Sunday, 16 October 2011

Author Interview - Robert Marston Fanney

I am doing the dance. Yip you know the one. It’s the author interview happy dance! Yay.

Everyone say hello to Robert Marston Fanney!

*Clap clap clap*

Did you find the jump from being a writer to being a published author a difficult one to make? 
I started writing Luthiel's Song while in college and continued to work on it over the next ten years. During this time, I held various full-time jobs that added a lot of stress to my life. I think the least stressful of these was my work as a police officer! 

By the end of this time, I'd written a book that my reading group assured me was finally good enough to be published. I submitted it to about one hundred publishers in all. And, in all, I received about one hundred rejection letters! Many of these were kind and encouraging. A few were not. One rejection slip bore the name Robert Finney. I wondered if this was a suggestion for a pseudonym. Finally, after more than a year of rejections and no sign of hope, I decided to start an indie publishing venture. 

Dark Forest Press was born. Over the next six months, we hired editors, artists and designers. Then, we published the first book on our own. That year was tough. But we found a thousand little ways to reach readers and, over time, have done far better than I ever expected.

Has the fantasy genre always been something you have been interested in? 
Absolutely! The first novel I read was 'The Hobbit.' At age 9 I loved it! Bilbo was certainly a character a nine-year-old boy could relate to. After that, I picked up Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain and many, many more. 

What were your emotions when you first held the completed, printed and bound book in your hand? 
It's like holding a magical sword you've forged over years and years of labor and hard work. 

I love that Luthiel is such an independent young woman! What influenced you to write her the way that you did? 
I've been blessed by having strong, positive women in my life. My mother was born in 1947 with Spine Bifida. Her doctors told my grandmother that my mother was ugly and would die. There wasn't much help for Spine Bifida babies back then. But my grandmother didn't give up. She searched and searched and finally found someone to help my mother. A doctor who was working on a new spinal shunt to help Spine Bifida babies performed an experimental surgery on my mother. She recovered from the surgery and is alive and thriving to this day. 

This extraordinary event was just the beginning of an amazing and a heroic life. So I was inspired, in many ways, to write novels that expanded on the heroic qualities I saw in her and in many, many other women. As for my mom, to me, she was the girl who lived.

Do you have a fear of spiders? 
Yes. Ever since I was a small child they've been an object of horror to me. Too many long legs. Too fast. Too predatory and alien. They represent both dominance and a malign intelligence to me. I suppose these notions aren't entirely grounded in facts but I find the idea of spiders and of what they do very unsettling. 

Did you intend Luthiel’s story to span more than one book or did it just grow? 
At first, I wrote it as a short story. Then I wrote a book that was entirely inadequate. Then I settled on the notion of a trilogy. But that didn't seem to be enough either. In the end there will probably be seven or eight books, but with a number of back-stories and tales about characters mentioned in the series. 

I think the story keeps growing because I enjoy the characters so much and because I believe in what they represent, in their struggles. I think it is a reflection of what's going on in this world, and, in part, a reflection of my own hopes and fears, if only fantastically portrayed. 

Hopefully I can finish all that I plan to write! 

If you could walk in one of your characters shoes for a day who would it be? 
Probably Luthiel. She's the one to which I have the least psychic distance (without the obvious exception that she's a woman, which, I'm sure, would take some getting used to). I'd also like to live as Othalas for a day. 100% primal badass. 

Did you have a message that you wished your readers to have got once they had finished your books? 
Follow the good in your heart and believe in the good in others. Love nature, avoid harm, and find balance with your world. If you love someone, don't hold back, give them your all. Don't be afraid to make the right choices or to help those less fortunate, even though everyone around you may be against it. And last of all, don't let the powerful determine your life's path. 

Do you have any further ideas for books once Luthiel’s journey is complete? 
Absolutely. I'm working on a few right now. One series is about Luthiel's father. Another is an urban fantasy. More on that soon! 

Which of the Luthiel books has been your favourite to write?(maybe that’s a little unfair to ask ;)) 
I love them all for different reasons. But the current book -- The Nightmares of Winter -- has been the most difficult due to the situations Luthiel finds herself in. It's a tough story to write because Luthiel's in a lot of tough spots! 

Anything else you would like to add at all? 
May the moonshadow never fall on you... 

Check out for more information on the series. 

My reviews can be found here - 

free glitter text and family website at

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like writing this was also quite a journey.
    Lovely interview!


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