Tag Archives: Book of the Ancestor

Author Interview: Mark Lawrence

Today I am interviewing Mark Lawrence, author of the new fantasy novel, Holy Sister, final book in the Book of the Ancestor series.

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DJ: Hi Mark! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Mark: I’m a former scientist who tried his hand at writing. The Book of the Ancestor is my third trilogy. My first book, Prince of Thorns, is the work I’m most known for.

DJ: What is Holy Sister and then the Book of the Ancestor series about?

Mark: They’re about the same thing, which is the story of Nona Grey after she’s taken to a convent aged around 8. She spends the next 10 years there and, along with a religious and secular education, the nuns also train her in such things as armed combat, poisoning, and shadow weaving. These are troubled times and Nona’s personal difficulties with the land’s high and mighty lead into a larger story of war and a doomed world.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Book of the Ancestor series?

Mark: Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers. I basically added knives, murder, magic and ice sheets.

DJ: What is the world and setting of the Book of the Ancestor series like? 

Mark: The world of Abeth is almost entirely covered by miles-thick ice sheets. Only a 50 mile wide corridor around the equator is kept clear, and this is achieved using a huge mirror in space (they call it a moon) that focuses the light of their dying sun into the region. Even so the ice is continuing to close from both sides and, as the corridor narrows, inevitably there’s war for the diminishing resources. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Mark Lawrence

Today I am interviewing Mark Lawrence, winner of the 2014 and 2016 David Gemmell Legends Award, and author of the new epic fantasy novel, Red Sister, first book of the Book of the Ancestor trilogy.

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DJ: Hey Mark! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Mark Lawrence: Hey. Thanks for asking.

My first book Prince of Thorns was published in 2011 and I became a full-time writer in 2015, giving up my day job as a research scientist. I divide my time now between writing and caring for my youngest daughter (13) who is severely disabled. My latest book, Red Sister, hit the shops a few days ago.

DJ: What is Red Sister about?

Mark: It’s an entirely new story unconnected to my previous work and focuses on the experiences of a young girl who takes a rather unusual path into a convent where the nuns school the novices in faith but also the arts of war, magic and murder.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Book of the Ancestor trilogy?

Mark: I always find that one a difficult question. I don’t have any clear (to me) influences, though I must admit that listening repeatedly to Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series (written in the 1940s about a posh girls’ boarding school) with my daughter may have steered me into the all-female “school” setting. It is very different from Malory Towers though. I guess it must owe something to The Name of the Wind, Blood Song, Ender’s Game, A Wizard of Earth Sea, and even Harry Potter! Continue reading

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