The pubsliher was kind enough to provide one (1) free copy of Black City Demon (Black City Saint #2) to go along with this interview! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview
Today I am interviewing Richard A. Knaak, NY Time & USA Today bestselling author of the new urban fantasy novel, Black City Demon, second book in the Black City Saint series.
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DJ: Hey Richard! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Richard A. Knaak: Well, I’ve written about 50 novels and numerous short pieces, plus other material. I’m probably best known for my Dragonlance work — including the LEGEND OF HUMA — or my Blizzard novels, especially the WAR OF THE ANCIENTS trilogy for Warcraft — not to mention my Dragonrealm saga. Been a lifelong fan of SF & fantasy, with some of my biggest influences Roger Zelazny, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Andre Norton, among others.
DJ: What is Black City Demon about?
Richard: BLACK CITY DEMON is the second in my BLACK CITY SAINT series and continues the saga of Nick Medea, who is actually Saint George from the legend. When he slew the dragon, it not only became part of him — against both their wills — but made the saint the guardian of the vast magical Gate — permanently situated in Chicago since the Great Fire — between our world and that of Feirie. As Nick, he tries to keep threats from both sides from endangering matters and in this case the threat is a serial killer apparently risen from the dead who is seeking to use the power of the Gate to fully resurrect himself… at the cost of perhaps all of Prohibition Chicago. All this while Nick must also deal with the woman he loves coming to grips with the fact that she is not only the latest incarnation of the princess St. George saved long ago, but that every previous incarnation has perished violently.
And then of course there’s the machinations of Her Lady, ruler of Feirie, who, now that her dreaded mate is dead, is determined to cleanse her kingdom of any resistance…efforts of which are spilling into Chicago at the height of the bootlegger war between Capone and Bugs Moran.
But wait…there’s more…in the book.
DJ: What were some of your influences for the Black City Saint series?
Richard: The old Shadow novels. The Maltese Falcon. The time period itself.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them? (aka What makes them compelling?)
Richard: With Nick, it’s that he’s not the saint he’s expected to be. He’s bitter, he holds grudges, and he always has to fight the dragon within. He also doesn’t want to love Claryce — the reincarnation of the princess — but can’t help himself even if it means potential danger to both.
Claryce is used to being confident in her surroundings, but being thrust into Nick’s world and then discovering the truth about herself has made her reevaluate everything. Despite the violent deaths of all her previous selves, she will not give up on Nick.
Fetch was once a chief assassin in Her Lady’s court. Exiled for his failure to kill Nick, he’s now very grateful to the saint for all he’s done. Fetch has developed a fascination with mortal life, especially human slang. In some ways, he’s adapted to our world better than St. George!
DJ: What is the world and setting of Black City Saint series like?
Richard: As mentioned, Prohibition Chicago, end of 1925. Just a few weeks after the events of BLACK CITY SAINT, which will have repercussions in this novel. We’re at the height of the bootlegger wars, with Capone on one side and Bugs Moran and Hymie Weiss. Yet, unseen is the world of magic, including the hidden sanctum of H.H. Holmes, who has returned some thirty years after his execution.
DJ: Are we going to see more of the Feirfolk world this time around too?
Richard: Yes, you’ll get some more glimpses. You’ll also see how Feirie is beginning to spill into Chicago despite Nick’s efforts.
DJ: What I personally loved most about Black City Saint was all of the mystery surrounding Nick’s characters – particularly his background story!
You did give us many answer to Nick’s characters, but at the same created even more intrigues and wonder for me!
Is Nick’s history with the Feirfolk and where/when he actually comes from going to be explored more in this book?
Richard: Yes, somewhat, and I’ll be adding more questions. Still, by the end of the book, the groundwork will be laid for some very important aspects of both Nick’s and Claryce’s lives.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Black City Demon?
Richard: Intertwining the intentions of the various characters. We learn a lot more about most of them and again see that alliances and friendships can be fluid. Of course, Fetch and the dragon always fun to write, albeit for different reasons.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Richard: Besides Fetch? The increasing depth of the world and the main characters. I think readers will want to explore more of this world I’ve created…well, created with the help of Chicago.
DJ: What was your goal when you began the Black City Saint series? Black City Demon is only the second book, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Richard: If there is a particular theme, I think it would be what is a saint compared to what is a human? In some ways, Nick is struggling more with his humanity than Fetch and Kravayik, who come from Feirie. Nick is very human despite his supposed divinity and grates at the burdens on his shoulders…not that he’s about to give them up.
DJ: Now that Black City Demon is released, what is next for you?
Richard: I continue to add to the Dragonrealm. I’m slowly working on a trilogy advancing that world. Also working on THE CASTLE IN OBSIDIAN, the first novel of an entirely new trilogy. Then, of course, there’s the sequel to BLACK CITY DEMON and other projects too new to mention.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Richard-A-Knaak-246792848679824/ (best place)
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Black City Demon and the Black City Saint series that we haven’t talked about yet?
Richard: Things are only going to get more complex for Nick, especially in the third book. That will be obvious at the end of DEMON.
DJ: Actually, one more thing: I heard Black City Saint has just been optioned for a film!? Congrats!?
Richard: Yep! Through Ageless Pictures. I’ll post more about that as it progresses.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Richard: Thank you!
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*** Black City Demon is published by Pyr and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | Kobo
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Please click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter to win one (1) physical copy of Black City Demon (Black City Saint #2)! Good luck!
Runs through March 23, 2017 (03/23/2017)
*US and Canada residents only
*** RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!! ***
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Since he became the guardian of the Gate between our world and Feirie sixteen hundred years ago, Nick Medea, once Saint George, has battled to keep the darkest Feirie–the Wyld–from invading the mortal plane. With the dragon an unwilling part of him, Nick maintains balance between realms, often at great cost to him and those nearest to him.
Nick and his ragtag confederates–including the shape-shifter Fetch and Nick’s reincarnated love, Claryce–have battled the Wyld, but mortals as sinister as the darkest Feirie. Now, with Prohibition in full swing and bootlegger wars embattling Chicago, a murderous evil born of the mortal world has turned its attention to the power of the Gate…and Nick himself.
Nick must turn again to his most untrustworthy ally: the dragon within. Yet even together they may not be enough to face what was once a man…but is now a creature even dragons may fear.
Richard A. Knaak was born in Chicago on May 28, but now splits his time between Chicago and Arkansas. Originally a chemistry major at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, he switched to Rhetoric, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree. He has been published since 1987 and his works have been translated into German, Italian, French, Danish, Japanese, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, and Russian.
He first became interested in reading fantasy and science fiction when he discovered a copy of Andre Norton’s Storm over Warlock. Devouring that, he located Roger Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness and the Amber Series, then Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars stories. Along with Edgar Allan Poe, Knaak considers these his greatest influences. Other favorite authors include Glen Cook, L. Sprague de Camp, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Harry Turtledove, Jennifer Roberson, Laurell K. Hamilton, Harry Harrison, and Robert Sawyer.
On the side, he enjoys reading, travel, food, and old movies.