Interview with Casey Sutton, Author of Malfus: Necromancer Unchained

03 Aug 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Malfus: Necromancer Unchained?

My name is Casey Sutton, I’m an army veteran, D&D nerd, amateur mycologist; and the self-published author of Malfus: Necromancer Unchained! I had a near-death experience in South Africa in 2018. No, not quite as cool as you are imagining it, I’m sure. I had some internal bleeding on Christmas Eve and had to be rushed to the hospital from blood loss. By the time I had gotten to see a doctor, I was already going into shock from blood loss and was taken into emergency surgery right away! As I recovered in bed in the ICU, I looked at the pile of books I had brought with me which were all books about writing and how to start your first book – I’d still never actually taken pen to paper because I didn’t feel good enough. I realized then that life is short, tomorrow isn’t promised and if I kept waiting, I may never write a book. So I started outlining my first book that night in the hospital bed! The irony of writing a story about necromancy after a near-death experience isn’t lost on me!

I’m a huge Dungeons and Dragons nerd though and that also influenced a lot of my ideas with this story, as well as exploring flawed characters. I published parts of it on RoyalRoad at first and was blown away when I found out it made it into the top 50 on the whole site! I even got an audiobook deal from Tantor Audio because of that! The book has been edited by an editor that’s worked with Brandon Sanderson before and has a 2-page world map and 10 color illustrations by fantasy artist Dejan Delic!

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Malfus: Necromancer Unchained, what would they be?

It would probably be the type of music I listen to while I write, Game of Thrones soundtracks or video game song covers (lyrics bug me while I write). However, if Malfus was a teen in our world, he probably would have listened to Korn and Marilyn Manson during a “phase” in his life.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I love grimdark fantasy. I like the morally gray characters and more realistic side of human behavior those stories tell, all while in a fantasy setting! I love Joe Abercrombie and the First Law series. I read a lot of D&D novels as a kid, and I wanted to combine the two! So this novel is a bit Dungeons and Dragons meets Quentin Tarantino.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Currently reading The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Next is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Definitely the combat scenes! There is one in the middle of the book with a ballista, and that’s all I’ll say so I don’t spoil anything.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I am cursed to wake up super early, so that’s usually when I write. My cat August usually joins me and has been there for 90% of Malfus’s creation. I listed her as a co-author in the back of the book and have a picture of her. Aside from that, I can’t listen to music with lyrics and write at the same time.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“I’ll try anything twice!” and specifically for writing “It’s easier to edit bad writing than a blank page.”

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

The nameless soldier in the middle of the battle, no matter whether it is in a fantasy book, a movie, or real life.


Casey Sutton is the author of the new book Malfus: Necromancer Unchained

Connect with Casey Sutton

Author Site



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