Today I am interviewing Brian Lee Durfee, author of the new epic fantasy novel, The Blackest Heart, second book in the Five Warrior Angels series.
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DJ: Hi Brian! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Brian: Thanks for inviting me back! I am an artist and writer who was raised in Fairbanks Alaska and Monroe Utah. I currently live in Salt Lake City. As for the art; I’ve done illustrations for Wizards of the Coast, Tolkien Enterprises, Dungeons & Dragons, and many more. My art has been featured in SPECTRUM: Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art #3 and Writers of the Future Vol 9. I won the Arts for the Parks Grand Canyon Award and the painting is in the permanent collection of the Grand Canyon Visitors Center-Kolb Gallery. I am also the author of the fantasy series The Five Warrior Angels published by Simon & Schuster’s SAGA Press. I think after writing, reading, painting, and watching the Oakland Raiders (I am a huge football fan), travel would be my next favorite passion. Hong Kong was a favorite of mine. Alaska. Switzerland. Austria. Scotland. England. Northern Italy blew me away—its like stepping onto another planet. On a side note, I still work in Law Enforcement for my day job. I actually put together the first-ever-in the-history-of-the-world Comic Con inside a prison. Me and James Dashner (author of the maze Runner) put together a program for the inmates at the Utah State Prison which included, writing classes, watching the Maze Runner movies, panels on writing and publishing and other creative endeavors, plus I gathered many book donations for the prison’s 6 libraries (we got thousands of books & comics donated btw).
DJ: What is The Blackest Heart and then the Five Warrior Angels series about?
Brian: The Blackest Heart (bk#2 of The Five Warrior Angels) blends the best of all the quest/adventure fantasy series you’ve read, Lord of the Rings, Sword of Shannara, The Belgariad, Dragonlance, etc with all the great political-court-intrigue/assassination-plot type fantasies of George R. R. Martin, Scott Lynch, Steven Erikson etc. I really strove to make The Blackest Heart the best book it could be. The Forgetting moon set up the story, The Blackest Heart is where we start to get huge payoff scenes. In a nutshell, Blackest Hear is chuck-full of scenes I envisioned as a kid when I was dreaming of being a writer. The Forgetting Moon was really just a set-up novel so I could have an excuse to place all those cool scenes into the story. Another thing, as an adopted child, I was always drawn to the quest tales of orphans and bastards. I loved Luke Skywalker as a kid, and I love the old worn out trope of the orphan farm boy with a destiny. But In both Forgetting Moon and more so in Blackest Heart I really start to subvert that trop big time in a lot of wild and strange ways. I subvert the trope right up until the very last page of the very last book and I hope readers enjoy all the twists and turns. Another thing, as a kid I dreamed up a scene where armored knights battled great white sharks. I researched oceans tides, horses, and sharks and came up with a seriously legit way to pull that scene off near the end of Blackest Heart and I think its AWESOME! Thing is, is I write vivid, detailed action scenes, and I promise the reader not one word is wasted. It all means something in the end, even that boring description of a forest orr cathedral holds clues to the mystery. Continue reading