Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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.


What inspired you to pen your first novel?
The answer is so lost in the mists of time that I have no idea. I've always been creating stories, drawn or written, since my earliest memories. I suppose that when it came to seriously writing a novel, I wanted to give readers the same 3am experience that I'd had reading my favourite books. The deep, sometimes painful, sometimes joyous emotions that come from reading something that resonates with you.

Tell us your latest news.
I just finished writing CROWFALL, the third book in The Raven's Mark series. Finishing a trilogy feels like a big deal, but also one that is filled with some trepidation - did I pull it off? The ending of the third book needs to be satisfying to those that follow the whole journey, and I really hope that it works for people.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I tend to list my main literary influences as David Gemmell, Glen Cook and Robin Hobb. They are each masters at a particular element of the craft, and I hope that my admiration for them shines through. It's the emotional impact and truthfulness of their characters that really shines through for me.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
There are two main elements that I try to put into my books. The first is the deep emotional involvement with the characters. I want readers to really care about them, to invest in their struggles and to want to find their way on the journey with them. The second is my overriding world view; that good people should never give up, should persevere, and that tenacity and a refusal to bow before dark odds are the things that make people strong.

Did you learn anything from writing RAVENCRY and what was it?
I put quite a lot of myself into my books. Ravencry is about the struggle to come to terms with changes in life, love, fatherhood and finding your way back when you've lost your path. I find that what I write often teaches me to look back at myself reflectively, and so I think that I learned a few things about myself as I put my thoughts down onto paper.

What part of Ryhalt did you enjoy writing the most?
Ryhalt is the voice that I talk to the reader through, but the parts I always enjoy the most are seeing him come to his realisations and develop as a character. My books tend to end with him having some kind of important personal revelation or making a crux decision about who he wants to be. Those are the big moments for me.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know while writing RAVEN'S MARK?
Sometimes it can be a surprise as to which character works for you the most. For me, Gleck Maldon is always a blast to write and he makes things happen in a way that other characters can't. His interaction with other characters is always enjoyable for me. He's so utterly different to the other characters and resonates greatly with a number of important themes in the books.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
Currently I am looking at writing two further series, neither of which is a direct continuation of The Raven's Mark but both of which links in with it. I'd love to expand the world more and if possible to make a career of it. That is, of course, largely not in my hands, but I'd love to get more of the ideas that I have out there.

What is your favorite book and why?
Legend by David Gemmell was a book that changed the way that I look at the world. It's ultimately a story about giving up what you have because principle demands it. The message is so powerfully delivered that not only has it resonated with me as a book, it changed the way that I try to live my life.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
I am a practitioner of historical European martial arts (HEMA) and recently I undertook my Scholarship fight. I fought 15 bouts against 5 opponents, in 30 degree heat over the course of an hour. 25 minutes in and I was physically exhausted. I persevered and fought on through it, and seeing yourself able to overcome complete exhaustion and pain has strengthened me as a person. I'm proud of what I did, but I also learned that I can drive myself to be harder, stronger and more enduring than I thought possible.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
"I should make a cup of tea." I'm British, you know.

What did you do for your last birthday?
I was on holiday in France with my family. I ate one of the best steaks I've ever had in my life.

Last Halloween Costume you wore and when?
A few weeks ago! I organised a barbeque with some friends to celebrate the launch of Ravencry and decided it should be fancy dress. I went as a knight with a big raven on the front of my tabard - what else??

Any Camp stories you would like to share?
I'm afraid that, being British, we don't have camp.

What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
I never had a bad summer job, but one Christmas I worked at a big department store when I was 16. I was put on the ladies wear floor, and had absolutely no idea how to fold any of the clothes. The lovely 70 year old women, handing me their silk nighties, would say "Can I help you with that, dear?" And more often than not I had to let them because as a 16 year old boy I had literally no idea how you were meant to do anything with those.

In the second gritty installment of the Raven's Mark series, a bounty hunter faces down the darkest evil.

Ryhalt Galharrow is a blackwing--a bounty hunter who seeks out and turns over any man, woman, or child who has been compromised by the immortals known as the Deep Kings. Four years have passed since he helped drive the Deep Kings back across the Misery. But new and darker forces are rising against the republic...

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

You can purchase Ravencry at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ED MCDONALD for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Ravencry (Raven's Mark #2) by Ed McDonald. 

1 comment:

  1. "How do you spend your free time?" Working on my Important Projects which will transform my life and make the world a better place.