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An Interview with Fantasy Author Andy Peloquin

When did you start taking writing seriously and honing your craft?

I’d say in 2014, as I was writing Darkblade Assassin (back then called “Blade of the
Destroyer”). I realized how much I loved writing and how much I loved this character I
had created, so I wanted to make sure that the story came out the best possible
creation I could make it.

Are you a pantser or planner? What is your philosophy on planning out your books / pantsing through the writing process?

I’m a planner, through and through. I’ll plan out an entire series before sitting down to
write it, as that will help me to keep the through-lines consistent and start sprinkling in
details early on that become visibly important later into the story. I’m a firm believer that
knowing where a story’s going is the best way to make sure it gets there the right way!

What three fantasy authors would you say has most influenced your writing?

Brandon Sanderson for his worlds and the sheer scope of his stories. Scott Lynch for
his characters. Michael J. Sullivan for the humanity of the people and settings he writes.

Have you ever abandoned a piece of writing and left it unfinished? Would you ever go back, change it and finish it?

I actually did so recently! I was struggling to finish up The Last March (The Silent
Champions Book 6)—about 65% of the way through, I just couldn’t figure out how to
end it. So I set it aside for about 4 months and wrote four other books, then came back
to it and finished it. No big changes, but I found the way to end the story properly.

Do you have a day job and what is it?

I write full-time, though I still have a few of my old copywriting clients from back in the
days when I wrote blog posts and articles.

What fantasy subgenre(s) do you enjoy writing the most?

I think the military fantasy series has been the most enjoyable, because I LOVE military
stories, battle, war, tactics, and strategy. That being said, it’s also the most complex and
difficult to write.

Outside of fantasy, what genre or subgenre would you like most to write in? (eg. Historical Fiction, Mystery, Sci Fi, Spy Thriller, etc.)

I’ve been writing in sci-fi for about 6 months now—already finished five books of what
will be a 12 book series (plus prequel).

What was the first book you've published and what do you like about it?

The first book I published was Darkblade Assassin (Hero of Darkness Book 1). The thing I love most about it is the character of the Hunter of Voramis. Badass assassin, functionally immortal, yet still incredibly flawed and genuinely human in a way that intrigues me no end. I’m excited about going back to him to write the second story arc (Books 8-14) to finish his journey properly.

What was your favourite hero/protagonist you've thus far written about? What makes them special?

Ilanna is probably my favorite. Her journey from terrified child to ruthless thief and killer was an absolutely exhilarating transformation to explore, one that was no easy task to write. Even after five series, I still enjoy her adventures most of all.

That being said, my new character—Nolan Garrett, paraplegic former special ops sniper
turned government assassin—is definitely a fun one to play with.

What was your favourite villain/antagonist thus far? What makes them special?

Duke Phonnis! He’s the antagonist of my Queen of Thieves series, but he’s no villain. In
fact, he’s a noble, honorable man who simply happens to be on the side of law and
order in a book where the main character is a thief. Exploring that was one of the most
entertaining parts of writing the series.

Do you like to use tropes in your writing and subvert the reader's expectations, or do you try to avoid them entirely?

I love playing with tropes. They’re what we as readers—and I include myself in
that—love in a book. However, I like to twist them, subvert them, and take them in
unexpected directions, too. Always more fun to surprise readers that way!

What skills do you yourself possess that you feel the need to write about and
keeps you inspired? (eg. Archery, blacksmithing, horsemanship, languages, etc.)

Absolutely none! I mean, I can speak two languages, have lived abroad and traveled
most of my life, and can draw a mean stick figure, but otherwise, I’m just a writer who
does A LOT of research.

Do you prefer to write what you would like to read, or do you try to cater to a
specific audience? Or sometimes both?

I absolutely write what I want to read, and I try to cater to the audience I know will be
reading it. Definitely trying to hit both at the same time!

What is the darkest thing you've ever written about?

Had an immortal character bound to a table, sliced open, and steel rods inserted into his
limbs, then let his body heal around those rods. To get them out, he had to be cut open
again.

Do you sometimes find it difficult to find books to read because you are
looking for something specific, nobody has written it, and you realize you should
just write it?

All the time! I love how many unique ideas there are out there, but it seems really hard
to find the kind of stories and characters that I’m dying to read.

Where do you see yourself twenty years from now and what might you be
writing about by then?

In 20 years, I’ll have around 200 books, all of them set in the same fictional universe.
Many of them will be fantasy, perhaps some sci-fi, perhaps even others in other genres,
but they will all be somehow interconnected.

What is your next book that is coming out, when should it be available, and
what is it about?

April 14th [2020] is the release of my first sci-fi novel, the first book in my Cerberus series. It follows the adventures of a recovering-addict paraplegic former spec ops sniper turned government hitman—so you KNOW it’s going to be a wild ride!

What are you currently working on?

I just started writing the fifth (of 12) books in the Cerberus series. In this one, the sniper-
assassin character takes on corrupt cops, a local mafia, and an underground fighting
ring.

What are you currently reading by other fantasy authors?

I’m listening to Dark Ages, the fifth book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series. At the
same time, I’m reading Fonda Lee’s Jade City.


INTERVIEWS WITH FANTASY AUTHORS

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