Today I am interviewing James Lovegrove, author of the new fantasy novel Age of Legends, the latest and last instalment in his Pantheon series, which consists of eight novels and three novellas.
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DJ: Hi James! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
James Lovegrove: You’re welcome.
DJ: For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
James: I’ve been a professional author for three decades now (which makes me feel verrrry old). I wrote my first novel, The Hope, when I was fresh out of university, and since then I have published nearly sixty books. I also review fiction on a regular basis for the Financial Times and am a trained Pilates instructor. I live on the south coast of England with my wife, two teenaged sons and tiny dog. When I’m not writing, mostly I sleep.
DJ: What is Age of Legends and the Pantheon series about?
James: Age of Legends is set in a more or less present-day United Kingdom which is toiling under a quasi-fascist government whose main policy is Make England Great Again. Large numbers of foreign nationals have been deported, minorities are oppressed, and generally the country is in chaos. But a revolution is starting, and it involves people becoming the living incarnations – I call them “eidolons” – of figures from British folklore such as Puck, Wayland the Smith, Jack Frost, the Green Man, Robin Hood and so on.
DJ: What were some of your influences for this specific novel, Age of Legends, and then the entire Pantheon series?
James: The series as a whole hinges on the relationship between humans and their gods or, in the case of Age of Legends, the creations they have invented in past ages to account for natural and unnatural phenomena – which is, I would suggest, another way of describing gods. Do these things have a life of their own, independent of us, their creators, or do they rely on us to make sense of their existences just as we have relied on them to make sense of ours? It’s a question I’ve been exploring throughout the series in various different ways, and it’s been something I’ve long wondered about as a creator myself. These fictional worlds and characters that I wrench out of my head onto the page – where do they come from? And, more to the point, why have people told one another stories about strange, superhumanly powerful entities for centuries? It’s a tradition I feel part of, and I suppose that’s how and why the Pantheon books originally came about. You might say they were, ahem, divinely inspired! Continue reading