The New York Times bestselling author, Anthony Ryan, joins the Am Writing Fantasy podcast for a discussion with Jesper about fantasy writing, publishing, and marketing books in today's publishing landscape.
Find Ryan's books here: https://anthonyryan.net/
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Read the full transcript below.
(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
0 (2s): You're listening to The Am. Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now on to the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.
Jesper (30s): Hello, I'm Jesper. And this is episode 154 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. And Autumn is putting the finishing touches on editing our next novel today. So instead I'm joined by a New York times bestselling author, Anthony Ryan. And normally when I do these interviews, I have like a massive time difference, Anthony, but not today because I think you're in the UK or something. Is that right?
Anthony (58s): Yes. Almost instantaneous.
Jesper (1m 4s): Yeah. And it's, and there's even light outside my window today, which I'm not used to when I do podcast recordings, but you are you're from Scotland originally. Is that right
Anthony (1m 17s): Originally? Yes, I don't sound Scottish, but I was born then spent most of my childhood there.
Jesper (1m 24s): I would actually love to visit Scotland one day. I've been to the London and stuff like that multiple times, but I've never been to Scotland and it's just like the scenery there. It's, it's almost a bit fantasy inspiring sometimes. Isn't it?
Anthony (1m 39s): It is obviously if you, if you grow up there, you have a different view of things. You don't know you growing up in it, you know, I see landscape the, yeah. Obviously, you know, as a true Scott, I recommend everyone should go to Scotland at least one.
Jesper (2m 1s): Yeah. I would really love to go one day, but perhaps before we sort of get started for real here, maybe you could just share a few words about yourself, Anthony, and just talk a bit about what you're writing and maybe how you got into writing. And so on
Anthony (2m 17s): Anthony Ryan, the also the raping shadow trilogy, the cottage Memorial, Trelegy blatantly the covenant of steel, excuse my most recent work and I, which is what I'm currently working on. I got published. I self published back in 20 11, 20 12 and was persuaded to go the traditional route when my first novel blood song took off and been a full-time author since the end of 2012. So yeah, this is what I always wanted to do.
Anthony (2m 57s): And I consider myself really to be able to make a living doing what I love to do.
Jesper (3m 4s): Yeah, that'd be pretty cool. So you have, you have some stuff that you publish and some stuff that is traditional puppets. Is that still the case today?
Anthony (3m 14s): Yes. I don't do that much self publishing these days. It's usually one or two things a year, if that, and it's usually a short work, it's a novella or short story or something like that. Full length works with pretty much always traditionally published these days. And to be honest, given the time and I'm sure, you know, better than I do the time it takes to do self publishing. Well, it's a lot of time. It's a lot of efforts to do it properly. And frankly, that was the time to do all sort of being traditionally published for the most part.
Anthony (3m 55s): It suits me quite well.
Jesper (3m 59s): Right. And you're with penguin IO
Anthony (4m 2s): These days is mostly all wet, a little and brown, I believe, but I'm still, you know, technically published by a switch is part of a penguin. So, you know, it's a thing with traditional publishing. You can be a bit confusing with all the different contracts and everything, but I don't think meters care that much, you know, you publish your next book. So yeah. Yeah. Well, within the national publishers as well, got a lot of different contracts and things with various different publishers around the world can be a bit hard to keep track of them all.
Jesper (4m 45s): Yeah. But then coming from a situation where you have experience with both the traditional side of publishing, but as well as some self publishing, what would you, sorry? Well, you touched upon this slightly there, but what would you say is the pros and cons of each of those two approaches? If somebody is sort of listening to this and debating, should I do one or the other?
Anthony (5m 8s): Well, it's weird. I think the advantages of self publishing are the disadvantages of self publishing of the same things. The advantages are you have to do everything. You know, you do everything yourself. You have complete control over everything. The disadvantages are, you do everything yourself and you have complete control over everything. So, you know, it's, it's a lot of work basically to self publish. We're new at officially published. You will have an editor who works for a publisher. Who's a professional editor. You won't have to hire them yourself, which can be very, probably the most expensive part of the process for self publisher.
Anthony (5m 48s): Especially if you're starting out, you know, a professional editor doesn't come cheap. And if you're writing epic fantasy, I mean, and the charge by the word, I mean, typically in the 200,000 word range, paying somebody a word by word basis to edit one of my novels. That's a lot of money would be very expensive for me. So publish as well as very time consuming. But you do, I think with self publishing, you do get control over the control you get. I know we'd be telling you attractive for a lot of people. If you know, I'm a bit of a control freak, I'm not too bad, but I can't be obsessive about details.
Anthony (6m 33s): And if you're that kind of person, self publishing is probably going to see it quite well, especially when it comes to cameras and cover design and you know, book descriptions and all that kind of thing. So yes, the advantages are that say are the same as a disadvantage, it's all on you. Or you either do it all yourself or you pay people to do it when you're traditionally published. Some of the burden is taken off you because you're not paying for you are an editor, a cover designer and all of the,
Jesper (7m 6s): Yeah. And I'm also thinking maybe what about reread with gods to the editing itself? I mean, of course when you are self publishing, you, as you said, you hire the editor and basically you can just decide what to ignore, what to agree to, whatever, whenever the editor tells you something, but with the traditional publishing, is it more in your experience that you have to more accept what the editor is pushing on you? Or can you still, do you still have the freedom to say like, like, no, that's not going to, I'm not going to change this or that.
Anthony (7m 40s): Unfortunately, I've never got to the point where I vehemently disagreed with us in the editors have told me there is a back and forth and other things we don't, you know, sort of mindless things don't always agree with when it comes to word choice, you know, cutting smaller scenes or something like that. But there have been times when I've been asked to do more substantial rewrites and others, some books don't require a lot of work at the editing stage and others do I take the view that these are professional people who've been doing this for entire life and it would be foolish of me to ignore their advice.
Anthony (8m 22s): If I ever got to the point where it is vehemently disagreed with what they were asking me to do, I would say, so we did have a discussion, but you know, as of yet, it hasn't come up where it really just completely at loggerheads and can't reach an agreement. I don't know what would happen if we got to that point, you know, contractually, you know, they can reject the book and then they want to have advanced back. We haven't asked, but yeah, that's, that's always the nuclear option, but it it's extremely, rather than the publishing world, you know, for that to happen, you know, it can happen sometimes when you get controversial figures, who've been given large Southerns to write a memoir or something.
Anthony (9m 10s): And, you know, especially with the insist on not having a ghost writer. Oh yeah. I've heard stories of people submitting manuscripts that were just unreadable tripe, and then wondering why the, you want to do advance back can happen. But yeah, when it comes to professional writers, people who wrote fiction for a living, it's very, very rare. And as yet, luckily for me as it come on, hopefully no.
Jesper (9m 39s): Yeah, no, I agree. And of course it's also a matter of, I mean, of course some editors could be difficult to work with, but so could some authors, right? It could also sometimes be the author who just makes a big deal out of something where the editor might be actually quite fair in what they're asking
Anthony (9m 56s): And I'm never going to nitpick over commerce or, you know, stuff like the semi-colons in the wrong place of don't get excited about that. You know, when it comes to, you know, the overall arch arc of the plot and stuff like that, it's, you know, it's pretty rare for them to have a problem with it. In my book, there's been a few things about have, by my own admission, I've gone down the wrong route. I've gotten down a kind of blind alley when it comes to plus and tried to get over and being a bit too convoluted. A good editor will point that out.
Anthony (10m 37s): They don't. Yeah. They don't come back and say, oh my God, this is a pile of crap. Where was wrong with you? You get what's called the compliment sandwich. The first paragraph is, oh, this is really great and so on. But the second paragraph is now here's some things I think needs some work. And then the third paragraph is once again, and this is really great novel and I look forward to publishing it. So they always bracket where they actually want to tell you, it's some nice words, sweeten the bell. Yeah.
Jesper (11m 9s): But what does your actual writing process look like?
Anthony (11m 14s): What I'm writing on right. Every day I rarely have days off. And my thing has to do with when life just gets in the way. So I will, if I have a doctor's appointment or something, or have to do something with family, then, then I'll, you know, I will take time off. But when I'm actually working on book, most of the time I write every day, don't actually produce a huge amount of words on a daily basis. But because I write every day because I'm consistent, you know, it looks from the outside, like I'm quite prolific and I've have reached at least one book a year for the last 10 years, which is a bad, I'm not actually that fast.
Anthony (11m 58s): Right. But I haven't consistent. My average word count in these days is about 1200 words a day, but I'm doing the thing where, you know, I use Scribner as my main writing program. And it has, it tells you how many words a day you need to do to reach you or a word goal by a certain date. And these days they just tend to stick to that. And long as you're consistent, as long as you speak to it, it works. Yeah. I don't do a lot of, you know, actually sitting in front of the computer and actual time spent sitting in front of your computer.
Anthony (12m 40s): Writing is relatively minimal, but I do do a lot of pacing around my living room. And you know, I remember Stephen fried at the British, you know, comedian and author. He said that writing consists mostly of making coffee for me, even though I drink tea rather than coffee, there's a certain amount of truth in that. There's a lot of things.
Jesper (13m 7s): Yeah. I was, I was myself through a, maybe I could call it an experiment, but quite recently, over the last six months, I, because I I'm also at the place short of where you are. I, I, I tend to, I don't really count my word count, but I, I write half a chapter a day because I feel like that's what I can get done in maybe about two hours. And in two hours after that, I feel like my creativity really goes down. But then I heard a lot about many authors who like, are really prolific, you know, the people who write like 5,000 words a day and stuff like that. So I thought like, let me try that. And then I tried to look into all the stuff that they did to increase their word count.
Jesper (13m 50s): And I really, you know, pushed myself. And I just came to the realization after a while. I probably tried it for like two, three months. And then by the end of it, I was like, I don't enjoy this anymore. You know, I want to take my time with it. I want to sort of think about what I'm writing. I don't want to just plow ahead. I don't know, for me, it just, it, it moved, removed all the enjoyment of the writing process to try to do it faster. So yeah,
Anthony (14m 22s): And also just might be mundane, but I'm not getting any younger. My hands I've typed a lot of words in my life. And after a while it hurts and I don't get on well with dictation software or anything like that. I don't write long hand fast enough to write that. Well, you know, I can write 85 words a minute long hand write eight. So just say my hands are quite happy to not trying to do the 5,000 words a day saying if you can great, if you comfortable for you, good for you.
Anthony (15m 5s): You know, but I think probably done photos in words once in a day when I was running up against deadline and it wasn't fun. It definitely would.
Jesper (15m 18s): No, I mean, I think when speaking about writing processes, it is really about finding your own sort of what suits you. Of course. I mean, of course, if you have like physical things, like your hands are hurting, then you have to respect that. But, but more in general, I mean that some people enjoy writing fast, other peoples don't. And I think it's actually good in my view to try to experiment with different approaches when you're starting out to figure out what works for you, but then something will probably be something you prefer versus something else.
Anthony (15m 48s): Definitely. I think there's no one size fits all when it comes to writing, you have to find it. Yeah. You have to experiment, find what works for you. And I think a lot of people do read whatever their favorite writing book is. Stephen King's on writing or, you know, save the cat or wherever it is and the bank, well, Stephen King writes 2000 words a day. Therefore I must write 2000 words a day. If you've never done that, it's a big ask. You know, it's a big thing to do if you're just not used to it. So, you know, my advice for novice writers is to find your comfort zone and actually embrace the comfort zone.
Anthony (16m 32s): Don't try and push yourself too much because what you're doing is difficult. And a lot of the time, especially with people who have jobs, they have families, it's carving out the time. You need to write it, come easy. All you can manage your day is half an hour and you do 500 words by 500 words a day adds up to love words after a year. But yeah, find, find your own comfort zone. Embrace. Not all. We'll give you at least a benchmark to, you know, you know how to push it. You know, you know, if you need to do more, whoever reason then you'll know just how much more you need to do, but tends to be what I tell them.
Anthony (17m 15s): Younger writers anyway.
Jesper (17m 17s): Yeah, no, I think it's a good advice. And because of as well, the, you know, you've written for quite a while, and as you said, you've written a lot of words, but do you ever feel like when it comes to getting story ideas and so on, do you ever feel like you get stuck in the same loop with the same kind of ideas? Or how do you go about getting fresh ideas?
Anthony (17m 39s): You have absolutely no problem with new ideas. To be honest, if we could turn off the idea factory in my head, I would for a while, at least, cause it was a while ago I tweeted, I had 26 books. I could probably start writing tomorrow. If I wanted to. That's probably got up to about 35 now because it just never stops. I just never stopped getting ideas. Ideas are the easy bit for me. Anyway, I'm actually coming up with stories to match the ideas. That's the hard bit, the ideas. Yeah. It's really, I don't go looking for inspiration.
Anthony (18m 19s): It always finds me whether it's a television documentary or whether it's, you know, something I saw on the news or just, you know, something I'd read somewhere that I can't even remember where it all goes through my head and just comes together with ideas and they never stop. I'm probably going to shuffle off this mortal coil with a lot of books unwritten, which, and there's not a lot I can do about it. It's just the way it is.
Jesper (18m 49s): No, you know, it's funny that you say that because I think when people looking to get into writing or start to write, they worry about this idea thing. But, but because I have it exactly the same way as you do. Well, you know, I have a notebook where I write down when I get ideas and just so chock-full of ideas, it's just like, I don't know. That must be 20 novels in there as well. And I will probably never get to half of them. I don't know. But, but getting ideas is like one of the favorite things that people think about a worry about in the beginning, but, and maybe don't ask some people who are finding it difficult to get ideas. I'm not saying that that doesn't happen, but I have also through this podcast, talk to a lot of different authors by now.
Jesper (19m 35s): And I'm yet to hear an established author say that I don't know, I can't get ideas. You know, everybody seems to be flooded with them. Maybe that's part of what makes us writers. I don't know.
Anthony (19m 48s): I think it is a thing it's probably something innate to people who do this for a living or at least have the potential to do it for a living is, you know, never running out stories. So this thinking in those terms, I guess you could probably train yourself to do it if you tried hard enough, but it does seem to be something that's just innate with me. You know, even as a kid, I was remember telling the kids go stories at playtime school and Clustered around me and I just make them up on the spot, you know, quite easily. Cause ghost stories are easy, especially when you're telling kid there was a house, it had a ghost in it.
Anthony (20m 33s): But yeah, in terms of getting stuck in the same ideas occurring, I'm always keen not to repeat myself. I don't want to be writing the same book over and over again. You know, another summarize have a formula, a character and series of books and those books follow a formula. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. As long as you can keep it fresh, if you're just writing the same book over and over again and you know, rubbing the serial numbers off and making it a little bit different, you know, I think that's going to get very Dallas. It get very Del for me, nevermind the reader.
Anthony (21m 14s): And I think fortunately tend to have the imagination. It doesn't get stuck in a rut too much. So it does. I do tend to think outside my own as well as not every idea I get is not for a fantasy novel science fiction. It's hard crime as well. Kind of like to get around to all of those yamas at some point, if we're going to find enough time to write.
Jesper (21m 40s): Yeah. Why did you decide that it was fantasy that you wanted to write originally?
Anthony (21m 48s): It's just so general. It probably appeals to me more than all others and it might be my, I thought a lot about wine. I think it might be because it's essentially limitless. You can do anything with it, depending on how you construct the world making up a yeah. There's, there's nothing limiting you. You can, you're not constrained by history. You can bowl from history. And I do all the Diana I steal shamelessly from real world history because it's presenting it in the context of fantasy. It doesn't matter so much. There's no copyright on history. You can take all you want. And also you can take away all the inconvenient, messy bits, keep the good bits.
Anthony (22m 32s): You know, the realities of history. History is always messier than people think it is. And it never conforms to the myths that people can't do around it in the UK at the moment, there's a lot of people spinning the stallion myths about Britain's past and prior role. You know what we did in the second world war or as my that. And it's clearly being spun by people who don't have a real grasp of what history is or what that particular history was. It's mythmaking, it's not his, but I think from a novelist point of view, especially even if you're presenting it in a fantasy context, you have to engage with the realities of, who's not the mess.
Anthony (23m 20s): Otherwise it's not going to be convincing the messiness of history. I think I'd try and reflect even on quite, you know, ruthless and cutting away on the calf and just taking the exciting birds. Still have to go thinking, reflect the messiness on.
Jesper (23m 37s): Yeah. And I, I also think, I mean, of course I, you know, I, as part of fantasy, I, I do of course love all your wizards and the magic and, and all that good stuff. But the other part on a more practical level is also as a fantasy author. I feel like it's because I don't want to get bucked down into research about how does this gun work or, or, you know, all those kinds of, or this particular city that the characters now go to that I've never been to. I don't want to do all that research in fantasy. I can just make it up. And that's quite wonderful.
Anthony (24m 12s): Yeah. That being said, I do, I do research. I've done because my second series, a, the draconian memoria was set in that sort of industrialized world, even though it was a fantasy world, it was industrialized and they were fighting with guns rather than salts. So the defense of research on guns for that, and here's a tip for you. If you put guns or anything related to guns in YouTube, be prepared for them to bombard you with all sorts of extremist nonsense. We looked at one gun video and within a day, YouTube had decided I was a white supremacist who hated women judging both were recommending me.
Anthony (24m 52s): So it's kind of staggering out the algorithms work,
Jesper (25m 1s): But yeah, it's a bit scary.
Anthony (25m 3s): It is. Yeah. You can see a lesson in how people get rid of medicalized. So stop recommending this to me button quite a lot now.
Jesper (25m 15s): Yeah. I can see that. Yeah. It's been a few years though, but, but I, I read the waking fires some years back the waking fire and I very much enjoyed it and it has dragons in it. So that's always good. But what I, why I'm bringing that up is because we were talking a bit about Writing Fantasy and we were talking a bit about what kind of stories to write and so on. And because you have also written and published quite a lot of books, I'm wondering if you, if you see some common tropes within fantasy, that readers seems to like more than others.
Jesper (25m 55s): I mean, dragons could be an example, but how do you see the success of your different books? Like, is there like commonalities that the books that has dragons in them or something else are usually more liked by readers than others? Or do you have any views on that?
Anthony (26m 10s): I think some people definitely because it requires Memorial, it was guns rather than So that steam ships, you know, air ships and stuff, some people immediately assumed it was steampunk. And it kind of is. And I don't mind if people call it that, but there are people that just won't read anything. It's got steam punk attached to it and a fantasy readers. You only want the songs, even if it has dragons in it, they just want the swords, you know, the medieval setting rather than industrialized setting, which is fine each to their own, you know, but I try not to be constrained by as a writer, readers have their preferences and that's fine.
Anthony (26m 51s): But for me as a writer, I do, I do want to be able to write what I want to write, you know? Yeah. And the drugs from the lawyers didn't sell as well as my other series. So it's sold reasonably well for what it is there wasn't in his big numbers because it wasn't, I think fall into what an epic fantasy series was supposed to be. You know, you're supposed to have people riding around on horses, in air ships, you're supposed to, you know, armies fighting great battles with, you know, dragons might be part, but it also supposed to be hordes of saber wielding barbarians and all of this and kind of wasn't in there.
Anthony (27m 41s): But I don't think you can, or you should be constrained by redirect expectation. You should write what you want to write because you can never really anticipate what they want. You know? So it's like apple, you know, apple as a company famously doesn't do market research. It makes the things it wants to make itself. People don't know what they want and you can do it. And there's famous examples of then Coca Cola. When they came out with new Coke, they did immense amounts of research and focus groups and market research about, yes, there's definitely a market for new Coke and people want new Coke.
Anthony (28m 24s): We put out new Coke, people hated it. Nobody wanted it. It was one of the biggest flops in commercial history. You can't anticipate what they want and you can't try and give them what they want. And you can only write when you write, I think at the end of the day, if it hits it hits is not alive. So you do buy that. I don't think there's anything wrong with writing to market. If you can, don't expect everyone to be a winner just because you write to a certain market. Cause you think, you know, a few years ago it was about empires and umpire romance.
Anthony (29m 4s): But just because it's invoked, it doesn't mean it's going to hit for you. You can never really, there's no such thing as a shoe. If I hated in publishing or in anything else.
Jesper (29m 14s): No, I fully agree with you there. There's definitely no guarantees one way or the other. And I also agree that it is incredibly important to write something you are passionate about because yeah, like we talked about writing a novel, it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of effort. So even a month later, you are sort of tired of the thing because it wasn't really your thing. Anyway, then you're never going to get to the end. But of course, if you can find some, some overlap between what the market or the readers want versus what you like, then that's probably a good place to focus. I would say, because at least if you look at like streaming services, Netflix and so on, they pump out the same stuff over and over and over again.
Jesper (29m 59s): Right. Because readers or viewers in this case, we want what we, what we know we like, we want the same thing just in a new package. A lot of the time. I mean, when you're trying to do something that is very different. Not always, but most of the time it flops also on Netflix.
Anthony (30m 19s): Yeah. I think as a creative though, you can, if you're proud of it, if you think it was good, you're, you know, you're happy with it. That's the most you can expect, you know, if it sells itself, it's great. It's really great for itself. But really from a creative point of view, you, you have to be happy with it. Otherwise what's the point for me anyway, you know, I couldn't there's certainly John was, I couldn't write in, cause I don't read them and I'm not excited about them. No. Yeah. No disrespect to romance authors, but I couldn't write a romance novel to save my life.
Anthony (31m 1s): I wouldn't know what the hell I was doing. Me attempting to write a romance novel would be an insult to the young, the, you know, perhaps desperate for money. And I tried it it'd be a disaster. Yeah. So I think you have to be a fan of where the genre you're writing it. And it helps if it's a commercial yarn, you know, if it's very niche, it's going to have a hard time making a living at it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't write in it, but you know, just be aware that it's, it doesn't mean that nobody owes you a living is another thing. Nobody gonna drive a dump truck up to you for DOR and give you a load of money for no apparent reason.
Jesper (31m 47s): Ah, that would be nice. But given your years in the writing business, less industry here, are there some changes that you've noticed over the years? Like is there stuff that is very different now compared to what it was when you got started?
Anthony (32m 9s): Yeah. The basic publishing process, the process you go through hasn't changed that much. And the contracts are, you know, they're still using pro forma contracts that say you have to provide a written typed manuscript on double spaced paper and all that it's in the contract, but nobody ever does that. You send them an email with an attachment like everybody else. But what I have noticed is, you know, an increasing embracing of digital formats by probably they seem to be taking what I would consider a more realistic approach to pricing of, of eBooks.
Anthony (32m 51s): And so obviously it's been a bit of an explosion in audio books, audio books are now much more important. And when I started, you could probably negotiate a different contract, separate contract for your audio book, as opposed to print. And e-book these days, no, none of the major publishers will allow you we'll give you a contract unless you're willing to sell them your, your audio rights. You can't take them away and sell them yourself and they won't do it. You get all the manual fallout so that they're not interested. And I think that's probably true of even the biggest names in the industry. That seems to be a bit of a hard line when the publishing industry, because they've realized that audio books are profitable.
Anthony (33m 34s): They're very profitable if they're done well, you know, as a digital item to sell audio books are kind of perfect. You have a reasonably high value and a cost comparison to a print book. Don't cost that much to produce. There's a cost baggage. You have to pay an actor to do them, but you know, it's not as cost-intensive I think, as a print book. So yeah, explosion of audio is probably the biggest thing that I've noticed, but also, you know, publishers using social media for marketing and, you know, various different ways of exploring marketing in a digital age.
Anthony (34m 18s): They weren't doing so much of that when I started, but they definitely aren't.
Jesper (34m 24s): Yeah. And I think as well there, the audio book explosion is also very much linked to nowadays. Many people are way too busy in their life. So audio book is then like, like podcasting, you know, it's something you can listen to while you're doing other things. And I think in part that's why it has taken off in the sense that it has or to the degree that it has, because it, it just goes better with a busy lifestyle than sitting down to read a book. Nobody has that much time anymore. Unfortunately.
Anthony (34m 56s): Yeah. I mean, I'm, I'm, I'm a fan of audio books or certain authors or Stephen King these days. I only do Stephen King audio books. I don't read his books. I only listen to the audio books for him. There's a few others as well. So I find this my preferred format for memoirs, you know, comedic memoirs and that kind of thing, especially when it's written, but it's read by the author. A lot of comedians do audio books a few days, which quietly.
Jesper (35m 26s): Yeah, there was something else I wanted to mention here before we, before we wrap things up because I was on your website earlier today. And then I saw a menu item called map room. And that really triggered me because I absolutely love fantasy maps. And it was so wonderful to see an entire webpage on the, on the website dedicated to maps from your books. I really liked that.
Anthony (35m 53s): Yeah. I'm a big map fan as well. I draw my old, my own maps for the books and you know, so there's no copyright issues with me putting them on my website. And if you are a fantasy also with maps at the front of your book, I would recommend putting you on the website because they don't show up that well on eBooks kind of fiddly, keep referring back to them when you're reading an ebook, but put them on your webpage. People have a place to go to see them, you know? Yeah. It does seem to be a thing for fantasy funds. They like a good map.
Jesper (36m 28s): Yeah. I know. I know for me, myself, if I started reading a new fantasy map, even if it's on the Kindle and I do agree, it's it, the resolution of it is not the best air, but if I do open a new fantasy book and I don't find that map within the couple of first couple of pages, I'm already slightly disappointed.
Anthony (36m 48s): Yeah. This is, it's become this thing that we all expect. You know, maybe one day I'll publish a fantasy novel without a mark just to be daring, but probably, yeah,
Jesper (37m 1s): That's great.
Anthony (37m 3s): I heard about David Gammell, loser delight, great British fantasy also, who never, that only, I think only his historical fantasies have maps in them. They were real well-matched but it's actual secondary world fantasies never had maps. And the story I had once was the, the trying to get hired a guy to do a map for him. And he said, all these characters live on the north pole because they're was going east, west, south, and all that. But it makes no sense when you try and track their movements in impossible direction. So basically impossible his roadmap, David them world.
Jesper (37m 44s): Right? No, but it is a challenge because when there is a map, then of course it becomes possible to start tracking the distance and how far were, or, you know, because we have it as well in the, in our novel, when, when I need them to go to one place of the, of the world, to another place of the world, I will actually pull out the map and just sort of figure out, okay, if you were a medieval guy who needed to go this distance, how long would it actually take you? So in one, on one regard, that's good that you can make it more realistic in that sense, but another, but on another hand it also makes it difficult sometimes when you're having multiple points of view and then for one character a month passed. And for the other one, you need to take two days, that's a bit of a jealous,
Anthony (38m 27s): It was it's. One of the realities of the medieval world was it took ages to get anywhere. And the average person can walk maybe 10 miles a day. You know, you know, a soldier can do 20 miles a day. Cause that's what they're trained for your average person, you know, carrying goods on that bag. He's not going to manage all in 10 miles a day. So it was a hard reality. Then you try and get rounded, maybe Busey magic or something. But if you want your world at one end of the empire Monday, and then they've made it all the way to the other end by Tuesday, you know, it's just not realistic.
Jesper (39m 9s): No, no. That's where, well we love time. And also does some tricks with these. I can't remember what, what Michael or what Jordan called them, but it was this way gates or whatever it was. I can't remember the name for it anymore.
Anthony (39m 23s): Yeah. Similar in Robin hops, assassin series over these Stoughton portals, people can go to yeah. It's a useful plot device. If you can get it to a
Jesper (39m 36s): Yeah, definitely. All right. Well, I want to thank you, Anthony, as well for coming on the podcast and share from, from all your experience and your insights into writing and publishing.
Anthony (39m 48s): I'm sorry. No problem enjoyed it.
Jesper (39m 51s): And if people want to learn more about you and your writing, Anthony, where do you want them to go?
Anthony (39m 58s): My website has all the links to everything. It's a Anthony Ryan dot net. You'll find links to my social media is on there and details of all my books and learn by them and so forth.
Jesper (40m 10s): Excellent. I will put the link to a Anthony's website in the show notes as well. So your deal is now you can go and click directly from there. And once again, I want to thank you, Anthony, for coming on the podcast today and fill in for autumn. So I hope you've got a lot from it and enjoyed it.
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