Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Ed McDonald Author Interview

Photo Content from Ed McDonald

Ed McDonald has spent many years dancing between different professions, cities and countries, but the only thing any of them share in common is that they have allowed him enough free time to write. He currently lives with his wife in London, a city that provides him with constant inspiration, where he works as a university lecturer. When he’s not grading essays or wrangling with misbehaving plot lines he can usually be found fencing with longswords, rapiers and pollaxes.

Ed’s debut novel Blackwing is the first part of The Raven’s Mark trilogy. Blackwing will be published on July 20th 2017 by Gollancz in the UK, and October 2017 by Ace in the United States. German, Spanish, French, Hungariann and Russian translations will be available from 2018.


Series: Raven's Mark (Book 1)
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Ace (October 3, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399587799
ISBN-13: 978-0399587795

Praise for BLACKWING

Blackwing quickly gained the rare distinction of being one of those books that felt as if it had been written especially for me...Ed McDonald handles the action with a deft hand and has created a compelling central character who remains likeable despite a lengthy list of flaws.” —Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Legion of Flame

“Original world-building and unforgettable characters make Blackwing a dark, powerful debut.” —Brian Staveley, author of Skullsworn

“Blackwing is a bloody, gritty fantasy novel that manages not to sacrifice its heart. I love the world, which feel strange and lived-in, and the strength of the voice is fantastic. Fans of Glen Cook’s The Black Company or Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law series will be very happy with this one.” —Django Wexler, author of The Guns of Empire

“Blackwing is potent, gritty, bloody, and splendid.” —Faith Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of Cold Reign

“Vivid characters, visceral combat and a twist of an ending that I really should have seen coming and didn’t...Suffice to say, I bloody loved it and I am officially an Ed McDonald fan. He deserves to go far.” —Elspeth Cooper, author of The Songs of Earth

“Gritty and immersive, Blackwing is a hugely enjoyable tale.” —Edward Cox, author of The Watcher of Dead Time

In your new book; BLACKWING, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
With Blackwing you’ll get a fantasy novel unlike any you’ve read before. There are lots of familiar elements that fantasy fans will relate to – magic, monsters, general mayhem – but BLACKWING has a pace that’s lacking from pretty much all contemporary fantasy, more like a page-turning thriller than your usual amble through Middle Earth. At its heart it’s a book about characters and their goals, hopes and loves. It’s a book that I think readers of any genre will enjoy.

Oh, also, it has been described as ‘cowboy frontier fantasy’ and I think that’s a bit different.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Isn’t life just a series of stories that we tell each other over a beer? Without stories we’d have no connection to our past, no way to imagine something better. Without stories we’d be trapped in our daily lives, unable to peer out at all the wonder and beauty that there is out there. A lot of ordinary life can be dry and mundane – stories let us live the most exciting parts of others’ lives, and at best, teach us how to live our own.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
My agent, Ian Drury, also wrote some books so I’m going to use him: “It’s not a zero-sum game. Support other authors, help them, you don’t have to battle for scraps.”

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Ryhalt?
When I started writing BLACKWING I thought it was a story all about war, cruelty and morality. By the time I finished, it was his story and it was about a man’s dishonesty with himself, pride, love and loyalty.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
To be honest, it all evolved during the writing process. If anything, what I created was nothing like what I intended initially! There was supposed to be this big duel, and mercenaries, and a journey to a place of power… all of which got cut or never even got written.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d like Nenn to meet Widryn The Copper Cat, from Jen Williams’ The Copper Promise. They’d have a seriously crazy time.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’ve just delivered RAVENCRY, the second book in THE RAVEN’S MARK series, and am awaiting edits, but I’ve also started on the third book. Outside of that I’m working on a graphic novel or comic series adaptation that follows a different Blackwing Captain on her work along the Misery border, a YA novel that I’m intending to co-write and someone has suggested a screenplay, but that’s probably a bit much on one plate… Maybe.

If you could live in any period in history, what would it be and why?
If I could go into the future, I’d go there. Otherwise, today! It’s far better today than it ever was before, at least it is in developed countries. I like my car, my eternally free British healthcare, my internet and my right to vote out governments I don’t like. I wouldn’t change it.

If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say?
Got up, had chest infection, went to doctor, slept on sofa, wrote interviews.

Something or someone you miss the most from childhood?
Not quite childhood, but when I was 18, I had a best friend. He got sick, and over time, just lost all interest in seeing me and our other friends. Eventually, over many years he dropped off the map. I miss him still.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I was a teenager in the 1990s and I’m happy with that. I wouldn’t want to be a teen today – life is too dominated by smart phones and way too dreary.

Who has had the most influence in your life?
It’s an easy cop-out but the honest answer is my mom and dad. They encouraged me to be creative from my earliest memory and I was reading before I was four. Without their love and encouragement, who knows what I’d be doing right now?

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
I need a shower. I can’t be bothered to have a shower.

Where can readers find you?
For those of you in the US, I’m hoping to get to Emerald City Comicon in Seatttle in March 2018, and Phoenix Comic Con in May 2018! I’ve never been to the US and I can’t wait to get over. I’ve watched so much Man Vs. Food that I know all the best places to eat. I do what we call ‘Bar-conning’ which means that basically I basically sit in the bar between panels and like nothing more than talking to people who are enjoying the con or who want to talk books.
Also, if anyone wants to chat to me then please find me on Facebook or Twitter, I’m not hard to find.

Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

You can purchase Blackwing at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ED MCDONALD for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1) by Ed McDonald.


  1. If i could go back and change one day it'd be the day I left my book at home on accident and I had to sit through a party with no books

  2. I think that even if I could go back and change something, I would not change anything

  3. "If you could go back and change one day, what would it be?" All sorts of days--terrible days!