The Moustached Man talks to Edward Cox author of The Relic Guild: Interview

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.

86BzHF9L

(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

the-relic-guide-cover1

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!!!

The Relic Guild by Edward Cox: Review

A great evil, a vast town in a strange world, a changeling, and a rather cool bounty hunter.
mixed all together these create some of the elements that are part of the The Relic Guild. The reader will notice that when you read this book, the featured complicated architectural and world building constructs make you feel a part of Labrys Town and as the pages turn one can see how these all function in Edward Cox’s vast and expanse universe.
Now, I love a maze. And reading The Relic Guild is like walking through a super cool maze. Discovering hidden passages, finding dead ends, not knowing where on earth you are going to end up, and then being chased by Jack Nicholson. Except that The Relic Guild doesnt have Jack Nicholson chasing people through Labrys Town (Although we can but hope for such in the sequel. Fingers crossed.)
In all seriousness Cox has created a superb maze-like and labyrinthian novel.

The reader will discover the world and its intricate inner workings through the eyes of some very interesting characters. Marney the empath, Old Man Sam the bounty hunter, and Peppercorn Clara a prostitute who can also change into a wolf. These three characters we meet at the start of the novel as well as the Illusionist Van Bam who is the Resident of the Timewatcher’s construct ‘The Nightshade’ which is a source of fear amongst the residents- or denizens as they are referred as in the story. The Timewatcher is the creator of magic and pure magic is wielded by the Thaumaturgists who are the most loyal subjects to the Timewatcher. The Timewatcher and her subjects were caught up in a war forty years ago with the Genii who are renegade Thaumaturgists and believe themselves to be the ones who should be calling the shots in the world.
The story takes place forty years on from the Genii War and then a series of flashbacks takes us back to see some of the characters overcome the trials of love and war. Also Old Man Sam is not so old.

The flashbacks are really written and give the reader a deeper understanding of the characters and the Labyrinth and how Labrys Town worked in the past and the comparisons that are drawn but with the focus being our main characters, as they are the magickers keeping everything safe or at least trying to. The book ends with the flashback guild and the current guild both in dangerous situations and leaves a very tasty cliffhanger.
With an ever-looming threat re-emerging the Relic Guild really do have their work cut out for them.

The Relic Guild leaves questions that will hopefully be answered in the sequel/s and there is one character I would really like to have seen more of.
Summed up The Relic Guild is like a twisting, looping, and flipping ride of a cosmic roller-wonder coaster and who knows where the author is going to take us in future books. I found that there was touches of an almost 2000AD influence with The Retrospective (a dangerous no mans land outside the labyrinth) being a kind of Cursed Earth and the novel did, at times, have a Doctor Who feel to it. See what you think.

The Relic Guild is out today (18th sept 2014) and is available from Gollancz Edward Cox is also on twitter @EdwardCox10 and keep an eye out on the blog for an upcoming interview with the author himself.the-relic-guide-cover1