Thursday, July 5, 2018

Anthony Ryan Author Interview

Photo Content from Anthony Ryan

Anthony Ryan is the author of the Raven's Shadow novels, including Blood Song, Tower Lord, and Queen of Fire, and the Draconis Memoria novels, including The Waking Fire and The Legion of Flame. Find out more about Anthony Ryan online at and on Twitter @writer_anthony.


What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
Mainly that I didn’t much like being at school. I was academically average at most things apart from English and history and frankly couldn’t wait to leave. Someone once said that schooldays are the best days of your life, in which case I pity them their adulthood.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. I had dabbled a bit in fantasy with The Hobbit as a child but it wasn’t until I read this book that I fell fully in love with the genre. It’s the first volume in Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles which was probably one of the first incarnations of what could be called modern secondary world fantasy.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
You can find an endless number of books on this subject but most writing advice boils down to three things: write a lot, read a lot, and don’t give up.

Has reading a book ever changed your life?
I tend to think that every book I read has changed my life in some way, some more than others. If I hadn’t read The Book of Three I wouldn’t have fallen in love with fantasy, if I hadn’t read Wolf in Shadow by David Gemmell I probably wouldn’t be the writer I am now.

In your newest book, THE EMPIRE OF ASHES (THE DRACONIS MEMORIA #3); can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
The Empire of Ashes is the third and final book in the Draconis Memoria trilogy. The series is set in a world at a mid-19th century level of development where the global economy revolves around the magical properties of drake (dragon) blood. One in every thousand people has the ability to drink drake blood and gain magical powers, but the supply has begun to run out. The first book, The Waking Fire, dealt with the quest for the possibly mythical White Drake, the sequel The Legion of Flamecovered the disastrous consequences of finding it and The Empire of Ashes details the final showdown between humanity and the ancient evil it has awoken. And there are airships in this one.

What was your inspiration for the series?

The inspirations for this series were many and varied, ranging from Dickens to Louis L’Amour with a hefty dose of Ian Fleming and the military adventures of Bernard Cornwell thrown in. However, my main point of inspiration was historical. The Draconis Memoria takes place in a world where governments have mostly been supplanted by corporations, which was inspired by the rise of the European trading companies in the 17th-18th centuries, the British East India Company being the most famous. These companies had their own private armies and navies and were richer than most governments so it was tempting to consider what a world run by such conglomerates would look like. I also just really like dragons.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Clay?
Clay kept surprising me by becoming a much more compassionate and wise individual than I originally intended him to be. He starts out as a petty criminal and it was my intention to have him maintain a roguish, cynical outlook throughout. Instead, the many trials and tribulations I put him through seemed to make him a better person by the end, albeit one with a lot of bad memories.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing THE DRACONIS MEMORIA?
I like to think I love all my characters equally, but I do have a great deal of fondness for Lizanne. Being a spy and an assassin without much in the way of moral scruples she’s a difficult person to like in some respects, but her single minded pursuit of her goals and unflappability were always fun to write.

If you could introduce Lizanne and Hilemore to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
It would be interesting, though probably fatal for both parties, if Lizanne ever met James Bond. I really don’t think she’d like him very much though I’m sure they’d share a few choice quips before trying to kill each other. I think Hilemore would get on really well with Richard Sharpe from Bernard Cornwell’s series about the Napoleonic Wars. I imagine them spending an evening sharing a bottle of grog whilst swapping war stories and comparing battle scars.

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?
The scale of the story increased with each successive book, as did the scale of the battles. Also the stakes are much higher now, it’s literally the possible end of the world so there’s everything to play for.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently writing a fantasy novel, the details of which have to remain under wraps for now, I’m afraid. When it’s done I have a novella to write for Subterranean Press, then the sequel to the novel. Suffice to say, I have plenty to be getting on with.

First concert?
A Bach recital by the Scottish National Orchestra when I was eleven. I got into trouble for eating potato chips during the first symphony.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
The day school got cancelled due to a snowstorm and I got to stay home, read, and play my Atari 1600 (yes, I’m old).

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Far too much beer.

If you could live in any period in history, what would it be and why?
One of the consequences of studying history is an awareness that most periods prior to the modern age were pretty terrible for the majority of the human population. If we could turn the clock back to two years ago, that would great.

The third book of epic conflicts and arcane intrigue in New York Times bestselling author Anthony Ryan's Draconis Memoria series.

For hundreds of years, the Ironship Trading Syndicate was fueled by drake blood--and protected by the Blood-blessed, those few who could drink it and wield fearsome powers. But now the very thing that sustained the corporate world threatens to destroy it.

A drake of unimaginable power has risen, and it commands an army of both beasts and men. Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and Ironship captain Corrick Hilemore, spread to disparate corners of the world, must rely upon the new powers and knowledge they have gained at great price to halt its forces--or face the end of all they know.


“Ryan skillfully navigates multiple narrators to unveil a world steeped in magic and on the brink of destruction. Both the characters and the setting are irresistible right through to the end.” —Publishers Weekly

"The series is action packed, full of intrigue, and just plain fun. Ryan deftly writes something for fans of dragons, steampunk, or gutsy characters (or all three). Readers of epic adventure fantasies like Game of Thrones should check this series out." —Booklist

You can purchase The Empire of Ashes (The Draconis Memoria #3) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ANTHONY RYAN for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Empire of Ashes (The Draconis Memoria #3) by Anthony Ryan. 


  1. I love getting books for my birthday!

  2. Books and more books! And handmade cards from my grandchildren.

  3. "What do you want for your birthday?" NATO.

  4. I would like a nice steak dinner.

  5. I would like to get treated to dinner and a movie.

  6. I always like getting shirts for my birthday.