*Author Interview with Andy Peloquin*

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Wow, there’s so much to know! I’ll give you a few facts that will help you understand pretty much everything there is to know:

  • Height: 6′ 6″ (wife’s height: 5′ 3″)
  • Occupations: novelist, fiction writer extraordinaire, daydreamer, step-father, full time chauffeur, video game/comic book enthusiast
  • Favorite things: hot wings, Deadpool, any Marvel movie/TV show, sleeping, a good book

I think that says enough.

Sierra:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Andy: I started writing at the age of 15, but I didn’t take it seriously until the age of 18. I began work on In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent, and worked on it until the age of 20, when life conspired to fill my time with caring for four children. I re-discovered my love of writing at 25, and finished the novel in 2014. From there, I was hooked!

Sierra:  Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

Andy: This new book is the first in a dark fantasy/grimdark series. (For those who don’t know, dark fantasy combines elements of horror with traditional fantasy themes). The main character is a half-demon assassin who has very few memories of his past. It’s all about his growth as a character (who knew assassins could be good people?), as well as his discovery of what it means to be a descendant of demon. He also has a cursed dagger that drives him to kill–sort of like the “inner voice” we all have.

Really, it’s all about what people are willing to do to achieve their ends. It’s even a quote I use in one of the later books: “There is no evil; there is only desire, and what you will do to achieve it.”

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

Andy: I’m a huge fan of the TV show Criminal Minds, which takes a look at what people are capable of. I wanted to write a story that looked at the darker side of human nature, thus I created this character. Dark fantasy seemed like the right genre because it’s expected that the stories are dark–with none of that “happy ending” bull***t that you get from a lot of epic or urban fantasy stories. There is no happy ending to my stories–a satisfying ending, but never happy.

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

Andy: This is something I’m hesitant to admit, but I wrote one of the chapters near the end (the climax) while on strong substances. The experience was one I loved, but not one I choose to replicate often. The encounter between the primary villain and the main character was a treat to write!

Sierra:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Andy: You mean did I draw on my days as an assassin to tell this story? Heh. The Hunter does have a couple of characteristics of mine, but I try to keep “myself” out of the book. However, a lot of the frustration, anger, and emotions that I had were poured into the writing.
Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Andy: Sherlock Holmes addicted me to reading, John Carter of Mars opened my eyes to the wonders of science fiction, and the Dragonlance books got me hooked on fantasy. The Lies of Locke Lamora helped me realize the importance of great characters as well as plot, and Brandon Sanderson’s works are what I use as the “gold standard” for grammar and structure. His characters are also amazing!

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

Andy: Never, a fact for which I’m very thankful! By the time I sit down to write, I’ve mapped out enough that I can start writing without worrying about what comes next. The blank page holds no terror for me; instead, I see it as a challenge!

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

Andy: I would love to meet/be friends with Scott Lynch or Matt Inman (from The Oatmeal webcomic). Both of them seem like fascinating people to hang around.

Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

Andy: This new book has just launched August 21st! Here’s what you need to know:

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Haunted by lost memories, he is bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power but denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

Andy: I would probably get more feedback from beta readers. I wrote the book and submitted it to an editor, but without really getting thoughts and opinions from many others. It was a great experience, and I still stand by the quality of the book. Sure, I know its flaws and weaknesses, but it’s a rollicking fun time! Thanks to the lessons I learned from writing that first book, I’ve made this new book a thing of beauty.

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Andy: Avoid “yes men” and only deal with people who will tell you the truth about your writing. The best beta readers/critiquers are the people who don’t care what you think, but only care about their opinion. They will help you immeasurably–far more than the people who tell you “OMG, your work is amazing!”

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Andy: Yes, actually! I’m giving away free copies of my first novel In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent on my website. Here’s the book blurb:

The Empire of Atlantis: the most powerful nation in the world. Peace reigns across the continent, and an age of prosperity and enlightenment has made the Empire the center of the globe.
But, beneath the peaceful façade of life in the Imperial City, trouble is brewing. Assassins lurk in the shadows, intrigue abounds in the court of the Empress. Will political ambitions topple the House of Tah, or could the threat be one much more sinister in nature? Dark forces threaten the land, and the future of the Empire is at stake.
Could a vision of the future change the destiny of Atlantis? Can Deucalion prevent the total annihilation of the continent, or is he doomed to share the fate of the rest of the world as he knows it?
From out of the land forgotten by time comes an epic thriller–the story of the final days of the Empire of Atlantis.

Getting your hands on the book is EASY! All you have to do is visit my website–AndyPeloquin.com–and you can find out everything you need to know.

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