Character questions (choose from):
*Who are you? M Harold Page – Martin Harold Page, but I share that name with an English folk singer and a French YA writer, hence the M.
Where are you from? (Tell us about it) Edinburgh, Scotland. The place is like a year-round SF Con, with writers underfoot in the bars, and oddly dressed people coming and going carrying poorly concealed medieval weapons – I once spotted a part-time Viking on my street; he had a daneaxe wrapped in brown paper and parcel tape.
*Tell us about dragons in your world. Big, scary, [spoiler redacted].
What is the political system of your world? 17th-18th century mixed. The city where the action happens is probably a republic run by guilds. However, one character is a duchess and actually rules a duchy, and the protagonist comes from the Godless Delta where they practice radical democracy.
Do you have a family? Yes. Wife, son, daughter, all geeks. 11-year-old son fights my friends at Warhammer. 7-year-old daughter is a dab hand at Halo.
What is the best way to kill a dragon? Technology and guile. Beowulf used an iron shield and – ultimately- relied on a henchman to injure the thing. Siegfried used a Vietcong-style network of trenches to attack from beneath. Tristram attacked from horseback and out of ambush. Some Vikings I read about killed a Russian dragon by feeding it the salted leg of a giant, then – after it had drunk so much water it couldn’t move – whacking it with axes. Very few legendary heroes go up against a dragon man-to-dragon, because that would be stupid.
Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero? No. I’m just a mild mannered urban swordsman and dad. A hero is somebody who takes responsibility for doing what needs to be done when the doing is nasty and dangerous.
What is the technology level of your world? 1700s style Steampunk. I am particularly proud that my dirigible runs on a gunpowder engine – these were real things. Go check Wikipedia.
Where do dragons come from? [Spoiler Redacted]
Are there other such monsters in your world? Not sure. I’ll have to write another one and find out.
Author questions (choose from):
*Who are you? SEE ABOVE ANSWER
Why did you choose this world/era to write in? It was my first published fantasy story, so I wanted to try out all the tropes. That meant a world where both dirigibles and sword fights existed.
How much research did you need for your story? A little! I had to find a viable engine for my dirigible.
A lot! in the sense that I’ve spent years reading about history, industrialisation etc etc. I guess any story reflects all the research the author has ever done on anything.
Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel? This was my second time – I have a story in Crusader Kings II: Tales of Treachery. It’s much harder than writing a novel because there’s less space. I think of it as trying to choreograph a cavalry battle in a sheep pen.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Plotter. I even wrote a book on how to do it. However, plotting is just a more efficient way of pantsing and involves a lot of visualisation.
What other novels/short stories have you written? You can buy several of my books on Amazon, including three Historical Adventures tying to Paradox Interactive video games plus one Foreworld SideQuest. My two most recent books are:
Shieldwall: Barbarians! in which a young Jutish prince must lead his unreliable warband into the teeth of Attila the Hun’s invasion of Roman Gaul.
Storyteller Tools: Outline from vision to finished novel without losing the magic which pretty much does what it says on the tin. I wrote four novels to order in just over a year; this is how I did it.
What book(s) are you currently reading? I’ve been reading a lot of Edmond Hamilton, largely forgotten but hugely influential Space Opera writer of the mid C20th.
Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I have a sword scar.
Author website: www.mharoldpage.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/M-Harold-Page/e/B00FLZP9VY
Foreworld Author Page: http://foreworld.com/the-authors/m-harold-page/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MHaroldPage
I blog at heroic fiction magazine site: www.blackgate.com