Six Elementals Author Interviews will introduce prospective readers to some of the best writers in their genre you may, or may not, have heard of, via a series of six questions. I encourage you to check out the work of these phenomenal creatives! Links to their websites and purchase links will always appear, accompanying the interview. Check them out!
Very pleased to be joined for this interview by brilliant historical-fantasy fiction author, Tony Debajo!
Tony’s currently published works include: In the Shadow of Ruin.
P.L.: Such an honour to be able to interview you, Tony! Welcome to Six Elementals Interviews! I am a huge fan of your work! Your debut novel, In the Shadow of Ruin is a marvellous book, in my opinion! It is filled with political intrigue, tribal warfare with harrowing battle scenes, mysticism, and lore in the form of African mythology, impressive, atmospheric settings in ancient Nigeria, love, betrayal, and vengeance!!! What was the inspiration for this fantastic book?
Tony: Thank you for the opportunity to share my work. It is an honour and I am truly grateful.
The inspiration for my novel came from two primary sources – firstly, from the books I have read over the years and, more importantly, from my time growing up in Nigeria. I have always been captivated by historical fiction. The idea of man before the trappings of technology has always intrigued and fascinated me. So, I decided to write a book based on a historical setting but one that was different to western civilizations. Since I was familiar with Nigerian culture, it was only natural for me to tap into that world.
P.L.: There is a lot of fantastic fantasy and sci-fi being written by authors from all walks of life, including from diverse and marginalized backgrounds. What are some of your favourite books and authors who are from the BIOPC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) sphere?
Tony: The two that stand out for me are Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and Son of the Storm by Suyi Okungbowa. Both are brilliant books by talented authors. Also, one of my all-time favourites is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, an old book, but in my eyes, a classic nonetheless.
P.L.: Will there be a sequel to your debut novel? Is it part of a series? Can you tell us more about that?Tony: Yes, In The Shadow of Ruin is part of a series called The Fractured Kingdom. I plan to write three books in the series and eventually a couple of standalone books following the journeys of some characters in the past and present world. I must admit that when I started writing, I only intended to write one book, but the story kept evolving as I wrote it, and I found that I couldn’t cram it all into one book, so I decided to make it a trilogy instead. The second instalment is currently being written and should be available towards the end of the year.
P.L.: You have definitely achieved some real momentum with your debut novel, including an impressive Goodreads average, rated currently at 4.47 out of 5, with almost 200 reviews. These numbers can be considered excellent by nominal standards for a self-published author in the amount of reviews, and exceptional by any standards, indie or traditionally published, for the rating. To what do you attribute your success to-date with acquiring a positive readership?
Tony: It’s funny, as I don’t necessarily consider myself successful. Don’t get me wrong, I am overwhelmed by the number of ratings and reviews, particularly on Goodreads, from the people who have purchased a copy and provided their feedback, from some of the kind messages I’ve received from people, it’s all been way beyond expectation. However, compared to my peers, I can’t help but feel somewhat inadequate. I suppose I am still getting used to the world of writing. But in answer to your question, the main attribute to gaining some traction has been from stepping out of my comfort zone and engaging with as many people as possible; writers, bloggers, book reviewers etc. and plenty of advertising.
I am also extremely lucky to have a few friends that are diehard fans of my work and want to see the book succeed by all means. They have been instrumental in spreading the word to any and everyone who’ll listen to them.
P.L.: Do you plan to stay self-published or do you aspire to be traditionally published, and if so why?
Tony: Funnily enough, the plan was always to go via the traditional route, and I did query my novel for a good few months before deciding to take the plunge and self-publish. However, as I have already started down the self-publishing route, I intend to stick with it and see where my journey leads me. So, the series will most certainly be self-published, but I may decide to try and traditionally publish the standalone books, which would be more for personal accomplishment. I’ll tell you in a couple of years!
P.L.: What do you feel is the most challenging part of being an author?
Tony: There are a lot of challenges, which I’m still navigating, but I think the most challenging aspect for me has been to allow myself to be vulnerable enough to share my work with the world. It was and is a daunting prospect, especially as writing is so subjective, and my writing is guaranteed not to resonate with everyone. The thought that you never know what may cause offence, trigger or displease people is enough to stop most from writing. For that reason alone, my respect and admiration for writers of any kind have gone up tenfold.
P.L.: It has truly been an honour interviewing you, Tony. Again, thank you so much for joining Six Elementals Interviews!
Buy In the Shadow of Ruin here
Author Website: https://de-bajo.com/books/