In the year, plus a month or so, that I’ve written for Blogcritics, I've been privileged to review a number of wonderful books. They have been from authors all over the globe: India, Spain, Great Britain, and of course North America. Even more special have been the occasions when I've had the opportunity to interview some of them.
This time I was lucky that James Barclay appreciated my review of his latest book, The Ascendants Of Estorea: Cry Of The Newborn, the first of a new series, enough that instead of having me arrested for stalking, he agreed to an interview. My initial introduction to Mr Barclay came from reading his six-part series featuring the mercenaries who made up the group The Raven. They impressed me so much that when his latest book was released, I made a point of ensuring I got my hands on a copy.
If anything, Cry Of The Newborn was even more enthralling than his previous work and different enough that they could have been almost written by two separate authors. Those of you who have braved my writing in the past will know the creative process involved with writing a book fascinates me.
Mr. Barclay's ability to switch gears between the two series increased my eagerness to talk with him. I say “talk” figuratively, as distance and time zones once again made that prohibitive, so I simply emailed him a number of questions that he responded to. What follows is the unedited transcript of our emailed questions and answers.
The majority of the questions focus on the two series and his methods. Don't worry if you haven't had the opportunity to read his work, although you should rectify that as soon as possible. It's not necessary to have read Barclay to enjoy what he has to say about writing and his process.
Due to the length of this interview, it's been split into two parts. Part one will run today and part two will be carried tomorrow in these same pages.
Boring Bio bits: Who, what, and where did you spring from?
I was born in an English port and seaside town called Felixstowe in 1965, making me a very old and grumpy 41. My parents still live in Felixstowe; I’ve got two sisters and a brother and a huge and sprawling number of nephews and nieces that is growing even now.
I’ve had my fascination with writing since I was seven and wrote my first story, which my mother still has. I was always writing something from that day, I think, and my ambition to be a published author began at about the age of 11. Same time I developed the ambition to become an actor.