Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here. We, the team at Novel Notions, are very thrilled and honored that we were asked by Orbit to participate in the blog tour for the Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward. This is the beginning of an epic fantasy trilogy with a huge scope, I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of it last year; I’ve read, enjoyed, and reviewed it. If you haven’t read this book and you love epic fantasy, I urge you to give it a go. Without further ado, here’s my interview with Matthew Ward.
- Hi Matthew, please tell us a bit about yourself and your debut, Legacy of Ash, the first book in The Legacy trilogy!
I’m European (English for the picky souls out there), younger than (some of) my opinions, older than I feel, and with a profound love for old and overgrown places steeped in history. My day job is split between writing novels and working as a creative consultant for various writing, tabletop and video game projects.
Legacy of Ash is a character-driven epic fantasy – a story of a new generation searching for the strength to fix the mistakes of their elders. Battles, magic, meddling gods – a goodly amount of scheming – but the characters are the heart of the story. Old grudges need settling. Tradition must be confronted and overcome. Lots of impossible choices, but the prospect of something better just waiting on the horizon. There’s a lot going on.
- Your book is often advertised as Game of Thrones meets The Last Kingdom, would you consider George R. R. Martin and Bernard Cornwell to be the biggest influences behind your writing/debut?
Absolutely as far as Cornwell goes. I started reading Sharpe back in the mid-90s, and kept going from there. The Warlord Chronicles are some of the finest books I’ve ever read, and I say that even though they’re a little bleaker and more graphic than is usually my taste. Game of Thrones I only know from its presence in pop culture. I’ve never read the books or watched the series.
- Is becoming an author something you’ve dreamed of since you were a child, or is it something relatively recent?
‘Author’ is definitely quite recent (say the last six or seven years or so), but I always loved writing stories as a kid. The schools I attended weren’t really geared to helping you achieve your dreams – at one point I was actively discouraged from taking English as a subject and spent two years studying subjects that made me thoroughly miserable instead – so it took me a long time (and a lot of confidence) to find my way back to the path.
- What are some of your—past or ongoing—biggest challenges in progressing your career as an author?
Careers are strange. There’s a line – and I can’t remember who I’ve stolen it from – about sometimes you think you’ve got a career, when what you actually have are paychecks. That’s perhaps a bit cynical (although I’ve done at least one job where the one was dressed up as the other) but a career is definitely more easily viewed in hindsight. Do I have a career as an author? Time will tell. I hope so.
As for the challenges? The biggest one’s always the one in front. By definition, you’ve beaten the ones behind, so it’s always that next deadline, that next novel, that next oh-my-goodness-are-these-plot-beats-ever-going-to-align? The sequel was harder than the first book. The threequel’s proving harder still. When I leave the Legacy Trilogy behind for new pastures, that will be a different level of challenge again. But so long as you’re moving forward, it’s all fine.
- Legacy of Ash is a massive book, it’s almost 900 pages long. Has this always been the size of the story you wanted to tell?
Hard to say. I knew it was going to be big, which is one of the reasons I put off writing it for years – I wasn’t ready to tackle something of that size, and I think I was very much aware of that. Certainly, it grew in the telling, because you have so many characters to get to know and (hopefully) root for. But I promised myself I’d write it front-to-back and not worry about the length too much. The story is what the story is.
- I think I’m speaking for many readers here that we LOVE the cover art of your book. Did you have any input on the creation of the cover art?
Honestly, very little. And it’s probably better that way. While I know what I like, I’m not a graphic artist, nor am I any good at marketing. I have opinions, of course – never any shortage of those. But you know what? I think it looks absolutely grand. (So does what I’ve seen of the cover for the next book, as it happens.)
Cover art by: Larry Rostant
- Last question, when can we expect the next installment to come out? Will it be as epic and massive as the first book?
I believe it’s landing in November, though I always tell folk not to hold me to that because November seems such a long way off (not so my next deadline, but that’s another matter). Certainly we’re on track for that. Edits are well underway and it’s starting to look and feel like a book. A very slightly longer book.
As to its level of epic? Higher, I think. The gods are properly getting involved now, and you know what they’re like…
Thank you so much, Matthew for doing this Q&A with me. It’s such an honor to have you here. I look forward to reading your next book! 🙂
Thanks! A pleasure to be here.
If that’s still not enough to convince you to get Legacy of Ash, allow me to re-share my spoiler-free review of the book HERE!
That’s the end of this blog tour! Thank you very much once again to Matthew Ward, Nazia, and the entire team at Orbit for this blog tour opportunity. On behalf of Novel Notions, we thank you and we wish Legacy of Ash, Matthew Ward, and Orbit an everlasting success!
Legacy of Ash is out now!
Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!
My Patrons: Alfred, Devin, Hamad, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas.