I can safely say that 2018 was very for me. Although the full summary will be written soon, I'd just like to say that I'm most happy for the bunch of interviews that I've managed to secure this year. Now it's time to present you to the last one - with David Guymer.
|This is one, fine-looking cover!|
Xathrodox86: I will start with a rather obvious question: how does it feel to write about Old World's most infamous duo?
David Guymer: The first time story that I wrote for Black Library (the first story I wrote!) was the Tilean’s Talisman for Gotrek & Felix: The Anthology so I’ve been around them for a while. Even so, when they asked me to write Kinslayer and Slayer, my first PROPER Gotrek & Felix novels, I still felt pretty excited. I think authors up their game for this kind of work because they now badly they’ll get it from the fans if they get it wrong. You can see that sort of thing throughout the End Times books and the Horus Heresy series. Bringing Gotrek Gurnisson back to the Age of Sigmar was something we’d discussed since wrapping up on Slayer, but it was still a nice surprise to be called back to pick up where I left off with Realmslayer.
Xathrodox86: "Realmslayer" turned out to be quite a hit. Will we see more of Gotrek in the Mortal Realms?
David Guymer: Well we’ve already had Robbie MacNiven’s novella, The Bone Desert, and a short story by Darius Hinks, and I have a short story coming out in this year’s Black Library Advent series so yes – plenty more
Xathrodox86: How did you react after finding out that Brian Blessed himself will be giving voice to the most famour Slayer of them all?
David Guymer: It was pretty awesome actually. I just wish I could have gone down to London to watch the recording. I hear it was a blast.
Xathrodox86: What was the hardest part of writing the ending to the Slayer saga? Did you consult anyone before penning the grand finale to Gotrek and Felix's epic adventures?
David Guymer: I didn’t consult anyone, but I do remember Bill King being asked at the Black Library Weekender (some years ago now) how he envisaged Gotrek finally meeting his doom: he said it would have to be doing battle with gods and daemons with the world blowing up all around him, so all in all I think I’ve been pretty true to his vision!
It’s a while ago now, so I might be looking back on this with some rose-tinted hindsight, but I don’t remember writing Slayer to be all that hard. There was a momentum going into this that sort of pushed me on to the end.
Xathrodox86: What's your recipe for writing Skaven? They've very tough to portrayal, mainly because of their insidious nature. How do you manage to make them interesting?
David Guymer: I actually don’t find them very hard.
Wait, is that not normal? Should my family be worried?
Xathrodox86: Is Queek Headtaker your typical Skaven, or does he posses some traits which make him unique, when compared to other denizens of the Under-Empire?
David Guymer: Yes and no. Every skaven character in that novel is typical for a member of the race, but with a trait so madly exaggerated as to make them appear unique. So Queek Headtaker is still just as craven as any rat-man, it’s just that his vastly swollen skaven self-confidence skews his sense of what is and isn’t a threat. His uncharacteristically loyal servant, Ska Bloodtail, is just as devious and underhanded as other skaven, it’s just that his terror of the Headtaker translates into a kind of witless devotion.
I love writing skaven. Did I mention that? You can have so much fun with them.
Xathrodox86: Are we going to see more rats in the Age of Sigmar? So far you've mainly written about the Stormcast Eternals? It'd be sweet to witness Thanquol, Queek or Snikch sowing chaos and mayhem in the Mortal Realms.
David Guymer: Well keep your eyes peeled, a verminous villain that may or not hail from the world-that-was will be crossing claws with Hamilcar Bear-Eater in Champion of the Gods out in February. I’m also written a Clan Pestilens story set in Blight City (the new Skavenblight), which I guess should see light some time soon.
Xathrodox86: Your Warhammer 40,000 work is as diverse as it is fascinating to read. What's your favorite part about this universe?
David Guymer: As a scientist, originally (I’ve a PhD in Biophysics and worked in labs for years before I somehow found myself writing Gotrek & Felix stories) so I like the chance to exercise that muscle. For the first stories I wrote in that universe I got a bit carried away with stuff like ork biology and how a Geller Field might work. I’ve calmed down since then, but I still love sneaking a bit of science into my 40K stories.
Xathrodox86: Writing about a primarch is no easy fit. What were your guidlines when describing the indomitable nature of Ferrus Manus? I've always found him to be one of the more difficult primarchs to portray in a right way.
David Guymer: I didn’t have any guidelines per se, except everything we know about the character from the various sources. I basically read Fulgrim and the Horus Heresy sourcebooks. He was quite difficult though. He’s a character that keeps a lid on what he’s thinking and feeling. he’s a lot like the Lion in that regard.
Xathrodox86: You've written quite a lot about the Iron Tenth. Are they your favorite Legion/Chapter of the Space Marines?
David Guymer: They are, and yet at the same time they are very little fun to write about. Being so cold and unemotional you have to continually look for new ways for them to express themselves outside of words (which they use sparingly) and body language (which they don’t have at all). I talked to Chris Wraight about it at Warhammer Fest once and I was glad to hear that he understood completely. He said he had to watch half a series of Glee or something after finishing Wrath of Iron. That’s not to say I don’t have my eye on writing at least one Iron Hands book for the Dark Imperium era once I’ve wrapped up my trilogy.
Xathrodox86: "Dreadwing" deals with the 1st legion waging a war against their traitorous brethren, by targeting their home worlds. Why did the Lion considered this task to be more important than reinforcing his brothers' forces on Terra?
David Guymer: It was what he agreed with Guilliman and Sanguinius to do at the end of Ruinstorm. The events of Dreadwing essentially look at the divisions that are exposed in the Dark Angels when this plan is manifestly not working.
As for why the Lion persists with it anyway, well, that’s what the book’s about!
Xathrodox86: I honestly think that the character of Warsmith Kalkator is one of the coolest portrayal of a Iron Warrior in the history of Black Library. Any chance for you writing some more about the bitter sons of Perturabo?
David Guymer: I guess everyone loves a hard as nails anti-hero. I actually know very little about the Iron Warriors as I’ve not done much work with them before. I would though. I don’t think much has been done with them in the 41st Millennium since Graham McNeill’s books so there’s an opening there. I’d hate to become the ‘iron guy’ though!
Xathrodox86: Quite a few of Black Library authors play the tabletop as well. Are you one of them? What's your favorite WH40K/AoS army?
David Guymer: Not any more, though I did. I try and get back into it every now and then but it’s tough as I live in the country and don’t have anyone to play with regularly. Just the occasional game of Necromunda with my sister.
Xathrodox86: Can you tell us about some of your upcoming projects? What will David Guymer write about in the future?
David Guymer: I’ve been writing so much at the moment that when I’m asked these kinds of questions it’s difficult to keep track. I’ve bene writing a ton of short stories for Advent, Inferno, and various forthcoming anthologies. Champion of the Gods is coming soon, an Idoneth Deepkin novel called Court of the Blind King will probably be released some time next year. I’m writing another audio drama, tentatively starting work on the third of my Iron Hands trilogy, Sapphire King, and will be writing my second Primarchs novel after that.
Xathrodox86: Thank you so much for answering these questions Mr. Guymer. I'll be looking to more fantastic stories from you in the future.
Well, that was a blast. Mr. Guymer will have a lot of new and cool stories for all of us, very soon. I can't wait to get my hands on them!
My next post will also be the last one for the 2018. I will see all of you soon, and... take care.
Until next time!