Beneath the sleepy, cobbled streets of Oxford, a horde of unimaginable horrors is gathering. It’s not just Oxford, though – all across the British Isles, myths, legends and monsters are awakening and an ancient, spiritual evil is stirring. Now it’s up to Freya Reynolds, Alex Simpson and Daniel Tully to defend the world from enemies that most people don’t even believe in. But how can a student, a detective and a man with no home defeat humanity’s ultimate enemy?
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE THE REALMS THEREUNDER (AN ANCIENT EARTH)?
Initially, I wanted to write a story about what happens when we fail. We read and watch so many stories that show people winning, but that isn’t always our personal experience of engaging with conflict in the real world. I thought that was an important tale to tell, and set in the fantasy genre, an exciting one as well. When I started writing it I found that other themes got tangled up into it as well, mainly the idea of being ‘between’ things—between places, between times, between decisions, between events, between identities… those are the most important elements of the first book in this trilogy: failure, and being ‘between’.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
Quite honestly, my dad has been my biggest inspiration starting out, and now. How could he not? Apart from him, I’d say G, K. Chesterton, Neil Gaiman, Charles Williams, and Suzzanah Clarke were influences on my fantasy writing, as well as writing which I consider to be my source material, such as Beowulf and other poetic Anglo-Saxon writings.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
How does it not? I believe that God is larger and more incredible than anything we have imagined or has been revealed to us this far. I believe that God’s first testament is his creation and the people he has put in it, and by exploring that world, we find out more about him. With true faith, no question should be unasked, and Fantasy allows you to ask larger and more audacious questions.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Pretty much always. I remember the time I first decided to pursue it seriously, and that was when I was six years old.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
A fun time. Quite apart from messages and meaning, my first job is to entertain. I just put that other stuff in it to make it more real and relateable. But in the end, if you’re not enjoying yourself when you’re reading my work, then I’m failing as an artist.