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Friday, 31 August 2018

ℚ The Shattered Blades: The Judges Cycle [3] - Aidan Russell

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Shattered Blades (,Aidan Russell, 436 pages), an Epic Fantasy, book three in the The Judges Cycle series.

**Download book 1, Road of the Lost FREE!**


"Road of the Lost is a fast-paced fantasy with an RPG feel... I really enjoyed the jocular, brotherly bickering of the two knights... This was a fun fantasy read." - Manhattan Book Review 

“Absolutely loved this book! Thoroughly enjoyed the eloquent writing, the larger than life characters, the setting, the adventures! Reminds me very much of R.A. Salvatore's writings.” –
Goodreads Review

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


A very warm welcome to Aidan Russell; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Shattered Blades ?

"This is the third book in a series that started off inspired by an excerpt from “Beowulf” in which the author states that elves, ogres, and other mythical and fantasy races were born of Cain.

The first two books are very sort of typical, old-school adventure fantasy. There’s a sort of dungeon crawl, a mythical forest, wandering around the palace, and then a big battle. For this book, I wanted to do something a little slower with some time for the characters to develop after their quests and battles.

I drew some inspiration from the “Harry Potter” series, where Hogwarts is this single location that is supposed to be safe and quiet, but is full of mystery and adventure. There’s some questing and traveling, but it all has a focal point in a place that one wouldn’t think to look for clues to lost legends and prophecies."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I think all the characters have a little bit of me within them, whether it’s smart-ass comments, sarcasm, letting loose, or dealing with the effects of coming home from war. I try to bring my combat experience into the story so the action scenes are more than just invincible heroes swinging their swords."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Shattered Blades - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Elle J. Rossi at http://www.ejrdigitalart.com has done all my covers. I pretty much just give her the premise of the book, a few plot points, and then she works a miracle and creates a cover that is better than anything I ever imagined. When I saw the cover for “The Shattered Blades,” it literally took my breath away."
Why should we read The Shattered Blades and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"My story has a large foundation in fantasy that’s already been done before: Middle-Earth, Warhammer, D&D, Warcraft, and the Cosmere. I decided to take a new spin and based my fantasy world’s creation off the story of Cain in the Bible. We don’t hear anything of him after his exile to Nod. What if…?

I also think there is a certain intensity brought to the action by my experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine. I work to make the fight scenes very vivid, with the perfect blend of realism and theatrics. In this book, it was very important for me that my combat experienced characters not fall into some of the veteran stereotypes that exist. "
Can you tell us something quirky about The Shattered Blades, its story and characters?
"The basics details of the characters, such as race and profession, all started from an after-school RPG some friends and I played. The adventure, the story, their personalities, and backstories have all changed for the story, but that’s where I decided I needed an Elven ranger, some knights, a big, muscular wizard, and a Fairy assassin."
Who would you recommend The Shattered Blades to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The primary audience for this book was intended to be tabletop gamers, who enjoyed Dungeons and Dragon or Warhammer. Also, the book has many religious elements to it. It is, after all, inspired by Cain’s exile in the biblical book of Genesis.

That being said, I think a lot of Christians and non-Christians alike are aware that the Bible is not necessarily a sweet, clean story. There is carnage and chaos all over the place. I don’t go out of my way to make things gruesome or explicit, but I don’t hide it either. If a fantasy world is based on being inhabited by the descendants of someone exiled from God’s sight for murdering his brother, you can bet it won’t be a pretty place. So it’s somewhere between a grimdark fantasy and a Disney fairy tale.

You’ve been warned!"
If you could / wished to turn The Shattered Blades and the The Judges Cycle series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I know The Hobbit movies get some flak from hard core fans, but I loved the actors and how they built some of expanded mythology into it. Also, the fight choreography with the dwarves was great. So, I don’t have a dream time line up picked out, but the minds behind the scenes with The Hobbit series would be who I’d want to start planning."
What is your writing process?
"I used to “just wing it.” I know better now. I found some great resources by Cary at thefriendlyeditor.com.

I make a line and plot out my plot points and pinch points. Then I establish the themes of my four sections: The setup, response, attack, and resolution.

Then I outline the chapters in a series grid, similar to what J.K. Rowling did for Order of the Phoenix. I leave plenty of wiggle room in the outline to worldbuild on the fly and let my characters do what feels right in the moment."
What is in store next?
"o I’m currently writing a short story about Dwarves, beer, and a heist to give away to my newsletter subscribers.

After I finish that up, I have book four of the series all outlined and will be getting to work on that. For book four, be prepared for the characters to get on a boat and engage in some naval warfare."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"This is me with my beagle, Scratch, and French bulldog, Yoshi:"
Love it! It's not much different when you are a cat owner ;-) In fact, speaking of cats... I have to also publish this great pic of Scratch with your cat, Navi:

Lots of head-scratches to the gorgeous Scratch and Yoshi! Thank you for sharing them with us :-)

The rivers turn to blood and the mournful cry for judgement.

The Shattered Blades
Available NOW!

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