Guest Author - Rob. J Hayes
|It Takes a Thief |First Earth
I am excited to welcome Rob J. Hayes as Guest Author to So Lost in Words. Rob is a fantasy author of the First Earth and the It Takes a Thief series. He kindly agreed to be interviewed here, so read on to find out more about this exciting writer and where to find his books...
I actually never set out to write Grimdark, and I'd not even heard of the term when I wrote my first series, The Ties that Bind, but it certainly fits into the term. I've never been one to enjoy the idea of a gooder than good hero, or a world where everything is black and white. I set out to make First Earth a world full of corruption, hypocrisy, and nasty people doing nastier things. But, in each and every character within that world, there is humanity. It's sometimes small and barely noticeable, but even the worst of the worst are human, and in the absence of morals or conscience, it is those traits that shine through.
Whilst Grimdark is perhaps not an ‘officially’ recognised genre, it is a great way to describe this kind of dark fantasy fiction. How would you explain what Grimdark is to someone who is new to the concept?
Expect the heroes to be as bad as the villains, and each and every one of them is nothing but a product of the world they inhabit. People die, bad things happen, and for every victory someone is defeated.
Who is your favourite of your own characters? Why?
Picking just one? I don't think I can. In Where Loyalties Lie and the upcoming sequel, The Fifth Empire of Man, I think my favourite has to be Elaina Black. She's without a doubt the strongest character in the books, but she never complains about her lot in life, nor blames others. She takes it on the chin and hits back twice as hard. I had a lot of fun writing Elaina, and she is probably one of the most complex characters I have ever written.
You have some fearsome characters in your books! Which one would you least like to take on in a fight?
Tanner Black, without a doubt. There's no appealing to him, nor surrendering. And he won't just kill you, he'll make it a spectacle to stop others from wanting to suffer the same.
Who or what has most inspired you to write?
I think I've taken most of my inspiration to write from other authors. I've always been a bit of a dreamer, but I remember the first time I thought about putting some of those dreams on paper. It was after reading the Artefacts of Power series by Maggie Furey. I found it so enthralling, and I thought “Maybe I can do this too.” Twenty years later, and I finally am, though not quite so successfully. :D
Favourite authors in any genre? Book recommendations?
Chris Wooding's Tales of the Ketty Jay series. It's sort of a fantasy steampunk world with sky pirates, swashbuckling adventure, and dialogue so witty I laughed out loud. Without a doubt one of my favourite series of all time.
Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy (and all the series that follow it). It is one of the most emotionally deep series I've ever read. First it tugs at your heart strings, then it rips that heart out of your chest.
Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire trilogy. It's an intriguing, mysterious world, and the protagonist is the most likeable ARSEHOLE I have ever read.
I could go on and on, but I'll leave it there. They are all fantasy because that's pretty much my thing.
Favourite quote from a book character?
It's not really from a book, but more from a comic.
“Even if the whole world has gone crazy, I'll believe in myself and keep fighting.” It's actually from Gundam Wing and is meant quite literally, but I've always really liked it. Sort of a, believe in yourself, no matter what others say, kind of thing.
There are a variety of fantasy worlds and universes in literature. Which of them is the most appealing to you?
Well I'm definitely a fantasy kind of person, but I tend to much prefer ones set before any sort of industrial revolution. I'm not sure I have a particular favourite, though I'm fairly certain most of those I read I wouldn't want to visit.
Which of your books can you most vividly picture as being a film?
That would have to be Drones (coming later 2017). It's a sci-fi noir thriller that takes a lot from the sci-fi films of the 80's, like Total Recall. I think I pretty much imagined it as a film as I was writing it.
Perhaps the most important and incisive of these questions, what would your pirate name be?
Flapjack Smalls, Flappy to his friends.
Plans for the future?
Books. Lots of books. I have The Fifth Empire of Man (Best Laid Plans book 2) releasing in September, and Drones will be following a couple of months later. Then in 2018 I'll be releasing City of Kings (another First Earth book), and there will also be more books in 2018 I haven't announced yet.
If you had one piece of advice to share with aspiring new indie authors, what would it be?
Don't make excuses and don't stop. Write what you want to write, and keep at it, even if you suspect it might be a bit crap. And don't be afraid to show others your work. I doubt I'd ever have released a book, had I not given my first attempt to my sister. She said she loved it. So I scrapped it and wrote an even better book. :D
Where can we find your books?
Well there's my Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rob-J-Hayes/e/B00JF0YJL2
There's my website: www.robjhayes.co.uk
There's my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHeresyWithin
And Also my Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoboftheHayes
That's about it, really. So thank you for having me over.
It is a pleasure to have Rob as Guest Author here at So Lost in Words. If you should call in on him at any of his web addresses (above) then please let him know you came to him from here.
Thanks Rob, from S P Oldham/So Lost in Words. Wishing you all the very best with your writing!