Interview with E.G. Radcliff, Author of The Last Prince
11 Aug 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, The Last Prince?
The Last Prince is a prequel to The Hidden King, and tells the story of Ninian, Áed’s partner. Overall, it is a very character-driven story–there are no dragons or grizzled monsters, quests or evil empires; instead, it’s a story of growth and self-discovery laced with fae magic and the beautiful, dangerous journey of trusting another. From the violence of the city streets to the quiet moments between partners, The Last Prince is made of trauma and healing, folklore and family.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I like this question, because the answer is… amusing to me. Being inspired to become an author implies that I chose to become an author, when in reality, it was something that just had to happen. I wrote a book because I liked writing; I decided to self-publish because I didn’t want so much work to gather dust, and I fulfilled that decision with the love, support, and hard work of an awful lot of different people. Inspiration for my writing comes from everywhere and anywhere; I keep lists of tiny things that catch my eye, whether I’m at the hardware store or in the woods, and I observe the people around me to understand how my characters can function. So in that regard… I’ve been inspired to be an author by everyone I’ve ever met, and everything I’ve ever seen.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
It’s a strange list, I think. These are the books that I thought best because they were the most engaging, and of which I have tried to emulate certain facets, so they aren’t sorted by genre, number in a series, or even age group; middle grade can exist alongside adult nonfiction, and I’ll love them just the same.
The Once and Future King
A Court of Wings and Ruin
A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
The Night Circus
A Storm of Swords
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask
I assume the guest should be an author, and not a researcher of whatever subject has caught my fascination that week, but I’m going to pick someone who’s not alive, because the rules didn’t say I couldn’t. Probably T.H. White, author of The Once and Future King and The Book of Merlyn–his books obviously fall outside of the genre I typically write, but from his worldbuilding to his dialogue–which is so subtly, brilliantly executed that one can discern which character is speaking without a single dialogue tag–his works are masterpieces. He’s the sort of author whose character dynamics are profoundly human, and they’re the driving force of the story, even when White uses that humanity to make statements about the nature of such vast subjects as Might versus Right.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
It’s like reading, but I get to do whatever I want. It can be cathartic, or escapist, or a way to explore my own emotions. It’s always a challenge.
What is a typical day like for you?
I make sure to write at least 1,000 words every day, ideally more, and if I have nothing I need to do, then I assign myself work that I know I’ll find fulfilling. I don’t actually do very well when I’m not juggling five hundred projects; stress keeps me sane.
What scene from The Last Prince was your favorite to write?
There is a scene in the second half which is very peaceful: Áed and Ninian simply have a moment to themselves. Though The Last Prince is more character than external scheme-driven, it does have parts that are quite heavy, and I personally relished the chance to let Áed and Ninian relax and be happy for a little while.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I suppose that the philosophy I try hardest to live by is ‘forgive me my humanity’. I, like everyone, sometimes fail to live up to my own standards, and self-forgiveness isn’t one of my strengths–not when I want so very, very badly to be a good person. So sometimes, I need to remind myself that I’m human, imperfect by definition, and that it’s okay. So long as I don’t give up trying to do the right thing, I am allowed to make mistakes. This helps build compassion for myself, which I need, but also for other people; if I can work past failings in my own actions, then I can forgive those who, like me, try and sometimes do not succeed.
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