It has to be said that fantasy and science fiction tend to be rather serious genres as a whole. Not that there’s anyhing wrong with that, but it is nice, now and again, to have a chuckle while you’re reading. That’s just one reason why Daniel Beazley is such a breath of fresh air.
Daniel’s debut novel, Goblins Know Best, is delightfully entertaining. Narrated by the witty and roguish goblin Bogrot Blistertooth, the book recounts some of the action packed adventures he’s shared with his less intellectual (to put it mildly) but considerably brawnier companion Gorag the orc. Throw in a sanity-challenged gnome, a very large and very loving foster mother, a mermaid-human hybrid, a water witch, giant slugs and a talking pony, to mention just a few of the characters you meet in the stories, and you’ve got a recipe for success. Oh yes, and cooking features a great deal since Bogrot is the best goblin chef there’s ever been.This book is a joy to read. It’s clever and funny but also has loyalty and courage as more serious central values and makes for great entertainment.
Now, let’s hear from Dan. I asked him some questions about writing and other important things and here’s what he had to say:
1. Tell us briefly about Goblins Know Best.
Goblins Know Best is a tale featuring an unlikely pair and their adventures in the fantasy world of Hiraxier. It depicts the fame and fortune of two heroes that often descends into a volatile mixture of dark deeds and trivial trials with an infectious bout of witty banter thrown in for good measure.
2. What’s the story behind the story? Why did you write this book?
I’d had the beginnings of the concept in my head for some time posing the question: why would a goblin and orc hangout together? I wanted to write about these two creatures as they can often be overlooked and are usually seen as the villains in many pieces of work. But, back to the question as to why would a brutish orc want to be seen with a weak goblin and why would he let the creature order him around? Because said goblin is one of the most amazing chef’s in the land of course and can fulfill his ferocious appetite!
I also wanted to take some of the typical fantasy stereotypes and turn them onto their heads, hopefully introducing some twists and turns that are both refreshing and interesting at the same time.
3. Was it an easy book to write?
Actually it wasn’t too bad. I wrote the first draft in just four months alongside working a fulltime job as well as maintaining my important family time. It does help that my job is shift work which means I get some downtime when my little beauties are at school and my wife is out at work. This is also the first time that I had employed my new method of writing that definitely seems to have paid off for me. (I finally figured it all out, it only took me 16 years!)
4. Which character are you most like? Bogrot? Gorag? Gurt? Mona? Hopefully not Barlek?
Now then let me see, could it be the noble knight Francis De Wally or perhaps the brutal sports star Aldebaran…? Alas no, nothing so gallant or impressive I’m afraid. I am of course the sarcastic and witty goblin, Bogrot Blistertooth; although I can assure you that I’m not green and my nose is nowhere near as large!
5. The cover is awesome. Tell us about it.
I whole-heartedly agree, it’s amazing isn’t it. The artist is a chap called Anton Kokarev. I was reading some of the Nameless Dwarf books by DP Prior and I loved his front covers, so asked him who had created them. He told me about Anton and I got in touch, giving him a rough outline of what I envisaged. He did an outstanding job.
6. Tell us about the award you won for one of your Bogrot stories.
Bogrot and Gorag were only ever intended as a short story submission for the excellent UK website, Fantasy Faction. After I completed the story, Sharag’s Shank, in May 2012 and sent it to them the two characters would not leave my head and it wasn’t long before I was scribbling away and recording more of their adventures. When I heard later in the year that I’d been shortlisted in the top 30 out of 1700 submissions I was over the moon. Then in December when it was confirmed that I was one of the 6 winners to be included in their Anthology, it really made my year and gave me a massive confidence boost.
I’m currently working on the next installment of the Trivial Trials series. You’ve already met the characters who featured in Goblins Know Best and I can tell you that they’re stout and grumpy, but I won’t divulge any more than that at this time 😉
I’m hoping it will be finished and ready to go for the autumn of this year.
8. Which authors or books are you reading at the moment?
With the recent release of my book most of my spare time has been surrounding the organizing and promotion of that, but I’m about halfway through a fantasy book called Death’s Angels by William King, who is probably best known for his Warhammer series of Gotrek & Felix books. I’ve got a neat pile of Joe Abercrombie books that I want to get stuck into as well.
9. When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?
I’ve been writing on and off since 1996 and have always dreamed of completing a book but had never truly finished anything that felt right or good enough. This is my first piece of work that ‘feels right’ although I certainly wouldn’t presume to tell anyone it was good enough, the proof will be in the pudding as Bogrot would say!
10. What one snippet of advice would you give to aspiring self-published authors?
I think the best advice would be to keep reading and keep writing. One most definitely compliments the other and practice certainly goes a long way making some semblance of perfection.
11. What one snippet would you give to the spouses and children of self-published authors?
Haha, that’s a good question. Firstly tell your spouse that the book you’re writing could potentially change the world some day and it really is quite important that they leave you alone and give you some peace and quiet to write. And regarding the children, I find that this one line often does the trick, “Daddy’s working, have a snack and go and play in the other room for a while”, food is a great bribe. (Are you starting to see my similarities to Bogrot yet?)
12. OK, enough of the serious(ish) stuff. What are your three favorite bloke’s gadgets and why?
Number one has to be my Alienware Laptop – The gaming power is insane!
Two would probably be my IPhone – What can’t you do on an IPhone these days, it won’t be long before it will be able to run your life for you.
And three is my surprisingly cheap Blu-ray DVD player – Not only does it play DVD’s but it also hooks up to the internet and not only can I watch all of the On Demand channels but I can also link to my Lovefilm and youtube accounts. It’s awesome.
13. What food can’t you resist? Please don’t say slugs from the Black Marsh.
Slugs from the Black Marsh, there I’ve said it, I hope you don’t think any less of me? 😉
No, my favourite food is without doubt Chinese, you can’t beat it.
14. And finally, please describe your perfect day away from writing!
I really enjoy spending the day out with my wife and two children. You can’t beat it and I can usually convince them that we should pop in and have some Chinese food for lunch! Then when we get back home we can sit down and watch some TV together, which my wife knows is code for me falling asleep whilst my little daughter is sat cosily on my lap.
And back to me. Do treat yourselves to this book – it’s excellent.
goblins know best