TQ: Welcome back to the Qwillery!
Anton: Thanks for inviting me back, especially after I broke that vase last time I was here. In my defense, though, that think was HIDEOUS!
TQ: The first novel in your new Spellmason Chronicles, Alchemystic, was recently published. Tell us something about Alchemystic that is not in the book description.
Anton: While the jacket talks about family secrets, an ancient gargoyle that watches over the Belarus clan, there are what I would call some classic Dungeons & Dragons archetypes at work here. Marshall Blackmoore, a close friend of Lexi and Rory, thinks in terms of games and gaming in his approach to solving modern day dungeon crawling problems. I think people familiar with gaming and RPGs will see the nod to them throughout the Spellmason Chronicles.
TQ: There aren't many urban fantasy authors writing about gargoyles. Why gargoyles?
Anton: Watching too many Gargoyles cartoon viewings? No, actually, I’m always fascinated about characters who are makers. I love hearing about the creation of the Rings in The Lord of the Rings, and who made them, and I loved the idea of those type of secrets having been lost in our modern world. There is a magic in the world of Alchemystic, but it is hidden, its secrets lost and I loved the thought of an artist helping to bring it back into the world. I’m a fan of the art and architecture of New York, and the idea of working with these grotesque yet beautiful gargoyles just called out to me.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Alchemystic?
Anton: Well, the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual came in handy! And I researched a bit about gargoyles and architecture, but I’ve had a good working knowledge of them ever since my 1989 History of Art class. A lot of my research went into reading other books to see how they handled magic in their world. I needed to create something that would fit the modern world, where magic and science might meet to form alchemy. Much as it pains me to admit it, my frenemy Patrick Rothfuss and his Kingkiller Chronicles had a hand in helping me sort out what I wanted for my world, magically speaking. It’s an art, AND a science!
TQ: In Alchemystic who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult and why?
Anton: I think Marshall Blackmoore is probably the easiest to write. I imagine him as sort of a Jason Segal/ Michael Cera nice guy who loves games and gaming and is unflappable in his pursuit of asking women out despite his nerd trappings. I’m many ways, Marshall is who I’d want to be. He certainly shares a lot of the same interests I do—games, women, who fifty feet of rope while adventuring is ALWAYS important.
I think my main character, Alexandra Belarus, was hardest to write. Creating a believable first person 23-year old female artist took awhile because I wanted to get her right. There’s always the risk that a guy writing a female first person is going to “overgirlify” it, and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted her to be fleshed out and not fall into any sort of stereotypes.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Alchemystic?
Anton: Hmm… I think it’s a tie- first, would when readers are introduced to the character of Bricksley. The other takes place in one of the old subway stations that sits unused under New York. It’s based on a real place, but is far more creepier and fun than the real one.
TQ: Both the Simon Canderous series and the Spellmason Chronicles are set in New York City. Why have you set both your series there?
Anton: I moved to New York in 1994 because I thought it was the most exciting city, through and through. Compact, full of life, rich with history and art. I can’t stop writing about it. Even though I live in New Jersey now (insert your own joke here… I’m as surprised as you, believe me!), I’m still in Manhattan five days a week and find something new to love about it all the time. Someday I’ll write about another city, promise!
TQ: Are there any other genres in which you'd like to write?
Anton: Writing urban fantasy, I’m already doing it all! I get to write fiction, romance, mystery and fantasy all balled up into one. I suppose I’d like to try my hand at regular ole fiction, but I worry about having to keep it realistic. Reality and I are not quite the closest of friends….
TQ: What's next?
Anton: Right now I’m trying to finish up The Spellmason Chronicles 2 by New Year’s Eve, which seems right on track. I’m also trying to find the time to wrap up an as yet unsold young adult Dickensian Voltron Iron Man Street Urchin Steampunk book. Yes, it’s kinda got all that in it. DON’T JUDGE!
About The Spellmason Chronicles
The Spellmason Chronicles 1
Ace, September 25, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY…
Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who knows the Belarus name…
Lexi’s great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason—an artisan who could work magic on stone. But in his day, dark forces conspired against him and his, so he left a spell of protection on his family. Now that Lexi is in danger, the spell has awoken her ancestor’s most trusted and fearsome creation: a gargoyle named Stanis.
Lexi and Stanis are equally surprised to find themselves bound to each other. But as they learn to work together, they realize that only united can they save the city they both love…
The Simon Canderous Series
The Once & Future Podcast
What: One commenter will a copy of Alchemystic (The Spellmason Chronicles 1) from The Qwillery.
How: Answer the following question:
A Spellmason can work magic on stone. On what would you like to work magic?
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, November 2, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*