Today I am interviewing RJ Barker, author of the new fantasy novel, Age of Assassins, first book in the Wounded Kingdom series.
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DJ: Hey RJ! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
RJ Barker: Yes! Glad to. I live in Leeds, which is in Yorkshire in the UK. I’m married to Lindy and we have a little boy and a cat called Bertie. The little boy isn’t called Bertie. He’s called Rook. And we live in flat in a very old mansion that we fill with taxidermy and odd art. We surround ourselves with things that make us happy. I advise doing this wherever possible in life.
DJ: What is Age of Assassins about?
RJ: It’s a murder mystery, at its heart. And a story about the relationship between a boy, Girton Club-Foot (our hero and the book’s narrator) and Merela Karn, who has brought him up and trained him. They’re trapped in a castle and forced to find out who wants to murder the heir. It’s a pressure-cooker environment and it forces Girton into a position he’s very uncomfortable with, which makes him examine himself. And of course, as it’s a fantasy book there’s also magic and intrigue and swordfights. All the good stuff.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Age of Assassins and the series?
RJ: I’m a big lover of history and I’d been writing a short play about Margaret of Anjou, so that’s in there, and I’m a HUGE fan of the King Arthur myth as well. From the other side Agatha Christie is in there and there are definite influences from American crime writers like James Lee Burke and Robert Crais. And I’ve always been a bit of an outsider, too, so that feeds into the creation of Girton. He’s very much on the outside of a world looking in. Continue reading