Interview with Michael Greenfield
Author of Fall of a Kingdom: Book One of the Southern Empire Trilogy
Born in 1970 I just missed out on being a sixties child, but I'm making the most of a bad situation. I've been lucky enough to have travelled quite a bit, first as a kid following my dad who was in the Air Force, and later as jobs and holidays. Meeting and seeing different cultures and experiences created an imaginative and creative child and I've loved reading writing since junior school.
Since adult life and responsibilities intruded much of that went by the wayside, but having bounced through several jobs and a hip replacement I've decided it's time to get back to what I love.
Currently living in sunny Blackpool, Lancashire, I split my time between writing, shouting at salesmen in a Ford dealership, and having good times with good friends. It's not a bad life.
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How would you describe Fall of a Kingdom to a new reader?
- I'm trying to write the sort of fantasy I enjoyed myself when I was younger (and still enjoy). Not much in the way of philosophical questions, just good old fashioned adventure.
Fall of a Kingdom is Sword and Sorcery Fantasy, is that you preferred genre?
- Fantasy is my first love as a genre, though Sci-fi follows a very close second. To be fair though, I've currently got a thriller idea bouncing around in the huge vacuum that is the inside of my head, so I'm confident that my writing will be pretty diverse.
Fall of a Kingdom is a good example of this genre. Who has inspired you?
- The late David Eddings, after decades of reading his books I still find it too easy to keep going back to them. They are a great example of just the style of fantasy I've tried to achieve. And if you count nagging as inspiration, my good friend Gill, without whom this book would probably still be half finished on my hard-drive.
What's special about the locations in Fall of a Kingdom? What do they mean to you?
- I've been lucky enough to have travelled quiet extensively, so even though the land of the Southern Kingdoms is imaginary I try to picture similar places I've been when writing about them. It's actually good fun doing that as it brings some great memories of some fantastic places as I do it.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? How would you advise a new author about traditional publishing versus self publishing?
- Never give up and always listen to your friends. It sounds cliched, but there is always a much bigger team than just the author, even for us indies. As to any advice about the pros and cons of traditional or self-publishing, self-publishing is easier to get your book out there, but then you're pretty much on your own. I'd imagine traditional publishing would to some extent give you a team to work with, sharing some of the load.
Which authors do you most admire? Which qualities, in particular, have influenced your writing?
- As already mentioned, David Eddings. I'd also have to add Matthew Reilly for amazing ability to really impart pace into his books. Raymond E Feist and Tolkien for both opening my eyes to the world of epic fantasy. And Sir Terry Pratchett for proving different isn't necessarily bad.
Fall of a Kingdom is fast-paced and exciting. How do you feel about pace in your writing?
- Pace and energy is probably one of the trickiest things to get right. There's quite a lot I want to get into this series, but at times you need to slow things down to try and get some explanation in there. Getting the balance is very important as I don't want to lose any readers either because things have slowed too much, or because they've lost understanding as to what's going on.
If Fall of a Kingdom were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
- Tricky one that. Ten years ago I'd have said Alex Pettyfer (I am Number Four) but not so sure now. Farsighter I would love to see Liam Neeson play. Hera Hilmar would be a shoo in for Tamala.
How have readers responded to Fall of a Kingdom?
- The response so far has been extremely positive. Before publishing I had several good friends read through and critique (friends I could trust to tell me the truth, even if it wasn't all good) and whatever points were raised, none complained about the story. Only a couple of reviews on Amazon so far, but again they're all positive so it's looking all good at the moment.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- Bit of an update. When I first answered this question I was half way through the first draft for my second book, 'An Empire Forged'. I am now in the happy position to say that it will be complete this week, and after my editing Gurus have finished ripping it apart and telling me what I need to do to put it back together again, I plan to have it published at the beginning of September. I think there's a slightly different feel to book two, and its a bit shorter, but we'll wait and see.
Calmagyr Ironsson finds himself caught in a desperate race to rescue the kidnapped Princess Myriana, and save the Kingdom of Boraan from an ancient evil. Aided by his mentor Magron Farsighter and several new friends, Cal finds himself leaving the Kingdom of Boraan in his pursuit. A journey that brings the terrifying revelation that it's not just Boraan that's under threat, but all of the Southern Kingdoms are in danger.