Interview with Ian Irvine

This Interview has been provided by Orbit, and is printed with their permission.

May sees the launch of a major new fantasy series from a spectacular new storyteller. Ian Irvine is about to take the fantasy world by storm with A SHADOW ON THE GLASS, the first book in his debut epic adventure series, The View From The Mirror.

Ian Irvine was born in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, and educated at Chevalier College and the University of Sydney, where he took a PhD in marine science in 1981. In the early 1980s he led several disastrous expeditions to Sumatra, which gave him many ideas for his books. He set up his own consulting firm in 1986, carrying out environmental studies for clients in Australia and overseas, and has worked in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. An expert in marine pollution, he has developed some of Australia’s national environmental guidelines (when he’s not writing fantastic books!). We caught up with Ian at his home in Oz, and asked him a few questions about his work.

What inspired you to write the View from the Mirror series?

A desperate creative urge. I wanted to write epic fantasy that wasn’t medieval, or Eurocentric, or ‘good versus evil’. Most of all, to write fantasy where the female characters had as many adventures as the males, and when they got into trouble, escaped by their own cleverness rather than being helped by a big bloke with a sword.

How would you describe A SHADOW ON THE GLASS, the first book in the View From The Mirror series, in fewer than 10 words?

‘Darwininan’ epic fantasy. Four distinct human species struggling for survival.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing a multi-volume series?

The freedom to tell a really big story. But The View from the Mirror is 800,000 words; the work required to maintain consistency is awesome. I did more than twenty drafts of the first book. Fortunately all four volumes were written before any were published, a luxury most authors don’t have.

Did you know how the series was going to end when you started writing it?

I didn’t even know how the first chapter was going to end.

Who is your favourite character in the series, and why?

Probably Karan, because she’s everything I’m not.

For all those fantasy readers who don’t like waiting, we’re delighted to say that we’ll be publishing all four books in the series (Book 2: THE TOWER ON THE RIFT; Book 3: DARK IS THE MOON; Book 4: THE WAY BETWEEN THE WORLDS), beginning with A SHADOW ON THE GLASS in May, over an 18-month period. Look out for them in a bookshop near you!

Copyright© 2002 Orbit. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. The interview has been provided by Orbit and is printed with their permission.

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