Friday, 14 March 2014

New Release Promo: Author Interview and Book Review of Fae - The Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King

Today, I have pleasure in hosting Graham Austin-King as he releases his new book, Fae - The Wild Hunt. He took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions from me. Please make him feel welcome by checking them out and reading my review, thank you!


Sometimes the fairy tales are true...

For a hundred generations the Fae have been locked away from the world, in the cold, the Outside. They have faded out of sight and mind into myth and folklore.

A woman fleeing a life of domestic violence in search of a better future for herself and her young son unknowingly set in motion a series of events which will change the lives of mortal man forever.

Now as a new religion spreads across the world sweeping the old ways and beliefs away before it, and a warlike people look hungrily across the frozen ocean for new lands, the Wyrde of the Druids begins to fade. Can the world realise the truth lost in children's tales before it is too late? Will it withstand the Wild Hunt?


Fae - The Wild HuntFae - The Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

This is a fantastic fantasy! I loved it!

I normally do a character breakdown in the reviews I write, but there are quite a few characters in this book to do one for all of them, so I will focus on the two main characters.

Devin is a young boy when we first meet him. He is only 10 years old, but he has a good head on his shoulders. He is bright and inquisitive. I liked him very much.

Klöss is 14 years old when we first meet him, and he is training to be an Oarsman (a kind of soldier). He is a determined young man. I liked this character very much.

I love fantasy novels, so when I was offered the chance to read this book, I grabbed it! I wasn't sure what to expect when I started to read this book, as I had only previously read a children's book written by this author. However, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the story. This book is mainly told from Devin's and Klöss's points of view, but as I said previously, there are also a lot of characters that have their say too. The story felt like two separate stories at first, and I was a bit unsure as to how it would all mesh together. However, as I got further into the story, the threads began to knit together and converge into one. I actually found myself completely hooked by the story and, as I was reading about one character, I was wondering what the other ones were up to. The book covers several years, so we get to see the characters grow up into wonderful men; Devin helping out on the farm and Klöss is an Oarsman and warrior. The story has a Viking vibe going on; there are sword fights, battles and raids. The fight scenes were quite gruesome in places, and the action was intense and exciting. I could picture them very easily, and I felt like I was actually there in the midst of them. Meanwhile, there is trouble brewing and the Fae, who have been kept at bay by a magical ward called the Wyrde, are starting to break through. These Fae are not exactly the nice and fluffy kind! They are vicious killers, who love to hunt humans.
The story ends on one heck of a cliffhanger and, although I normally get frustrated by these kinds of endings, I am looking forward to find out what happens next!

Graham Austin-King has written an exciting fantasy novel that kept me turning the pages! I really enjoyed the story, but felt some of the scenes ended a bit too abruptly for my liking. However, the story flowed wonderfully and was fast paced when it needed to be. The characters came alive on the page, and I could imagine the scenes in my mind like a movie.

Warning: This is NOT a children's fairy tale! I do not recommend this book to young children or those of a nervous disposition, as there are scenes of violence and abuse that could be very disturbing to some readers. However, I highly recommend this book to older teens and adults alike if you love dark fantasy novels. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

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Author Interview:

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

Probably when I was in my mid-teens but I think most people try their hand at writing around that age. I wrote a truly horrendous horror in the same vein as Stephen King or Dean Koontz which rambled on for about five chapters before I stopped.

2. How long does it take you to write a book?

Well I started with children's picture books so my writing is a little different. I have obviously made a huge genre shift with this novel. My kids books take me about two or three weeks to polish the story and then it's a matter of working with the illustrator and pushing it forward. For Fae this was always going to be very different. I think the bare bones of the story took me six months. Then it was a matter of rereading and editing, making sure the whole thing worked. I would say pushing eight months or so to write this one.

3. What do you think makes a great story?

I think it's all about engaging the reader and this can come in many different ways. For me personally it's the concepts that get me. In a fantasy novel for example, if the magic system or the fantastical races or creatures don't work for me then the book is never going to be a favourite of mine, regardless of how good the characters or writing is. For other people the characters and interactions eclipse anything else. I suppose it's finding the perfect mix of these and having a story to drive them forward.

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Punishing. I wasn't sure I would actually be able to write a novel when I started but once I pushed past the 30,000 word point I set a schedule of 10'000 words a week. I'm a stay at home dad so this was built around school runs and naps with large chunk reserved for Fridays when I had a full day of writing. It didn't always work but we got there in the end.

5. How do you balance family and writing?

That's a question for my wife really. I don't think I did a terribly good job of it. I know there were times when I climbed deep into the book and there was not much of a balance at all. I tried to make weekends for family but that also suffered sometimes. I owe my family a lot for putting up with me.

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I had to do a fair amount of research for weapons and various other things but thankfully the internet makes this a lot easier. I can only imagine how writers coped before, endless trips to libraries I expect. A lot of my ideas just fell onto the page. I've been rereading sections and honestly had no idea where the idea came from, like my brain was bypassed altogether.

7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book/s? 

That it's a little bit like running a marathon. When I've run marathon's the most important thing is not to stop, largely because once you drop to a walk then starting to run again really hurts. With writing it's all too easy to stop and delete sections because you think it's awful. I forced myself to just keep going. Get the story on the page and then go back over it all on the edit. 

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? 

This is my third book, but as I mentioned the first two were children's picture books. I think this is my favourite, but then it is so very different to the others it's almost unfair to compare them.

9. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Ha! I got myself into so much trouble with this. There is an awful lot of my wife in the book. She's a very complex person and there are various facets of her personality spread over three or four characters.

10. Do you have a favourite place you love to write?

I write in my kitchen at the breakfast bar with coffee and the radio going.

11. How hard is it to get published?

Intensely, which is why I eventually went for the self-published option for now. I sent my first three chapters off to a host of agents and received a collection of polite “no thank-you's” along with some very constructive criticism. I eventually came to the conclusion that even if I did get signed, it could take another six months or more to find a publisher and probably another year before my book was in shops. I wasn't prepared to wait that long which is why the book has been self-published as an eBook.

12. What do your family and friends think about your books?

I think they are impressed at the time I have put in but also think I'm a little obsessed.

13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I practice karate with my son and spend time with my other kids and with an attractive red-head who was foolish enough to marry me.

14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they? 

Try and be more patient than I was. It's not about getting the book finished and published, it's about getting the story right. If it takes four rewrites and endless edits than that's what it takes.

15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 

Superman or possibly a Jedi. Could I be both??

16. What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you?

My favourite book is “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss. I love the way he writes. He has a beautiful lyrical style to it that makes me feel both awe and despair.

17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published?

Do realise that you are going to have to spend some serious time writing your synopsis. This is a lot harder than it sounds. Condensing a four hundred and forty odd page book down to a couple of pages without it sounding crap is really difficult.

Do realise that you are going to get rejected and then rejected and then rejected some more.

Don't be pushy, don't nag, don't assume that you will eventually be published.

18. What are you working on now?

Right now I am building up to the launch of Fae – The Wild Hunt, there are ten days left to go as I write this so it's a matter of building up publicity and trying to get a bit of a buzz going. After than well I think a bit of a break is in order before I start writing again. Fae ends on a cliff-hanger and it's crying out for a sequel. We'll have to see.

About the Author:

Graham Austin-King began his writing with children's stories to entertain his children when walking them to and from school. When he started getting demands to repeat the same story over and over again he decided to write them down.

Liam and the Grump was soon followed by Captain Pegleg and the Greatest Treasure.

Fantasy is the genre which has always appealed to him, a result of reading too many books and playing too many roleplaying games and computer games. Having weaned himself on Tolkein he cut his teeth on David Eddings and Raymond E. Feist.

Finally the keyboard beckoned, there were worlds to create.

Graham lives in Kent in England with his wife and three younger children. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great. Love the review. Love the interview.