James Fahy is a British Writer – Isle of Winds, the first in The Changeling series is out now (and we’ve reviewed here). He’s also the author of a horror/paranormal series called The Phoebe Harkness books
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a British writer, currently based in the wild, hilly, and remarkably cold North of England, I live adjacent to a moorland windfarm, which partly inspired a scene in Isle of Winds. Some of my other writing is set in Oxford, a city for which I have a great love an passion, and also where my Literary Agency, Ampersand is based. In my opinion it’s second only to Florence for its wealth of history and art.
Outside of the curious profession of making up stories to tell anyone who will listen, I enjoy photography (I must take fifty or so photos a day), Astronomy (I’m a card-carrying member of the astronomical society, though the conditions in England are not always perfect to say the least). I’m a big music lover, and the owner of a violin with which I can torture my enemies when required. (I also just bought a piano, and am eternally grateful that my neighbours are so patient). I’ve been sporadically trying to learn Japanese for a while, and so far I think I’d get by asking if people are ill and saying goodnight, but practice makes perfect.
Other than that, you can usually find me binge-watching Anime or my guilty pleasure of extremely poor horror movies.
When did you start writing?
I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I’ve always wanted to be a writer as far back as I can remember, and though other ambitions came and went (I was a terrible but enthusiastic on-stage scarecrow at the theatre workshop), storytelling is something that’s always stuck with me. The very first story I remember actually writing down was about a young vampire girl who moved into a normal suburban street, and she was called Nasus Cabel.
Gripping stuff for a seven year old!
What were you major inspirations in writing “Isle of Winds”?
Isle of Winds, and the Changeling series as a whole, has been bouncing around inside my head in one form or another for years. I was greatly influenced when younger by Alan Garner, and his book the Weirdstone of Brisingamen. My parent’s read it to me as a child, and I remember being stunned when they followed this up with a day trip to Alderley Edge (where the book is set), and I got the chance to go hunting in the woods for the wizard-stone. That sense of wonder that books and real life could overlap is something that has always stuck with me, and I wanted to try and recapture that feeling myself – to make my own little slice of fantasy with some real places mixed in too. (Even today, I walk my dog at Alderley on the wizard-walk path)
Which character in “Isle of Winds” would you say is your favourite?
It completely depends on what mood I’m in. I have to admit, Aunt Irene writes herself. She comes out with some sentences that please me a lot, and in a book with a lot of misfits I think she provides a stable centre. Woad is always fun, although a little exhausting, but, if I’m honest, Karya is my favourite. She’s how I’d like to be – blunt, tactless, and ruthlessly efficient. Plus, I have interesting plans for her.
Is there a character you think you’re most like?
That’s a difficult one. As a writer, I think all characters are some facet of ourselves. They have to come from somewhere after all. But that’s not to say I’m like Strife, which would be a little worrying. (Though again, I love writing him – bad guys are such fun). I suppose if I had to align myself with anyone in the book, I’d probably be Henry. I’m fairly laid back, a little single-minded and oblivious, messy and forgetful, and it takes quite a bit to get me riled up
Any clues for where you see “The Changeling” series heading?
The Changeling Series is all already planned out, start to finish, with arcs, pie charts and scribbled spider diagrams, so Yes! I know exactly where the story is heading and what lies ahead for Robin and his companions – (Trouble)
I wouldn’t want to give anything away, but I hope its a fun journey for readers. All the main players have backstories which will come to light, and I’ve tried to lay a few small Easter eggs in the first installment. Hopefully there will be some surprising turns on the road ahead.
What else have you written – is there anything else in the pipeline?
The Changeling Series is an ongoing project, with book two “The Drowned Tomb” due out later this year, so that keeps me busy on the fantasy side. I’m also writing a horror/paranormal series, “The Phoebe Harkness” books, as wel at the moment. Book one of that series, “Hell’s Teeth” is out to preorder now,and will be released at the end of March 2016. It’s a very different style to Changeling. Dystopian sci-fi, with vampires in the mix – and unlike the Changeling series, which I wrote for anyone age 6 to 60, the Harkness books are definitely not child friendly, with murders, blood, and cuss-words galore. It’s nice to wear different hats and write in two genres.
What other books have you enjoyed recently?
I just finished the Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. It’s a fantastic piece of escapist steampunk fantasy. Dragons, giant metal centipedes, magic using dimension hopping librarians – what more could you ask for really?
How can readers purchase your books, and how can they get in touch?
Both book one of The Changeling series and book one of the Phoebe Harkness series are available on Amazon worldwide (either Kindle or paperback versions). You can also get at them through Goodreads. As for contacting me, I’m all over the internet. I tweet as @j_r_fahy_tweets, you can find me on Goodreads (I always want to know what other folk are reading), or you can hit up my blog at jamesfahyauthor.wordpress.com for a collection of my ramblings and pictures.
I’m also taking part in the annual Chiplitfest literary festival in Oxfordshire next month, giving a workshop/talk, which should be tremendous fun. There’s more details about that on the Chiplitfest website.
James Fahy – thank you very much! “Isle of Winds”, the first book in “The Changeling” series is out now, and is reviewed here: