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How old were you when you wrote your first story (not book but story) and what was it about?
Around 6 or 7. My second grade curriculum actually required students to write stories every day, which in hindsight is a pretty extraordinary ask of young kids. I always enjoyed it, however; it couldn’t compete with Nintendo or anything like that, but writing was never something I saw as a chore. Handwriting, on the other hand, was not one of my strong suits – I don’t think my legibility has increased since the second grade, now that I think about it.
Who inspired you to become a writer (or what, if not who)?
I’ve thought about that often and can’t really place a finger on it. My mother is a wonderful writer, so she was certainly at least one influence. I won’t say which, but there was a descriptive phrase she used in one of her stories maybe 20 years ago that stuck out in my mind so much that I paid homage to it in The Bulls of War. Beyond individual influences, I’ve always had a love for creating worlds in one form or another. When I was younger it took the form of drawing, but by my 20s, it had fully morphed into writing. The genre of fantasy is the ultimate in world-building possibilities, so it seemed like a perfect fit when I started putting to pen to paper on Bulls.
How old were you when you published your first book and what book was it?
Well, this one’s easy – 34. The Bulls of War is in fact my first publication, soon to be followed by an anthology of short stories and a historical fiction by the name of Fortress of the Sun. As is always the case, I learned an incredible amount through this process, with a checklist of things I’ll do differently next time already a mile long.
You've written many books, did you ever think, back when you were getting started, that you'd be where you are now? Are you one of those people who think 'I'm going to be a star!' and then go out and do it or were you just lucky? *wink*
I haven’t written as many books as I’d like just yet, so I will hold this question in escrow until the time is right. :-) I’ll be back!
What's the weirdest and/or funniest email(s) you've gotten from fans?
Probably the one from an individual who raved about The Bulls of War, quoted and recounted favorite portions of the book, demonstrated a detailed, working knowledge of the plot – then proceeded to cite to other “highlights” which were nowhere to be found in my manuscript. Like different names, different action scenes, different plot resolutions, different… everything. To this day, I’m not sure how that happened.
Tell us about your books, what do you have on the horizon? Any little hints you can give us?
Looking at the series from 30,000 feet, Chronicles of the Andervold Thrones (of which Bulls is Book 1) is similar to George Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series – it’s going to be a multivolume exploration of an ancient land racked with turmoil, rival kingdoms balancing their truces on the edge of a sword, powerful realms beginning their decline from their peak power. At a more personal level, however, it’s a story of friendship, a story of love, a story of war and what it means to the men and women who bear witness to it, what it does to those forced to choose sides.
The horizon is split into basically three parts: first is the release of a short story anthology set in parallel to time in which Bulls takes place, providing for different perspectives of some of the events in the book; second is the release of my historical fiction, Fortress of the Sun (more on that below); and third, of course, is Book 2 of the Andervold series. In other words, exciting times ahead!
If The Bulls of War was made into a movie and/or tv show tomorrow, who would you cast as the main characters?
Great question! For Kyrus, I picture a younger Jason Isaacs or Tim Roth. For Tyghus, a younger Christian Bale or Daniel Day-Lewis; someone more contemporary might be Sam Heughan. Antinax would be well-suited by Anthony Hopkins. Connie Nielsen or Caitriona Balfe should be Tygha; Lena Headey or Susan Sarandon should be Wollia. This is going to be an expensive cast, so I hope the studio will go for my suggestions…
Do you have any plans to branch out into any other genres in the future? If so, what are they?
Indeed, and in fact I’ve already expanded from fantasy to historical fiction with Fortress of the Sun, which is still in the querying stage. Fortress takes place in third century B.C. Greece, centering around the great Battle of Corinth. I’m an ancient history fanatic, so I had a blast writing that as well, though it is a very different process than writing fantasy, as I go into detail on my site.
Beyond historical fiction and fantasy, I have an itch to write a space tale, and I have a few already storyboarded. But for now, that will have to wait.
Do you have a playlist that you use when you write? If so, can you give a few of the songs from it?
My writing environment is incredibly boring – ideally perfect quiet, no TV, no music, nothing. It’s tough enough trying to stay focused with constant internet access on hand, so I really try to limit the distractions in any way possible. On the few occasions where I do listen to music, it’s typically classical – songs with words distract me too much from the project at hand. Seeing a pattern here?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Right this second? I’d say returning to Europe. As I mentioned, I am an ancient history buff, and specifically Ancient Rome and Greece. I’ve been to both locations once, but that really only lets you scratch the surface of the ruins out there. I could spend a month at Pompeii alone.
After (or if) I’ve finished with those ruins and then climbing Europe’s medieval castles, I’d like to venture out to sightsee in Japan and China.
What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Vanilla ice cream whipped Blizzard-style with Oreos and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. If you need a way to regretfully yet deliciously blow through a thousand calories, I beseech you to try that out.
What kind of toppings do you like on your pizza?
Pepperoni and mushroom with lots of crushed red pepper. Extra sauce too, I don’t like dry pizzas. I’m officially hungry now from pondering this question.
Read an Excerpt:
Tyghus kept low to the ground as he headed for a patch of tall grass just on the camp’s edge. He hadn’t a shred of armor on him, only his sword.
His heart quickened as the rider quickly closed, his hooded brown cloak fluttering from his speed. Tyghus was intent on baiting the approach, certain he was safely blurred amongst grassy stalks.
Ten yards. The heavy gallops were loud now. Blade in hand, he sprang to his feet –
About the Author:
E.M. Thomas was born and raised on the East Coast of the United States but is a world traveler at heart. He caught the writing bug early on and has a passion for all good fiction, but especially that of the fantasy and historical variety. One of his favorite moments thus far in his young career was writing a chapter of his latest book about the great battle of Corinth - while sitting amidst the ruins of ancient Corinth.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/emthomas
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