Friday, July 25, 2014

Guest blog: Birthright by Ryan Attard

UFI welcomes Ryan Attard Author of the Legacy Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

Into the Past
Ever since I started writing full time, my reading time has greatly suffered. However I firmly believe it’s the things I’ve read before that made me the writer I am today. So here’s a list of what I would have been reading a couple years back:

Age 5: two words – Enid Blyton. I read most of her short story collections over and over again. This was the first love of elves and enchanters and all the rest. We were kind of limited as to what was available for kids in my country and most of us were just encouraged to watch TV.

Age 11: This happens to be the same year that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released and I happened to be one if the few people in my country that has a copy with the first edition cover. I read that thing cover to cover and from then on every brain cell I possessed was put to work making up stories along the likes of magic, wizards and the rest. Coupled with this, I also read the fantasy themed classics, although most of them were adventure based. King Solomon’s Mines, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe – you name it. This was also a formative age where I began taking an interest in astrology and astronomy, outer space, mythology of all kinds (most available was Greek and Egyptian) and to a certain extent even religion.

Age 16: The rebel age. A few years back I had a serious Animorphs crush and anything with violence and tales of revenge. I was severely bullied between ages 12-15 so I took refuge in books. I remember having a deep fascination with guns, weapons, martial arts and most of all The Punisher. I had researched the character and found out that he was based off of a series of novels called The Executioner series, all written in the early 60’s. It so happened that my school library had, due to the incompetence of the administration, acquired a copy of one of those Executioner novels. No kid should ever read that – it was graphic, horrible and I enjoyed every last bit of it.

At age sixteen I was already set in my ways – I wanted to escape in a story to live in it and that’s why I spent horrendous amounts of money at my Junior College’s bookstore. I discovered The Chronicles of the Necromancer (and I am so psyched to be friends with Gail Z Martin, the author, and have had her as a guest on my podcast). I bought Skulduggery Pleasant book one on a whim, simply because it had orange dye on the sides of the pages. I was instantly hooked and even today, I wait hungrily for the last instalment in the series. One of friends had bought me a copy of The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel book 1) and I have finished the series a few years ago.

The list is long and highly detailed but I sought out everything from fantasy (The Summoner) to the action adventure (Alex Rider Series). But I suppose the most important thing I discovered at this age was manga. It was a new mythology, very well written and best of all you could watch it on TV (or in my case, online) as well. Here’s a list of things I watched so many times I could quote my heart: Black Lagoon, Death Note, Naruto, Bleach, Elfen Leid, Hellsing, Black Blood Brothers, Trigun, Ouran High School Host Club – you get the idea.

Age 20: By now I was on the verge of starting to write so I was already mentally categorizing things that had that “something” – that spark that made me want to leave this world and dive into theirs. I would use a lot of these later on when I write. And it wasn’t just book and TV/Movies any more – I would watch video game cutscenes or playthroughs and listen to music that invoked particular imagery. It wasn’t just about having the spark anymore, it was about slowly shaping that magic into something substantial.

By then I had discovered the Dresden Files and I guess that, more than anything, offset me enough to take my current route in life. By this age I was halfway through the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Percy Jackson, Young Samurai, The Fallen Kings Cycle, Skulduggery Pleasant, I discovered some Clive Cussler novels and started Eragon, which had just been published.

I began catching myself doing a strange thing: I would mark down dates on my calendar to know which book came out when, and then would run eagerly to the bookstore to order them. This was before the Kindle age and Amazon wasn’t as established as it is nowadays.

Today most of these stories had been concluded. I’m not one for rereading – most of those stories have captured me enough to forever engrave themselves in my memory. I still treasure the books in my collection and whenever I can I get in touch with the creators/writers. In my line of work I am very lucky to meet people who are great inspirations. In the past two years alone I’ve read stories that are right up there with the best of them. I got to interview the writers and chat with them, picking their brains one question at a time.

In conclusion, a list such as this makes me reminisce and remember why I chose this line of work. I can only hope that my own books will one day stand side by side with such legends and carry on the legacy that these wonderful people stared.

Thank you Stacy for giving me the opportunity to guest blog on Urban Fantasy Investigates.

This or That

Angels or Demons – demons. Way more entertaining.

Vampires or Shifters – shifters if they are polymorphs. Vampires if they have access to magic outside the usual tropes.

Left or Right – right. Cos it’s always right.

Up or Down – both but at decelerated speed. Fast is good for up but no so much for down.

Pizza or Pasta – pizza. Oh glorious pizza. (I am a TMNT fan and any TMNT fan is brainwashed for pizza)

Coffee or Tea – how is this even a question? Coffee. Who the hell can live without coffee?

Coke or Pepsi – Coke. Preferably in powder form.

YA or Adult – adult. YA is fine but only if the story is unique and not forced.

Knives or Guns – Bazooka. (But for the sake of answering: knives. Never take the easy path)

Reading or Writing – Writing. If I’m gonna live in my head might as well make a living out of it. (Reading is important too especially if you’re writing – duh)

Facebook or Twitter – Facebook but only because I can use the Page to tweet as well. See? Gotta love loopholes.

Ryan Attard is the author of the Legacy series. So far only Firstborn and Birthright, books 1 & 2 respectively are available. He also wrote some short stories for the series, two of which have made it out to the public.

He is also currently working on his second series, The Pandora Chronicles and a couple other projects he cannot reveal.

He is also one of those annoying types who write about themselves in the third person.

Find Ryan and his books

The Legacy Series #2
 Following the events of his last adventure, Erik Ashendale is having some serious doubts about . . . well, just about everything. He is doubting his power, his apprentice's progress reached an impassive point and his sister's information is yielding nothing. The Sins can attack at any time, and our hero has no idea what to do.

So he turns to Sun Tsu, an old friend who provides Abi with a few tools and a friendly ear to Erik's tale: the obscure history of Erik Ashendale and how he went from a regular kid born into a rich Warlock family to the hunter we all know and love today.