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 clichéd. 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?