Hello all! I am thrilled today to have Lou Anders, author of the THRONES & BONES series, on my blog today! NIGHTBORN, the newest addition to the THRONES & BONES trilogy, will be released on July 14th of this year. Trust me when I say, these books are absolutely fabulous! Read my reviews for FROSTBORN and NIGHTBORN.
From the author of Frostborn comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull.
Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.
Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand—the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.
Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?
The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit ThronesandBones.com for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!
Hello Lou! I am so excited to have you on my blog today! Without further ado, onto the questions:
1. What inspired you to incorporate Norse mythology into your story?
There were two different factors working together. The first was that I wanted to write a strong female character that my own daughter, and girls everywhere, could read and enjoy. I wanted my heroine to be the one in the thick of the action, not relegated to being the “brains of the operation” or the magical member of the team, as girl characters can sometimes be in adventure books. And as my own children are biracial, I wanted to explore a character who felt like she was caught between two cultures. So the idea of a half-giantess was born. At the same time, this was my first foray into fantasy fiction, and I wanted to explore the roots of the genre in Western literature, drilling back to the same myths and legends that inspired Tolkien. So while I was settling on a girl who grew up with frost giants, I was also researching the mythology of Europe, and both things led me to the Scandinavian people and their influences.
2. Was it always your dream to become an author?
Yes. Though it was a dream that was put on hold many times. As a child, I wrote short stories and small comic strips, and I was always the Game Master when we played Role Playing Games. I took fiction writing courses in college, but my own limitations (doubtless caused by a lack of maturity) frustrated me, and I set the dreams aside for a while. I got into acting, studying it first in a fifth year of school, and then in Oxford and London, and I eventually moved to Chicago, where I ended up writing and directing theater. This led to a move to Los Angeles, where I worked as a journalist while writing screenplays with a partner. Through a roundabout move into the dot-com space in San Francisco, I eventually ended up working in genre publishing. Then, about five years ago, a friend asked me to write a short story for an anthology. I was reluctant, but he insisted. When I finished, we both agreed that what I’d written was more an introduction to a book than a stand-alone short form work. I set about to turn it into a novel, and while that wasn’t Frostborn, it was the manuscript that got me an agent and started me writing prose in earnest.
3. Is writing your only job? Or do you have other jobs on the side?
When I wrote Frostborn and Nightborn, I was working as the editorial director and art director of an adult science fiction and fantasy imprint. In fact, I have won the Hugo Award for editing and the Chesley Award for art directing, and I may be the only person in the field to have won both of those awards. I quit last September, however, to devote myself full time to writing the Thrones and Bones series.
4. I know that the THRONES AND BONES trilogy is not finished . . . but I see that there are lots of places on the map that haven’t been explored yet. Is there a possibility of a spin-off series?
In short, yes. There are actually seven maps to date, all drawn by the incredible Robert Lazzaretti, and with Nightborn’s publication, six of them will be public. But I realize it’s the Continent of Katernia map you are referring to. When I built the world, I deliberately constructed it to be a vast-enough canvas to encompass a thousand stories. And I hammered out the different countries and their histories and cultures for weeks before I ever started a plot outline. Now all I have to do is open the map on my computer and pick a location, and story ideas start to suggest themselves to me. I can tell you things going on all over Katernia, and some of the other continents as well. And I can tell you about stories that happened hundreds or even thousands of years before the events of the Thrones and Bones series. I hope I get to follow Karn, Thianna, and Desstra’s adventures for years to come, but there are other characters waiting in the wings to have their turn as well.
5. If Karn, Desstra, and Thianna were to play Monopoly, who would win?
Karn and Desstra would be fairly evenly matched in a game like Monopoly. He’s the better strategist, but he has a blind spot when it comes to deceitful characters, and Desstra could probably trick him again. She’d play dirty, and he might fall for it. We’ll never know, however, as Thianna would lose patience with the game almost immediately, snatch the playing pieces, and run off.
6. You are sentenced to a ten-year exile on a desert island with nothing but a knife, a canteen, and a piece of string. You are allowed to take one of the characters from FROSTBORN and NIGHTBORN with you. Who would you take?
I wouldn’t dare split up Karn and Thianna’s friendship. They belong together until they decide they don’t, and far be it from me to come between them. Desstra, however, is a loner without a clear place in the world. I know where she’ll eventually come into her own, but it’s going to be a long time coming, and as an elf, she’s long-lived anyway, so a ten-year detour to hang out with her creator wouldn’t be hard on her. I hope.
Thank you so much for stopping by today, Lou!
About the Author:
Lou Anders drew on a recent visit to Norway, along with his adventures traveling across Europe in his teens and twenties, to write Frostborn and Nightborn, combining those experiences with his love of globe-trotting adventure fiction and games (both tabletop and role-playing). However, he has yet to ride a wyvern. With the addition of characters Desstra and Tanthal, Anders hopes that his second book in the Thrones and Bones series will continue to appeal to boys and girls equally. Anders is the recipient of a Hugo Award for editing and a Chesley Award for art direction. He has published over five hundred articles and stories on science fiction and fantasy television and literature. A prolific speaker, Anders regularly attends writing conventions around the country. He and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. You can visit him online at louanders.com and ThronesandBones.com, on Facebook, on Tumblr, and on Twitter at @ThronesandBones and @LouAnders.
Personal Website: www.louanders.com
Twitter: @ThronesandBones @LouAnders