#SPFBO7 Interview- Rune S. Nielsen

Rune, welcome to Lavender Lass Books. Thank you for agreeing to this interview and best of luck in the competition!

Doomsayer Prince is the first book in THE ARTIFACT WAR series. Here’s the blurb:

What readers and reviewers say

The first book in The Artifact War series by Rune S. Nielsen features intelligent, nuanced characters in a lushly drawn, intricate, fun, and action-packed world. A fresh take on magical systems, and magic’s impact on power dynamics in society.

From the back cover:

In his vision, colossal artifacts stride across his homeland, destroying everything in their path. In a desperate attempt to save his home, Mage Prince Phytiax heads to the wild north in search of allies. On his journey, his magical powers become damaged at the worst possible time, and his destined allies need to be saved before they can help him: Pino, the weakest Mage of all time and wielder of a mysterious artifact sword; Emilai, a kidnapped noble woman—turned Witch to fight her captors; and Cordin, an old Light Master wanted for murder, but dead-set on getting his life back.  With the brutal and mysterious force invading and destabilizing the kingdoms around them, will his potential allies help or hinder him? And even if they save their homelands, the price might be worse than they ever imagined. 

This book contains some scenes of violence. Mostly magical violence. There is some sexual violence, and animal death. Please be aware of this prior to your reading experience.

And now to the interview:

1. Is this your first time entering #SPFBO? Why did you decide to enter this book?
I’m here to learn. I spent so much time writing and perfecting Doomsayer Prince—a splendid epic fantasy. Despite seriously excellent reviews, and me trying to promote it, it’s getting little attention from readers. It needs an audience! Will you read it? You should. Doomsayer Prince could easily make many readers fall in love with it if they had but an inkling of its mere existence. With 50.000 new books hitting the virtual stands of Amazon every single month, most new fantasy books simply drown in a sea of titles.

2. Why do you write in the fantasy genre? What make this genre particularly appealing to you?
I would like to make the reader feel what fantasy made me feel. Help expand their imagination and acceptance of ideas and others. I’ve had the dream of becoming an author since my late teens. At first to prove that I was good enough, I think. Instead, I did all sorts of stuff like create RPG adventures or become a journalist. I still held on to the dream, though. Over time I changed, and the dream changed with me. It became about giving something back. I’ve used so much time in my life on the enjoyable consumption of fantasy books, games, movies and so on. Good times. Now, I would like to return the favor (and sure if I could sell a lot of books that would be fantastic).

3. Why did you decide to self-publish?
I went straight to self-pub. I’m not scared of doing non-writing stuff like layout, marketing, or drawings. Early on, I had a pleasant talk with someone who’d previously worked ten years in the publishing business. She was the one who convinced me that self-publishing was right for me. Why did she suggest self-pub? I told her I was writing fantasy, had never published a book, and that I’m a Dane. Based on that, the likelihood of ever getting a US literary agent to accept me was slim to none. I just might have a shot as a self-pub, she suggested.

4. Are there advantages to self-publishing? What about the challenges?
PROS: Sure, you are your own boss, and you have full creative control.

CONS: I could really use someone to help me get the word out. Also, you must be prepared to learn new skills, figure out the business, and pay for the cover, editors, ads or whatever you feel you need.

5. As a reader, and now author, how has the fantasy genre changed over the last several years? How has it stayed the same?
The biggest change in my lifetime is properly that fantasy has gone from fringe to mainstream. From crummy special effects to groundbreaking. As an example, the movies selling the most tickets worldwide are superhero movies. That’s fantasy taking the lead! I think The Lord of the Rings movies and Harry Potter books/movies changed a lot of young people’s mind about fantasy being great instead of bad/odd/unknown. It was not always good. As a kid I watched my first LotR movie in a theater in 1979. My mother had read the books to me and my brother, and then she took us to the cinema. We were so excited, but it was an animated disaster! The movie was nothing like the world the book had made me imagine and adore. I remember being so disappointed.

For the last decades, the internet followed by self-publishing has changed the publishing industry. It used to be publishers and physical bookstores. Now most books sold are e-books sold online. Let’s see where this journey takes us.

The most recent Bookstat statistics say that most titles (millions of them in fact) sell few copies, while a few titles sell a ton of books (the stats include the books from all the publishers.) I doubt that will change, but let’s see if the readers get more adventuresome.

6. Do you write (or plan to write) in any other genres?
I have recently discussed this with an author who mostly writes crime novels. We got to talking and we both have a deep love of science fiction and fantasy. Imagine that. We talked about the genres we would like to explore, like sci-fi, fantasy, crime, and horror. We talked a lot about science fiction. Even brainstormed a lot of cool ideas. Then ended up deciding to do fantasy.

Currently, we are working on an anthology together. Six RPG-style fantasy stories all interlinked into one big narrative. I have just written the first one, and the anthology will be out for Christmas.

7. What do you look for in a story? Especially in the fantasy genre? (Original ideas, plot lines, character development, world building, etc.?)
(All stories) Intelligent and nuanced characters. A language that flows. A setting/plot/characters that sucks me in and makes me turn those pages and makes me feel something for real.

(Fantasy) Plot, worldbuilding, and characters that makes the unreal seem plausible. An author who tells a compelling story about people. I’ll even forgive the lack of a plausible world if the characters and what they do interests me. Dazzle me with your adventure, scope, and depth. And sure, show me those new ideas (or takes on things.) I also like something traditional—if you put it together with flair.

8. Are you working on a new book? Can you share any details?
I’m working on Arch of the Zhi’el, the sequel volume to Doomsayer Prince, a fantasy anthology with another author, and a roleplaying game set in the world I made for Doomsayer Prince. I keep busy.

9. Do you have any advice you would offer to writers who plan to self-publish in the fantasy genre?
I put all my advice into this free guide to self-publishing. It covers editing, layout, and so much more.
(To be fair, I only post one link for each #SPFBO author interview…so you can find this free guide on Rune’s website.)

You can find Rune S. Nielsen’s book on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Doomsayer-Prince-ARTIFACT-WAR-Book-ebook/dp/B08BR4W3GK/