Brian Staveley is the author of the award-winning fantasy trilogy, The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne. After teaching literature, philosophy, history, and religion for more than a decade, he began writing fiction. His first book, The Emperor’s Blades, won the David Gemmell Morningstar Award, the Reddit Stabby for best debut, and scored semi-finalist spots in the Goodreads Choice Awards in two categories: epic fantasy and debut. The entire trilogy, which includes The Providence of Fire and the The Last Mortal Bond has been translated into over ten languages worldwide.
Brian lives on a steep dirt road in the mountains of southern Vermont, where he divides his time between fathering, writing, husbanding, splitting wood, skiing, and adventuring, not necessarily in that order. He can be found on twitter at @brianstaveley, facebook as brianstaveley, and Google+ as Brian Staveley.
74 thoughts on “Official Bio”
Mr. Staveley, your blog is very entertaining and useful for us Fantasy writers, but I think all writers would benefit from it. However, you have a distinct advantage – living in Vermont gives you a leg up on all of us! Ha! At present I am living in New Hampshire (obscure topsy-turvy Robert Frost reference here). Cheers!
charlotte Harley says:
Um, Mr. Staveley: there was an ARC of your book on ebay, which I bid on and was scalped at the last few seconds. I’ve been watching for weeks for another, but no such luck. You see, I read the review comments and I was lost/in love at “massive attack birds and hive lizards.” Do you, perchance, have an ARC you know, like laying around underneath something somewhere that you would send me? Just out of the kindness of your heart? I’m sitting here at my desk at work hoping I’m not typing this in vain, but I do have a picture of a Welsh Corgi puppy on my desktop background which never fails to cheer me. If the puppy reference and failure to win the ebay bid doesn’t get you, how about this: My favorite quote is “When I get a little money, I buy books. If there is any left I buy food and clothing.” I should admit to you I am extremely thin and sometimes naked in my spare time.
Hi Charlotte —
Thanks for getting in touch! I’d love nothing better than to send you an ARC and keep you from starving, but I only have one left that I’m saving for my son (when he grows up). I didn’t realize they were selling on Ebay — how much did it go for?
Although I don’t have any more ARCs, I can offer a ray of hope. Tor (my publisher) is running a lottery. You could win my book or four others, all by great writers. You can find a link here: http://www.adamchristopher.co.uk/win-an-advance-reading-copy-of-the-burning-dark-from-tor/
It’s open until the 31st of October.
If I see anything else, I’ll be sure to let you know!
charlotte Harley says:
Aren’t you a great dad? Thank you for your reply. I signed up for the drawing and will keep my fingers crossed! Blessings to you and yours.
charlotte Harley says:
It went for almost $34 along with another ARC, “The Sword of God” or something (about Vikings I think), but of course I wanted yours.
There’s a copy of The Emperor’s Blades up on Ebay now. Good luck with the auction!
charlotte Harley says:
I know. I’m on it. It’s me, babibud. oooooeee wish me luck, I saw it on Friday and I was BOOM, on it.
charlotte Harley says:
Forgot to tell you– I will still buy your book so you get some $$. If I really LOVE a book I want a first edition. I’m sure you don’t see any bucks from ARCs on ebay….have a great day and blessings to your family!
Oh, no worries! I’m just glad to hear you’re interested. Good luck with the auction!
charlotte Harley says:
I GOT IT!!!! Wooo hooooooooo. There’s also another one up. Mine went for $26 plus shipping. BOOM!
Great news! I really hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think, when you’re all finished…
charlotte Harley says:
Of course I will. I’d be honored.
charlotte Harley says:
Oh gosh. Sittiing on my coffee table, waiting on me like a treasure waiting to be discovered. I will definitely have to get it in January cause you don’t get the maps in an ARC. Thank you, I am so excited, will begin the journey tonight…
Mr. Staveley, I’m a french and I read your book “the emperor’s blade”. As you can see (or read) my level in english is not very good. But I found your book very easy to read but don’t worry it is not infantile.
Quite some time, I read only book in English because their are more books of fantasy in this language and I don’t have to wait for the translation but the good books are very rare so when I read your book I was very happy and I read it in one day. I say in myself : finally a good author with a brain!
I think that in fantasy, the story must be simple but the universe complex or something like this… I think you know this better than me. But look at J.V.JONES, Kathleen duey, Brent week,robert jordan… Their story is always simple. One or two main characters who fight against the destiny for what they think is just and the bad side is not bad but he want only the power….. Sorry, I SURELY SAYS SOME nonsense but I saw so many author who want to be original and they write a complex story with too many people so the reader can not identify to the characthers
Your are very talented, your writing is fluid and I will follow you and wait for you next book but be careful if your next book are bad I will not be nice.
PS : Don’t forget to describe the food and the travel.
Je vais essayer de repondre en Francais, mais ce serait probablement assez terrible parce que il y a 15 ans depuis que j’ai etudier la langue. Aussi, je ne sais pas comment utilizer les accents avec mon ordinateur! Merci beaucoup pour votre lettre. Il est tres passionnant pour moi de decouvrir que quelqu’un en France a trouver le livre! J’espere qu’un jour il sera traduire en la votre langue — c’est possible! Mon prochain roman est presque fini. J’espere que c’est bon! Au revoir… Brian
Votre niveau en français est meilleur que le mien en anglais(lol). J’attends avec impatience la suite et également vos prochains romans et j’en parlerai autour de moi.
J’ai trouvé votre livre grâce au site GOODREAD. Je cherchais désèspérement un bon livre et je vous ai trouvé.
Si votre livre est traduit, il ne pouurra que plaire aux francophones. Mais je ne suis pas trop au courant du marché du livre en france (rendement financer pour l’auteur…) et donc si c’est judicieux pour vous.
Savez vous déjà combien de livres comportera cette série ?
Your level in french is better than mine in english (lol). I wait with impatience the book 2 and your next books.
I found your book because of the website GOODREAD. I wanted desperately a good fantasy book and I found you.
If your book is translate in french, I am sure that everyone will love your book but I am not very aware of the book market in France (financial performance …) so if it’s a good idea or not.
But in my side I will talk about you around me and if I don’t find your book in the shops with others book in english (but I don’t think that is possible) I will scream on them.
Do you know already how many book this chronicle will have ?
charlotte Harley says:
Very charming comments. Thank you, I enjoyed them!
Hi Mr. Staveley,
My name is Raouf Sattaur and I just came across your trilogy. I plan on picking up The Emperor’s Blade for my next leisurely read. I know you don’t have to respond to blog posts and I see that you do frequently. I just want to say I appreciate you trying to help out those who seek your help. I would absolutely love it if you could give me some advice. I see that you’ve taught in a college setting and was wondering if you could shed some light on the subject of finding a career in the English world? I have a Bachelor’s in English and Creative Writing and have thought about getting a Master’s, but I’m hesitant to go down the academic road. I’ve thought about editing and other related careers, but I don’t know too much about how that industry is doing, since the arrival of ebooks and self publishing. I am a writer at heart and I’m writing my first novel right now. But, I do want a career that will be rewarding and entertaining. Thank you in advance and I hope you have a wonderful week.
Hi Raouf. I’m not sure I have all the answers on this one, but I’m happy to share some of my thoughts. 1) Writing is about the world’s least reliable career. Even if you’re “making it”, the payments are utterly unpredictable. Maybe you sell the German rights and get a bunch of money. Maybe not. No way to know. Maybe you earn out, but your publisher is holding back a huge reserve against returns. Maybe not. Again, no real way to guess. Given that, I’d strongly recommend aiming at a different career that allows you to write at the same time. 2) Teaching is awesome, at least if you find the right gig. Schools and students vary massively, and one teacher’s paradise is another’s hell. That said, if you find the right match, it can be a tremendously rewarding career, AND, if you don’t have to work a second job in the summer, you’ll have time to write. 3) High school teaching is a much safer bet than college. For one thing, you don’t need a PhD to do it, so you’ve saved many years and much money. The competition for jobs in high school isn’t quite so vicious, and the job market isn’t undercut by schools trying to hire more and more part-time faculty in the same way it is in college. If you’re desperately passionate about some academic study, go get the PhD. If not, don’t. 4) No one knows what the publishing world will look like in five or ten years, including the publishers. Will Amazon take over the world? Will print books go extinct? Will the movement toward ereaders stop, or even reverse itself? Theres are tough questions. It does seem clear, however, that the world has, and will continued to have a huge appetite for the consumption of stories. If you can get yourself into that world, and manage to adapt as the world changes, I think you can thrive.
Again, I’m not an expert in any of this, but that’s my 2 cents. Hope it’s useful!
Good Evening Mr. Staveley,
I would like to start off by saying that I have really enjoyed The Emperor’s Blades. It’s one of the most interesting and well-conceived fantasy worlds that I’ve come across in awhile and I really enjoyed how the three siblings’ lives and challenges were so different yet all seem like they are about to come together in the second book.
I am in the process of starting up a blog that will cover the three oft-related topics of writers, writing, and self-motivation. One of the main features of my blog will be interviews and profiles of contemporary writers from multiple genres and backgrounds. Obviously, getting the personal input of said writers on the pieces being written on them would be extremely helpful. Hopefully in a few years, this list of authors will become a valuable resource to thousands of readers looking for new and exciting titles along with aspiring writers seeking advice from established members of the profession.
Just so you know where I am coming from, I am a West Point graduate who is currently serving as an Artillery Officer in the 101st Airborne Division in Kentucky, but my first love has always been reading. While I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, I finally decided that I would stop making excuses, and take a few minutes each day to write the kind of stuff that I would enjoy reading. I figured that if I could do it in a combat zone, then I could do it when I got back as well.
I do not consider myself to be writing at a high enough standard to be worthy of publication yet, but I see this blog as a way to learn about the industry, receive helpful feedback from others, and as my readership expands, give them a list of outstanding writers to refer to when they are looking for their next book.
If you have the time, I would like to conduct a quick interview with you via email or any other medium of your choosing. The interview would consist of a short bio, a discussion of your writing style and habits, and your views on past and future projects along with links to your website and purchasing information for your books. All of the interviews are easily accessible and archived on their own page to ensure that even the earliest interviews can be accessed in two clicks, ensuring that no one’s valuable advice and insights become buried under a preponderance of other blog posts.
I understand that you are busy and that your time is valuable, but I will work very hard to ensure that your investment is ultimately worthwhile. It may take some time, but it is my hope that your small investment will be repaid in time with a steady stream of browsers clicking over to view the pages and purchase the work of my blog’s featured authors. I look forward to hearing from you, and hope that you are willing to entertain my request, though I will by no means take it personally if you are not. Have a great New Year.
Page Moffett says:
Mr. Staveley, both my son and I have finished The Emperor’s Blades, and I am almost finished with The Providence of Fire. They are absolutely brilliant, and it is going to be painful waiting for your next book to come out. We have read a lot of epic fantasy, (The Dark Tower, Warded Man, etc.) and your books are among the best we have ever seen. My younger son is next in line to read both books, and I am quite confident he will share our reactions. Thank you for two wonderful books, and please, please hurry to get the next one published!
Hi Page — Thanks for getting in touch! Sorry I missed this when you first posted it. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the series, and that you’re reading the books with your son. My boy’s only 3, so a little young for this sort of fare, but I’m very much looking forward to rereading some of the fantasy classics with him when he’s a little older. In fact, I’ve avoided reading Harry Potter all these years with this in mind. As far as the third volume of my own series goes, I’m revising it now! Should be ready for consumption early next year…
Thane S says:
Just wondering when book 3 might be released?
I’m working through the revisions of Book III as we speak; should be out early next year…
Luk Willems says:
Hello Mr Staveley,
Your first book is out in Belgium, translated in Dutch and just want to let you know that it’s one of the best reads I ever had and I’m reading fantasy since 1994! I sure hope the rest of the trilogy will also be translated, sometimes a problem because of the small market in Belgium/The Netherlands. Anyway, keep up the good work and hope you can keep up your high standard 😉
Thanks for getting in touch, Luk! I’ve signed a 3-book deal with the publisher from the Netherlands, so the next two should be on the way at some point. How’s the book doing over in Belgium?
Hi there, just finished book 1 and 2 in Dutch. Any idea on when we can expect 3? Thanks and keep on the great work. Absolutely love the story!
Not sure when the third is coming out over there, but I know it’s definitely coming. Sorry I don’t have better info!
Mark W says:
I read your first book, Emperor’s Blades, and immediately went out and got your second book. The story is great and I love the characters. I was hooked after the first few pages and it was really difficult to put either book down. I see you are in revisions on the 3rd book. I hope to see it soon.
I am curious if there is any type of forum set up (other than this one) where readers can discuss the books?
Hi Mark — So glad to hear you’re enjoying the books! THE LAST MORTAL BOND is due out in March — my editor has it now…
As far as forums go, there’s a nascent fan site you could check out: http://fuckyeahtheemperorsblades.tumblr.com/
Your best bet for robust discussion, however, is probably the fantasy subreddit, especially if there’s something specific about the books you’d like to bounce around with people: http://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/
Todd Fox says:
Hello Mr. Staveley,
I just finished The Emperor’s Blades a few minutes ago and let me just say that I will be ordering Providence of Fire soon. I love your writing and prose. It felt fresh and gives me inspiration as a writer. I’ve been planning out a novel series for a few years and almost gave up during college until I read the Kingkiller Chronicles by Pat Rothfuss which ignited me down a road of searching every series I could find and study. Time to write is hard to come by but luckily I have a few chapters done.
Do you have any tips on starting out and getting published? I’ve read a lot of the posts on your blog and they are very helpful and funny. I’d love to send you some of the stuff I’ve got if you’d like.
Anyway, I can’t wait to read the second book and I’m trying to avoid spoilers. Adare grew on me in the end and I can’t wait to see where you take her. Valyn and Kaden are awesome. Rampuri Tan is someone I definitely want to learn more about.
I’ll cease my rambling now and I look forward to reading book 2 as I enjoy me some Vermont and New Hampshire in 2 weeks.
Thank you for the books and for the inspiration!
Thanks for the kind words, Todd. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the story. I don’t have time to look at new material right now, but I can give a few tips about starting out. Keep in mind, all of these apply to the traditional publishing route; I have no experience in the indie world.
First: you need to have a full, finished, polished manuscript before you can move on to the next step in the process, which is querying agents. It’s easy to get impatient, and I understand the eagerness to see your own work OUT THERE, but I’d urge you strongly not to rush this first step. I worked on THE EMPEROR’S BLADES for (depending on how you count) five to seven years before I started looking for a literary agent. It takes longer for some people, not as long for others, but you really want to have the best book you possibly can before you go hunting.
Second, when it comes time to look for an agent, don’t get discouraged. Keep submitting, even if the rejections start to pile up. A good agent gets dozens if not hundreds of submissions every day. Given that, it’s crucial to follow their submission guidelines. Every agent wants something slightly different in a submission. Do everything you can to give him or her exactly what they ask for — nothing less, nothing more.
Those are the two best pieces of advice I can give you at this point. And then, of course, keep writing and good luck!
Thank you for getting back to me and this definitely helps! Currently, I’m only about 17k words into my work and definitely need to do some more planning with a few things. Do you have any kind of rituals or things you do to help you write before or as you write?
I’ve discovered that reading fiction I enjoy and respect for half an hour before I sit down to write is a great way to get my head in the game. It took me a long time to accept that. After all, reading someone else’s book when I should be writing my own feels lazy — like I’m just screwing around. I’ve found, though, that when I turn to my own book, my head’s already primed to write sentences and to think in terms of the rhythm and progression of scenes. Plus, it guarantees that I read for at least half an hour a day!
Lol I try to do that too. Currently I’m reading Providence of Fire and Anthony Ryan’s Queen of Fire currently. The direction you took with book 2 is amazing, I’m only about 1/3 to half way through currently. I feel like music helps set the scene and mood in my head when I write certain POVs as well, almost like each character has their own soundtrack lol or a certain tune to help me write a certain scene.
And thank you for replying! I feel like us aspiring writers benefit greatly from our favorite authors conversing with us every so often.
Do you plan on releasing any art or more maps from the world you’ve created? I’m crazy about the art style on your covers and I love seeing any artwork for any of the series I read. I’m also a bit of crazy person about maps.
Just now realizing I said currently twice in the same sentence. I apologize for asking so many questions but are you planning on doing any AMA’s in the future?
Juan Furler says:
Mr. Staveley, I have been a Sci-Fi fan since I was able to hold a book in my hand. Books have been a great escape. The ‘Emperor’s Blades’ kept me reading, on of those books you just have to finish. Great job on this first book, waiting for the next and keep on writing please.
Hi Juan — Thanks so much for the kind words! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story — the Providence of Fire, the second book, is out already, and the third, The Last Mortal Bond, is slated for March ’16, so not to long now. I’ll be curious to hear what you make of the end of the story!
I love your book. I really liked that despite it being a fantasy novel, it was easy to follow. Some books have such strange names and involved warped realities I can’t even follow what’s going on. However, I found the Emperor’s Blade had a little more sexual content then I was comfortable with. Would you say the second book has more or less sexual content?
Hi Joe —
I can’t remember if I responded to this or not, but I’ll take another stab at it, just in case. I’d say the second book is pretty much the same as the first in terms of sexual content. The Last Mortal Bond, however, (the third book), is a step up. There are two actual sex scenes in that volume, one relatively graphic. Hope that helps!
Hello Mr. Staveley:
I’ll do my best to keep this brief, though brevity has never been one of my strong points. I have a couple things I was hoping you might respond to.
The first is simply that I wish to express my appreciation For your tendency to release books in an accessible format. I am completely blind, and the fact that your books were available through audible and other means meant that I could read both back to back. Given that it’s one of the better fantasy series I’ve ever read, this consistently was a very good and unexpected thing. I very much hope that the same will be true for the third book.
Secondly, I just wanted to express my compliments on the way in which you deal with the concept of a character functioning within a dark setting. Given that one of your characters seems to be destined to be blind in the next book, I figured I might as well say that generally speaking fantasy authors do this kind of protagonist very poorly. From all appearances though, you are not one of them. granted you are augmenting their narration with other senses that normal humans would not have, but nonetheless, it’s a refreshing difference to see a blind or partially blind character handled so adeptly.
Finally, I figured I might as well ask when, or if, you will be making any kind of public appearance, and where you might be doing so. I am, to the best of my knowledge, the first completely blind person to ever independently backpack the world, and have been travelling for a couple years. This gives me a pretty flexible schedule, and I would very much like to meet you in person if that would be at all possible. I try to make a habit of making the acquaintance of my favourite authors, and I think that you are probably up there at this point.
Thank you for reading and I hope to hear back from you.
Great to hear from you, Jonathon! I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the story. And yes, in response to your first question, the third book will also be available in audio format, once again narrated by Simon Vance. I’m so lucky to have him performing these stories — he’s a real pro. I’m also very glad to hear that so far my handling of the blind character rings true to you. I’ll be very, very curious to hear what you make of that character’s perceptions in the third book. It was a real challenge, trying to write someone who cannot see. I kept falling into all the old habits, even when they wouldn’t be plausible.
I’m also curious about your world backpacking adventure. I did quite a bit of hitch hiking when I was younger, and have travelled through pretty good stretches of Europe and Asia. In fact, I wrote the first draft of The Emperor’s Blades while in Asia. Have you made it up to Mongolia? My favorite place…
I don’t have a tour schedule set for the release of The Last Mortal Bond yet, but I’ll be posting updates to this website as they come (or to a new website, hopefully, once I get my act together to do it). In the mean time, thanks for the kind words, and best of luck with your adventures!
That’s excellent to hear. I agree, the narrator for the last two books was quite good. I’m very much looking forward to the third instalment.
I actually have a couple more specific questions for you. They’re more or less things related to the fantasy genre in general and I’ll be very curious to hear your opinions.
The first question is this: I have found that in general fantasy authors have a tendency to centralise events. That is to say, they establish and build up a complex culture within a certain area, invest their characters within these areas and then proceed to lay out plotlines locally or exclusively within these areas. There is a Predisposition to assume that world-changing—sometimes world ending—events will happen, and are almost always exclusively placed within a certain geographical area. In reality of course, something that is central to human history only appears so from within, and there are usually multiple conflicts of equal scale happening across Countries and continents. A couple of the epic fantasy series handle this, such as in Game of Thrones in which events of equal magnitude happen on both the eastern and western continents at the same time, or even the wheel of time, in which the characters are spread out across a very geographically diverse area. But it’s rare, and I’ll be curious to know why you think this is? Is it simply because it’s easier to centralise things with in one culture? Is it perhaps that you can only establish multiple story arcs like this in very long series, rather than within the parameters of a trilogy or quartet?
In the same vein, I’d be curious to know what you think about exploration based fantasy. What I mean by this is that when I read a new fantasy series, perhaps the thing that interests me most above the plot, the characters Or even the Magic system is the geography that is “unknown.” For instance, a character might hear about some distant land in the middle of a plot ark. To me, that distant land instantly becomes the most interesting thing in the world. If the author should go there, perhaps there is a coastline. My immediate question is, have they sailed from there? Is there a continent Beyond that ocean that hasn’t been discovered? What are the cultures there like? I can’t actually think of a single fantasy series however that deals with exploration as a main storyline. Some characters will go on epic journeys sure, but never for the purpose of exploration, and often the cultures end up feeling rather homogenous. Why do you think this is? And further, do you intend to explore more of the geography within the unhewn throne setting? You’ve mentioned a lot of interesting places, and I would be very curious to see them. If not within the trilogy, then perhaps within other works?
Finally I’d be very curious to know why you made the choices that you did when it comes to profanity? In general I find that there are two kinds of fantasy authors. There are the kind that try to keep things relatively YA, and do so by removing profanity. Instead, they use substitutes. “Light!” Or something similar. Then there are those authors who have a tendency to keep things fairly adult. Sexual content, graphic violence and the profanity that we’re used to. Strangely, you seem to have done both. You certainly have the common everyday profanity, but you’ve also invented a few ones for yourself that don’t have the same weight to a reader. Was this intentional?
As far as my travels go… So far I’ve mostly focused upon the Americas, both north and south. I spent the last few months in Canada, and I’m flying to Europe in January. I’m sort of driven in all directions based upon the reason that I’m travelling though. As I travel I’m doing a great deal of advocacy work and educational reforms. The fact that no other blind person has ever travelled in this fashion is a problem I think, and I am working with various organisations and doing public outreach projects in order to promote the skills that would allow the community to do so in the future. Basically I’m the first but don’t intend to be the last. This means I’m sort of taken to unusual areas that could use the most efficacy or have the most promise for Successful projects. I’m pretty excited for Europe though. And I do intend to go to Mongolia. The idea is that sometime around next fall I’m going to go north through China and Russia. I intend to fit Mongolia somewhere in there. 🙂
Sorry for the long delay in response! Things got a little hectic over the holidays. To take your questions one at a time: First, yes, absolutely, fantasy, particularly epic fantasy, tends to centralize massive historical events. It doesn’t get much more condensed that Frodo carrying the one ring to Mordor. Everything, the whole fate of the world is with that one hobbit. The reason to do this is, I think, that if you’re not doing it, it’s very hard to write an actual story, by which I mean, a causal chain of events centered on a small set of characters. Erikson’s Malazan books are the closest I’ve ever encountered to fantasy that acknowledges the full scope of the world, and while I love them, they’re unsatisfying to some readers who want less history, more story. To your second point, I’m actually planning, at some point, to write a novel about a cartographer. I love maps, and, like you, I’m always interested by the unexplored points in the world (either real or imagined). Finally, the curses go, I needed to replace all religiously based curses (hell, damn, Jesus Christ, etc) with curses that made sense inside my theological framework. Hence the invented ones. I kept everything else. Thanks for the questions, and good luck with your travels!
Bob Watson says:
I read your comment about wanting a fantasy series that deals with exploration of a new area. The Demonstone Chronicles by Richard S. Tuttle kind of deal with this aspect. This is his third set of books set in the same world with the same characters, but now they have discovered a hostile continent halfway across the world and must observe and explore to prepare for war. While not quite on the same level with Brian Staveley’s writing, it does have good flow and is an easy read. He also usually has a free ebook on Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
Quick question – Is the Book 3 prologue before the whole series starts or right before Kaden’s chapter? Just got a little confused. Last two prologues were both in the past right?
Yep. The prologue to The Last Mortal Bond is in the distant, distant past…
Ok, that’s what I thought. Got confused by the sneak attack in the first chapter. I cannot wait for Book 3 to come out! I’m loving it so far just based on the the stuff you released already. Can’t wait to see more Valyn and his Wing. And I’m hoping we’ll have a suprise return of Akiil and Rampuri Tan.
I can promise nothing… but you might get some of that…
Hi Brian, read first book in series and just downloaded Providence. Really liked it. I am working on second book in my own series. First one out in Dec 2013. I was enthralled with yours because it was structured like mine — multiple story lines, host of characters, in Medieval-themed fantasy. I would love to chat sometime about epic fantasy if you feel so inclined.
Glad you’re enjoying the story! What’s the title of your first book? I’ll keep an eye out for it…
Thanks for asking Brian. It is “Fire of the Covenant.” Second book in the series Dragon-Called Legend, is “Betrayal of the Covenant” due out this Summer. Self-Pubbed (hard to find a Publisher to take on a big book like this). Standard epic series, “Fire” is 194K words, “Betrayal” will be about the same size. I’ve got another book (first in another series), same world except a few hundred years in future (only about 94K) shopping around to Publishers/Agents (a near impossible task 🙁 ).
I started Providence and really enjoying it. I like the way you interweave the story lines and how you really develop your characters. Your imagery makes me feel like I am there in your world. I can’t even remember how many books I’ve dropped because the characters and world building were so superficial. Plus I hate reading a Medieval-themed book where characters say things like “Okay” or modern cliches. Jerks me right out of the illusion that the author had built. I even tried, in my series, to use words that originated prior to 1500. You would be surprised which words were created before and which after. If you can have readers tell you that they could imagine sitting down to dinner and having a conversation with a characters, then you know you have given your character depth. The same applies to world building and suspense. I was over joyed when I had another author complain that she sat through a cold bath to finish a chapter.
Out of all the possible genres, why Medieval-themed Fantasy? Your story is captivating and keeps the reader engaged. Hard to put down your books.
Bill Katz says:
Just got done listening to The Providence of Fire. Great job on both novels. In looking over your bio on isfdb, I couldn’t find any pro sale before your debut novel, which would make you eligible for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. I run the eligibility page at Writertopia (http://www.writertopia.com/awards/campbell) and have added you with an asterisk. Let me know if The Emperor’s Blade is indeed your first pro sale and I’ll remove the asterisk.
Hi Bill, Thanks for checking in. The Emperor’s Blades was, indeed, my first pro sale. Thanks for putting me on the list!
Matthew Parsons says:
Brian – I just finished both your books and very much enjoyed them as a long time fantasy fan. I travel a lot so audible books are great, and I listen to pretty much anything Simon Vance narrates – to be honest, I found your work through him. I just listened to his read of all the Ian Fleming novels (awesome) and was luck enough to find your work.
Coincidentally, I listened to a good junk of your books while in Vermont – I have a house in the Londonderry area which I got as a retreat when I live in New York. I was back there this past week. What a great part of the world to be based as a writer, or to do anything in fact.
Anyway, looking forward to number 3.
Hi Matthew– Thanks for the kind note! You’re definitely not the first person who has come across my books by following the recordings of Simon Vance. I really lucked out when Brilliance (the audio publisher) connected us. Doesn’t hurt that he’s an incredibly nice guy and a pleasure to work with. Vermont is sort of a perfect place to write, although I’m down in Puerto Rico for ten days now, and finding that the words come pretty easy when I’m sitting on the beach. Not long now until The Last Mortal Bond. Can’t wait to hear what you make of it!
I love your work and would love to interview you for my blog. I hope you give me this opportunity. Thank you 😀
Thanks, Adeeba. I’d be happy to do an interview! You can reach me at brian dot staveley at gmail dot com.
Great! 🙂 I’ll send you the questions asap!
Holy fucking Hull. Chapter 12 of TLMB….thank you for so brilliantly messing with my head in such a good way. I knew what I was reading was a trick. No spoilers but best chapter so far. I kinda wanna call you a dick for messing with my head but it was brilliant. You are an inspiration and brilliant. Don’t ever stop writing.
Glad to hear it played out as I’d hoped! I had fun with that one…
Ok, I have never read a book so fast. The Last Mortal Bond was awesome! Definitely, didn’t see a lot of those events coming. I’d love to talk about a bunch of stuff with you but wish there was a way I could without spoiling things for other people who might see these posts.
I cannot wait for whatever you come out with next! Also, I’d love to see this world adapted in an RPG of some sort, maybe set during the Atmani Leach Lord time periods where you can choose/create a character and join various orders like the Kettral, Aedolians, Skullsworn etc.
Thanks, Todd! If you want to chat more about it, just shoot me an email: brian dot staveley at gmail dot com…
Holy Shit The Last Mortal Bond made feel like I was thrown threw a Meat Grinder!
I love how all the characters are flawed like real people, weak and troubled, selfish and lost…
The Unhewn Throne Chronicle was truly amazing Brian!
There were so many things I never saw coming in The Last Mortal Bond, things that I guess made sense.
and one thing, I was right about Kaden all the way to the end. Thanks for staying true to every Character through out the Crazy Tale!
Hello Mr. Stavely. I am working with a student who is very interested in learning more about the career of a writer. She is particularly interested in the fantasy fiction genre. Would it ever be possible to connect with you via skype so she can conduct an informational interview? Thanks for considering this!
Hi Ellen, I’m happy to chat with your student, but I find it’s usually easiest to do this kind of thing over email. I’m on the road right now, touring to support the third book, and it can be a little tricky to arrange a convenient time with skype. My email is: brian dot staveley at gmail dot com. Looking forward to the questions!
Wow! Thanks for the quick reply. I will see my student again next Wednesday. We can craft some questions and send them your way then.
Braddley Waldman says:
Hello good sir,
I started Providence of fire about mid July 2016. It is mid August and I am now on chapter 4 of The Last Mortal Bond. This is a great story, I’m really enjoying it.
Would you ever consider releasing the Kettral’s tactics? or the lessons of the Shin? I think many of those could be used for real life.
Not that my opinion is much to consider, but please don’t ever let this become a movie! IF it must be played out by actors, An HBO series would be the only way to truly do it justice.
Hi Braddley, Thanks for the kind note! I’m intrigued by the suggestion. Are you imagining literally putting out Hendran’s Tactics as its own book? That could make sort of an awesome addition to the series, actually. Never really thought about it. Now I’m intrigued. As for the Kettral themselves, there are more books on that front coming your way…
Braddley Waldman says:
Brian, that is exactly what I was thinking. Two more books: Hendran’s Tactics, and something like The Shin Scrolls, something along those lines. Many of Rampuri Tan’s sayings would be great “manovationals”. One of my favorites is ‘Think of the task at hand. The harder you look the less you will notice’ although I think that was
I look forward to what you might have in mind for the Kettral
Again great reads sir. I applaud you.
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