SpecFicNZ member Alan Baxter‘s new book, Bound, is coming out in July 2014 from HarperVoyager Australia. We asked Alan a few questions about the book and his writing process.
Can you describe your writing for someone who is unfamiliar with it?
I write mostly dark urban fantasy, playing with magic, monsters, martial arts and mythology. Think Clive Barker meets Neil Gaiman, with doses of Alan Moore thrown in. Kinda.
Did you bring anything from your own life to this story? How did that work?
Well, the protagonist is an underground MMA fighter, who makes his living from illegal cage matches. He gets entangled in a world of magic and monsters he could never have imagined and the harder he tries to get out, the deeper he gets dragged in. I drew a lot on my own fighting experience for the character as I’m a career martial artist myself. I’ve trained since I was a kid and I’m a Kung Fu Master now. I run the Illawarra Kung Fu Academy on the south coast of NSW.
Why did you choose this particular story to tell?
I wanted to write a modern dark urban fantasy that was essentially playing with the epic high fantasy quest tropes, but set in our modern world. I’ve twisted and reimagined a lot of our mythology for the book too, and that’s something I always enjoy playing with. And I wanted to write a book about a kickass martial artist!
What surprised you while writing this book?
I don’t think anything really surprised me, but I’m very pleased that I managed to write the book I set out to write, and that I must have made a good job of it, as Harper Voyager bought it and the next two in the Alex Caine series!
How will reading this story make people feel?
Excited, scared, euphoric, disturbed, entertained and just plain awesome. I hope.
Would you want to live in the world you’ve created here?
We all already live in the world of my books. All of us. Hey, what’s the moving behind that tree outside? Is it just a shadow or…?
Is there anything from a writing craft perspective that you’re particularly proud of (pacing, language, symbolism, characterization…)?
I often get told that my writing is very visual and reads a lot like a novel version of a graphic novel or a movie or a videogame. I love all those forms of storytelling as well as the written form, so I’m very pleased that my influences show through in my style. With any luck, it might help me score that sweet but elusive movie deal too. Say, you don’t know any producers do you?
Bound (Alex Caine #1)
Alex Caine, a fighter by trade, is drawn into a world he never knew existed — a world he wishes he’d never found.
Published by HarperVoyager, 2014
ISBN: 978 0 7322 9910 1 (paperback)
ISBN: 978 1 4607 0286 4 (ebook)
Alex Caine is a martial artist fighting in illegal cage matches. His powerful secret weapon is an unnatural vision that allows him to see his opponents’ moves before they know their intentions themselves.
An enigmatic Englishman, Patrick Welby, approaches Alex after a fight and reveals, ‘I know your secret.’ Welby shows Alex how to unleash a breathtaking realm of magic and power, drawing him into a mind-bending adventure beyond his control. And control is something Alex values above all else.
A cursed grimoire binds Alex to Uthentia, a chaotic Fey godling, who leads him towards destruction and murder, an urge Alex finds harder and harder to resist. Befriended by Silhouette, a monstrous Kin beauty, Alex sets out to recover the only things that will free him – the shards of the Darak. But that powerful stone also has the potential to unleash a catastrophe which could mean the end of the world as we know it.
More information at Alan’s website www.warriorscribe.com.