Today we have an interview with A. E. Marling. He is the author the best selling “Brood of Bones” a very unique epic fantasty. This enthralling mystery has a complex and well detailed world and it comes highly recommended.
MD: This world is so original it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s start with this world’s religious/supernatural elements? Can you briefly describe the role Enchantress’, the Bright Palms, Feasters, and any other devotes of gods/goddesses in this world?
Briefly describe? No, I can’t.
I will say the Bright Palms disbelieve in all gods and hold nothing sacred except the heroic labors of the common man. That they also shun wealth puts them at odds with the enchantresses, who require jewels and gold for their craft. The Bright Palms also object to dread illusionists stalking the night, the Feasters.
MD: A lot of little details not often described in most fictions (such as clothes and jewelry and other accessories) seem to have a supreme importance in the book? Was this a conscious decision due to the personality of the main protagonist, or where their other reasons involved?
Jewels are the cogs and gears on which the protagonist’s magic turns. She also carves them as a hobby, and they’re a solace and a distraction for her in a life made difficult by her condition of chronic sleepiness. Enchantress Hiresha feels ashamed that she sleeps more than she lives, and to her, the gowns she wears are shields against potential scorn.
MD: This book is written from one main perspective and still maintains several fully fleshed out ‘background’ characters. Was there a specific influence or reason you preferred the novel to be from the perspective of one characters? Was there any issues stemming from those limitations?
In Brood of Bones the protagonist searches for the sorcerer responsible for wronging the women of her city, drawing power from their unnatural pregnancies. The story is a mystery, and in that genre, first person is the norm. Perhaps you could call Brood of Bones the Dresden Files in a dress. In many dresses, to be precise.
MD: With the exception of Jenny most people seem unaware of their weaknesses, and sometimes strengths. Is this a reaction to the lack of this in many books, or was it an unconscious decision or is there another motivation behind it?
A spoonful of realism helps the fantasy go down, and in real life, people rarely admit to their own weaknesses.
MD: Was there any specific inspiration for this book? Was all of it an attempt not to be similar to other fantasy novels, as the plot, world, and characters are very unique? Did you create the world as a whole first, or did little parts of it come to you at different times?
Enchantress Hiresha, the protagonist in my story, must succeed in spite of her disease of sleepiness, which we might call Idiopathic Hypersomnia. Once I had crafted her character I chose a plot that I felt would most test her. I threw her into the situation that would most upset her, the worst thing that could happen to her, because I respect her as a character. Strange, she has not thanked me for it.
MD: What is your background as a writer? Have you written anything in the past or are you inspired by any particular writers or styles or other media?
I wrote my first fantasy novella after my freshman year in high school. In college, I found nothing gave me a greater urge to write than science lectures, and I sat through a lot of ‘em. I have yet to repent my fascination with fantasy and am intrigued by its grip on the human imagination.
I am inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett, Brandon Sanderson, Oscar Wilde, and PG Wodehouse.
MD: You delved right into events, with little explanation of the world or its characters. This means the reader has to keep up to understand what is happening or the importance of events, but gets rid of using clunky or artificial devices for explaining the world too. Was that the main reason for this style, or what other reasons (or reactions to other novels) were behind telling the story this way?
I respect the intelligence of my readers, and I assume they’re as impatient as I am to delve to the glittering vein of a story’s plot. I don’t feel the need to burden the narrative with every last facet of a fantasy world, and I trust readers to gather what they need to know based on the interactions between characters and the protagonist’s worries and musings.
MD: Are you planning other books with any of these characters? If not, why, if so, how connected will it be to the events of this book?
I have written two more stories set in the Lands of Loam, and one will feature Enchantress Hiresha as well as the Lord of the Feast. The other is a YA novel with an antihero protagonist. The former at least will be published this year. Currently I’m machinating novels beyond those.
MD: That’s all for this today! Next blog: the new cover!