Interview with Kevin Wright
Author of Lords of Asylum
Buy this book
Quick description of the book for a new reader - what should they expect?
- 'Lords of Asylum' is a mashup of medieval fantasy and detective fiction. It's a first-person story told through the main character, Sir Luther Slythe Krait.
It's set in Europe during the era of Black Death and the Hundred Years War.
Lords of Asylum is dark and gritty and mean and terrible and nasty, but it's also pretty funny, too. Sir Luther has a dark sense of humor, and even when things are at their worst, this world-weary knight can drop a good one-liner to break the tension.
You can't have darkness without the light and all that.
What was your inspiration for this book?
- My inspiration...?
Well, I love gritty fantasy, and I love detective fiction.
And there aren't too many examples of it out there, to my knowledge, anyways, so I decided to write my own.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
- Right now, Joe Abercrombie I think is the best writer, period. I read him and marvel at how he can convey such depth and humor so cleanly.
I'm also a big fan of the late Robert B. Parker of the Spenser detective series. He's another author that could convey so much with so little.
Could you tell us something about yourself?
- Me? I'm not very interesting. Just another middled-aged guy with a wife and kids and a dog and a lizard.
I work full-time as a fire-fighter/EMT. It's a great job. I get paid to help people who are having the worst day of their life, and hopefully, if not make it a little better, at least help them get through it.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- Educate yourself. Learn what good grammar is. Learn what it isn't. Don't expect to write a great book without learning the basics.
Then continue educating yourself on writing, editing, and marketing.
And while all of this is going on, keep reading. Read everything and anything you can.
What got you into writing? And how long have you been doing it?
- I’ve always loved reading, and fantasy has always been my drug of choice. But what broke the ice to get me from reader to writer was, like many of you out there, Dungeons and Dragons.
On a cold Christmas Eve way back in the mid 80’s, when I was 8 or 9, my big brother Greg and I each got a Dungeons and Dragons boxed set. He got the basic set, and I got the expert.
I didn’t even know what they were. I didn’t know how to play. But they had dragons on their covers and I fell in love.
I devoured the books, bought more, and learned how to be a dungeon master, creating worlds and heroes and stories all with the express purpose of murdering my friends.
The rest is history.
Which character has had the greatest impact on readers?
- Sir Luther Slythe Krait is the main character, and the entirety of 'The Serpent Knight Saga' is told through his eyes, but, I think Karl Skull-Splitter is a fan favorite.
I think people really identify with him because he solves so many of life's little problems with a very sharp axe.
Why did you choose to write fantasy? And why pick this particular fantasy subgenre?
- After fantasy, like I said, my second favorite genre is detective. I love straight-up detective stories by Robert B. Parker, Dashiell Hammett, and mashups like The Watchmen.
I love the wise-cracking, been-there-done-that humor of noir toughs, antiheroes getting beat to a pulp only to come back and save the day, and I love a dark ending that knocks you breathless (See Chinatown).
So I decided to write a medieval fantasy/detective mashup series that would work like Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series or Lee Childs's Jack Reacher series. You can read them in order or out of order and it doesn’t make a big difference. Each book would be part of a whole, but also a standalone in its own right.
How have readers responded ?
- Readers and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.
But those are reviews are all from weird, demented people who like darkness, horror, and black humor. People who revel in death and destruction. People who root for the vampires and werewolves and eldritch beasts of the world's literature.
In short, sickos.
So, they're not to be trusted.
Me...? I'd go with the people who hated 'Lords of Asylum.' The people who don't see any humor in darkness. People who can't stand swears and violence and occult rites.
Like this Amazon reviewer: "I started this thinking I might like it but on the very first page my thinking was changed due to language! My husband is an author and he can portray manly action characters without offense. sorry but your book was deleted."
I'd listen to that reviewer, she's where it's at.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- The fourth installment in 'The Serpent Knight Saga' is 'Terminus Rex' and comes out on March 30th.
Here's the blurb:
The Grey Waste stretches on vast and infinite, into the unforgiving reaches of the east. Clans of monstrous reavers prowl the wasteland, hunting, harrying, and slaughtering any they encounter. But reavers aren’t the worst the Grey Waste has to offer.
Sir Luther Slythe Krait is a knight errant on a quest. He's vowed to locate the lost scion of a fallen dynasty, and reunite him with his last remaining kin.
But the lost scion was last seen beyond the far reaches of the Grey Waste.
Can Sir Luther survive the trek across the wasteland? Will he survive the endless attacks by reavers and worse? How will he find this last scion when those around him begin falling one by one, victims to a murderer who may be more than he seems?
Read the fourth installment of the Serpent Knight Saga and find out.
Mystery. Mayhem. Murder.
In the first novel of the Serpent Knight Saga, Sir Luther Slythe Krait investigates a triple murder that pulls him into the bottomless depths of his darkest nightmare.
Sir Luther Slythe Krait is a justiciar — a judge, a jury, an executioner — whose sense of justice, honed by long training and hunting outlaws, have forged him into a peerless warrior and merciless hunter. But not every lawman is good and every outlaw evil, and with dark forces aligned against him, Sir Luther walks a razor’s edge. Balance or fall there lies but one certainty, he will bleed.
It’s The Witcher meets Jack Reacher in this epic fantasy series.
Praise for Lords of Asylum
"A dark, epic, and brooding tale that is sure to become a cult classic in the future." —Grimdark Magazine
"This book is a masterpiece." —Rockstarlit Book Asylum
"A delight to read, and the dark and oppressive backdrop was dripping with atmosphere." —The Fantasy Inn Book Blog
"Kevin Wright obviously has some serious writing skills." —Superstardrifter Book Blog
"Adeptly written and replete with dark imagery, this novel continually surprises." —Fantasy Book Critic
Senlin Net Award and Semifinalist in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off 2018
Over 40 Positive Reviews on Amazon
Honorable mention - Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Contest 2016
"An engrossing read that is part horror, part medieval political struggle, and part noir detective story." —Patrick LeClerc, author of In Every Clime and Place