Today I am happy to talk with A.F. Stewart about her new trilogy that is finally all out. Check out what she had to say!
Hello and welcome. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you write.
I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada, and I lead an average boring life. I’m a homebody, a geek, and my great weekly adventure is usually navigating the grocery store. I write fantasy, horror and poetry, watch TV, read, and occasionally go out to the movies. I’ve published a few books that include my epic fantasy trilogy, a few fantasy and horror novellas, collections of short stories, and six volumes of poetry.
When did you start writing and what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, scribbling stories, poems, even an ill-conceived attempt at songwriting. My imagination doesn’t shut off, and ideas have always bounced around in my head.
Now I know you like to write horror and dark fiction, what draws you to these darker sides?
The psychological aspects of the darker side of human beings fascinate me. What makes people go to extremes, their motivations for violence, etc. Also, I like exploring the more primal mythologies, the things we fear, the things that go bump in the night.
You also write poetry, tell us how that affects your prose writing.
I suppose it influences the descriptive passages of my writing, making them a bit more fanciful and flowery. For me, though, they are mostly separate things.
What are some of your favorite themes to write about? What draws you to them?
I like using the theme of consequences in my writing and ideas like obsession and secrecy. Following the thread of one act creating a ripple effect or exploring how one person’s actions can damage the people around them is dissecting the human condition. Most everything we do interacts with or effects someone else, even if it is in small non-consequential ways. I just make those interactions a bit more dramatic than normal.
Who is your favorite character you’ve ever written and why? Tell us a bit about them.
I’ve written several fun characters, but Balthazar (from my Killers and Demons series) is special; writing his character, I can go all out with the evil. He’s an immortal demon who loves his job (he hunts down escaped souls from Hell) and has no morals at all. He doesn’t believe in mercy, hates humans, is vain about his appearance, and loves fine wine. He does, however, have an aversion to cats, cat videos, and cat memes and generally avoids all things feline.
Who is your favorite author and how have they influenced your writing?
I have a tie for my favourite author between Neil Gaiman and Guy Gavriel Kay. They are both marvellous writers and I think their lyrical styles influenced me, as well as Neil Gaiman’s dark themes and Guy Gavriel Kay’s tragic characters. However, the one writer who had the most influence on my writing was Ray Bradbury; his poetic macabre style is brilliant.
What is your all-time favorite book? And why?
It’s hard to pick, but my all-time favourite book would most likely be Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s alternate history combined with fantasy wrapped up in this beautiful poetic tragedy and it is brilliant.
Now, you have the third book of your newest trilogy coming out, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the series and about the newest third book.
The series is called Saga of the Outer Islands and takes place in the fictional fantasy world of the Seven Kingdoms and the Outer Islands. The novels follow the adventures of Captain Rafe Morrow (also known as the God of Souls) and the crew of the sailing ship, Celestial Jewel, as they fight sea monsters, dysfunctional gods and a sinister Nightmare Crow. Ghosts, pirates, the navy, witches, and an Oracle also show up in the books.
Book one is Ghosts of the Sea Moon and focuses on gods and ghosts, while book two, Souls of the Dark Sea, has an evil sea monster demi-god, witches, and walking skeletons rising from their watery graves. Book three, Renegades of the Lost Sea, brings the series antagonist, the Nightmare Crow, to the forefront along with some bloodthirsty resurrected-from-the-dead pirates. Also, Rafe’s parents make appearances in book three, particularly his mother, who is Death (and has a backstory with the Nightmare Crow).
What did writing this trilogy in particular teach you?
Most of what I wrote before were standalone books or story collections, so it was a good lesson in plotting out a series.
Where will you go next?
I have several projects in the works, and next up is finishing my new poetry book, Places of Poetry. Then I’ll be working on the first installment of my Obsidian Blade series, a paranormal story of an assassin working in Renaissance Venice. I’ll also be plotting out the rest of my Camelot Immortals series, and working on finishing The Prophecy of Seven, the first book in my fantasy series, Realm of the Fallen. And some time soon, the Hell’s Empire anthology will be released, with my story Infernal Patrol.
Now, where can we stalk you?
I’m over on Twitter: https://twitter.com/scribe77
On BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/a-f-stewart
I have my own Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/348788975590362/
And I post a bit over on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/afstewartauthor/
I also have a Patreon page (where I’ll be giving sneak peeks of the Obsidian Blade series): https://www.patreon.com/afstewart
And lastly, my website: https://afallonblog.wordpress.com/