Saturday, 21 February 2015

Blog Tour: When Shadows Fall by Bruce Blake


A hundred times a hundred seasons have turned since the Goddess banished the Small Gods to the sky, leaving the land to mankind alone.

For Prince Teryk, life behind the castle walls is boring and uneventful until he stumbles upon an arcane scroll in a long-forgotten chamber. The parchment speaks of Small Gods, the fall of man, and the kingdom's savior—the firstborn child of the rightful king. It's his opportunity to prove himself to his father, the king, and assure his place in history. All he needs to do is find the man from across the sea—a man who can't possibly exist—and save mankind.

But ancient magic has been put in motion by a mysterious cult determined to see the Small Gods reborn. Powerful forces clash, uncaring for the lives of mortals in their struggle to prevent the return of the banished ones, or aid in their rebirth.

Named in a prophecy or not, what chance does a cocky prince who barely understands the task laid before him stand in a battle with the gods?


Interview with Bruce Blake

Tell us a little about your new book, When Shadows Fall.

This is the first book in a new epic fantasy series called 'The Small Gods', and it's easily my most ambitious work to date. The main story line revolves around a prophecy found by Prince Teryk and his sister, Danya. It speaks of the rise of the Small Gods—who were banished by the Goddess a long time ago—and the fall of mankind. The story follows the siblings, who think Teryk is the saviour of mankind named in the prophecy, as well as following a priestess of the Goddess, a sailor who hates the sea, and a little gray fellow named Thorn. There's a lot going on.

A prophecy? Hasn't that been done to death? What makes your book any different from all the others?

I like to do what I can to take typical fantasy tropes and turn them on their ear a bit. In this case, there are some doubts about the prophecy. Does it actually refer to Teryk? Exactly who are the Small Gods? There are a bunch of other things mentioned in the scroll that don't even make sense. Trust me when I tell you I've got a few surprises up my sleeve.

I heard that it only took a couple of weeks for you to write the first draft of When Shadows Fall. Is that true?

Yes. If you include writing a prologue after I'd done the editing on the rest, there were fifteen days of first draft manuscript writing in all.

How did you write it so quickly?

Firstly, I was writing full-time when I wrote it, so I put in 5-7 hours every day, but even then there's more to it. I attribute the speediness of the first draft to two things: planning and planning. Not only did I spend a month developing the world and the story while I was finishing up some other things, I also spent five to ten minutes planning at the beginning of each writing day when I first sat down. It's amazing how much more can be accomplished when you have that kind of clarity. If I finished what I planned and still had time, I took another five or ten minutes and planned some more.

What are you working on now?

The second book of the Small Gods, The Darkness Comes, is out on February the 16th, so I'm busy working on book three (I have the title, but it's currently a secret...stay tuned).  The third book is going to bring together some of the story lines from the previous books, split some up, and add in some others. I'm having a great time writing it with some interesting voices and challenging points of view.

How long will the Small Gods series be?

I can't say for sure, but I'm expecting six books, possibly with a side adventure or two thrown in for good measure.

I've always been curious about longer series: have you already planned everything that will happen?

Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Not even close. I have some highlights and ideas that I know I want to hit, and I have some thoughts about the climax, but it will be as much of a surprise to me as it is to everyone else, at this point. The problem with planning something that's going to run long is that it changes on you...those darn characters tend to take over and go running off to do things you never expected. Teryk in particular is doing that to me right now.

Any final words to new writers out there?

Two, really. The first is to work on your craft...always. Do it by reading books you love and analyzing them to figure out what it is you like so much. Do it by reading books you don't love, and figure out why that's the case. Take classes if you can, go to conferences, read books on craft—lots of them—and learn from other authors you come in contact with.

The second is never quit. You're not really a writer if you don't finish, you're just someone who writes.

Author bio:

Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don't take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn't really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the "u" out of words like "colour" and "neighbour" than he does shovelling (and watch out for those pesky double l's). The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of a burlesque diva.

Bruce's first short story, "Another Man's Shoes" was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon. Another short, "Yardwork," was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod. Bruce's first Icarus Fell novel, "On Unfaithful Wings", was published in Dec., 2011 while the follow up, "All Who Wander Are Lost", came out in July, 2012. The third in the series, "Secrets of the Hanged Man", came out in July, 2013. The first part of his Khirro's Journey epic fantasy trilogy, "Blood of the King", was released Sept., 2012, book 2, "Spirit of the King," in Dec., 2012, and book 3, "Heart of the King," in Feb., 2013.

The two books in the Small Gods series, "When Shadows Fall" and "The Darkness Comes", were released in 2013, after which Bruce took a year out to concentrate on his family and career. Book three in the Small Gods series is Bruce Blake's current project.

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