Interview: Thaddeus White

Thaddeus White

 

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name’s Thaddeus White. I’m from the UK (Yorkshire, to be more specific). The Adventures of Sir Edric is my third novel-sized piece (though my first to be traditionally published), and I have a couple of other novels ready for release relatively soon (one this year, hopefully).

When not writing, I usually spend my time reading fantasy/history, playing videogames (I hope XCOM 2 finally comes to the PS4) and watching/betting on F1.

Which writers inspire you?  

As a child, it was the work of CS Lewis that really got me into fantasy. One of my earliest memories is of a certain incident (I won’t spoil it, even though it’s decades old now) during the Chronicles of Narnia in the BBC adaptation. It was a fantastic (ahem) moment that made a deep impact on me.

More recently, the writers who got me back into fantasy are George RR Martin and Joe Abercrombie. Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy is a cracking read and, after that, I started diving into the genre again.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers? 

No. I think that sounds like a good idea but I suspect I’d end up being like Gollum and refusing to share the Precious.

When did you decide to become a writer? 

After an initial, Indiana Jones-inspired, desire to be an archaeologist, I wanted to be a writer from about the age of 7-8. In more serious terms, I started trying seriously around 2010, give or take.

Do you write full-time or part-time? 

At the moment, full-time. It’s hard to make a living, though, and I’d advocate trying it part-time (that was my original approach but due to a diabolical alignment of the planets the work I did ceased to be economically viable).

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? 

I work to an outline (for comedy, it’s a hazy sketch I might change a lot, for serious stuff it’s more tightly defined). For Sir Edric’s Temple, the first story in The Adventures of Sir Edric, I knew the final scene but made the rest up spontaneously. It was hugely enjoyable to write but led to very lumpy progress (I wrote Ch3 in an afternoon. Ch4 took me about a month). The vague outline approach helps me avoid that patchiness and make better progress.

Where do your ideas come from? 

Sometimes odd places. I like having everyday inspirations. In Ch4, Sir Edric approaches two golems politely, and they’re immediately obnoxious towards him. That was inspired by two store workers who were rude to a man trying to return a shirt which turned out to be the wrong size.

There’s also a lot of comedy in writing down what many people think but they’re not supposed to say. Sir Edric’s internal monologue is usually completely different to what he says (in that way, he’s like a lot of people).

Mind you, silly little one-liners are perhaps the most fun. When Sir Edric encounters a dragon his first thought is “My life expectancy has become shorter than a gnome’s todger.” One-liners tend to come from nowhere, which, alas, means they either appear by magic or not at all.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? 

The problem of repetition eroding mirth. I’ve read the book over many times (as you’d expect with redrafting), but the more you read a joke the less amusing it seems because all the novelty gets sucked out. That makes it very hard to try and work out how funny it is (or even if it is funny). That’s why good beta-readers are especially important for comedy.

Tell us a little about your characters. 

As Oscar Wilde said, it’s foolish to divide men into good and evil, for they’re either charming or tedious. Sir Edric’s certainly not tedious. He’s adulterous, selfish, mostly drunk but also quick-witted and with a peculiar sort of honesty (to himself). He’s also fortunate in his manservant, Dog. Dog’s heroic, intelligent, noble and selfless, but also pathologically loyal to Sir Edric (even though the knight probably doesn’t deserve it). They make an odd, but very effective, couple.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?  

Checking blogs/sites (and Goodreads groups) is the way to go. Always check the specific guidelines (usually these are very similar but individuals might have things they particularly want, or dislike). If you’re sending an ARC (advanced review copy) make sure to let the reviewer know.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?  

Surprisingly Zen. Or masochistic, if you prefer. Good reviews are great for esteem, but bad reviews (providing they’re legitimate) often highlight areas for potential improvement. Of course, there are mad and bad reviews (I saw one where an author got 1* because the book had been delivered late…).

How can readers discover more about you and you work? 

In many exciting ways. I’m on Twitter @MorrisF1 (and have a daft parody at @HeroOfHornska, where Sir Edric lets his views be known). I also have a website at http://thaddeuswhite.weebly.com and a rambly blog at http://thaddeusthesixth.blogspot.co.uk. And I’m an active member on the SFF Chrons forum (which is well worth checking out if you’re into fantasy or sci-fi).

Any Comments for the Blog readers? 

Hope you liked the interview, and check the sample of The Adventures of Sir Edric (the first page is a fair representation of the book, so if you like that you should buy it, and if you don’t, you shouldn’t). Laughter’s good for your health, so fight pestilence and woe with a book full of mirth.

Any feedback for me or the blog?

First off, thank you very much for the interview. May you be trapped in a lift with an attractive stranger. Other than that, it seems to be well set up (no weird colour schemes and the tabs/layout is nice and clear). Thanks again for the interview, it’s much appreciated.

BUY his work at:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adventures-Ed…

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Edri…

Limited edition hardback: http://shop.ticketyboopress.co.uk/ind…

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