Interview with Brian Staveley, Author of The Providence of Fire
Today, I am excited to share an interview with Brian Staveley, the author of the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne. Last year, there was much talk about his debut with the first book The Emperor’s Blades. As great as that one was, The Providence of Fire, which released on Monday, takes it to a new level. It is addictive and exciting, and everything else I said about it in my review. Pretty much, I can’t wait for the next one to see how the trilogy concludes.
And, to make the day even sweeter, I have three copies of this incredible book to giveaway (many thanks to Tor) . Be sure to enter below the interview.
Welcome Brian! I have really enjoyed reading The Emperor’s Blades and The Providence of Fire and am excited for you to join us today!
I saw you teach some fascinating subjects: history, religion and philosophy. Did your foundation and interest in these areas help shape your book or lead you down any interesting paths for world building?[/interview_q] [interview_a]Absolutely! My brain is a feeble, unreliable organ. If I didn’t have the wondrous riches of the read world to draw on, I’m not sure I could write a pamphlet, let alone a novel. My time teaching religion and philosophy was invaluable. The Shin monks, for instance, aren’t Buddhist, and they’re not Taoist, but I leaned heavily on both traditions in crafting many of their beliefs and maxims, then threaded those together with ideas of the Jewish philosopher/theologian Moses Maimonides. Maimonides was a pioneer in the realm of negative theology – the belief that the divine could never be described through positive attributes. Anyone who’s run into the Shin and their Blank God will see the similarities.[/interview_a]
[interview_id][/interview_id][interview_q]I love the growth seen in Adare’s character from the first to second book and the path her storyline has taken. In her sections we are introduced to Nira, another new female character that I love. Will we be seeing more of Nira in the next book?[/interview_q][interview_a]I had great fun with both Adare and Nira in this volume. The two characters are interesting in their own right, but I find the interactions between them equal up to more than the sum of the parts. Each brings out something special in the other, and writing some of their dialogue was one of my favorite parts of working on this book. As for whether or not we’ll see more of Nira – I can give you a definite maybe.[/interview_a] [interview_id][/interview_id][interview_q]If by some strange twist in the world, you had to become one of the characters in your books, who would choose and why?[/interview_q][interview_a]I wouldn’t want to have to endure anything that any of these folks have to go through! I’d crumble in the opening pages. That said, I have immense admiration for Pyrre. She’s lived a life of death and hardship but managed to retain her zest for life. She’s smart and she has a great sense of humor. I have no illusions that I’m anything like her, but I wouldn’t mind living inside her body and mind for a while.[/interview_a] [interview_id][/interview_id][interview_q]I might be a minority, but I confess to enjoying cliffhangers, and I love books that end in a way that leave you wanting to tear straight into the next book. The Providence of Fire does exactly this. Any advice for your readers on how to cope with the wait for the next book? [/interview_q][interview_a]There are so many great writers producing innovative fantasy at the moment that my best advice is to read Providence, then forget all about my series until the third book comes out. Sink your teeth into the brilliant work by Max Gladstone, Kameron Hurley, Elizabeth Bear, Robert Jackson Bennett, Sam Sykes, and N.K. Jemisin. [/interview_a]
[interview_id][/interview_id][interview_q]Since your next book will bring closure to the trilogy, do you have any future writing projects planned? If so, are they going to explore more of the world introduced in Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne or will they enter in to uncharted territories?[/interview_q][interview_a]Both! I’m planning to write two or three stand-alone novels set in the world of the Unhewn Throne. I’d like to give center-stage to a few of the secondary characters that have become reader favorites. No promises, but we might see something about Pyrre, the Flea, Rampuri Tan, or Akiil. And no, that’s not a spoiler. These characters might all be dead at the end of this series, but I see prequel books as an interesting option. I also see these books as an opportunity to explore lands and peoples that get short shrift in the current series.[/interview_a] [interview_id][/interview_id][interview_q]With any author I enjoy reading, I’m always interested to hear about their favorite books. Could you share what your favorite authors as an adult? [/interview_q][interview_a]I just mentioned a tiny fraction of the fantasy novelists I currently enjoy, but there’s so much outside the realm of fantasy that’s also interesting. I think Kay Ryan is a brilliant poet. J.M. Coetzee and Hilary Mantel (both double-Booker Prize winners) write searing, unforgettable novels. Helen DeWitt’s debut (it’s at least a decade old now), The Last Samurai, is one I’ve gone back to time and time again. That’s a start, at least![/interview_a] [interview_id][/interview_id][interview_q]And maybe who was your favorite author or what your favorite book was from your childhood?[/interview_q][interview_a]I read much, much more quickly as a child than I do now. As a result, I’d churn through six or seven books a week. I went for quantity, not quality, and didn’t tend to pause for reflection. That said, both Tolkien and Le Guin made permanent marks on my brain[/interview_a] [interview_id][/interview_id][interview_q]And lastly, because we all love talking books, I’d like to ask a question I ask of pretty much anyone, author or not: What are you currently reading?[/interview_q][interview_a]Four books: Sam Sykes The City Stained Red, War Stories (an anthology of SF shorts), Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant (in bound manuscript – won’t be out for a while), and Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon. I’m enjoying all of them![/interview_a] [interview_id][/interview_id][interview_q]Thanks you so much for taking the time to answer my questions today! [/interview_q][interview_a]Thanks for having me![/interview_a]
Thanks to the generosity of the good folks at Tor, I have 3 copies of Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire to giveaway! And if you were paying attention to the interview, you’ll find some bonus entries![promosimple id=”66d0″]