So this is a first for me. Edward Cox, author of the debut novel The Relic Guild agreed to do an interview with me and I never had to bribe him in cake or nothing. Its a pleasure to have Edward as my first vic- I mean Interview-ee type person.
(Q1) Tell us a bit about the Relic Guild
Ok, I’ve been working on a pitch, here goes: At the centre of an endless labyrinth, in a city trapped behind walls one hundred feet high, young Clara is about to become the unwitting participant in the machinations of higher magic. It falls to her to reunite the last of a secret band of magickers called the Relic Guild. Together they must find a way to save one million humans from an age old menace that is about to return.
(Q2) How did the Relic Guild start forming as an idea in your head? In other words what was it about this story that made you think, “I have to write this.”
It has been a gradual process, resulting from years of hoarded ideas and inspirations. It just all seemed to come together when I hit upon the idea for a forbidden city at the centre of a gigantic labyrinth. And the book The Relic Guild became is based upon the original version that I wrote for a Master’s degree. There’s been a lot of build-up and development on this project.
(Q3) In terms of world building, the Relic Guild is vast. Is there anything that you really wanted to feature but for one reason or another couldn’t?
The worlds outside the city’s boundary walls. We hear a lot about the doorways that used to exist in the labyrinth that led to strange and mysterious Houses, but we don’t get to see them in book 1. There wasn’t room for them. However, this means that I got to play with these Houses in book 2, which will expand the universe quite considerably.
(Q4) In your Bio it states that you are a bit of David Gemmell fan. Are there any other authors that you are influenced by, and what is it about their writings that influence you?
How long would you like this list to be? There’s Michael Moorcock, who taught me to never fear my own imagination; Tad Williams, for letting a story be what it wants to be; Angela Carter and Neil Gaiman, who taught me to look at stories from different angles. There are more…so many more J
(Q5) One of your main characters is an Empath. Which I find fascinating. What was it about Empaths that made you want to feature them in your novel?
You know, this is an interesting one. We’re used to empathy being a positive thing, but I wondered what empathy would really mean to an empath, to someone who uses it as a magical ability. Truly feeling someone else’s emotions, and being able to manipulate those emotions, sort of puts you in a powerful position. It can be handy to calm dangerous situations, but what if you could also convince a person to ‘feel’ that letting someone drown, for example, was a good thing to do? It’s the scope of empathic magic that intrigues me, and gets explored more in book 2.
(Q6) The Technology in the RG is very advanced. What is your personal favourite touch of tech featured?
The spirit compass. It’s one Samuel’s favourite toys, and a handy device for a bounty hunter to have. If you feed a hair or piece of skin into the compass, then it will track the spirit of the donor. I like it because it’s a mix between tech and magic, which fits well in the world of The Relic Guild.
(Q7) Can you tell us anything about the sequel or possible sequels? And is there anything that you really want to focus on within your world that you havent done yet?
Well…exploring the worlds outside the Labyrinth, which I’ve said. We also get to see some of the war between Spiral and the Timewatcher. Being so afraid of spoilers, I don’t really want to say too much. But I will say this: all things are known in the end.
(Q8) In three words sum up the experience of writing, completing, and releasing your first novel?
Amazing. Terrifying. Joyous.
(Q9) Cake is possibly one of, if not, your most favourite edible thing. Whats your favourite and why?
Cake. Because cake.
(Q10) Can I join the Relic Guild? And is there a badge?
Of course you can join the Relic Guild. And NO! There’s no badge, Mr Silly Bear. Your identities are secret! (oh, you also have to give up everything else in your life. You still in? It’s for a good cause…)
Thanks Ed for conducting the first interview on SMOAWGMM.
The Relic Guild is available now from Gollancz and all good book shops you can follow Ed on twitter @Edwardcox10
UPDATED: Hi everyone, I have been speaking to Ed via the twittersphere and He would personally like to thank all of yourselves for the cool, kind comments! And to let all of you lovely people know that currently there is no US release date, however, the good news is that those wonderful Gollancz folk are working on it. Yayy!!!