Name Brian Rathbone
Old enough to have once used a payphone…
Where are you from
If the little leaves at Ancestry.com are to be believed, I hail from Asgard, descended from the Chaos Titan and Thor. I do have a fondness for hammers. Makes sense to me.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m a former horse trainer who dropped out of highschool, got his GED and a job in a corporate mailroom where I discovered computers. Within a few years, I was a senior computer networking consultant working for fortune 500 companies and NASCAR teams. I took the next logical step and became a full-time fantasy writer. What would you have done?
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m anxiously waiting for The Seventh Magic to come back from Andrea Howe at Blue Falcon Editing. It marks the completion of the third trilogy in the Godsland series and ties up a great many loose ends. I’m really looking forward to giving my readers what I hope is a satisfying ending. The fourth trilogy is yet to come, but it takes place fifty years later.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing my stories long before I wrote any of them down. As an avid fantasy reader, I always knew I wanted to tell my own stories. The scenes played through my mind for years in the space between wakefulness and sleep. In May of 2005, while laid over in the Atlanta Airport, I knew my days in technology were numbered. I just started writing right then and there.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I finished the editing on my first trilogy was the first time I felt like a writer. It took paying the bills through writing to make me feel like a successful writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a combination of my deep love of fantasy fiction and my unusual life experiences. I had a deep well to draw from. It was just a matter of committing myself to seeing the whole process through.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I write as if no one will ever read it, and then I edit as if everyone will read it. I do write in third-person, past tense with a fixed point-of-view for each scene. But beyond that, I just tell stories as best as I can.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I used to just use the title that popped into my head and seemed a good fit. Now I am far more thoughtful about titles. It may seem a little odd to name a book based on what you think people looking for such a book might search for, but discoverability is everything. Now I look for a title that meets a number of criteria, and sometimes I end up with that first one that popped into my head.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I wanted to tell as believable a fantasy tale as I could. Many of the fantastic things that happen are based on real scientific phenomena, albeit dramatized. It is my hope that readers will be able to lose themselves in my world.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are just a few scenes inspired from my real life. There is a scene where Catrin catches a horse no one else could catch by sitting in the grass and ignoring the horse, which is something my mother did. The only real-life character directly represented in the series is a cross-eyed bull named Curly. He was a good bull.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
A Wrinkle in Time started it all for me, but the Dragonlance Chronicles sealed the deal. Tolkien, CS Lewis and many other followed.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m getting ready to reread The Seventh Magic. Writing full-time hasn’t left me as much time to read others. I am listening to Carol Berg’s Transformation during long drives, though.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There is a group called the Dragon Writers Collective that I collaborate with. We have a free story collection on all major ebook retailers called The Dragon Writers Collection.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m assembling a new podcast novel called Author Interviews with Brian Rathbone. I’ll be releasing it on Podiobooks.com in the next couple of months. I’m also outlining the fourth trilogy in the Godsland series.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Twitter. I’m @brianrathbone. Never would I have guessed I would use it to tell bad dragon jokes to so many…
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
For the past six months, writing has been my only income. And in 2008, when things got rough, royalties paid the mortgage. It’s my job. I love it, but it kick’s my tail. As an indie writer, I have a few extra job titles.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. Give me five years and I’ll surely loathe it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve long been known for stories and one-liners of questionable merit. Eventually I learned to type well enough to make it stick.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Following a path Emmon widened before her, Nora Trell walked and grumbled. It wasn’t the boy who raised her ire; he was doing quite nicely. Holding a branch aside, he let her pass and then raced around get back ahead of her and clear the trail as best as he could. Why would anyone choose to live this far out in the wilderness? She knew the answer was partly to keep people like her from asking favors. It didn’t make the walk pass any more quickly.
When at last they reached a well-made fence with rolling green pasture beyond, they had found Madra’s farm. Emmon ducked down to climb through the fence.
“Wait,” Nora said, backing up. The boy looked confused but did as he was told and took a step back. For another moment they stood in silence, and then came a loud snort from not far away. Trees and brush blocked the view, but something was coming. Emmon back away farther when a bull charged, its sharp horns long enough to reach through the fence and kill.
“How’d you know?” Emmon asked.
“Never go into a field without checking, boy. And I’ve been here before. Madra’s known for saying, ‘Who needs guard dogs when you’ve got bulls.’ Madra’s known for saying a lot of things.”
“Now what do we do?”
“Yell ‘Madra’ as loud as you can.”
The boy shrugged and managed and impressive effort. Moments later, dressed in chaps and cursing came Madra. “What kind of idiot just goes around shouting in the woods? Do they worry I might have a horse standing over me?”
“It’s Nora Trell,” Emmon shouted after a nod from Nora.
“Oh. That kind of idiot. I should’ve known.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
There’s the writing part, and the editing…oh the editing, but then there’s the publishing part. And when all that’s done, who’s going to market the book? Can’t forget a great cover. What do you mean hiring a professional narrator means proofing 10 hours of audio. Wasn’t I supposed to be writing? Oh, wait. The grass needs to be mowed. Time management can be a challenge.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Most recently I have enjoyed reading books by Morgen Rich and Jack McCarthy, both of whom I am collaborating with on upcoming projects. I suspect you will hear their names again.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Yes. No. Sort of. Travel dollars can be difficult to earn back, so I have to be cagey and selective. I do attend conferences like Dragon*Con, World Fantasy, Balticon and in the future Miscon. Local conventions like Geek Out Asheville make life a lot easier.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Mike Brooker, T-Rex Studios and Lawrence Mann. I’ll likely work with all of them again.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Knowing when I was done editing and finding the right professional editor to work with. Finding someone who specialized in fantasy helped tremendously.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned to just let myself write without worrying about every single word. Editing is a separate process. There will be time for clever word choice when the draft is done. I’m starting to sound like a Kenny Rogers song.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write. A lot. Edit. A lot. Believe in yourself. Don’t give up when it gets hard. It’s normal to hate your own work. Those who become writers are the ones who choose to edit and revise rather than discard.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for supporting me. Without all of you, I wouldn’t be doing what I love. Now I get to bring you more stories. It means the world to me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember reading Little Golden Books but A Cheeseburger from Space is the earliest title I can remember. I couldn’t find a link, but it was about a kid who had a dental filling that received radio signals from space.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The things people on Twitter say in response to my jokes crack me up. Cry? Well, I’m an animal lover. The fuzzies just get to me.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Albert Einstein. I have a lot of questions about gravity, magnetism and dragons.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
‘He did more good in the world than harm.’ I aim for a net positive effect.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I’m a computer programmer, graphic art manipulator, online car racer and rescuer of kitty cats.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like history and watch things that give me greater historical context…and dragons.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pizza, green, rock and roll.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’m part mad scientist and inventor. I hope writing will support my plans to rule the world. Oops. I forgot I’m not supposed to say that any more. Nothing…
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My primary website is under construction, but this page has recently been updated: