Luna here with my first ever author interview with Nicholas Eames, the author of Kings of the Wyld, book one of The Band series.
Nicholas Eames is the author of Kings of the Wyld, which is his debut novel. He currently lives in Canada and is currently writing a second novel called the Bloody Rose. Publication date 26th of April 2018.
I’ve just finished reading Kings of the Wyld and everything about it blew me away (especially that hilarious plot), I am so impressed by your quality of writing. So Kings of the Wyld is your debut novel. What inspired you to start writing? Did you just one day wake up with the idea or did it manifest over time?
Although Kings of the Wyld is technically my debut novel, I spent more than a decade writing another one. It was longer, much more serious, and suffered from a lot of mistakes made by first-time writers. I originally started KotW as a way to stay upbeat while that other novel was racking up rejections. I’m not sure what specifically gave me the idea to equate mercenary bands with rock bands, but I can say for sure that Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One inspired me to write a book that was something like a love letter to all the things I love about fantasy.
How long did Kings of the Wyld take you to write?
It took me about 14 months to write the first draft, and probably another 6 or so months of editing and revision for my agent and editor, respectively.
I laughed so much in Kings of the Wyld. Do you consider yourself a funny person? Do you make yourself and the people around you laugh ?
Firstly, thanks! I’m really glad it made you laugh! Trying to sell a book that relied so heavily on humour was a bit of a risk, I think, so I’m grateful to those that took a chance on it before publication. I DO consider myself a funny person—at least I try, a lot, to make people laugh. And I constantly cackle with glee while writing all by myself. That’s normal, right? Right!?
(Haha of course that’s normal Nicholas, I consider myself the funniest person alive.)
Okay so there are a lot of Rock n Roll references in Kings of the Wyld. If you could make a soundtrack for the novel, what songs would you chose?
Well, funny you should ask—there’s an ‘unofficial’ chapter-by-chapter soundtrack on my website. A few songs really stand out as imperative, though. I would listen to The Who’s Baba O’Riley almost every day to psych myself up. If there was ever a KotW movie, I would hope that song would score the opening credits. There are also a few beautiful songs (Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones, Helpless by Neil young, Shelter From The Storm by Bob Dylan) that lent inspiration to some of the books more poignant scenes.
My personal favourite character from the series is Moog, he is extremely eccentric and so lovable. I loved him running around in his onesie pj’s throwing ham out of a magical hat. Who’s your favourite character & why?
Tough call. Moog is amazing. He was such a joy to write, because he is so goofy and relentlessly positive. I had to fight to keep a few of his more ridiculous scenes in there (including the throwing ham scene!) so I’m happy to hear people love him so much. Also, both Lastleaf and Larkspur are such cool (see: emotionally unstable) characters to write. For me, though, it’s gotta be Clay Cooper. He’s not necessarily a ‘good’ man, but he’s trying so hard. His sardonic humour is also very similar to my own. Do you know the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling? Clay is trying to be that. We both are, I think.
Are any of the members of Saga inspired by real people? If so, which characters and who inspired them?
Sure! Clay Cooper’s inherent goodness and general capability are sort of a homage to my brother, Tyler (as mentioned in the acknowledgements). And a few of the characters in this book have real-world ‘spirit-animals’ of a sort: John Bonham (Led Zeppelin’s drummer) for Matrick, Peter Grant (Zeppelin’s manager) for Kallorek, David Bowie for Lastleaf, etc. Also, Pete—the guy at the bar in the Riot House—is based off a guy named Pete who used to sit at my bar. He wore a Black Sabbath shirt every day of his life, and was perfectly content with everything he had—and, most importantly, everything he didn’t. We could all learn a lot from Pete!
Obviously there are alot of D&D references as well as Final Fantasy. Are you a gamer in your spare time?
A HUGE gamer, yes. I love video games even more than I love books! I’d actually really like to write them someday. Final Fantasy, obviously, is a HUGE favourite of mine. Although I love most video games, I don’t have time to play them all, so usually restrict myself to RPG’s and strategy games, as well as the odd MMO. Current games-on-the-go include Persona 5, Torment: Tides of Numenara, Final Fantasy 14, Guild Wars 2, Total War, The Witcher 3, and a host of other isometric RPG’s that I WILL FINISH SOMEDAY, DAMNIT!
I read this book with a buddy reading group on Goodreads. Your mum jumped on the thread and thanked us for reading your novel. Can you tell us readers a little more about your mum? Do you have a large support system around you?
I have an amazing support system, yes! As mentioned, my mom is a huge supporter—she’s coerced—er, convinced so many people to buy my book, and has even made a massive geocaching trail based loosely on its characters and settings. My dad and stepmom have been wonderfully supportive as well. My brother, obviously, is a champion of mine, and I am fortunate enough to have a legion of incredible friends who’ve been so patient, gracious, and loving throughout my entire life. Also, since writing the book, I’ve met so many people on social media who support and inspire me every day. I’m a lucky guy, truly.
What was your job before writing? Did you always aspire to be an author?
Pretty much, yeah. I worked in a bookstore for a while, and in restaurants for many years. I actually still need to work in restaurants, since being a debut author doesn’t exactly pay the bills! Not yet, anyway!
I know you’re only on your first draft for the Bloody Rose, the second novel of the band series. Can you give us a hint if Saga will make a return? Is the sole focus on Rose? How many novels are planned for the series?
Bloody Rose is about (as the title implies) Gabriel’s daughter, Rose, and features her band, Fable. It is told from the perspective of a young girl named Tam who signs on as their bard. A few members of Saga have ‘cameos’ in book two, and yes, Moog is one of them! Currently there are three books planned in the series, although the possibility for prequels and sequels is fairly ripe, I’d say!
If you could be one fictional character, obviously you can pick anyone. Who would it be?
Probably Korben Dallas, Bruce Willis’ character from The Fifth Element, because he’s cool as hell and gets to make out with Milla Jovovich. Those are good reasons, right?
What books inspired you to write Kings of the Wyld? Can you give us “mega fans” some recommendations?
I sure can! Although I suspect most people have read my favourites, since most of them are spectacularly popular already. As I mentioned earlier, ‘Ready Player One’, by Ernest Cline, was a big inspiration for me. It has incredible pacing, and is told with such wild enthusiasm for its subject matter. Scott Lynch’s ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ and pretty much everything by Joe Abercrombie led me to believe those who loved the fantasy genre was willing to laugh while they read. Prose-wise, I consider Guy Gavriel Kay the greatest writer of fantasy alive today—and so does Brandon Sanderson, since he says so on the cover of Guy’s latest book. All his stuff is great, but ‘Tigana’ is probably the best starting point for new readers. Lastly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Pat Rothfuss. He’s a master of making ‘little moments’ feel genuine and beautiful, which is something a lot of epic fantasy tends to gloss over. Thanks for the questions, Sarah!
Thanks for answering my questions Nicholas.
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