Saturday, September 25, 2010

Interview & Giveaway with Fantasy author Sam Bowring

Sam Bowring has been writing and performing stand-up comedy since he was sixteen years old. He has been on radio and written for several television shows. In 2006 Sam was nominated for Best Emerging Comic at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and for Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Sam has also written several plays.

Welcome to Strange Candy Reviews Sam! Thanks for joining us.

SCR: Seeing as this is a Spotlight on Australian Authors can you tell us a bit about where you grew up?
I grew up in Glebe, Sydney. Opposite our house was a park around Blackwattle Bay, in which you could catch the filthiest of mullets, and big black sea slugs which could be used, believe it or not, to have sea slug fights.

SCR: What is your fondest memory from your childhood?
One time as an experiment, I took a rubber glove out into the laundry, tied it firmly onto a tap, then turned the water on full blast. The result (I was surprised to learn) was that the glove filled up quickly and exploded. Terrified of getting into trouble, I decided I had to do away with the evidence – but I also knew that gloves come in pairs, and what could be more suspicious than a single intact glove sitting about without its partner? So not only did I bury the exploded glove deep in the vegetable patch, but I also buried a perfectly good glove too. Best to be thorough about getting away with such great and terrible crimes.

SCR: Did you family have a favorite holiday spot?
Ulladulla was the recurrent destination. There was a channel from Burrell Lakes out to the ocean, which would empty with force as the tide went out, which was a hell of a lot of fun to ride along in … although I’m told that the sand has now closed in, and the channel is gone. I also remember a huge rockpool, where I used to catch little blue damselfish, and where an octopus once stole my sister’s thong right off her foot. When I visited it again recently however, there was nothing much to be seen alive in there. Can’t say I didn’t feel a little bit guilty.

SCR: Could you give us a little overview of your books?
They’re about a blue haired boy prophesied to forever destroy the balance between light and shadow, whose soul gets ripped into two different entities. One part gets taken by each side, and they grow up separate to each other in enemy lands. There’s a big ensemble cast too, including an undead mage, an insane dragon, shape-changing mud monsters and a particularly malevolent psychic bird.

SCR: You're also a television writer, playwright and stand-up comedian. Do you ever find any of these conflicting with another?
It’s difficult getting established in any writing field, so maybe the worst to be said about trying to do all those things at once, is that you feel yourself pointed in many directions, whilst making little progress. On the other hand the different disciplines will often inform each other, and cross pollinate.

SCR: What first inspired you to write fantasy? Is it a genre you enjoy reading?
I got this idea in my head when I was a kid that reality is boring … and although I don’t necessarily hold to that anymore, it was habit-forming at the time, and consequently most books I read are fantasy. As for what inspires me to write in the genre, I guess it is the freedom to invent, to imagine absolutely anything, and to dream and escape. Plus goblins are fucking awesome.

SCR: The premise of two boys and one soul is quite different. What was the initial thought that spawned this idea?
I started thinking about the story in school over ten years ago, and I’m afraid I’d be lying if I claimed to have any idea where it came from. Guess you’ve got to occupy your mind with something while the girls aren’t kissing you.

SCR: Is there a message in your books like you would like readers to grasp?
Yes, but it is very wrapped up with the ending, so I can say nothing about it here.

SCR: The world you have created with Fenvarrow and Kainordas is impressive. Do you ever find the world building difficult?
Sometimes – the biggest challenge I guess is, because you are making up the rules of the land, you then have to stick to them. With the magic systems, for example, it was sometimes hard keeping track of all the nonsense I had already made up about them previously, and what was therefore now ‘possible’ and what was not.

SCR: Did you encounter any problems while writing your books?
Plenty – for example, coordinating a big cast, and getting them where they need to be at the right times, with the right companions, is quite a balancing act. One technique, when I run into an issue or block, is to lie down, tell myself I am just going to think about it for a few minutes, and then fall asleep instead and dream about velociraptors.

SCR: The last book in your trilogy, Soul's Reckoning has been released, what do you have planned next?
I’ve just finished a play about feral cats, and I’m moving onto another fantasy, set in a different world.

SCR: Are there any new authors that have grabbed you interest? If so, who are they?
You know what – this is embarrassing - but I don’t read very much at the moment. Mainly it’s on the toilet. I think this is because after writing all day, I usually want to do something that doesn’t involve words. So I’m not really up on what’s coming out at the moment.

SCR: What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Everyone is more concerned about how they come across, than how you do. So don’t worry about going down the shops in your pajamas.

To win a copy of Sam's first book in The Broken Wells trilogy, Prophecy's Ruin, just answer: What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Please leave your email in the comment.
Update: Giveaway ends Oct 2nd!

I have two other current giveaway's on my blog. First there's my Almost 100 Follower Giveaway, where you can win books from some of my favorite Australian authors. There are 10 books to choose from.
and Cynthia Robert's blog tour. Cynthia has over $600 in prizes up for grabs!


  1. Don't bet on the horses. LOL....I give my kids the "don't count your chickens before they are hatched" one though.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  2. Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

    My dad always said not to *charge/go into debt*. He wisely maintained that it was WAY easier to save up for something than to pay something off!

  3. Don't put all your eggs in one basket! How true? I do that too often and regret it afterwards.

    Count me in if this is international please.


  4. I was told, everything you do is a choice or a consequence of a choice. That is not an easy piece of advice to follow, but I think it is really important.

  5. "Give more than what you want and you will get more than what you need." and "Count to ten before you say or do something you regret; if you're still mad, count higher. Remember numbers are infinite."

    Please enter me if this is an International giveaway. Thank you!

    ljeni at

  6. I think the old saying "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

    I really believe persistence pays !

    Please enter me in the giveaway is open worldwide.


    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  7. If you dream it, you can do it! Never give up.

    Thank you for this awesome giveaway! Please enter me if it is international.

    Giada M.

    fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. no one can humiliate you without your permission


    always believe in yourself


  9. You guys have been given some really good advice. I was told to always be myself and never let anyone tell me otherwise.

  10. That was a great interview and the plot of this trilogy is really original and refreshing!
    Thanks for hosting and reccing this! :)