Sebastien de Castell, author of the Greatcoats fantasy series, joins us in this episode. We talk about how his love of fantasy started with CS Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the importance of the story to him at a time when he was dealing with one of the toughest experiences a child can face. As well, he shares his thoughts about fantasy's role in highlighting the wonder of the real world, rather than just being a means of escape.
Sebastien then discusses how a rainy camping trip with a copy of Keith Taylor's Bard ultimately inspired his career path: music, swordplay, and storytelling. We explore how his writing has been shaped by what he's learned as a musician. As someone who's coordinated sword fighting scenes for stage productions, he also talks about how technique with a blade is often less important to writing a fight scene than the other experiences one has during a duel.
He explains the benefits of having a good working relationship with his editor, and having beta readers who will help him hash-out a story. Sebastien also talks about the challenges of transitioning from writing one book to another, and of shifting gears when he has multiple stories on the go at once (at the time of our conversation, he was working on three books simultaneously: the upcoming Greatcoats instalment Tyrant's Throne, the also soon-to-be-released Spellslinger, and a third book that's in development).
We talk about the problems that arise when people try impose a personal frame on art. This leads to a discussion about the 2016 Hugo Awards controversy.
Our interview took place in June 2016 at Sebastien's home in Vancouver, BC.
Find out more about Sebastien de Castell and his works at: