It is day 6 of Horror Month and not only do I have a wonderful Q&A with Joshua but, his book Shadow Magic comes out today in the UK AND, I have a copy to giveaway!
Happy publication day Joshua!
pic&bio from website
Born in Britain. Lives in London. Would rather live in a castle. Writes fantasy. Enjoys it.
1. Tell me about Shadow Magic.
It’s your classic high fantasy, turned upside down. I wanted to write about wizards and warriors and magical lands and great, haunted castles but from the point of view of the ‘bad guys’.
What I found weird is how it’s always the warriors than get centre stage. Surely the wizards would be on top? It goes back to the old question of why Gandalf didn’t just grab the One Ring, hop on the back of an eagle and pop the cursed trinket down into Mount Doom and be back home for elevensies. Job done.
So, we have six great houses of magic. Earth, fire, air, water light and darkness. House Shadow are your archetypal necromancers. They shun the light, live ina windowless citadel called Castle Gloom and have zombies for servants and ghosts galore.
Lily Shadow is the last remaining member of the Shadow family. She’s thirteen and finds herself in-charge of a country of undead when her parents are murdered.
Sure, she dresses in black. Sure her pet’s a ghost, but otherwise she’d just a normal teen. She’s grown up with the undead, and doesn’t think it’s a big deal.
Added to the mix is an outlaw boy, Thorn, with a dark secret of his own. SHADOW MAGIC chucks them in together to solve a murder, and bit by bit explore the secrets of Castle gloom, and discover enemies close, and allies from unexpected places.
Plus, there’s a GIANT bat. A huge, MASSIVE vampire bat called Hades. He rules.
2. What are some of your favourite horror/halloween movies and books?
I’m not actually a horror fan but I LOVE vampire movies. Oh, I went through a major vampire phase and that includes THE LOST BOYS, COPPOLA’S DRACULA, INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, THE VAMPIRE LESTAT (I adore Anne Rice), and was a fan of the first few seasons of TRUE BLOOD. Book-wise I’d say Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, King’s SALEM’S LOT and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Awesome.
3. Are you working on anything at the moment?
Yup! Just got the ok for the third SHADOW MAGIC book, so pretty chuffed with that. Book 2 is called DREAM MAGIC and that comes out April 2017 so the third, BURNING MAGIC, comes out April 2018. It takes our heroes Lily and Thorn to the Sultanate of Fire where they need to deal with House Djinn.
4. What did you love about writing this book?
It’ll be the characters. I’d had enough of sword-wielding warrior heroines. You can be strong and powerful without having to pick up weapons. Lily’s based on Elizabeth the First and
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who defied the Taliban. Real life heroines who never once lifted a sword.
So, Lily’s trying to do right by her people (and undead). But she wasn’t brought up to rule, that was meant to be her brother’s role. She soon learns the only way to save her kingdom is to become a necromancer. But magic is forbidden to women, the penalty is death by fire.
Thorn’s an uneducated peasant with a true rebel heart. He’s the complete opposite of Lily, but that’s why it works. He has a talent for getting into trouble because he’s got a big mouth and not a single diplomatic bone in his body. What you see is what you get with Thorn. He has only one real friend in Castle Gloom. It just happens that friend is our giant bat, Hades. The relationship is based on my kids and our cat. Slightly aloof, slightly dismissive, but strangely loyal. And a true predator.
5. If you where a character in your book who would you be and why?
I think I’d like to be one of the ghosts of Castle Gloom. They are its history and both sad and comic. Mind you, being Hades would be pretty cool!
In a world ruled by six ancient Houses of Magic, a girl and a boy begin an epic and dangerous journey of discovery ...After her parents' murder, 13-year-old Lilith \"Lily\" Shadow rules Gehenna from Castle Gloom, an immense and windowless citadel. Once Lily's ancestors commanded spirits, communed with the dead, and raised armies from out of the grave. But now her country is about to be conquered by the Shadows' ancient enemies \- the Solars, the lords of light. Thorn is a peasant boy, wily and smart, sold into slavery and desperate to escape. So when he's bought by Tyburn, executioner to House Shadow, he'll agree to just about anything \- even to serving Castle Gloom for a year and day in order to earn his freedom. When Lily is nearly poisoned by a ruthless and unknown assassin, she and Thorn embark on a dangerous quest to save Gehenna, a weird and wonderful land of haunted castles, mysterious forests and an unforgettable giant bat. Together they must unravel a twisted plot of betrayals, pride and deadly ambition.
Want to win a copy of this wonderful book? OF COURSE YOU DO! Enter the rafflecopter HERE and good luck and I will see you all tomorrow with another horror post.