Tag Archives: historical fiction

Author Interview: Jamie Maltman

I’m a big fan of historical fiction and when it gets mixed in with a good dose of fantasy, all the better! Please welcome Jamie Maltman, author and podcaster, to No Wasted Ink.

Author Jamie MaltmanI’m Jamie Maltman, from the Toronto area in Canada. When I’m not writing or consulting from home, I’m playing some kind of games (board-, video-, computer- or sports) with my wife and two young sons, or spending altogether too much time talking online about my beloved Toronto Raptors. We love to travel, but are keeping it closer to home while the boys are young.

I’m always reading at least one book, and if I don’t read someone else’s fiction before bed each night, my own ideas won’t let me sleep.

When and why did you begin writing?

Originally? When I was 4 or 5 I started to write my stories down. I typed, illustrated and bound my first little fantasy book around grade 2. I wrote a lot in high school, subverting English assignments to become fiction writing whenever possible, including the start of a novel I might revisit someday.

I started again after my son was born and I started reading to him, and wanting to share not just the stories of others, but my own. The non-kid stories took over soon afterward, and I don’t intend to ever stop.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Fall of 2011, when I made real progress on my first book, by writing daily for weeks at a time. Finishing the first draft of a complete novel probably sealed it.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Brush With Darkness is the first in my historically-inspired fantasy series, Arts Reborn, set in a world reminiscent of the classical Mediterranean, where people believe in myths and gods, but haven’t seen any actual magic in a thousand years.

Simon Baroba is a new legionary in the Pazian army, more talented in logistics and cartography than war. Shadush, Grand Thane of the Scentari, awakens dark elemental magic, and thirsts for revenge over the Pazians that stole his people’s land. When Simon meets Elysia, the intriguing young sculptress who creates works of incredible beauty, she opens his mind to a whole new way of looking at the world, and the threat it faces. Simon must explore his buried creative Talents in order to play his part in defending the Republic from destruction.

It’s about the characters and how their personal worlds are impacted by this return of magic, and how that fits into the wider world. The events kicked off in the first book keep escalating over the course of the series, with book 2: Blood of the Water releasing summer 2014, and book 3 scheduled for the fall.

What inspired you to write this book?

I love history, and the Classical Mediterranean is one of my favorite periods. I had been considering some historical fiction ideas for a while, with a lot of research and picking out interesting setting points for that world. At the time, and completely unrelated, I started telling my very young son a story about a child being bored in school and doodling, but then finding out his doodling had power. The ideas began to collide, and I had just finished reading some books by Guy Gavriel Kay, where he borrows heavily from real history without putting words in the mouths of actual historical figures. Everything came together and the book started writing itself.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I prefer to stay close to my individual character viewpoints so they can experience the world through their thoughts and perceptions. I try to be lean on description, but my readers seem to appreciate the details that are on the page. I definitely keep things moving forward.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Any possible reading of the title ends up being valid. Simon is a painter, and he’ll have to explore that magic in order to face the evil threat to his nation. But he also narrowly escapes that darkness early on in both dreams and reality.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The potential for greatness when people pursue their innate talents. There are other themes lurking under the surface that will be fleshed out more as the series goes on, but I won’t be pointing them out just yet.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not me, but people who have been discouraged from pursuing their art at some point in their life. There are too many I know, but more and more are finding ways to come back to it later in life.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I started reading C.S. Lewis’ Narnia and Tolkien’s Middle Earth when I was 3-5 years old, and they instilled my life-long love of fantasy.

Colleen McCullough (Masters of Rome) and James Clavell (Asian Saga) were the first two historical fiction authors who inspired me to look to the past for incredible stories.

Umberto Eco both inspired and terrified me with how much esoteric knowledge you can pack into one book, while delivering an amazing story.

Guy Gavriel Kay, Steven Erikson, and R Scott Bakker are all Canadian writers of fantasy who have created incredible worlds with their own living history, sometimes based on our own, and others as deep and rich as if they were real.

More recently, Neil Gaiman inspires with everything about his work, including his incredible audiobook narration. I hope to do the same someday.

And while I was never a Stephen King or horror fan growing up, reading his On Writing inspired me to actually pursue this crazy calling. And to read and enjoy his non-horror books.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

I had a brief mentorship experience with a local writer, Richard Scarsbrook (The Monkeyface Chronicles), who was writer-in-residence at my community library right when I was getting more. After attending his classes, he sat down to read my first few chapters with me. His combination of positive and constructive feedback spurred me onward to finish the book and ultimately publish it.

In the SFF world, Brandon Sanderson is one writer I’d love to have as a mentor, since he’s both a great writer and a fantastic teacher. Or Patrick Rothfuss. Every time I listen to him talk about writing, I’m blown away.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Keri Knutson from Alchemy Book Designs. I saw some of her work from a post on the Kobo Writing Life Blog, checked out her pre-made covers, and saw her portfolio, so I e-mailed her and soon after we were working together. I’ve loved what she’s done so far, and I get lots of compliments on my cover.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write something, anything, all the way through to the end. If you can’t get through your current project, write something shorter first. Completing something, anything, will give you the confidence to write the next thing, or the bigger thing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for reading, and I love to hear from you! I look forward to sharing more stories in this world, and many more. I’m only getting started. Please join me for a weekly chat about what we are reading and topics related to reading on To Be Read Podcast, I am the co-host of the show and would love to hear from you!

Brush with Darkness Book CoverJamie Maltman
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Published by Testudo Press

Cover Design: Keri Knutson, Alchemy Book Covers

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Blog Tour: The Curate’s Brother Featured On The Chronicler

The Curate's Brother on Amazon

New Release Regency Romance – The Curate’s Brother ~ a variation of Jane Austin’s Persuasion

Leisl Kaberry is a YA fantasy author who has featured my new ebook on her blog. I hope you’ll stop by to read about my new release and to check out Leisl’s fantasy books too. The artwork on the covers is excellent!

About Leisl Kaberry:

I was never going to be a writer…seriously. Somehow despite my great love of telling and writing stories, writing as a career was just not a consideration at all… I had other plans. However I was kind of propelled towards it… or perhaps my characters and world were begging me to be released from their prison (which is my mind) to be able to frolic on paper. So here it is, my first book of a trilogy, a teen fantasy adventure, Titanian Chronicles – Journey of Destiny.

Fantasy Sci-Fi Network Author Interview with Wendy Van Camp

I am pleased to be interviewed about my new release, The Curate’s Brother, on Kasper’s blog: The Hunters of Reloria. In it I talk about my ebook, my writing process and a little about how I got started as a writer. I hope you’ll stop by Kasper’s blog and leave a comment there. We’d both love to hear from you.

A little about my interviewer: Kasper Beaumont was born and raised in Australia and lives a quiet life with the family in a seaside town. She has combined a love of fantasy and a penchant for travel in the Hunters of Reloria series.

Interview with the versatile Wendy Van Camp for the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network

The Curate s Brother Book Cover

Book Launch: The Curate’s Brother

The Curate s Brother Book Cover

BUY IT TODAY ON AMAZON

THE STORY:

The Curate’s Brother is a short story about the relationship between the two Wentworth brothers as seen through the eyes of EDWARD WENTWORTH. It follows their romantic antics over one summer in 1806. This short story could be seen as a prequel to Jane Austen’s famous novel “Persuasion”.

Edward Wentworth lives a quiet, structured life as a curate in the regency era village of Monkford. He spends his days ministering to the sick and downhearted, which he considers his life’s calling. His comfortable life is shaken when his elder brother, COMMANDER FREDERICK WENTWORTH arrives on his doorstep for a visit. Frederick has returned to England after seeing action and commanding his first vessel, a prize ship won in the West Indies. He is awaiting orders and has the hope of commanding a ship of his own by the end of summer. His only goal is to pass the time with the only family he has left in England until his next assignment.

At first Edward is glad to see his brother. They have not spent time with each other for years due to his brother’s naval service. They are opposites in many ways. Frederick is bold and likes to take risks. Edward is shy and over-aware of social implications. When his brother flirts with SALLY MARSHALL, an outgoing beauty that Edward is used to viewing as “a child”, the young curate becomes aware that his viewpoint of Sally is sorely outdated. His peaceful life is full of turmoil as he observes Sally flirting with men at public assemblies and realizes that he does not like it.

Meanwhile, Frederick finds himself a celebrity in Monkford. Word from the London papers paint him as “the Hero of San Domingo”, where he won a commendation for his quick thinking in action. The men want to hear the story of his exploits, but Frederick would rather dance with the ladies. The Commander takes an interest in shy wallflower, ANNE ELLIOT. He pays no heed to Edward’s warnings that the girl is the daughter of a baronet and well above his station. Edward fears that no good will come of a union between his brother and the girl due to her family connections.

At the end of summer, a letter and a package arrive that will change everything for the two brothers. Which way will prevail, the bold action of the commander or the quiet manners of the curate?

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

Wendy Van Camp is the writer behind the blog No Wasted Ink. She has published memoir shorts in literary magazines, writes non-fiction articles for various art and literature magazines and is a volunteer coordinator for Nanowrimo. Wendy is also working on a long Steampunk Science Fiction trilogy that will hopefully debut next year. Her latest series features a variation on Jane Austen’s Persuasion and will be composed of two volumes: The Curate’s Brother and Letters From The Sea.

Wendy makes her home in Southern California with her husband and australian shepard. Wendy enjoys travel, bicycling, gourmet cooking and gemology.

Historical Fiction: Learning the Genre

Women on Ship (1800s)Historical Fiction is a genre that intrigues me. I was drawn to Regency and Victorian era historical fiction by my love of Jane Austen and her novels. In turn, this interest moved me into the science fiction crossover of Steampunk, a type of alternate history. The creation of a historical world is similar to the creation of a science fiction or fantasy one. Many times authors will use a past civilization to be the fuel for their own fantastical creation.

To get you started in the genre, I have listed a few sites that I have found helpful in learning the foundation of historical fiction. Let your curiosity move you through time and space and experience more of the human condition than what we live in present day. By learning of the past, perhaps we will see more of our future.

Historical Novel Society
This is an organization devoted to the historical novel. They are a collection of chapter houses throughout the United States and the UK that are supported by many online forums. The group sponsors an annual historical novel conference, hosts a contest for historical novels and short stories where the wear does win a monetary award along with recognition and offers reviews and other resources for the historical writer. Membership is $50 annually. If you are an aspiring writer of historical fiction, this may be a good place to establish yourself.

Queen Anne Boleyn
This forum website began as a new home for a closed group of Tudor reenactment from Facebook. Reenactment is not encouraged on Facebook and members found their accounts frozen from access. Another group that used the Game of Thrones theme had a similar problem. Both of these well-established groups merged into the Queen Anne Boleyn website where they could conduct their reenactments as they wished without the censure of Facebook. Soon more groups followed. Now the membership site is a wonderful resource for historical and alternate history writers, writing groups and more.

Meryton Press
Meryton Press is home to “A Happy Assembly”, a forum dedicated to fans of Jane Austen, a small press that publishes fan fiction of Jane Austen novels and a hub of writers that love regency era historical fiction. Join the happy assembly and read plenty of austen fanfiction and gain reviews of austen spin-offs you can find on Amazon.

Writing Historical Novels

A blog with a rotating staff of four, it is a place to read reviews of historical novels and other topics of interest. They accept a large number of guest writers, so the blog remains fresh and new.

A Writer of History

This is the historical novel blog of MK Todd. She gives advice on writing historical fiction as well as interviews with readers.

English History Authors

If you are looking for a source to learn more about English history by historical fiction writers who love all things British, look no further. This blog features the work of a small stable of historical fiction writers and serves not only as a place to read more about the subject, but as a promotional hub for the books written by the members.

History Refreshed

This blog by Susan Higginbotham delves into the craft of writing a historical novelist that focuses on late medieval and Tudor history. She brings up fascinating topics of discussion that all writers should consider as they develop their stories.

Austenprose

This blog is dedicated to all things Jane Austen. There are reviews of her classic novels, discussions about the author herself and a place to learn more about the multitude of Austen spin-off novels that are littering Amazon, Austen films that are engaging the modern movie scene and pop culture itself.

Reading the Past

This blog will lead you to sources about the historical fiction genre and includes book reviews and publishing news.

Stephie Smith

This is an amazing resource of links of historical resources for writers. Enter at your own risk. You will wander through this huge list of links for weeks and still not see the end of the information.