Interview with Nicholas Eames (BLOODY ROSE)
Nicholas Eames was born to parents of infinite patience and unstinting support in Wingham, Ontario. Though he attended college for theatre arts, he gave up acting to pursue the infinitely more attainable profession of “epic fantasy novelist.”
Kings of the Wyld is his first novel and his second novel, Bloody Rose, is now available. Nicholas loves black coffee, neat whiskey, the month of October, and video games. He currently lives in Ontario, Canada, and is very probably writing at this moment.
Hi Nick, and welcome back to the Fantasy Hive. Bloody Rose came out in August and has already gone on to win an award (best traditionally published fantasy novel in the 2018 Booknest fantasy awards).
For anyone who still hasn’t heard about Bloody Rose (and that must be a pretty big rock they’re living under), tell them about it. But instead of just telling them, embrace your inner bard, and tell them!
BLOODY ROSE is the story of an INCREDIBLY TALENTED bard who joins an EXTREMELY FAMOUS mercenary band led by a SUPREMELY DANGEROUS warrior named Rose. Along with a RABBIT-EARED swordsman, a SHAPE-SHIFTING shaman, and a woman who can summon LIVING TATTOOS from her flesh, they embark on a PERILOUS ADVENTURE that will grant them EVERLASTING GLORY or CERTAIN DEATH!
Bloody Rose, whilst still in the same world as Kings of the Wyld, isn’t a direct sequel. Was this always the plan?
It was, yeah. Kings of the Wyld was written to be a standalone story, and though the consequences of its plot leave plenty left to tell, it is—at its heart—a story about a band of old friends taking on one last impossible challenge. To drag them all out on the road again would be cruel, I think. I’m not sure Clay’s back could take it.
Some of the characters from the first book do appear again in this one. Of all the cast, who do you most relate to and why?
It’s ultimately a toss-up between the protagonists of each book. Clay has my cynical pragmatism, Tam has my hopeful optimism. They’re not so different people, actually, except for the 36 or so years that separate them. That said, it’s always nice to see Moog again…
Speaking of appearances, both books (with their music generation influences, as well as a dose of pop culture) have a number of ‘Easter eggs’ in them. Do you have a favourite?
That’s a tough call. There’s a few in BLOODY ROSE that are absolute gems. One is a ‘Say Anything’ reference (“I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen…”), another is from ‘Dumb and Dumber’ (“You’ve had two pairs of gloves this whole time!?”), but my favourite’s gonna be a minotaur who utters one of Matthew McConaughey’s classic lines from ‘Dazed and Confused’. I’m pretty surprised I got away with that one…
Jumping back a bit, to your inner bard. Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose have some amazingly powerful and meaningful quotes. From the simple ‘be kind’ to one of the many that have been posted on Twitter/Goodreads/highlighted in Kindle, including one of my personal favourites: ‘when we seek to rule only ourselves, we are each of us kings’.
Of all these nuggets of wisdom and wit (and there are so many that if you panned the pages for gold you’d be rich) which is your favourite and why?
Again, there’s a few contenders. I love those last few sentences of KINGS OF THE WYLD, and there’s a line in that book about mirrors that’s not too shabby if I may say so myself. But there’s a paragraph in BLOODY ROSE that I consider the best thing I’ve ever written. It goes like this:
“Her smiles were shorter. Her laugh was louder. She became distracted at times and would stare at nothing with a look of shattered sorrow that passed like a cloud the moment someone spoke her name. She loved less quickly, but more fiercely, and made certain that those she cared for knew it well. Sometimes she wept when it snowed.”
I mean, I don’t wanna toot my own horn here, but c’mon…
The names of the legendary items in your books are epic. Vellichor. Hiraeth. If you could own a legendary item, and wield it yourself, what would it be, why, and what would it be called?
Well Vellichor would probably be it. I love that sword. But since carrying it around in real life might be troublesome, let’s instead go for the ‘Transforming Tome’ that could turn into any book I wanted to read. I’d still pay the authors, though. Obviously.
You’ve already been asked on multiple occasions ‘if you were in a band…’ so I’m not going to ask that. However, if you were a monster, what would you choose to be?
Cliché as it sounds, I wanna say Vampire. I already prefer night to day, and the suns burns me like holy fire. Vampires dress well, live in castles, and generally get laid a lot. What’s not to love? Sure, drinking blood isn’t the best, but if you mixed it with chocolate milk it might not be so bad.
With two published books under your belt, do you approach writing differently than you had previously?
Not really. My writing style only changed between the first and second book. It went from ‘Write whenever my conscious dictates but also play a lot of video games’ to ‘Plan to play video games but write all damn day instead because of deadlines.’ I’ve recently struck what is hopefully a healthy balance between writing and the rest of my life, but that (like book 3) is a work in progress!
Which brings me nicely to what’s coming next. What can you tell us about the upcoming ‘book 3’ of the band?
It’s got an awesome title that I can’t tell you yet, and a wicked cover that I can’t show you yet. It takes place about twenty or so years after the first book (14 years after the second) and features a whole new generation of miscreants! Whereas KINGS OF THE WYLD was inspired by 70’s rock and BLOODY ROSE took most of its cues from 80’s pop, book 3 of THE BAND embodies the reckless, anti-establishment hip-hop and grunge of the early 90’s.
On that note, and last but certainly not least, in the years to come, what would you like readers to take away from reading your books?
I suppose I’d like them to remember the characters fondly, as if they were friends you missed dearly and hoped to see again. I’d like people to be able to read the books a second time and find references or especially poignant lines they missed the first time round. The whole reason I started writing was to affect people the same way my favourite authors affected me, so if I accomplish that… Well, mission accomplished.
Thank you for speaking with us Nicholas Eames, and roll on Book 3!
Nicholas Eames is the Award-winning author of Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose.