I am delighted to welcome to the blog fantasy author, blogger (and Pirate) Saffron Bryant.
Saffron has a fascinating background and is an incredibly driven author.
Today’s post is an interview to find out a little more about the lovely lady and her latest novel.
Get in touch with Saffron:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your books.
Well, I’m a 22 year old Australian and a fantasy fanatic. I’ve been reading books such as Tolkien and Raymond E. Fiest since I was about 10 years old. I have a dragon collection which would put Daenerys to shame and of course a Lord of the Rings ring.
Along with reading came writing, I first started writing stories at about 5 years old and it’s grown on from there. There is of course more to me; a biomedical degree (which is going a long way to helping me write my new sci-fi series), a brain tumour (which you can read all about with a simple Google search) and much more, but I won’t bore you with that here!
In 2011 I finished The Fallen Star; a fantasy novel that I felt was ready to be released. So in 2012 I self-published and haven’t looked back. Last month saw the release of my second novel in The Lost Child Saga; The Herald of Darkness.
“I am the one who walks the night,
I am the heart that sees no light,
I am the crow upon the carcass,
I am the bringer, the herald of darkness.
Like the calm before the storm the Draconum are thrust from their peaceful oasis into a vicious war. Refugees flood the shores in a desperate attempt to escape the coming darkness and the death it carries.
Allies become enemies and trust becomes a things of the past. Laila and Sarin must wrestle to maintain control as racial tensions and disputes threaten to tear apart their command.
The dragons struggle in a strange new land and no place is safe as the very shadows reach for their throats. What is it about their past which comes back to haunt them?
Astrocytes tries to contain an army which is bent on its own destruction. But how do you find the light in a world consumed by darkness?
The clouds are gathering and no-one can outrun them…”
What is it that draws you to writing fantasy?
Fantasy has always held a special place with me. I couldn’t say exactly what it is; perhaps that sense of being somewhere else, or perhaps glimpsing just for a second the possible.
The thing I love most about writing fantasy is letting my imagination run wild… one part of my brain will be like ‘wow wouldn’t that be cool,’ meanwhile the other part is already writing it down.
Who are your favourite fantasy authors and why?
Obviously Tolkien is a favourite- let’s face it, he’s pretty much the reason that fantasy as a genre is the way it is.
Stephen King- I just finished the Dark Tower series and I have to say, I’ve never had a book have such a significant impact on the way I look at the world. People who have read it will know what I mean when I say it made me question everything… that suddenly I started seeing nineteen everywhere… People who haven’t read it… go and read it.
James Clavell – Ok, not fantasy but I absolutely LOVE his books.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your books?
Mostly it just comes from my imagination with chunks of reality thrown in. People who know me will recognise names or situations in my novels which are similar to real things although mostly it’s just my mind talking to itself.
Sometimes I throw little jokes in, which probably no one other than myself will get- but hey, it makes me laugh. For example, in Herald of Darkness one of the dragons is called Elsevier. So what? You say, it sounds like a perfectly good dragon name. Well it is, but it’s also the name of a major academic publisher, and a name I see EVERY day in my work… 😉
What would you say are the strong points/weak points of the fantasy genre when viewed as part of the larger literary world?
Ooo tough question. I think one of the strongest points is the sheer size and scope. Let’s face it, what is fantasy? It could include almost anything so in essence it could appeal to almost any person. The myriad of sub-genres attract a massive readership.
A weak point (which I personally don’t agree with), but which is commonly cited is its lack of ‘reality’. That people use it as a form of escapism. Personally I think that’s a pile of rubbish- like contemporary fiction literature is any more realistic? Ha! Don’t make me laugh.
If you could have written one fantasy book or saga, what would it be and why?
Lord of the Rings… then I could be cited as the mother of modern fantasy!! Jokes in reality probably Raymond Fiests’ epic (1 million books long) saga. They are just something else and it would be awesome to lay claim to them.
What do you feel are the top 3 traits needed to be a successful author…and do you have them?
- Discipline. I think that goes for an author in any genre. If you don’t have the discipline to sit in your chair and finish a novel, well there’s your career gone straight away. Discipline is something I can proudly say I have.
- Adaptability. Look at it this way, when you’re starting out you have a day job, your writing job and then your friends and family and everything that makes up the rest of your life. Somehow you have to try and juggle all of these different roles. Then once you’ve written a book you need to be able to market it (whether that is to publishers or to your readers). If your only skill is writing then you probably won’t be successful, unless you pay other people to do the rest for you of course. I’m learning to be adaptable, but it’s been tough!
- Social Skills. As with almost every profession or business, you need to be able to network. With agents, publishers, fellow authors, readers, whoever. If you can’t connect with people, people won’t want to connect with you. Personally I find this one of the hardest ones, like most people I thought being a writer was an excellent choice because I could lock myself in my study and never see another living soul… wrong!!
If you could have coffee with anyone, (living or dead) who would it be and what would you ask them?
Ooo another tough one. I think it would be George R. R. Martin… and I’d ask him two things:
b) How can I make my books so famous they make a HBO show based on them?
Where can people find out more about you and your work?
I always like to talk to people, about almost anything but specifically; fantasy, sci-fi, science in general, the future of literature and books, art and marketing. So please, hit me up at any of the locations below!
Or head straight over to Amazon to get your copy of The Fallen Star or The Herald of Darkness.