Thursday, August 1, 2019

Duncan M. Hamilton Interview - Dragonslayer

Photo Credit: Jason Clarke

Duncan M. Hamilton is the Amazon best selling writer of fantasy novels and short stories, including The Wolf of the North and the Society of the Sword trilogy. He has Master’s Degrees in History and Law, and practised as a barrister before writing full time. Duncan is particularly interested in the Medieval and Renaissance periods, from which he draws inspiration for his stories.

He lives in Ireland, near the sea, and when not writing he enjoys sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, cycling, and skiing.

His debut novel, ‘The Tattered Banner (Society of the Sword Volume 1)’ was featured on Buzzfeed’s 12 Greatest Fantasy Books Of The Year, 2013.

Duncan is a member of The Society of Authors, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). He is represented by DongWon Song of Howard Morhaim Literary.


Can you tell us when you started DRAGONSLAYER, how that came about?
I’ve wanted to tell a story about an older character for a while now, one who thinks he’s had his day in the sun, and that the world has left him behind. I’ve also always wanted to explore the concept of dragons in a story, and these two threads seemed to intertwine quite nicely when I sat down to start brainstorming ideas out.

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?
The vast majority of what I read is nonfiction, and is often quite dry, so not really. Just finishing up a book on the economic history of Florence. I find it fascinating, but I’m not sure very many would agree!

What do you hope for people to be thinking after they read your novel?
If they feel that they’ve been entertained for a few hours, have been given somewhere to escape the stresses of modern life for a little while, and that their time and money have been well spent, then I’m happy.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
I reckoned this was a pretty straightforward question to answer when I first read it, but as I thought about it, I realised it’s a little more nuanced than people might think. The most memorable chapter for me in writing didn’t actually make it past the second draft, at least not in its original form. What’s there now is better for the story as a whole, but it is different to the raw and more visceral impact it had on me when I first wrote it. As such, it now forms a smooth and consistent part of the narrative (which it realistically didn’t before), but I don’t think the things that made it memorable for me when writing it are there any more. A victim of the ‘kill your darlings’ approach!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
A woman emailed me to let me know her husband and young son were play-dueling with pool noodles in their backyard, as characters from my book. Definitely the coolest thing I’ve heard to date.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Wulfric, from Wolf of the North, to anyone who has karma waiting to pay a visit (I’m thinking Amaury, the Prince Bishop in Dragonslayer in particular). Wulfric is unrefined and blunt, which is sometimes a very refreshing set of eyes to view the world through!

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Write the story you want to read, free from any concerns over what you fear other people might think of it.

  • 1. If you like dragons.
  • 2. If you like cool swords.
  • 3. If you like swordfights.
  • 4. If you like magic.
  • 5. If you like washed up heroes finding a taste of redemption.
  • 6. If you like calculating, power hungry villains.
  • 7. If you like fast-paced stories.
  • 8. If you like medieval European style settings.
  • 9. If you like high-stakes adventure.
  • 10. Because it’s really good!
What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Gill?
That hope can survive even after life has kicked you into the dirt. I wasn’t sure starting off if it would be plausible for Gill to have hope of finding a fulfilling future for himself. I intended him to be a witty, but cynical defeatist who often wins out despite himself. As I was writing him, and came to know him better as a distinct character, I realised the rut he was in at the start was as much a product of forlorn hope as it was of defeat, and that if a few things started going his way, hope could be rekindled. Taking him on that journey was pretty satisfying to write.

Which character have you enjoyed writing the most?
I think that would have to be the dragons. It was fun trying to experience the world I write through a completely different viewpoint, and explore how those eyes would see things in comparison to the human characters.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
My mum falling ill. It’s what motivated me to publish my first book.

What song always makes you happy when you hear it?
Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. I have a playlist for that one song alone.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Wallet, watch, phone, pants!

Last Halloween Costume you wore and when?
Woody from Toy Story (I had a cowboy hat, it was the lazy choice...). I was still in University. Long time ago now!

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
My lottery numbers from last weekend!

In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.

Once a member of the King's personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacingthe young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.
Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

You can purchase Dragonslayer at the following Retailers:


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