A few days ago I did a review of a book by G.L. Lathian and I was delighted when they (the writing duo who makes up G.L. Lathian) agreed to an interview as well!
What inspired you to write this specific story?
There is no particular thing that inspired us to write Swords of Winter, but here’s the story of how it all started.
We both came up with ideas for different stories at the same time. It felt too uncanny for us not to give it more thought and it turned out that the two stories melded together almost too easily. Thing after thing after thing seemed to go right. There’s one moment that will always stay with us. On the first night after we came up with our original storyline, we were searching the house we shared for a piece of paper to draw a map of Manaki. And anyone who has ever been excited about an idea understands how important pencil and paper can be. We literally could not find a piece of blank paper anywhere, which isn’t actually that unusual in a share house full of young men. We searched forever and considered toilet paper as our final option. Exhausted and losing hope we turned to the cupboard that held more rubbish than possessions. Beneath the ruble, we discovered a university magazine. Garrett flicked randomly to the back half. A blank page stood before us and in its center, in the smallest font ever used or seen by the human eye, read the words: This page has been intentionally left blank. In the end, the story almost ended up writing itself.
Could you tell us a little about your book?
Swords of Winter is a story of twin brother’s forced into facing the fear of losing all that they love, and learning the reality of a blade and its intentions.
What main theme or moral are you trying to get across?
The idea of “good and evil” is always up for interpretation.
I find it intriguing that you managed to dually write a book, how does that process work? Does one of you write and the other narrate or do you take turns writing?
We brainstorm story line ideas together and plan out several chapters. Usually with about four or five dot points of things that need to happen in each for the story arch to progress. We’ll then choose a few chapters each and after writing and editing them on our own, we’ll swap them for another round of editing. After that, we come together and edit again and again and again. In the end it’s like one person wrote it.
Have you been a keen writing from young ages or has it come along more slowly?
We’ve both enjoyed writing from a young age, but never took it seriously until SoW.
Where did you find the inspiration for your main characters?
It’s hard to say where the inspiration for them actually came from. Perhaps it’s a tiny bit of personality pulled from a hundred people, or larger parts of friends and family. Herth and Tarn’s personalities evolved over time, but where they originated from we still can’t be certain. For the twins more than other characters it could be said a little of us has gone into the building of their characters, but it’s only to a certain extent. Characters of any kind really just appear in your imagination and you run with them.
I love the brothers and wondering if you drew from life experience to make them relatable?
Certainly. We have been friends since we were born. The amount of time we spent doing things together made writing the twins seem easy.
What is your writing process like?
We try to write as much as we can when we can. And edit more times than we care to remember (don’t worry, we still find the odd painful mistake).
Do you have any specific music you enjoy listening to that influences your writing?
Both of us love writing while listening to Andy Mckee.
What authors have been a positive influence on your writing?
A few of the usual suspects: J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan (Brandon Sanderson), J.K. Rowling, John Marsden and also some newer names like Patrick Rothfuss and Anthony Ryan.
What are three books that you think everyone should have in their library?
Name of the Wind for its poetic prose. The Wheel of Time for its sheer epicness and Blood Song for its ability to grip you.
Who is your favourite character from a book?
Mat from The Wheel of Time. He’s a joker, survivor, scoundrel and a complete badass with his Ashandarei.
Is fantasy your favourite genre to read as it is the genre that you write this book in?
Definitely, although we try to stray further afield. But fantasy’s grip is strong.
Is this your first book and is there another project in the works?
Swords of Winter is the first in a four part series, the second of which is underway. There are also several other projects in the pipeline, but they’re taking a back seat while we continue the Forgotten Kin series.
Where can readers find your book?
Through Amazon and CreateSpace.
Last but not least, what gem of advice could you offer up and coming authors?
Write, and don’t stop until you’re finished!