Rachsüchtige Berggeister und kriminelle Monster – bei diesen Romanen schalten Sie beim lesen besser das Licht ein!
Moderation: Björn Springorum
Die Fantasy-Verlage der Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe bringen bekannte Autor*innen im Livestream zu euch nach Hause – und ihr könnt live eure Fragen stellen.
Rachsüchtige Berggeister und kriminelle Monster – bei diesen Romanen schalten Sie beim Lesen besser das Licht ein!
Halloween steht vor der Tür, die Zeit der Hexen, Geister und Ungeheuer. Mit diesen Gestalten kennt sich der niederländische Horrorautor Thomas Olde Heuvelt bestens aus. Für sein Debüt »Hex« wurde er von Stephen King geadelt, in seinem neuen Buch »Echo« entführt er uns in die Schweizer Alpen, wo ein uralter Berggeist zum Leben erwacht.
Der amerikanische Bestsellerautor Royce Buckingham dagegen nähert sich den Ungeheuern in seinem gerade jüngsten Roman »Im Zweifel für das Monster« von der humorvollen Seite. Erlebt die beiden Schriftsteller im Gespräch miteinander und erfahrt alles über die vielen Facetten des literarischen Gruselns.
Wie immer könnt ihr uns eure Fragen im Chat schicken.
Super excited to be doing this in Munich, Germany…from my publisher’s offices!
Vengeful mountain spirits and criminal monsters – you’d better turn on the lights while reading these novels!
Moderator: Björn Springorum
The fantasy publishers of the Penguin Random House publishing group bring well-known authors to your home in a live stream – and you can ask your questions live.
Vengeful mountain spirits and criminal monsters – you’d better turn on the lights while reading these novels!
Halloween is just around the corner, the time of witches, ghosts and monsters. Dutch horror author Thomas Olde Heuvelt is very familiar with these characters. He was ennobled by Stephen King for his debut »Hex«, and in his new book »Echo« he takes us to the Swiss Alps, where an ancient mountain spirit comes to life.
The American bestselling author Royce Buckingham, on the other hand, approaches the monsters from the humorous side in his most recent novel »In Doubt for the Monster (Monster Lawyer)«. Experience the two writers in conversation with each other and learn everything about the many facets of literary horror.
As always, you can send us your questions in the chat.
After publishing several medieval fantasy books–five to be exact–I decided to return to urban fantasy, the genre of my very first novel, Demonkeeper / Damliche Damonen. And now I’m celebrating the German release* of my new novel, Im Zweifel für das Monster (Monster Lawyer).
So why write an urban fantasy about a lawyer representing monsters? First of all, urban fantasy is awesome! How fun and scary is it to imagine modern-day monsters among us? Answer: very fun and very scary. Also, writing Im Zweifel für das Monster as an urban fantasy was a natural fit for me—an organic choice. Im Zweifel is a marriage of two passions in my life—I’m an adult lawyer, and I have loved monsters since I was a little boy. There is nothing more “urban” than the law—modern civilizations are built upon it—and monsters are inherently fantastical, and so the natural habitat for a lawyer/monster story is indeed urban fantasy.
Auszüge aus Fragen und Antworten mit meinem Verlag
After several medieval fantasy novels, why did you decide to write urban fantasy?
When I wrote my first novel, Demonkeeper (Dämliche Dämonen), nearly twenty years ago, I was a criminal prosecutor in juvenile court. I loved monsters and fantasy, and the young criminal defendants I was seeing in the courtroom were very real and had hard, gritty lives. So I created young fictional characters and put them in a real-life setting (Seattle), and then used monsters to represent the turmoil and perils of a hard life. It felt perfect for urban fantasy.
Now things have come full circle in my writing career, and I’ve returned to urban fantasy. Crazy as it sounds, the original young fans of Demonkeeper have all grown up! And because I’m writing adult novels, Monster Lawyer (Im Zweifel für das Monster) can be genuinely horrifying, and it is! It’s also serious and fun at the same time. Like Demonkeeper, there are societal themes to give Monster Lawyer depth, but I still weave in humor whenever I can because…well, I’m me.
Warum hast du dich nach mehreren High-Fantasy-Romanen entschieden, Urban Fantasy zu schreiben?
Vor fast zwanzig Jahren schrieb ich mit Dämliche Dämonen meinen ersten Roman. Es war recht junger Urban-Fantasy-Roman, und jetzt bin ich zu meinen Ursprüngen zurückgekehrt, denn so verrückt es klingt: die ursprünglichen jungen Fans der Dämlichen Dämonensind erwachsen geworden! Diese Geschichte ist für sie. Und weil ich jetzt Romane für Erwachsene schreibe, ist Im Zweifel für das Monster wirklich gruselig! Aber ich webe immer noch Humor ein, wann immer ich kann, weil… nun ja … ich ich bin.
Demonkeeper has a lot of humor. How is this with Monster Lawyer?
The fact that Demonkeeper was both spooky and funny is a product of my personality. I like to see the humor in things, even if those things have a dark side. I think it’s good to laugh when addressing death in particular; it helps us deal with our mortality.
It’s the same with Monster Lawyer. The idea of a lawyer representing monsters strikes me as hilarious, and the situations that arise when Daniel Becker represents monsters in legal cases are delightfully ludicrous. But the idea of representing a monster has a very serious side too. I work with lawyers who represent real-life murderers, and their representation of killers can be seen as an analogy to representing “monsters.” This serious underlying theme lends Monster Lawyer depth and makes Daniel’s character arc extremely interesting, especially because of his painful childhood relationship with the monster he’s asked to defend as a grown-up. No more spoilers, but I can tell you that Monster Lawyer is funny and sad and serious and raises lots of ethical questions. It’s truly an adult take on monstrous urban fantasy, but with plenty of immature humor to make it fun too. I hope!
Additionally, writing Monster Lawyer was a real experiment for me in mixing humor and horror. One thing I learned is that the tone of the tale can be “spooky” and funny—those two moods can coexist—but when real “horror” arrives, the humor flees the page, goes into hiding, and doesn’t come back until it’s safe—usually not until the next chapter.
Dämliche Dämonen hat eine Menge Humor. Wie ist das bei Im Zweifel für das Monster?
Die Vorstellung, dass ein Anwalt Monster vertritt, finde ich urkomisch, und die Situationen, die entstehen, wenn Daniel Becker Monster in Rechtsfällen vertritt, sind herrlich lächerlich. Aber ich habe auch gelernt, dass der Ton der Geschichte gruselig und lustig sein kann – diese beiden Stimmungen können nebeneinander bestehen –, aber wenn echter Horror auftaucht, flieht der Humor, versteckt sich und kommt erst zurück, wenn er sicher ist – normalerweise nicht vor dem nächsten Kapitel.
Most authors choose a Private Investigator or a Cop as their hero in Urban Fantasy, but you chose a lawyer. Why?
Well, yes, I am a lawyer, and it is good for me to write what I know. It gives me an interesting and genuine perspective to share, and I can create scenes for my readers that are not cliché or overused. It’s true that many stories use a cop to generate situations for action on the streets, and an attorney is more of an analyst in an office. As a prosecutor I’ve never chased criminals down dark alleys. But the real-life drama of a courtroom is incredible. I’ve tried burglaries, rapes, homicides, you name it. Serious stuff. I handled a home-invasion stabbing where one of the five defendants received a sentence of life without parole. Trying a case in front of a judge and jury and waiting during those tense moments for the verdict to be announced is a heart-pounding, emotionally exhausting experience. Now imagine you’re trying a case with monsters and, if you lose, the penalty is that you get eaten. You get the picture.
Of course, Monster Lawyer’s lawyer-protagonist, Daniel Becker, also goes into the field to track down evidence, and he has a supernatural investigator to help out, so we get plenty of on-the-scene action throughout this particular story.
By the way, lawyers are a natural fit for fantasy. They are experts on rules, and well-developed fantasy worlds have well-defined rules. So do monsters. Vampires have rules—they drink blood, sunburn easily, and only die when you shove a wooden stake through their hearts. Werewolves have rules—full moon transformations, bites that cause lycanthropy, and getting shot with silver bullets really sucks for them. As I like to say, fantasy worlds and monsters have immutable laws, and where there are laws there are lawyers.
Die meisten Autoren wählen einen Privatdetektiv oder Polizisten als ihren Helden in der Urban Fantasy, aber Sie haben sich für einen Anwalt entschieden. Warum?
Nun ja, ich bin Anwalt, und ich schreibe gerne darüber, was ich kenne. So kann ich eine authentische Perspektive vermitteln und dennoch Klischees vermeiden. Im Gegensatz zu Daniel Becker, dem Helden von Im Zweifel für das Monster, habe ich aber noch nie Verbrecher durch dunkle Gassen gejagt. Reale Anwälte sind ja eher die Analytiker im Büro. Aber Daniels Fall ist von der Art, dass man keine offizielle Unterstützung anfordern kann. Also muss er die Action-Szenen selbst durchstehen.
“Royce Buckingham creates new worlds in his books as I would have imagined as a child. With attention to detail, very exciting and entertaining – I’ve rarely been able to put it out of my hands.” — Karateka, Reviewer
German fantasy fans love the world building in my newest epic fantasy novel,Die Klinge des Waldes (The Blade of the Forest). Now there is way for English readers to join in exploring it too–the Die Klinge des Waldes fandom wiki site, built by the fans themselves.
Here’s the coolest thing I found out about about the Die Klinge des Waldes wiki site. Anyone can contribute. For German readers, write in your favorite quote, storyline, district–you name it! For English readers, check it out, add your thoughts and questions and tell my agent John Rudolph why you would love to have the novel available in the United States.
The wiki site includes facts about all of the major or minor districts in the far off City of Filth, including primary character bios and quotes, as well as an entire page dedicated to all of the story’s characters. I loved creating this world and am gratified to see that readers love learning about it. Their comments (translated from German) speak for themselves:
“Each district is like a small kingdom with its own laws, customs, festivities, and methods of execution (Royce Buckingham is extremely creative, which is amazingly intriguing in a macabre way). In the course of the plot, you get to know quite a few districts such as the carpentry or the carnival district, but also over the other districts information is scattered over and over again, which I personally found incredibly exciting. This city looks like a mini-universe to itself…” Miss Page Turner
“With “The Blade of the Forest,” Royce Buckingham reveals a fantasy novel set in a very different world from his trilogy for “The King’s Will” and his followers. And that’s exactly where the great power of the novel lies, you can completely explore the strange world and explore numerous different cultures, locations and connections.” Poldis Hörspielseite
“World-building really succeeded in this novel. The map on the first page already gives an interesting insight about the individual lands. Among other things, there is the forest kingdom of Strata at the beginning, which impresses by the fact that the rich live in towers, which were built around trees and the simple people, who lives on the ground, are called Grundlinge (Grounders).” Steffi R, Reviewer
“Let’s get to the world Buckingham created: it’s fascinating. Partly an ancient variant of our world and yet somehow different. On the other hand fantastic and yet not so fantastic that it could not have been that way.” Daisy D
I’m excited and flattered that fans have created this site, and I’m eager to share it with you! Visit at: Die Klinge des Waldes Wiki.
I recently read from my novel Die Klinge des Waldes at a medieval masquerade party. It was so much fun to play the part of my character, Duke Carni, otherwise known as the Mad Fool and leader of the Carnival District (my favorite district of 35 in the City of Filth).
Die Klinge des Waldescomes out today! German readers, you can now explore my biggest fantasy novel yet. More adventure, more world-building, more vivid characters, and more fantastic locations to explore than you can shake a sword at.
Special thanks to my publisher for offering this cool contest for my fans Click HERE to learn about it in German.
And click HERE to translate the contest page into English – even though the book isn’t available in the US yet, it’s still fun to share what’s happening overseas!
I grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons. This is my original Players Handbook. It got a lot of love when I was a kid.
And these are my two best childhood friends, Mike Francis & Eric Yatabe. We get together every few years.
We played many hours of D&D growing up–sometimes a single game would last for weeks–so we decided to dig out our D&D supplies and play over the weekend as 50 year olds.
I volunteered to be Dungeon Master, selected a classic dungeon module from my original stash (Hall of the Fire Giant King), and studied it. My sons created character sheets. We took over the dining room table. And we played.
Being Dungeon Master is lot like being a storyteller. The Dungeon Master sets the scene and guides other players through the dungeon, always revealing just enough about what monster, trap, or treasure might be lurking or hidden around the next corner to keep them hungry and surprised. On this occasion the players broke into the castle with a spell that created a hole in the wall, and they trapped the Fire Giant Queen in her chambers. One player died in the fracas, and there was much debate about, well, everything. It was just as intense as when we were kids.
When I write, I tell stories the same way–set the scene, reveal enough to make the reader want to know more, and let the tale unfold naturally according to what the characters would do. I also think its infinitely more fun to show readers what’s going on than telling them–a mantra pilfered from my creative writing instructors in days of yore.
So…the game was still awesome. And relevant. I highly recommend a reboot for you elders who grew up with it. And, for my younger fans, it’s never too late to pick up the dice!
My new novel, Die Klinge des Waldes, Blanvalet-Germany, is set in the City of Filth which has 35 districts with very distinct personalities. Take the personality quiz to find out which district is yours!
Royce Buckingham has done it again. He’s penned the amazing new medieval fantasy, Die Klinge Des Waldes (Verlagsgruppe Random House – Blanvalet, Germany) due out this fall. Royce took a few minutes to talk about writing fantasy, his newest project, and how it’s connected to his best-selling Mapper Series (Penhaligon/Blanvalet).
Q: Why do you write? A: Because I have so many stories in my head. If I don’t get them out, they’ll drive me crazy!
Q: What’s your favorite genre? A: Medieval Fantasy. I used to like horror stories best. Then I had kids, and horror movies lost their luster. Teens getting killed in the woods doesn’t intrigue me now that I’m not a teen and I have a couple of them. I do still love a good monster story.
Q: What is it about Medieval Fantasy? A: I like the idea of chivalry that is associated with the (loosely interpreted) time period. I’m not sure if people actually were chivalrous, but the concept makes for good character motivation, hypocrisy, and internal conflict. The other fun I have toying with the medieval genre goes back to Dungeons & Dragons, where I learned to imagine medieval scenarios. I have a strong vision of what fantasy medieval worlds can look like.
I also like the low-tech setting. In my new novel, Die Klinge Des Waldes (BLADE to my US fans), I have an inventor who designs and builds things that I get to dream up. They seem fantastical, but possible. It’s hard for me to write sci-fi these days. With the advances in the technology of our time, it’s difficult to imagine innovation beyond what innovators are actually doing. We’ve been wowed to death by amazing tech. It’s easier for me (and fun) to imagine what might be astound people in medieval times.
Q: What’s an example of that? A: A mechanical elephant in a medieval world would be fascinating. In our modern world it would be an internet sensation for maybe a day. So when I create my mechanical elephant with flames coming out of its trunk and crossbow bolts shooting from its tusks my characters (and audience) say “how can that be?” or “that’s amazing!” instead of “huh, cool, what else is on youtube?”
Q: Where do your stories come from? A: A couple of places. One is the drama of real life–problems anybody might have like, “oh no! I’m going to get killed and I don’t want to….” That’s a real problem now and in medieval times. In fact, it was likely extra-challenging to live and survive back then. Other everyday drama can include things like “I don’t love you” and “you’re fired.”
I also ask myself, “what if?” The answer is then the story. For Die Klinge Des Waldes, I thought “What if you took a Disney princess and had awful things happen to her? How would she handle that?” The answer in my world is: not very well initially.
The ways people deal with conflict is what makes for a good story. The more challenging, the better. The struggles of a fallen princess are especially awesome.
Q: Die Klinge Des Waldes (Blade) features a strong female protagonist. In your dozen or so previous books you’ve used primarily male protagonists. Did writing a female change your approach to this story? A: The Mapper Series had a female protagonist in one book, and I enjoyed working with a female lead. Building on that experience, this character is even more well-developed. She should appeal to both men and women. Her struggles are very human and mostly genderless (such as “I don’t want to get killed”), but she lives in a world where being female has its own unique challenges.
Q: What drives your stories first–character, plot, world-building? A: It used to be the plot, but now I am more character-focused. Readers like characters. If readers love the character, they want to see what that character will do, even if the conflict is as simple as, “what’s for dinner?” For this work, I focused more on our princess’s evolution than the events around her. But of course a zebra can’t change its stripes. There are still some big plot twists!
Q: How else has your writing evolved? A: My world-building has gotten better. When you read Die Klinge Des Waldes, you experience a complete and detailed world. Having environments that are really developed is fun for readers. It’s very much like Game of Thrones, in which the world is extensive and has many distinctive characters and locations. The city I’ve created in Die Klinges Des Waldes has 35-districts, each with its own personality. It’s almost like Munich, Barcelona, Lagos, Seattle, Tokyo, and Rio all pushed together beside each other to form one big city, only its medieval.
Q: What is your favorite district? A: The Carnival District! And it’s the favorite of the city’s citizens as well–parties, performances, politics, and a crazy/brilliant Duke who runs the show. I’m pretty sure it’s also the favorite of my editors who created a blow-up of the carnival castle and circus tent on one of two beautifully illustrated maps for the novel.
Q: Yes. Tell us about the maps! They seem to be an important part of your medieval fantasy books. Can you talk about that? A: It started with my second best seller in Germany, Die Karte Der Welt (The Map of the World). My publisher, Blanvelet, asked me to sketch a map. I scribbled out an amateur diagram so they knew where the landmarks were, and they hired professional cartographer, Andreas Hancock, Bielefeld) to create a real map for the entire Map of the World series. Super cool. In my new novel, the world is so extensively developed that, even though the story subject wasn’t maps, my editors wrote and said, “I know you’re busy, but can you sketch up another amateur map of your world so a professional can draw it?”
Q: Was that a fun process for you? A: Oh yeah. Yes! I have to admit I really dig making maps. In fact, I got a little obsessive and spent a week re-reading my entire 600 page novel to get every location right. Then I sketched it like a kindergartener…or at least a kindergartener with Photoshop. I also wrote three pages of detailed notes about the map. Random House hired a professional who translated all of the materials I provided into beautiful maps for the interior of the novel. It was awesome!
I don’t think every author gets that much creative input with their novels’ artwork. My publisher did, however, reject my cover idea. They said my concept was too polarizing, and then they sent me the beautiful cover they had already created.
Q: What do you love about Die Klinge Des Waldes? A: I love Flora. She’s a complex person. She starts simple and becomes very complicated. It’s like watching her grow up, only there are wars and swordplay and mechanical elephants that shoot flame from their trunks.
Q: Why should other people love the story? A: It’s big and cinematic and intimate at the same time. We get to know a lot about Flora, and then we get to see her on a huge stage trying to deal with disasters, triumphs, and everyday problems, like the overthrow of entire kingdoms and spats with her older sister.
Q: What’s different about this story from others that you have written? A: This is an adult story, and so it is different than my bestseller Damliche Damonen (Demonkeeper) in the same way that Game of Thrones is different from Lord of the Rings.
Q: What’s next for you? Any new projects on the horizon? A: Yes. I am always thankful that my editors believe in my work. I am currently writing another medieval fantasy with Blanvalet. It’s due at the end of the year, and I expect will be released some time in 2019.
Q: Is Die Klinge Des Waldes going to be available for U.S. fans to read? A: I certainly hope so. I will be taking it to US publishers soon. But that’s a new blog entry entirely…. Stay tuned!
As a naïve princess she was cast out, as a strong self-confident woman she returns.
As heir to the throne of the forest kingdom of Strata, Flora and her older sister Amora lead a sheltered life. But then, out of love for her sister, Flora makes a fatal decision, with dire consequences. She is banished by her own father and is suddenly confronted with the real world outside the palace. Betrayed by her last confidant, Flora is close to death and finally on her own. But she is not ready to give up. Flora fights and survives. The naive girl becomes a strong young woman ready to fight to save the one she loves …