself). Interviews, reviews and keeping a dedicated website and twitter feed all help.
So, if you read a book you enjoy (or not) please do rate/review it to entice or warn off others who might be tempted.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Bane of Souls?
TW: “Bane of Souls” took me quite a while. That’s partly because I didn’t intend to publish it at first. I started writing “Bane of Souls” to stop myself from getting rusty. But really enjoyed it, and a few chapters in decided to self-publish.
It was probably something like two years in total, although the next book (Journey to Altmortis) will hopefully have taken about a year.
The writing process itself started with quite extensive world-building, to try and make sure the organisations, peoples and nations were all coherent and well-integrated. This helps avoid silly continuity errors and makes the process of writing easier.
After the first draft I had about three major redrafts, writing new bits, axing certain scenes and rejigging the order of chapters, and a last minor redraft to check for typos and the like.
JP: What’s next for Thaddeus White?
TW: “Journey to Altmortis” will be my next book. It’s also stand-alone, and set in the same world as “Bane of Souls” with some of the same characters. It will be out in either Q1 or Q2 of 2013, with luck.
After that I’ll be writing a trilogy set in Denland, about the civil war there, with an entirely new cast. I’ll sort out the whole plot before starting book 1, so the first book might take a little longer.
Thanks for the interview and the opportunity to reach some more potential readers. I hope you and your readership had presents delightful and numerous for Christmas, and that you, and they, have a Happy New Year.