Shadowboxer: The Gathering Dark Pt. 1 (Cathell Book 4) , the newest book in the Cathell series from A.M. Rycroft is out and ready to be read. It’s always great to promote indie authors and artists so I welcomed the chance to write about her work and toss a few questions her way.
You have just published a new book, what can you tell me about it?
Shadowboxer is the fourth book in the Cathell series overall, and the first book in a tight story arc called “The Gathering Dark”. It follows Thystle Moran from books 1 and 2. She receives a summons from the young cleric who helped her and her friends kill the mad god known as The Harbinger (book 1, Into the Darkness). Colin tells her that he’s seen men digging around The Harbinger’s tomb, and he needs her help to stop them.
It looks like it’s part of a series could a new reader just jump in and enjoy the read?
Absolutely. When I write a new book in the series, I work hard to make sure that if a reader starts at book 3, they’ll be able to understand what’s going on right away. And I know some readers have picked up book 3, loved it, and went back to read the rest of the series. Book 4 isn’t any different. It loosely picks up where The Joy Thief left off, in that it starts to answer some of the questions raised in book 3, but readers definitely don’t need to have read book 3 to understand what’s going on or who the players are.
What would you like to tell the reader about the Cathell series?
The Cathell series is a dark sword and sorcery series that features strong female characters of all ages and professions — they don’t all carry swords or fight — and an overall diverse cast. I don’t really like how “white” some fantasy is, so I’ve done what I can to bring in many different types of people into the cast, from all types of backgrounds, races, etc. The mythology is of my own making as well. I borrow some aspects of the typical European fantasies, but I’m equal opportunity as to the cultures — and sometimes, time periods — that I borrow from. Nothing follows our known history.
Is this the last book in the Cathell series?
Not a chance. I’m just getting started. There are at least three books in “The Gathering Dark”, plus a few more planned for after this arc. I’m also writing some novellas and short stories that center around some of the side characters, like the ship captain Reegan McCullum and Vincent, the owner of the Fallen Rose Inn, where Thystle has a permanent room. But I’m also working on another series called The Fall of Kingdoms. The first part of the first book, Corruption of Honor, was released in novella form in December.
What got you started writing?
I started writing when I was very young, but I never considered a career as an author until after I quit art school. I had this crazy dream about the character who would become Aeryn Ravane in the first book in my series. I couldn’t shake the dream, so I decided to write it down, and it became a book. The writing bug bit me pretty hard and that point and the rest is history.
For the writers reading this, what motivates you and how do you recharge after a long writing session?
The characters in my head motivate me. There are times when I don’t really feel like writing because I’m tired or not feeling well, but then one of my characters will kind of poke me and say, “Well, what about this scene? Would you like to write that?” And, of course, I say, “Heck, yeah.”
If I’ve had a particularly long writing or revisions session, I like to wind down by watching sports — hockey and football, mostly — or playing a video game. If it’s late at night, I’ll read, even if it’s just on Facebook. I’m on there way too often for my own good.
I love horror, what is the best part about being part of the Horror Writer Association?
The support of the other authors and publishers who are members. You wouldn’t think horror and dark fantasy writers would be such a tight-knit group, but they actually are. It’s probably because we tend to be thought of a little like the red-headed stepchildren of the writing world. Yes, we’re often weird, but we’re also quite nice people when you get to know us.
In the context of being a creative artist, what makes your heart sing?
When a project really starts to come together. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing or working on a graphic arts piece. I’m not really happy when the piece is fighting me, but when it really takes shape and I can see how great it will be when it’s done, I’m over the moon.
Lots of writers have pets who sit with them while they write. How about you? Any special writing companions?
Not anymore. My furry best friend, a big orange tabby, passed away a couple years ago. He was my writing companion for about 14 years. I still expect to see him parked by the radiator in my office sometimes. But we do have plans to adopt another cat or two soon, so who knows, you may see pictures of my new writing buddy on Facebook soon.
A.M. Rycroft website: www.writinginadarkroom.com
And Her Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/A.-M.-Rycroft/e/B00YPW642W/