Andrew Claydon has enthralled readers with his fantasy series, The Chronicles of the Dawnblade.
In this interview, Andrew takes us behind the scenes of his writing process, the inspiration for his characters and world-building, and what readers can expect from his work.
So grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and let’s dive into the mind of Andrew Claydon.
What inspired you to start writing in the fantasy genre?
It was either that or sci-fi and it’s easier to try and explain magic than explain how a hyperdrive system works. Really, I have grown up with fantasy films, like Conan and Willow, which have been a great source of inspiration to me.
There is something about swords and sorcery that speaks to me creatively like nothing else does. The idea of a magical world inhabited by all kinds of creatures that heroes traverse on adventures is just so appealing to me as writer…even though I personally read military sci-fi.
How do you approach world-building in your stories?
It started out very vaguely with my series. It was only once I started writing the first book that I realised I’d have to really knuckle down and think about the world I was creating.
There are many things which I’ve dialled in but a few more that I’ve left open to give me room to be creative in coming titles. I never know what inspiration’s going to strike me.
Can you walk us through your writing process?
I’m certainly not a plotter. When I start a book, I have a chain of events that I want to occur throughout the story and some lines I thought up that I want to include. If I go any deeper than that I start to lose interest.
I find that some of the best stuff I write comes to me as I’m deep in the flow or going off on some tangent or other, so I avoid overly plotting my stories.
Would you survive in your own fantasy world?
Depends which part of it I land in. Some are more hospitable than others—but give me a sword and some stalwart companions and I reckon I’d last at least a week.
What themes do you explore in your work?
I think change is a big theme in my books, but in the terms of self-improvement. Who you think you are/how you see yourself doesn’t define you. You can always grow and learn and change. Nothing is set in stone. It just takes the proper motivation and the proper teachers.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research for your stories?
How many pints of blood in the human body—please, don’t ask!
What do you hope readers take away from your stories?
That with the proper drive, you can become whatever you want, regardless of how you start out.
Would you rather have a pet dragon or a unicorn, why?
A dragon. The food bills are probably immense, but I’d never have to worry about paying for heating again.
If you could have any magical ability, what would it be?
Healing magic—I’m approaching 40, so it’d be great to make my various groaning joint pains magically disappear.
If you were stuck on a deserted island with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Shift. I could utilise their shapeshifting ability to get myself off of said island. And before I did, they’d just be lots of fun to be around.
What would you name your pet dragon?
Vultan. So every time I rode him I could think of Brian Blessed in Flash Gordon and shout “Diiiiiiive!”
Where is the best place to start reading your work?
I’m a UK fantasy author who began publishing his first series last year. I currently have two books of my series, The Chronicles of the Dawnblade, published and plenty more on the way. I have degrees in history and psychology and black belts in 3 martial arts so I hope to god that means I can write a good character and a decent fight scene!
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