Today I am interviewing Devin Madson, author of the new fantasy novel, We Ride the Storm, first book in The Reborn Empire series.
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DJ: Hi Devin! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Devin Madson: : I’m an Australian epic fantasy author… as in I’m from Australia not that I write epic fantasy about Australia. Honestly, I don’t think I could out-fantasy the animals we already have here. I self-published my first book in 2013 and was picked up by Orbit in 2019, I work a stupidly obsessive amount, love video games but never have time to play, love plants but never have time to garden, love doing jigsaws but… well, you get the idea.
DJ: What is We Ride the Storm about?
Devin: We Ride the Storm is the story of an empire built by war being brought down by war, crushed beneath its history of division and inherited hurts. We follow three different point-of-view characters, one from each of the three cultures clashing here. A snarky assassin with a voice in her head she can’t escape, an honourable warrior trying to hold on to his tenets while being forced to fight in a foreign war, and an ambitious princess who wants to rule the empire in her own right whatever the cost. There’s a lot of intrigue, tense battles, trippy necromancy, respectful head severing, tea, and my favourite of all – disaster humans.
DJ: What were some of your influences We Ride the Storm and the series?
Devin: We Ride the Storm is the continuation of a generational story I started in my novella, In Shadows We Fall, and then continued on through The Vengeance Trilogy (also being re-released by Orbit and will be available early August). So while I deliberately wrote them to be read in any order, it means there wasn’t as much unique inspiration for this story. When I first started writing in this world, the story I wanted to tell informed much of the world building, but now the world and its history informs the stories I want to tell.
The world itself has lots of inspirational sources as it’s been growing slowly in my mind and in my books, trunked and finished, for more than ten years. The magic system came from listening to my aunt talk about the past lives she’d been regressed through, a lot of the world history is inspired by little bits of our own history, and the whole Levanti culture was born from the original first line of the book because I’m that much of a pantser. Continue reading