Tyvian Reldamar—criminal mastermind, rogue mage, and smuggler of sorcerous goods—has just been betrayed by his longtime partner and left for dead in a freezing river. To add insult to injury, his mysterious rescuer took it upon himself to affix Tyvian with an iron ring that prevents the wearer from any evildoing.
Revenge just got complicated.
On his quest to get even, Tyvian navigates dark international conspiracies, dodges midnight assassins, and uncovers the plans of the ruthless warlord Banric Sahand—all while running from a Mage-Defender determined to lock him up. Tyvian will need to use every dirty trick in the book to avoid a painful and ignominious end, even as he discovers that sometimes even the world's most devious man needs a shoulder to lean on.
1) What or who was your main inspiration for your book?
That's something of a tough one since it's hard to isolate one thing. The main character, Tyvian, was in some sense inspired by James Bond--he's a jerk and does cruel things, but you find yourself liking him anyway. There are a lot of structural and thematic similarities to Bond and Bond movies through the books, too.
That said, the Bond connection didn't come until much later--something I noticed after the fact and enhanced. Tyvian has been with me longer than that. He is sort of a second voice I've been carrying around in my head for years. For instance, if I really was mad at somebody and really wanted to lay into them, Tyvian's voice was there in the back of my head, throwing just the meanest sarcastic remarks imaginable. Stuff I would never say for real, you know? He was like the devil on my shoulder.
2) Who was your favorite character to write about?
Well, I love Tyvian to death, of course, but I've kinda already covered that. I think besides him, my favorite character to write has got to be Hool. She is the perfect foil for Tyvian--direct where he's sneaky, honest where he's dishonest, brute strength where he's all finesse. It's also fun to write somebody who is such an outside perspective on human society. As a gnoll (giant dog-lion creature), she's got some pretty cutting opinions on how humans manage their affairs. It's always fun to write stuff like that.
3) What was the hardest scene to write?
Honestly, the hardest scene to write is a scene that's in the second book, but I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll leave that as it is. In The Iron Ring, the hardest scene to write was the prologue, of all things. I wrote about nine or ten different ways to begin the book, none of which I was satisfied with. I knew I needed to introduce the villain then, since he wouldn't be in the main plot of the book until about halfway through, but I couldn't decide on the best way to do it. I actually got the book accepted for publication with a prologue I later scrapped for the one I have now (which I'm quite satisfied with, thank goodness).
4) Where is your favorite place to write?
I'm not really that picky about place, so long as it is private and quiet. My office at home and at work both do nicely, though work is marginally better in that there are fewer ways I can distract myself. In any event, I need silence or close to it--no coffee shops or music playing in the background or any of that. I also like to get up and pace and talk to myself a bit, so privacy is good to avoid weird looks from passers-by.
5) Do you have a goal number of books you want to write in your lifetime and why?
What an interesting question! Hmmm...let's see here (whips out calculator, taps some buttons): I have about 18-20 novels I plan on writing right now, though how long it will take me to write them and how many other ideas I'll have along the way is anybody's guess. I don't have a specific maximum number in mind, but I do know I will keep doing this until I die, most likely. I love telling stories, and I plan to keep doing it.
6) Will there be more books after this one?
The Iron Ring is the first book of three currently under contract with Harper Voyager. If the books do well enough (and if they'll let me), I've got at least three more lined up after that (and possibly a few more, depending). Tyvian has a long, long road ahead of him and I'd love to take him through the whole thing. Hopefully, you'll be hearing a lot more about him (and me) in the future!
This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
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