Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Author Interview: Roger Ruffles, author of The Age of Secession series

It's time for another author spotlight, here on HDB! I love doing these! It's always fun to get to know an author a little deeper before diving into their book. This time our guest of honor is Roger Ruffles, author of Dissolution and the entire Age of Secession series.

The Battle for Mars has been fought and won, and the False Emperor lies shot in the head in the ruins of the Red Palace. The rebellion is over, its purpose apparently complete. Little were the participants to suspect that it was merely the beginning of a whole new age of suffering and strife, as the Red Empire shatters into pieces, and civilisation falls and begin anew. New alliances, treacheries, aspirations and failures shape the future of mankind. The Age of Secession has begun.

The Praetorian Guard, elite of the False Emperor, have divided and fought amongst themselves. Those that supported the rebellion thought they had won with the death of the False Emperor, but they could not be more wrong. In the secession that follows, as the revolutionaries that used the Praetorians force them to dissolve, it transpires that some of the participants planned more than just the end of the tyranny. They want their own rule to prosper.

Commander James Gavain has inherited command of his own ship, and into the maelstrom of the Dissolution of the Praetorian Guard he struggles to find a new future for his people. Lost and wondering where he is to go, and what he is to do, he is just one of many genetically-engineered creations who find they have destroyed their own reason for existence.

In a galaxy where the treacheries of the dead Red Imperium of Mars are giving birth to a whole new host of tyrannies, temporary alliances, and plotting on a Machiavellian and life-changing scale, the abandoned Commander Gavain sells his services to the highest bidder – and in the process finds himself fighting a threat that he helped to create.

Roger has even been so kind as to answer some interview questions for his stop today! Please enjoy his interview below, and don't forget to say hi in the comments. Happy reading!


1) If you had to describe yourself in just three words, which would you choose and why?

Cheeky, brave, and hopeful. Cheeky because sometimes I can be. Brave because sometimes you have to be. And hopeful because what's life without a bit of optimism?

2) I noticed, in your author bio, that you're a fan of science fiction and fantasy. Do you have any favorite reads in these genres? Any authors you tend to revisit?

I am a major fan of science fiction and fantasy - I do read (and watch) all sorts within these genres, as well as some thrillers. There are so many I could not list them if I tried. I love the George RR Martin books (not the TV series, I've never seen it shockingly), the man is a genius. Terry Pratchett has a wonderful writing style, in that he usually manages to get the point across with a well-drawn character and a sentence. And of course, there is the all-time, one and only favourite - Doctor Who. Who can beat the longest running television sci-fi series of all time? There is no shame in admitting that I owned a copy of all the Target books for the original series. It just cannot be beaten for imagination and scope.

3) What was the most difficult part of writing The Age of Secession series? The most rewarding part?

The horrifying thing is that it wasn't difficult to write at all really. The background, the characters, and the story are all so clear to me it really does virtually write itself. That is not something I've experienced with anything I've written before. The rewarding parts are getting the twists in, where it changes the direction of the story, or where I feel for the characters when things do not quite go their way. The rewarding part is that the main characters are real, fallible, courageous, ambitious, loving, hateful, or vengeful - they all seem real. The background of the universe is similarly both hopeful and despairing. The rewarding part has been enjoying the writing of it all.

4) Will the series continue beyond Shadow, or are you heading into something new?

Yes, the series continues far past Shadow. I am writing them either in trilogies or as individual books; the next three-parter (the Blood Money trilogy), consists of #4 - Crying Moon which has already been written, #5 - Blood Feud which I'm currently having a great amount of fun with, and then #6 - Cost of the Hunt. The next trilogy after that is potentially much darker than the previous two, but I can't say why otherwise that would spoil it - and I may change my mind as I'm not sure I want to go that dark. The books work because there is light and dark in them, just like in real life. Then beyond the trilogies there will be some individual books, which I'll release as I work on other stuff. I am looking at a standalone book on time travel which would be very, very controversial, a near-future book based on the United Kingdom, and possibly a fantasy book. Did I mention that I'm a very fast writer? But to be honest I'm enjoying Age of Secession so much, I'll keep writing in it for some time to come yet. There is just so much scope within it, and I love it with a passion.

5) What would you like to say to readers who are considering picking up a copy of your books?

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them! Also, if you'd like to give me direct feedback on what you think works well, what you enjoyed, what you thought didn't, I would really appreciate it. I'd love to know what characters you thought worked best, and which stories caught your imagination. I'm amazed by how many people pick up on differing aspects. I'm guessing that's a good thing!

6) Any final thoughts?

There's a serious side to life, and a fun side, and the trick is getting it in the right proportion. Age of Secession falls firmly under my heading of "fun", which just shows how desperately I need to get out more.


About the Author:
I was born in 1980, in Cheshire.

A Manchester lad, I developed a keen interest in science fiction at a very early age thanks to a very popular time travel series on BBC1. This has led to a life-long interest in the genre, which continues to this day, proving that the licence fee is worth it after all. The appeal of science fiction, and fantasy, is in the escapism, the look at what could be, and the sheer imagination and suspension of belief it requires – and how despite its groundings in the far-fetched, real-life often comes to imitate the imaginings of those insane enough to love science fiction.

I completed his first book at 15, and attempted but failed to get published. Looking back on it, this is probably more of a relief to those who like to read. It certainly allowed me to do more boring things, such as work, first in the financial sector, then utilities, and latterly commercial and military aerospace.

Writing is and always will be a hobby first and foremost, a love and a way to express. An escape from reality, whilst holding a mirror up to all that is good and bad in the world. All I want is for you to enjoy the reading as much as I did the writing. So please, enjoy. I most certainly did.

Find Roger here:
Twitter: RogerRuffles
Facebook: Facebook profile


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