Right after I finished reading Kings of the Wyld, I gushed about it to everyone I know who loves reading fantasy books and who loves to play Dungeons and Dragons. I couldn’t stop expressing how much I loved the story, and its characters, and the humor, and just how perfect of a book it is! It was a delicious, refreshing sundae on a sweltering day.
And the rainbow sprinkles (because I don’t eat cherries) on top? Nicholas Eames, the author himself, noticed my instagram post and commented on it! I took the chance and asked him if I could send him some questions for a Q&A blog post and he said yes! (And that would be the extra gummy bears on my sundae.)
Now, let me introduce to you the newest addition to my list of favorite authors, Nicholas Eames!
How would you introduce yourself to new readers if you had to write it in the style of a book synopsis?
Nicholas: For years, Nicholas Eames dreamed of getting published. For more than a decade he toiled on a book he hoped would make his dream a reality.
But while that book was racking up rejections faster than an ice-cream salesman in Antarctica, an idea struck him: wouldn’t it be fun to read a book where mercenary bands were as famous—or notorious—as rock bands? He went in search of such a book, but soon discovered that no one had written it…yet.
Determined to be the first, Nicholas began writing the book that would, after countless cups of coffee and a great deal of editing, become Kings of the Wyld.
What challenges do you experience while writing your books and how do you go about conquering them?
Nicholas: Well, procrastination is one—and I’m still grappling with that—but I suppose my biggest challenge while writing is striking a balance between humour and poignancy. Sometimes I nail it, and sometimes I require editors to tell me something is so over-the-top ridiculous that I need to tone it down a little.
If you were a character in your own story, what would you be doing? Would you be an inn-keeper? A booker or a bard? Would you be part of a legendary band?
Nicholas: I’m not sure I would be, but you never know. I swing between reclusive and centre-of-attention pretty regularly, so I might be a wizard, or maybe a bard—though wouldn’t go anywhere near Saga if I was. Those guys tend to die with alarming frequency.
I read up a little about what inspired you to write Kings of the Wyld but not a lot of readers know about the classic rock references used in the book. Care to share some of the ones that appear in the book and educate those of us who aren’t as well-versed in the genre that is rock ’n’ roll?
Nicholas: Sure thing. Admittedly, I wasn’t well-versed in classic rock either before I started writing this series, but listening to 70s music every day for two years straight sure changed that. When using a reference, I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t trip up someone who wouldn’t get it and make sure it fit into the narrative as seamlessly as possible. A few of the bigger ones include Clay’s nickname (Slowhand, which is also Eric Clapton’s nickname and the title of one of his albums), Moog’s name (a brand of keyboard), the town of Coverdale (the Last name of Deep Purple’s singer), Lastleaf’s sword (Madrigal is both a Rush and a Rod Stewart song), and Larkspur’s true name (Sabbatha is a nod to Black Sabbath, whose music inspired her character). From chapter titles (Fly by Night) to random character names (Neil the Young) there are literally hundreds of references to find for those who like that sort of thing.
And for those who don’t? No worries! You’ll never know you missed them!
One of the things I loved while reading KotW were the names of the weapons that the characters wielded (Vellichor & Syrinx for example). Where did you find inspiration for these names and if you could own only one of the legendary artifacts, which one would you choose?
Nicholas: Vellichor is a real word that means “the wistfulness of a used bookstore and the feeling of passing time stored in the pages”. Similarly, Tam’s lute in Bloody Rose is named Hiraeth, which is a Welsh word for missing a home to which you can never return (which suits her well, I think). Syrinx is named for a sect of Intergalactic Priests in the Rush song 2112.
I could have just one? Probably Vellichor, because a sword through which you can see an alien world (and sometimes smell lilacs) is pretty damn cool.
Another item that piqued my interest was Kit’s batingting because it sounds like a very Filipino word. How did his instrument come to be? I decided to ask you about it here because consulting google sounded a bit anticlimactic. Haha!
Nicholas: That was just me trying to come up with a word as random as I could that described nothing at all that I know of! As for the instrument itself, it was sort of inspired by a crokinole board, which, having just googled that, I’ve discovered is a game that may be unique to Canada! You learn something new every day, they say.
I’m currently reading the second book, Bloody Rose. I know it contains its own story, independent but not completely separate from its predecessor. I also know there is a third book coming out but what I’m very curious about is: will there be more than three books in The Band series?
Nicholas: While the three books in The Band series are all separate stories, they will have something of an arc from beginning to end. While there could be stories told that take place after, I think there’s a lot of history and side-characters that I (and readers) would rather explore. We shall see!
I would like to end this Q&A with something called “Fast Talk”. This would be way more interesting if done face-to-face but I will have to make do. Please answer the first thing that pops up in your mind after reading the prompt!
Guy Gavriel Kay, hands down.
Lord of Emperors, by Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s part two of a duology, and is directly responsible for me wanting to become an author.
Your Band Name.
DnD Character Class & Race.
Either Rome or Istanbul. I’m a huge history buff, so seeing cities that were once the crown of Empires would be a dream come true.
And this concludes my little Q&A with the author! I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to Nicholas Eames for doing this with me! For more information on the author and his books, you can check out these links:
To read my review of Kings of the Wyld, click HERE.