While every effort has been made to avoid spoilers in this post, anyone who has not read Soul Swallowers or Legacy of Souls by D. Wallace Peach is hereby advised that this post may contain a few unavoidable spoilers.
Diana Wallace Peach is an accomplished author of quality fantasy with seventeen books to her name. Her most recent offering, the ‘Shattered Sea’ duology consisting of The Soul Swallowers and Legacy of Souls, is another masterpiece filled with rich characters, political intrigue, and top notch world building.
I had the pleasure of chatting with D. Wallace Peach, whose books, including the ‘Shattered Sea’ duology, are available to buy now on Amazon.
This is part two of that interview. If you missed part one, you can still view it by clicking here.
I was quite struck by some of the big themes this story explored. The distinction between slavery and bonded labour (if there is one) seems to crop up time and again in this story. Was that a theme you were keen to explore?
I’m a political monster, and like exploring these issues. To support the book, I did a bit of research on the ‘justifications for slavery’ that were shared around the time of the American Civil War. I incorporated those into the characters’ arguments about slavery as well as Raze’s arguments for freedom.
Obviously in a high fantasy series like this, building a world like the Shattered Sea is no mean feat. Any world-building tips for prospective fantasy writers?
Just like I write bios for the characters before I start a book, I write a complete “bio” for the world, including maps. I go back about 300 years into the world’s history. I write about gender roles, politics, religion, societal norms, geography, world view, relationships with other nations/provinces, technology or the lack thereof, clothing, even the shape of their roofs! I try to take a couple real-life norms and turn them on their heads if I can. Some things develop as I write and some change, but I usually start with a good sense of the world and how the character meshes or rebels against it. In a way, the world is another character in the book.
Looking through your blog I noticed you’ve done a bit of flash fiction. How do you find writing shorter fiction compares with novel writing?
I rarely write short stories, but I enjoy flash fiction. The big difference for me is that I don’t need to think about what came before or what comes after. It’s a slice of time, a glimpse, versus a novel that has a history and a future. An interesting tidbit. The opening scene of ‘Shattered Sea’ duology started as a flash fiction piece in response to a prompt. So you never know where those flashes will lead!
What’s next for you then? Can we look forward to more books in the near future?
I’m working on a trilogy (as yet untitled). I’m obsessive about the cohesion of my stories and therefore write the entire series at once, holding up the first book until the last is ready to publish. This trilogy is daunting and the first draft is taking me forever to complete. I’m probably a year away from publishing. When they’re done, I’ll have 20 books, and hopefully, number 21 brewing in the back of my mind.
MISSED PART 1 OF THIS INTERVIEW? CLICK HERE TO READ IT.
Soul Swallowers and Legacy of Souls by D. Wallace Peach are available to buy now from Amazon.
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