Brent Weeks Interview 2016
Having met Brent Weeks and chatted with him a few times via e-mail, I can tell you that he is one of the nicest guys out there. Yes, he tortures us with his damned cliff hangers – which are not cliff hangers, as the interview explains – and he puts even the toughest, most loved characters through absolute hell… but, really, I swear, he’s a nice guy.
For that reason, when Orbit got in touch and were like: “Hey, Marc, would you like to interview Brent Weeks on Skype for Fantasy-Faction?” I forgot I am tragically camera shy and said, “Yes, dammit! I have so much I need to know. So, so much!!!”
Probably feeling a little concerned they’d offered an interview slot in Brent’s incredibly busy The Blood Mirror pre-release schedule to someone who could only have come across as “an overenthusiastic lunatic,” the Publicist set a deadline for the interview and I set to work coming up with some questions. If you read The Broken Eye, or anything by Brent really, you know this was a pretty simple task!
So, the interview below is about 80 minutes worth of Brent and I talking about everything from what has happened in the series to date, the Lightbringer’s magic system, how the series has evolved, whether reader critiques shape Brent’s writing, whether he’d recommend giving up your day job to write (like he did) and, oh yeah, when we will be heading back to the world of the Night Angel. I also hit Brent with 6 rapid fire questions and we finished with the mandatory BUY MY BOOK stuff that actually ended up featuring a pretty deep discussion on why pre-ordering is more important than most of us would think (note: scroll down for full list of questions and note that the below video is a ‘play list’).
I do hope you enjoy the interview and please pin any technical issues such as the slight out-of-sync video/image and unprofessional interviewer who has a tenancy to repeat KIND OF (nerves, I’m sorry!) on me. Brent, as always, was a rock star.
Thank you so much to Brent Weeks for taking the time to chat. Now, here’s what you need to know about The Blood Mirror:
The Seven Satrapies have collapsed into four-and those are falling before the White King’s armies.Gavin Guile, ex-emperor, ex-Prism, ex-galley slave, formerly the one man who might have averted war, is now lost, broken, and trapped in a prison crafted by his own hands to hold a great magical genius. But Gavin has no magic at all. Worse, in this prison, Gavin may not be alone.
Kip Guile will make a last, desperate attempt to stop the White King’s growing horde. Karris White attempts to knit together an empire falling apart, helped only by her murderous and possibly treasonous father-in-law Andross Guile.
Meanwhile, Teia’s new talents will find a darker use-and the cost might be too much to bear.
Together, they will fight to prevent a tainted empire from becoming something even worse.
The following are the questions asked:
Can you remind us where The Blood Mirror picks up and what should readers expect from it?
You’ve been gradually adding elements to the magic system. Is this for the reader’s benefit or has it evolved as you’ve progressed through the series?
Similarly, there are a number of directions the book has moved in that we didn’t see coming and other directions we thought the book may go in but didn’t. You are obviously publishing 5 books instead of 3, how much has the story morphed since your original plans?
I guess that is very different to Night Angel which was published after you’d completed the series? Has the book being ‘out in the open’ and, therefore, receiving feedback made any difference to how you approach the subsequent book?
Which parts of this book stand out for you? Are there things you are particularly proud of or that you struggled with?
You are definitely the master of the cliff-hanger… Do you think of the cliff-hanger first then design the book around that cruel, cruel ending!?
How did your Editor react when you told them ‘this just can’t be a trilogy’ and then ‘this can’t be a quadrilogy’?
Speaking of writing, I know you’ve answered a lot on the subject, but I know you did something a lot of people advise against. You gave up your job to sit at home and write. With hindsight, we can safely say THANK GOODNESS. Looking back though, do you ever think ‘wow… that was crazy’ or is it something you just knew would work? If so… how?
Definitely more pre-Lightbringer, but how do you take it when people ask when you are heading back to the world of Kylar and Durzo?
So, er, when are you heading back to the world of Kylar and Durzo?
Anything you can tell us about it… please, please, please, please.
Should Kylar and Durzo be sent to assassinate Gavin, Karris and Andross – would they succeed?
Quick Fire Questions (30 seconds to answer each):
Most memorable piece of negative feedback?
Fantasy character you’d most like to punch in the face?
If you were in the world of the Lightbringer, what colour would you wield?
Which character do you identify with most emotionally?
How proud are you of the Lightbringer books?
What question should I have asked you but didn’t?
BUY MY BOOK! And why pre-orders are vital for authors you want to succeed.