I recently did an extensive phone interview with Matt Staggs which is now up at SUVUDU We talk about Of Bone And Thunder, fantasy at large, war, grimdark and lots more.
You can read the entire interview HERE
You’re a military historian. How did you get into writing fantasy?
I was always fascinated by it, and I was a Dungeons & Dragons player all throughout high school, so it always fascinated me. I’m probably one of many that was captivated by Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, which is really a fantasy, and I always wanted to write.
The combination happened where I was able to write fantasy with more of a military angle.
When we say “fantasy with more of a military angle” I think of guys like Glen Cook. Who are some of your favorite authors, past and present?
It’s interesting because I’ve always viewed the majority of fantasy as being military fantasy. If you go back to the Lord of the Rings, it’s a story about a really large war. All throughout so much epic fantasy, whether it’s Game of Thrones today or going back to The Lord of the Rings, most epic fantasies are war-like and military, even if people don’t want to label them as such. What has inspired and interested me hasn’t been something that has just been labeled military fantasy, because I think that there’s a lot more military fantasy than people admit to.
Do we normally have a “fantasy” view of warfare, anyway? Does war lend itself to fantasy because the majority of us don’t – and won’t – have any idea what real war is like?
I actually think that fantasy allows us to explore these more difficult areas. A lot of people aren’t reading about Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam, which is obviously the war that I used for this book. Fantasies help us to understand what it is to be at war, especially if it’s something that has been well-researched. Fantasy can look exactly like that: Something that’s fantastic and make-believe, but in reality, I think it allows a lot of people to look at what it means to go to war and to risk everything in a way that’s more accessible to them. Continued…