Interview with Susan Faw, Author of Heart of the Citadel Box Set

13 Oct 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Heart of the Citadel Box Set?

When I began to plan out this series, a funny thought struck me. What if a fantasy world was taken over by aliens? Seeing as I wasn’t writing sci-fi or urban fantasy, I thought that the aliens would probably take the form of another fantastical creature and I hit on the concept of a portal fantasy where the alien creatures are djinn and live on the other side of a time barrier. The only creatures capable of crossing this time barrier are the great dragons, who become a key and integral component in the battle for control of both worlds. Through the discovery of the ability to combine the minds of a witch/wizard with a dragon and a djinn, this ‘triad merger’ allows for the breech of the portal keeping the worlds apart. The first three books are included in this initial omnibus. A dozen books are planned to complete the series.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

JK Rowling. She is also the #1 person on my bucket list of people to have tea with before I die. Despite the current controversy surrounding her views, she has in a lot of ways shown paved the way for authors to be seen as more than word factories. I mean, who doesn’t want a theme park built after their books?

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

My favorite all time series is The Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan. For me, the world building is unreal. As a fantasy author, I strive to bring as much realism to my books because for me half the fun of reading fantasy is feeling that if you were able to step through into the scene of a book, you would recognize it immediately, by the sheer power of the descriptions provided. This isn’t about detail as much as it is the ‘feel’ of a scene. Of course, Robert Jordan’s books covers all 5, but if you want another four, it would be Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind, an old children’s favourite “Moonfleet” by James Faulkner Meade (he turned me, as a 10-year-old child, into an avid reader), Harry Potter, of course, and VE Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows. In the indie world, I love Michelle Bryan’s Bixby dystopian series.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I would probably want to sit down with JK Rowling and ask her what her inspiration was behind the Harry Potter character. I know that she went to university for literature and that she studied the classics. There are a lot of classical themes that present within the series. I’d like to know which books inspired her choices and why.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Discovering new worlds even I didn’t know existed. I discover these fascinating new worlds only a little ahead of my readers.

What is a typical day like for you?

On a typical day I am up at 5:30am, do some marketing/author business related housekeeping, and then write. 8:30 am I start my day job work and take small breaks to work on my writing, then sign off at 4:30pm, walk the dog and sit down to write some more. My family is grown so I can organize it any way I like.

What scene from Heart of the Citadel Box Set was your favorite to write?

I especially like the climactic ending to the third book ‘Heart of Shadra’. Shikoba faces her arch enemy in her quest to drop the magical barrier. But the price is a heavy one, involving the spirits of her ancestors. It was inspired by the beliefs of First Nations, with a total fantasy twist. It was fun to write and I think gripping to read – of course this is not the whole of it, just a taste.

A surge of warmth tingled her toes. The sensation spread along the soles of her feet and then climbed her legs. She was enveloped in a tingling soft touch, as ethereal as the light of fireflies.

The warmth reached her heart and her pain, her anger and her fear sloughed away. Calm spread to tips of her hair. Light speared from her irises, shining in her face like beacons of firelight.

The glow was other worldly.

Shikoba no longer saw the emperor.

She saw only the love of her ancestors. Her feet moved of their own accord, gliding from rune to rune in the ritual dance, guided by the spirits who had joined her at last.

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

‘Do right by others and they will do right by you’…closely followed by ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.’ The third that is all my own is “You don’t have to pull others down to get ahead. You just have to get out of the way when they fall.”

Susan Faw is the author of the new book Heart of the Citadel Box Set.

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