miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2015

Interview: Angus Watson

This week I've had the pleasure to interview Angus Watson, author of the great trilogy Age of Iron. Angus is another author whom I´ve discovered thanks to the David Gemmell Awards, as he has been nominated for the Morningstar award this year.

Let´s start!

Q: Hi Angus! First of all thanks for your time and welcome to El Ultimo Deseo Fantastico. Could you introduce yourself for the Spanish readers that don’t know your work yet?

A: Hola, Buenos Tardes y Que Tal. Thank you very much for interviewing me, I’m Angus Watson, writer of the Age of Iron trilogy. I’m 43. I have a wonderful wife, a two year-old son and another on the way. I like video gaming, hiking and photography, but I don’t get to do them much because I have a wonderful wife, a two year-old son and another on the way.

Q: Could you give us an introduction to Age of Iron, your first novella and first instalment of the Age of Iron series? 

A: The series Age of Iron is an epic fantasy adventure that tells the story of Caesar’s invasions of Britain in 55BC and 54BC, mostly from the British point of view.
In the first book an evil British tyrant is murdering half of the Brits and sending the others to slavery in Rome, preparing the way for the Roman invaders. A reluctant aging warrior, a precocious girl with possible magic powers and an elite female fighter on a revenge mission find themselves thrown together and pitted against this powerful ruler. How can three people defeat an army?

Q:What gave you the idea behind the story of Age of Iron?

A: The British Iron Age is a massive period of history (from 800BC to 43AD), in which there was a large population who built towns, roads and colossal hillforts. Yet we know pretty much nothing about it, because they didn’t write and any oral histories were obliterated by the four hundred years of Roman rule that followed the Iron Age. So that fascinated me, and I wanted other people to be fascinated by it.

Q: We don’t only have Britain history in your books; we also have Roman and find some characters from other countries, like Iberia and Africa; did you have to do a lot of research for your books? How was that process in order to set your world and characters? 

A: I read a lot of history books, wandered around museums and visited historical sites. I did more research on these books than I did for my university degree, worked out the world in which the books took place, then put characters in it.

Q: One of the things that I most like of your books are the characters and the dialogues. And despite their cruelness and savagery you come to love and worry about them. How you manage to create them and write since their point of view?

A: Glad you liked them, thanks. I think all characters in all books are amalgams of people that the writer has met and other fictional characters they’ve come across. I guess I’ve met many good people, seen lots of good films and read plenty of good books and comics. When I write dialogue, I pretend I’m the character and speak out loud. That’s why I work at home and not in Starbucks.

Q: Another good thing in your books are all the strong female characters, what do you think about the woman’s situation in the genre?

A: It’s not something I worry about. There are strong female characters in my book because there are and always have been strong female characters in my life, not because I’m trying to make a politico-cultural point or ‘help’ women. My agent is female, my editor is female, the most successful fantasy writer ever is female (JK Rowling)  and there are many other great female writers out there, so women are doing perfectly well in fantasy. If any women do feel under or mis-represented in the genre, then the answer is to write and do it well, not to try to change other authors or complain about books written years ago.

Q: Clash of Iron has one of the most shock-ends that I’ve ever seen, was planned from the beginning of the series or did you just go where the history demands?

A: The shock ending is not in any history books. It wasn’t planned from the very beginning, but I did have the idea fairly early on.

Q: Reign of Iron, the last book in the series, is already published, what can we expect in this last book? After the end of Clash of Iron I have to admit that I’m a bit scary of that one… :-)

A: In Reign of Iron it all comes together with a big bang, as the Romans invade Britain – twice. I like to make it a little realistic, so I’m afraid that all major characters are at risk.

Q: After Age of Iron is complete, what are your plans? Any chance to follow with some of those characters or this same age on the next books? I would love to see a lot more of Chamanca, one of my favourite characters (if she survives book three…) 

A: I’ve just started an entirely new epic historical fantasy trilogy, set on a different continent. Hopefully there will be new characters that you like and it might just happen that some of the characters in my next book are very similar to characters in Age of Iron.

Q: This year you’ve been nominate for the David Gemmell’s Morningstar Award, where you expecting that nomination? How the nomination has affected you and the book?

A: I was not expecting the nomination, I was glad to get it, but I didn’t win. I hasn’t effected apart from making my head a little bigger. It may have effected sales, but I don’t see specific sales data.

Q: Do you know if there’s any possibility to see your books translated in Spanish?

A: I hope so, especially because one of the major characters is Spanish. My publisher, Orbit, tries to persuade other countries that they will like my book. So far it’s been translated into German and Polish. Perhaps any English speaking Spaniards who like the book might like to contact Spanish fantasy publishers and recommend Age of Iron?

Q: What authors have most influenced you? Which are your top books? What book will you recommend us? 

A: I like a range of authors, including Iain Banks, George Macdonald Fraser, Patrick O’Brien, Carl Hiaasen, Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie. I’d recommend any books by any of those, but if you like sci fi then Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks is great. For fantasy fans, anything by Scott Lynch or Joe Abercrombie.

Q: Where can our readers learn more about you and your work?

A: I have a website – www.guswatson.com. It has a few articles on it that I wrote for newspapers. Reading those will probably tell you all you ever want to know about me (particularly this one - http://www.guswatson.com/articles/walking-the-ridgeway/ )
If you’d like to hear about new work, and other things that come along, then sign up to my emailing list (don’t worry, I don’t send many) - http://eepurl.com/bgENs5

Q: And last question but not for that less important, as I am a foodie, could you tell us what’s your favourite English and International dish? 

A: Favourite English dish is pie and chips (I am very sophisticated). Internationally there’s an Indonesian dish called Gado Gado which springs to mind. But generally, anything with a lot of fat and salt works for me.

Q: Any other thing you’d like to add?

A: If any aspiring writers are reading this, the best thing to do is to start writing. So get on with it.
If any aspiring readers are reading, then might I suggest the excellent Age of Iron trilogy?

Thank you for your answers and your time!

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