In celebration of the David Gemmell Award long-lists being published, Gollancz is thrilled to be running a series of interviews-in-sixty-seconds with as many long-listed authors as we can get our hands on. Today we’re chatting with Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel’s Legacy series, and now the Naamah trilogy which began with Naamah’s Kiss, continued the adventure with Naamah’s Curse, and comes to a gripping conclusion in Nammah’s Blessing (which is shortlisted for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Novel). We caught up with her, and took a moment to ask a few questions . . .
Congratulations on being long-listed for the David Gemmell Awards! Can you tell us, in a few words, why any readers who are new to your work should rush out and read it?
Adventure, romance, intrigue, destiny, dire magic! But since Naamah’s Blessing is the final volume in a trilogy, they should probably rush out and buy the first one, Naamah’s Kiss.
Who was your first favourite author?
C. S. Lewis. The instant I walked through the wardrobe with Lucy into Narnia, I fell in love with fantasy.
Who would you cite as your influences?
In terms of fantasy, Richard Adams was the author whose books taught me it could be intense and gritty, while Patricia McKillip’s work taught me it could be lyrical. Historical fiction authors like Mary Renault and Robert Graves were also a big influence.
Do you think authors have a responsibility to do more than tell an entertaining story?
In general, no. Some of the most touching fanmail I’ve received came from readers who found a respite in the escape my books provided during difficult times; watching over a sick child in the hospital, stationed overseas far from home, jobless and worried. That said, I do try to incorporate larger themes worthy of contemplation.
Is there a storytelling tradition you see your work as part of?
It draws on a number of traditions, predominantly epic fantasy, alternate history, and courtly romance. I see it as a healthy hybrid!
If your novel were to be arrested for a crime of passion, what crime would it be and why (society may not be to blame!)?
Human sacrifice. Because sometimes the gods demand nothing less.
Jacqueline Carey is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy series of historical fantasy novels and The Sundering epic fantasy duology. The desire to write professionally emerged as a driving passion whilst she was living in London and working in a bookshop. She has won a number of awards for her fiction, and currently lives and works in West Michigan, USA. You can learn more about her and her novels at http://www.jacquelinecarey.com or find her on Facebook.
You can vote for Naamah’s Blessing, or any of the novels long-listed for the Legend Award for Best Novel, here. You can also vote for Patrick Knowles’ stunning artwork, as the Best Art of the year, here.