A d r i a n S e l by
The epic fantasy author on a debut novel that was 20 years in the making…
What is Snakewood about?
It’s the story of Kailen’s Twenty, a once legendary mercenary crew, who years later are being killed off one by one. It’s written from multiple viewpoints, but most of it is told from the POV of one of the crew, Gant, as he tries to discover the identity of the killer.
Did it really take 20 years to write?
I had the idea 20 years ago, but it stayed in my head until about 10 years ago, when I decided that if I was going to call myself a writer I’d better crack on.
Is Snakewood the start of a series?
It’s a one- off. However, while I was writing it, I saw another story emerge, using some of the same characters.
Did you do a lot of world- building?
Yes, and it took years. I was painfully aware how little knowledge I had of the era that typically grounds epic fantasy. I therefore read a bunch of history to provide a launchpad from which I’d blast off into my imagination. It stood me in good stead, especially when I considered the impact of my magic system and how it would have changed our own world.
Were there any specific influences?
One book, True History Of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey, had a huge impact on me. It felt incredibly authentic to have Ned Kelly tell his story, spelling mistakes and all. I knew that Gant would seem much more real if I could similarly tell his story in his own limited way.
Snakewood is published by Orbit on 17 March.