Black Lord of Eagles by Ben Blake
The Ashir people believe they are alone in the world - until strangers come. The invading Thrain have weapons of strange metal, and ride beasts never seen before.
They have come to conquer. Anyone who looses them is killed. The Ashir gather to fight, but it soon becomes clear that their only hope lies with one man.
Kai, the hamachi, living servant of the Teacher God.
Kai has never heard the voice of his god, as hamachi are supposed to do. He doubts himself, despite the adulation of the people. But now he and the only two men the trusts must stand up to lead the resistance, against a terrible enemy with no mercy in them.
Q: Welcome to the Fossend Publishing blog Ben. Can you give readers a brief overview of your book Black Lord of Eagles.
A: Hi Chrissie. Black Lord tells the story of a culture that has always believed they’re alone in the world. Their founder god taught them civilization and he didn’t teach anyone else. They’ve never questioned this, it underlies everything they believe – and then strangers appear and attack them.
Q: What inspired you to write Black Lord of Eagles?
A: The story is very loosely based on the Spanish attack on the Inca in the 1530’s. Black Lord isn’t a history, it tells a story that might have happened in a similar world where magic is real. But that’s the inspiration. The Inca created an empire which spanned seven climate zones and was thousands of miles from end to end, and they held it together with stone age tools. They nearly held it together in the face of roughly half their people dying of smallpox and an invasion by people they never dreamed existed. I don’t know of anything quite as incredible anywhere in history.
Q: I understand that you created a Kickstarter campaign to enable publishing of Black Lord of Eagles, can you tell us a little more about it?
A: It didn’t work. But I’ll try again on GoFundMe or one of the other sites. I need the money for advertising and promotion. It’s tough being a struggling indie author!
Q: Did writing Black Lord of Eagles involve any research?
A: Oh blimey, yes. I needed to know what Inca society was like before the Spanish arrived, which meant research on everything from priests to language to diet. Did you know the Inca drank chicha beer at roadside hostels called machanas? They lost crops to atanqa beetles and ate guinea pigs and squirrels. I produced reams of notes and used only about one item in twenty. You can’t drown the text in detail, but I did want to put in enough to give a flavor of what that world was like.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about writing?
A: There are times when the research is done and the plot comes clear, and I’ll sit at the desk for an hour or two of writing. Then I feel a hunger pang, look at my watch and realise it’s 3am and I’ve been working for half the night. That feeling, when the words just flow with no effort or sense of passing time, is close to utopia.
Q: What do you dislike the most about writing?
A: Editing. Ugh.
Q: Can you share a typical day in the life of Ben Blake as a writer?
A: I usually write in the evenings. That’s unusual for a writer, it seems, but it works for me. My day-to-day job is over, my daughter’s in bed, and there’s nothing left to distract me. I review yesterday’s work, correct the worst errors, but leave the rest and go on with the story. Corrections can wait for the edit. What matters is going on with the story, so I focus on that. I try to average 500 words a day, as a minimum. Any less means I risk losing touch with the story, so however late it is I try to reach that goal.
Q: What’s next for Ben Blake?
A: After the circus of the book launch for Black Lord, I hope to publish the sequel later in the year, around November. It’s called Tales of Fanged Fish and is currently in edit. After that, I have volume one of a new series finished, so I’ll probably focus on that for 2018.
Quick fire round
Beach or countryside – I love the beach, but can’t beat the peace of a tent by a stream in an isolated wood somewhere. Countryside.
EBook or paperback – Oh, paperback. EBooks are wonderful, but I like the crackle and smell of paper.
Classic or modern – Either. Just do it right.
Notebook and pen or computer – Computer. My handwriting these days is appalling.
Sun or Snow – Sun.
About the Author:
A writer since childhood, Ben Blake finished his first novel when he was ten. It was terrible. But it was also finished, and half of writing is sticking with a project to the end.
Fantasy has always been his preferred genre. In Fantasy you can do anything - invent a new people or species, create a world, make monsters and whatever else you like. Ben has published six novels on Amazon and other online sites. He lives in Devon with his wife and daughter.