Monday, September 24, 2012

Interview with Fantasy Author Brian Rathbone

A former horse trainer, avid reader, and eventual technology junkie, Brian Rathbone began chasing the dream of writing for a living in 2005. Now working on his sixth and seventh novels, Rathbone's goal of full-time writing is coming to fruition. When he's not writing, Rathbone helps people in rural areas get increased access to broadband Internet; this is work he plans to continue in the future, since the need is so great. In the time that remains, he helps his wife care for the spoiled rotten cats they've rescued.

Welcome back to my blog, Brian. So…you have “spoiled rotten cats,” eh? Haha. Please tell us about your fantasy book, Regent.

REGENT is book one of The Balance of Power trilogy, which continues the story that began with The Dawning of Power trilogy. Catrin Volker's tenuous ties with the regent dragons, as well as with her own people, will be tested. Black ships of unknown origin come with feral dragons as escorts, and Catrin will be forced to choose between her loyalty to the dragons and the loyalty to her own people. The fates of entire species hang on the choices she must make.

This is part of a series called Godsland Series. Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

A deep love for books and reading, especially speculative fiction, combined with a knack for telling stories developed a belief within me that I would write my own stories one day. Training horses professionally for so many years gave me insight into a number of old world skills and realities, which helped me connect with so much fantasy fiction books and series. I had lived something of an old world life in the new world, and then I left it behind. I decided to chase after my passion for technology, and I did things that I would never have dreamed possible. It was stressful, though, and I found myself having trouble sleeping. After writing code all day, I would continue to do so in my dreams. While occasionally productive (I somehow successfully debugged code in my sleep), it was exhausting. I solved the problem by spending the moments, between wakefulness and sleep, dreaming up my plot and characters and world. My dreams were a lot more fun and, as it turns out, still very productive. When I finally got the chance to write, I couldn't type fast enough. Still can't.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I can't claim to have done a massive amount of research above and beyond my experience as a horseman and farmer. I did, however, do good bit of reading on seamanship. This was an area where I had almost no experience and my preconceptions were clich├ęd. I had to put some effort into accurately portraying my characters' time at sea. There are also a number of fantastic elements in my books that are based on real science and physics, even if dramatized. I did some additional research on these ideas that stemmed from my experiences.

I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. I remember how you added your own experiences about horses in book one. Have you done this with Regent as well?

Bits of real life have a tendency of finding their way into my books. My wife occasionally accuses me of using her for material, which is true of course. I have a very close connection with animals; there are animals and animal behaviors in my books that are drawn directly from real life. It was also a special thing for my mother when her experience outsmarting my father, uncle, grandfather, and an uncatchable horse made it into the first book. Life is the best inspiration I know, and I expect real events and characters to show up in my future works as well.

Thank you, Brian, for this wonderful interview. I have learned a lot about you, your books, that your sweet wife helps you with material for your books… and your love for cats. Otherwise, why are they spoiled rotten? Right?


Amarissa Ainsworth said...

A fellow animal lover! What a great interview!

Serena Clarke said...

This book sounds intriguing. I like books about Dragons. I'd love to read it.

michelle130 said...

This books sounds great.

gail said...

thanks for this giveaway!

chirth7 said...

Hi Linda and Welcome Brian!

I can't say I know a lot about Fantasy, but I share your love of animals and cats are very special to me. But my Husband loves Fantasy and would love to read your book. Is it necessary to read The Dawning of Power trilogy first? Thanks for the interview. I really enjoyed it.


Cheryl said...

Great interview. The book sounds fascinating. Who created the cover art? It is lovely and scary all at the same time.

Wishing you the best,



nrlymrtl said...

Great interview. I love how the author draws on his old world skills of hosremanship and farming to give his novels a sense of realism. I look forward to reading this book.

nrlymrtl at gmail dot com

I G+1'd this - (S Voss)

Gail Pallotta said...

Wow! This sounds like an interesting, intense book.Brian certainly has a great background for writing it. What fun to train horses and what an exciting journey to write something based on your knowledge of physics.

Janalyn Voigt, creating worlds of beauty and danger said...

I'm intrigued by the spontanaety of your creative process and productive use of dreams. :o) Please enter me in the drawing. janalynvoigt(at)gmail(dot)com

laurie said...

great giveaway and interview

Sayomay said...

Ur not the only animal lover! :D Ur book looks awesome! Def going on my TBR list!
Also I posted about the giveaway!

Brandy Corona said...

I think the book sounds really interesting and it's something fresh!!

brandyj1121 @ hotmail dot com

Darlene said...

I'm also a fellow cat rescuer! Thanks for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Darlene said...

+1 for tweeting:

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

aLilLacey said...

Love Dragon books! So it's a trilogy then? Awesome. I'll have to look into the first book too. Thanks.
Laceysvette at hotmail dot com

ape2016 said...

This books sounds good and I enjoyed the interview.

ayed2016 at aol dot com

Tressa said...

Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
tressa dot sherman at hotmail dot com

Melanie said...

Yay, he is a cat-lover like me! How fun to learn more about the author.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations S Voss and Darlene! You are the two winners of this wonderful book. I know you'll enjoy it.

Brian Rathbone said...

I'd like to thank everyone for their interest in REGENT! I hope the winners enjoy the books.

In answer to chirth7, you can start with REGENT, but you'll probably enjoy it more if you read The Dawning of Power first. The first two books in the first trilogy are free. Links can be found here:

Amy S Bright said...

I love the dragon affect used in Brian's books too,since they're my favorite fictional creatures. I'm also an animal lover,and appreciate them used in his books too. :o)