Today I’m fortunate to present Andy Peloquin, author of The Last Bucelarii and Queen of Thieves series.
Hi Andy, thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Hello? Is this microphone on?
Heh, thanks so much for having me!
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
Oh boy, straight to the tough questions! To sum me up: Born in Japan to French/Canadian/American parents, lived in Mexico for 15+ years. Basically, I’m from everywhere and nowhere.
10 Things You Need to Know About Me:
- Hot wings, ALWAYS!
- I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
- I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
- Marvel > DC
- I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
- Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
- Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
- Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
- I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
- I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
An intriguing, realistic character with relatable problems, forced into impossible circumstances, making difficult choices to achieve outstanding changes, even if only one person’s life is changed.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
I come from a very creative family, so the innate desire to create new things is in my blood. But I was always fascinated by the darker side of fantasy societies: thieves, criminals, assassins, thugs, and the underbelly/dregs. I wanted to write a story about a killer who you, the reader, could root for. You may not agree with his actions (killing), but you can understand and empathize with them. Thus, the Hunter of Voramis was born!
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I get about 2 hours of writing time per day, with a bit more on the weekends. I’ll usually sit down at roughly the same time every day and not stop writing until I finish the chapter, scene, or important part of the story. That usually is anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 words per day. Given the extra time I can set aside Friday and Saturday, I’m sometimes able to hit 20,000 words in a good week.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I HAVE to have at least one of three things: Winterfresh chewing gum, a coffee/hot chocolate/chai tea/something hot and sweet to drink, and a little cookie/pastry. As long as I have one of the above, I can get into the groove.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
The latest book is Thief of the Night Guild, the second in my dark fantasy Queen of Thieves series. It follows Ilanna, a thief through the month she spends planning and executing the first bank heist ever accomplished in the fantasy world.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I learned SO MUCH in this particular book. I had to research lockpicking, vaults, safes, metalsmithing, basic chemistry, and more. This was also my first serious stab at romance (and not your usual kind!), so it was a fascinating chance to look at the dynamics between people to make a believable romantic interaction. Turns out I have NO idea what real romance is like!
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
Absolutely! This is a snippet from the third and final book in the Queen of Thieves series, titled Queen of the Night Guild:
Ilanna’s hand darted to her sword. The pain of her scorched flesh didn’t stop her from drawing the blade.
“Wait!” Master Gold’s voice cracked like a whip. “Follow me.”
He scurried from the Council Chamber. Ilanna fell in step behind him, her eyes wary. Chaos reigned in the Night Guild. Cries, shouts, and the clash of steel echoed off the earthen walls of the tunnels. Yet Master Gold led them away from the tumult.
“Where are we going?” Ilanna demanded. “We need to fight.”
“No, we need to hide.”
Ilanna jerked to a stop. “What?” Fury burned in her chest. “We’re under attack, and your first thought is for your own skin?”
Master Gold shook his head. “Think about it, Ilanna. I am Master of the Night Guild. What will happen to the Guild if I am killed, or worse, captured?”
“But we don’t know who’s attacking us!” Ilanna half-turned toward the sound of fighting. “We have to find out more.”
“Does it really matter?” Master Gold’s jaw muscles worked. “Either the Duke’s Arbitors have found our tunnels, or the Bloody Hand has. There’s no heroism in dying today.”
Ilanna clenched her fists. “Damn it, Master Gold! We have to help.”
“No, we don’t.” The Guild Master shook his head. “We need to be safe. House Serpent and House Bloodbear were formed for just this eventuality. They’ve enough fighters between them to drive out a small army.”
“They’re going to get killed!”
“And they’ve known that since the first day they were chosen by their Houses. Just as you knew what would happen if you were caught in the wrong mansion.” He gripped her sword arm. “But I must live. If we are to recover from this, we will need a clear head and a firm hand to direct our next step. You know as well as I that there is no one better-suited to leading the Guild in a time like this than me. If that means I must act the coward and hide, so be it. I do it for the Guild.”
Ilanna looked in his eyes. His expression showed no sign of fear, only the cold pragmatism that had made him such a useful ally. He spoke the truth. That didn’t mean she had to like it.
“Well, you may be comfortable running and hiding, but I stand with my House!”
“With those hands?” Master Gold’s voice grew harsh. “You can barely hold that sword without wincing. You wouldn’t last two minutes in a fight.”
Ilanna wanted to argue, but the pain radiating from her scorched palms forestalled her argument.
“If you will not listen to reason, you will obey a direct command. Protect me, Journeyman Ilanna of House Hawk. Protect your Guild Master. That is an order.” Master Gold’s eyes narrowed. “And before you protest, remember that you are still a Journeyman. You have not yet been released from the oaths you swore to your House, to the Guild. To me.”
Ilanna growled low in her throat. “Damn you, Master Gold!” She had to heed his command.
“Let’s go.” Master Gold jerked his head down a side corridor. “To my office.”
The Council Chamber stood a few hundred paces from the Guild Master’s quarters, on neutral territory belonging to none of the Houses. Master Gold and Ilanna covered the distance in less than a minute.
“Secure that door.” Master Gold instructed.
Ilanna threw the deadbolt. The door, built of solid Ghandian blackwood, would keep out anything short of a battering ram.
“Now what?” Her gaze darted around the room. If they dragged Master Gold’s enormous desk in front of the door, it could buy a few more minutes.
“This way.” Master Gold strode over to a bookcase, upon which sat seven golden figurines: a hawk, a serpent, a scorpion, a bloodbear, a fox, a hound, and a grubber mole. The Guild Master pulled on the hawk. Something clicked, and the bookcase slid to one side, revealing a darkened tunnel beyond.
“Secrets within secrets, Ilanna.” The Guild Master pointed to the alchemical lamp that hung on the opposite wall. “We’ll need light.”
Ilanna darted across the room and lifted the lamp from its sconce. Once inside the hidden passage, Master Gold pressed on a stone and the bookcase slid shut without a sound.
Ilanna held up the lamp. The tunnel ran for ten paces before turning a corner. “Where does this go?” she whispered.
“To the sewer tunnels beneath the city. And to the chambers of every House Master.”
Ilanna’s eyebrows shot up. “What?”
Master Gold grinned and shrugged. “There is much about the Night Guild known only to myself and the Masters I trust.”
The Guild Master nodded.
Relief flooded Ilanna. “So he’ll be safe.” Master Hawk could hide until the Serpents and Bloodbears dealt with the threat.
Master Gold’s expression darkened. “You’ve known Jagar Khat for years.” Sorrow filled his eyes. “Have you ever known him to back down when someone threatened his House?”
Ilanna’s gut clenched. Master Hawk would be the first to face whatever came through the doors of the Aerie. He would protect his House, the cost be damned.
Master Gold’s hand gripped her shoulder. “You can’t go out there. You can’t save him.”
Ilanna whirled. “Damn you, Master Gold!” She drove a fist into the earthen walls.
The Guild Master’s voice dropped to a whisper. “He’ll survive this. He has to.” He spoke as if trying to convince himself.
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
SO MUCH! Once I finish this final book in my trilogy, I’ll set to work on other stories: dark fantasy romance, military fantasy, literary fantasy, a dark fantasy murder mystery story featuring this character Ilanna (from the Queen of Thieves series) and the Hunter of Voramis (from my The Last Bucelarii series), and many, many more. I may even wander into the Urban Fantasy genre to put out a few short stories, novels, or even a trilogy.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A pair of glasses. Heh, it sounds silly, but I refused to wear glasses for a year or two after I needed them. When I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair, it made all the time I spent on my computer so much less exhausting.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
You can find me EVERYWHERE as Andy Peloquin. I’ve added all my links below—feel free to check them out, join the club, and enter my dark fantasy world!
Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1383986274994456/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8KnIEoUDWRJkAhJ16CN5Dw
Reader List Sign-Up: http://andypeloquin.com/join-the-club/
Fantasy Fiends Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFantasyFiends/
Follow on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/andy-peloquin