Today I am interviewing Sebastien de Castell, author of the new fantasy novel, Spellslinger, first book in the Spellslinger series. Some readers might know him from the swashbuckling fantasy series, The Greatcoats.
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DJ: Hi Sebastien! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Sebastien de Castell: I’m one of those terribly confused individuals who reads a book as a teenager and then tries to pattern his life around an unfeasible profession. In my case, when I was fifteen I read a book called BARD by Keith Tailor and decided I wanted a life of music, adventure, swordfighting, and storytelling. Over the years that ambition translated into a string of odd careers from being a full-time musician, a fencer and fight choreographer, and, of course, a novelist.
DJ: What is Spellslinger about?
Sebastien: Spellslinger is a series about magic and what price we’re willing to pay to have it. The books are full of wondrous spells and mysterious playing cards, but they’re also about the forms of magic that are available to all of us. Music can be a kind of magic, as can dance, or even human decency . Oh, and there’s a talking squirrel cat whose favourite pastimes are thievery and blackmail.
DJ: What were some of your influences Spellslinger and the series?
Sebastien: Oddly, in many ways SPELLSLINGER was driven not so much by influences as a desire to look at the other side of many of the fantasy novels I loved years ago. The Harry Potter series is terrific, for example, but I wanted to explore what it’s like to not be the chosen one – to in fact discover you’re the weakest of your people and your family, and to have to go out in search of other ways to make yourself special. That’s true of so many of the books that influenced me when I was a teenager. I loved the stories, but I knew I wasn’t the chosen one, so the question became: what do I do now? I was fortunate to have people in my life who – instead of assuring me that I was special – suggested I go out and find ways to make myself unique. Continue reading