Welcome to the Saturday edition of the Book Reading and Interview and today my guest is Richard Ankers, author of the two books so far in the Cyberpunk, Science Fiction The Eternal Series.
Please leave your own questions for Richard in the comments section of the post and he will respond to you over the next few days.
First the official background for Richard Ankers.
Richard M. Ankers was born a dreamer. From an early age, if Richard was not out in the fresh air playing sports, he was lost inside a good book or secretly writing his own. A lover of everything from Marvel comics to classic Fantasy and Science Fiction, he allowed his mind to wander to these fantastical places and never quite came back. Heavily influenced by authors ranging from Michael Moorcock and Gene Wolfe to such wonders as Haruki Murakami and Margaret Atwood, Richard enjoyed being entertained, whisked away to places unknown. Every book had something to offer, snippets of the unimaginable, twists of fate and spectacular universes and Richard soaked them up like a sponge. These were the makings of his mind.
When Richard is not tapping out stories on his laptop, or adding poetry and writing to his own website, which he nearly always is, you’ll find him running and taking in the scenery. Running has offered a sense of peace and relaxation only ever matched by writing. A lover of the great outdoors, he is lucky enough to have visited many of the world’s most beautiful countries such as Norway and Switzerland both of which he could happily have never left. If he could sit with a view of the mountains with a river flowing by and birdsong, a quiet corner set aside in which to write with a view of the former, you’d probably never see Richard again.
Books by Richard Ankers
About the Eternals
The Eternals, neither human nor vampire, are the last inhabitants of a dying Earth.
In the face of a slowly perishing sun, some have accepted their fate while others are ready to fight for their future. It is to this ultimatum that Jean, the last Eternal lord, is born.
Jean’s life changes drastically after his bite takes the life of Princess Chantelle of The New Europa Alliance. Suddenly, he’s a man on the run, falling in love and rediscovering his humanity.
With the sun’s clock ticking, Jean stumbles from manipulated mishap into age-old conspiracies and beyond, as he tries to reconcile his sordid past.
One of the latest reviews for The Eternals
Jean is a charming, erudite bloodsucker. He inhabits a world ruled by vampires. He engages the reader on page one, drawing us into his world. He is amusing and clever, a gentleman who happens to be a vampire. The writing is as elegant as he is.
His is an intriguing world, one in which the reader immediately feels a part of. I kept imagining the novel as a film, seeing the characters interact with one another. It was that well-written.
I understand it is the first in a trilogy and I’m glad about that because I’m looking forward to more of this.
Good novel, great writing, highly original with stand out characters. Loved it.
And one for Hunter Hunted.
This was truly a book I found hard to put down. Having read the first in the series, I wasn’t sure if the sequel would be able to match the tension and excitement created by the author in The Eternals. In fact, Mr. Ankers exceeded all expectations with this breathtaking, pulsating follow up to his initial work. Accompanied by the almost ethereal Nordic Princess Aurora, Jean, the stoic, attitude laden Eternal sets out on a quest to try and discover just who is trying to manipulate his life, and why.
The surprises come thick and fast in a true roller-coaster of an adventure that left me breathless at times, eager to turn to the next page to see what would happen next. Jean’s old friend/Nemesis, Merryweather makes an appearance with Jean still unable to decide just whose side he is on and yet again the mysterious monks, the Sunyins have a part to play. In a world teetering on the edge of annihilation, Jean makes uncomfortable discoveries about his past as he attempts to shape the future of his dying world. Another triumph for the author with an ending that leads perfect into the third book in the series. I can’t wait!
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690
Richard Ankers on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15271976.Richard_M_Ankers
Now it is time to welcome Richard to the bookstore and get on with the book reading and interview.
Richard has chosen an extract from Into Eternity (Book 3 In The Eternals Series) due to be released shortly.
This is from the book’s opening scene:
“Why do your hands tremble so?”
I heard the words, plucked them from an intangible distance.
It could have been me, the name sounded familiar.
Like an island lost in a sea fog, I remained remote.
“Jean, you are shaking. You’re scaring me.”
That felt wrong. The girl who owned that ice-cool voice feared nothing, or so I recalled.
“Take my hand,” she said.
Sweeter than any angel, her words mingled with the stinging winds that swept through the chamber. With a vacuum of kindness, she sought to cleanse my mind. But my mind, as ever, remained beyond such aid.
“Jean. Look at me, Jean!” a command, not a request.
I opened heavy eyes to the letter clenched in my left hand and the balled fist of my right. The slender, delicate fingers of an alabaster hand interlaced and unlocked mine offering a strength alone I lacked. A second raised me by the chin, a most delicate ascension, and there she stood. Aurora took me in with those sapphire eyes. How I longed for them to shine green.
Thank you for joining us Richard and can you tell us what genre do you read and your favourite authors?
I read everything from the Classics to Sci-Fi, but would say Fantasy is my most read genre. I prefer a certain style of writing rather than the topic or genre itself. The author’s words must soothe my soul. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s true. My favourite authors are Michael Moorcock, Haruki Murakami and Gene Wolfe.
What appeals to you about writing short stories?
This might sound flippant, but I promise you it isn’t meant to. I like writing short stories because they’re short. I think a short story allows a writer to get something out of their head and onto paper without it crucifying them. When I write a long story, I become obsessed with every detail. You don’t get chance to with a short one, and so they become quite a relief in many ways.
Is there any invention that is a major part of our lives that you wish had not been invented?
Cars. I spent twenty years driving a long way every day. I could quite happily never see a car again in my life. They pollute, make us lazy and it often feels like there’s more of them than there is of us! And no, I’m not a hypocrite because I now don’t own one.
What are your plans for 2017 for your books and blog?
In an ideal world it would be to not have to blog at all. I am prolific in output and just feel that if I could write without the distractions of self-promotion (I am inherently shy and private. I don’t find it easy) I could do so much more. As it is, the books now come first and I feel better for it. I hope it shines through in the writing.
You write excellent 50 word stories. Most of us find writing short stories of 1000 + words daunting. What are the key elements to writing a story of this length?
It’s hard to say, but there are a few tricks. Firstly, write about anything that takes your fancy and in any style. Always bear in mind to keep it short, but DON’T write to the 50 limit. When you’ve finished writing, then edit it down. Remember, adding apostrophes (ie would have – would’ve / I am – I’m) can quickly trim your story. Also, read your story whilst removing words, or even sentences, that might be unnecessary and see if it still works. These tricks soon shorten an already short story.
You are a runner and love the outdoors. You mention that you have travelled to some beautiful parts of the world and that you might just find such an idyllic spot we might not see you again. Can you describe what that perfect spot might look like?
That’s easy. There’d be mountains, lots of mountains, clean air, great views, quiet and either a river or a lake not too far away. I love nature and I love my solitude. That would be perfect.
Can you tell us about your next writing project?
Well, the final part of The Eternals, Into Eternity, is about to be released (very soon), but I am always writing. So I have lots on the go. However, I have written many Steampunk shorts and have compiled these into a single story which will be called Britannia Unleashed. I have plans to use the characters from this anthology in all my near-future writings. Foremost amongst these will be a trilogy called The Theatre of the Moon. I have already accumulated close to fifty-thousand words of this Dark Fantasy. Anyone who knows me will know that I never preach about my own writing even the stuff that’s done great, but I can tell you all now, The Theatre of the Moon will be exceptional.
Here are Richard’s links for his blog and social media.
Creativia Landing Page: http://www.creativia.org/paranormal-fantasy-gothic-setting-yorkshire-author-richard-ankers.html
Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/richardmankers
My thanks to Richard for his interesting responses and he would be delighted to answer your questions if you would leave them in the comments.. thanks Sally