Blackest Knights. Today I'm pleased to have Allan Batchelder, whose story "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" was one of my favorites. He's authored the Immortal Treachery series, as well as plays, screenplays, and countless smaller works.
What inspired your world building process?
I think it came about, as it seems to have done for so many others, as a result of role-playing games, specifically Dungeons and Dragons. I began to get tired of the game’s tropes and wanted to challenge or turn them on their heads. Also, I wanted to break out of the standard elves/dwarves/halflings/orcs model and do something a bit different.
It’s funny, really. When playing a computer game, I need my elves/dwarves, halflings, and orcs. They’re like digital comfort food. But I hate them in actual fantasy novels, although I love the way Tad Williams writes his “elves.”
Who are you writing for and why?
I think initially I was writing for myself. I had a character or two in my head, and I wanted to see what their stories were. But as more and more people began contacting me and sharing their enjoyment of my series, I began to feel an obligation to them, a need to meet their hopes and expectations. That’s an impossible task, of course, but if authors were sane, they wouldn’t be authors.
What do you do to recharge your creative energy?
As an actor, director and former stand-up comedian, I have, if anything, too much creative energy, and I’m constantly distracted by new ideas that pop into my head – not saying they’re good ideas, but I do struggle to remain focused on a single idea or venture at a time. Still, on those occasions when I’m feeling a little stymied, I like to take walks on the beach or in the forest. I also find reading others’ works helpful. Listening to music works, too. Finally, if all else fails, I’ll watch a movie or TV show recommended by a friend.
What reactions do you hope to inspire in others?
Nothing less than the whole gamut of human emotion, minus, perhaps, the loathing! Seriously, though, you want your audience to laugh at the (allegedly) funny bits, to love/hate your villains, to cry in sympathy for the sufferings of your protagonist and supporting characters, to dream of new vistas and possibilities.
Where is your writing taking you?
Actually, I don’t know, and that’s part of the thrill of it. I know I have a humorous steampunk novel in me after this series concludes and a horror novel after that. Beyond that? Who can say?
Find more from Allan Batchelder: