Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing the fantasy author Martha Wells.

Martha Wells is the author of five Ile-Rien novels (The Element of Fire, The Death of the Necromancer, The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air and The Gate of Gods), Books of the Raksura trilogy (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths), City of Bones, Wheel of the Infinite, Emilie and the Hollow World, two Stargate Atlantis novels (Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement) and one Star Wars novel (Razor's Edge). She has also written short stories and non-fiction articles.

Click here to visit the author's official website.


Your latest book, Razor's Edge, was published in September. In the foreword you mentioned that you're a Star Wars fan, so it would be interesting to know if you've always wanted to write a Star Wars book?

When I was in college, I dreamed about writing one.  I never thought it would happen!

What is your favourite Star Wars movie? And which characters are your favourite Star Wars characters?

It's probably still A New Hope, though I also really like The Empire Strikes Back.  My favorite characters are Leia and Han.

What kind of an experience was it to write a Star Wars book? When you began to write the book, did you have to do any research?

I used to write Star Wars fan fiction, so it was a very cool experience to be able to write those characters in a larger, novel-length format.   I watched the first movie again, and used some Star Wars references to look up details on the technology and other details.  The Star Wars Essential Atlas was very helpful.

You wrote fluently about Princess Leia in Razor's Edge. Was it challenging to write a book that focused mostly on Princess Leia?

Not really.  The first movie came out when I was 13, so I feel like I grew up with that character in some ways.

Are you planning on writing more Star Wars books or other media tie-in books in the near future?

No, not at this point.  I want to get back to writing fantasy.

Your first young adult book, Emilie and the Hollow World, was published in the spring. It's totally different from your other books, because it's in equal parts fantasy, science fiction and steampunk, and the events take partly place in an alternate Victorian world. What inspired you to write this book? And what inspired you write about an alternate Victorian world?

The Death of the Necromancer also takes place in an alternate, magical Victorian/La Belle Epoque world, so I had already done quite a bit of research on it and enjoyed writing it.  I felt like this kind of setting was the best way to tell Emilie's story.

Emilie and the Hollow World is an old-fashioned adventure book that reminded me of Jules Verne's The Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Voyage au centre de la Terre). Were Jules Verne's books a source of inspiration to you?

Yes, definitely.  And I've wanted to do something that had a Jules Verne feel to it for a long time.

You created an interesting and lush underground world in this book. How did you come up with the idea of writing about the merpeople, the plant-creatures, the Cirathi etc?

I wanted to show a variety of different types of people, to give the feel of a landscape that was well-populated and very strange.  I tried to come up with species that would fit the story and the plot, and be interesting for the reader.

It was interesting to read about the Cirathi. They reminded me slightly of the Raksura in Books of the Raksura trilogy. Did you use the Raksura as a source of inspiration when you wrote about the Cirathi?

I wrote Emilie while I was still working on The Serpent Sea, so I do think the Cirathi would fit very well into the Three Worlds.

Emilie is an interesting heroine, because she's a clever and stubborn young woman. Is she the product of your imagination or is she based on a real person?

As far as I know I made her up.  I think she's the young woman heroine that I always wanted to read about when I was a teenager.

Was it difficult or challenging to write a book for young adults?

It's a bit different, but I enjoyed it a lot.

The sequel to Emilie and the Hollow World, Emilie and the Sky World, will be published next year. What kind of a book is it? What can readers expect from it?

It takes up close to where Emilie left off, and is about her next adventure with the Marlendes.

Will you continue to write more books about Emilie and her adventures?

I'm not sure yet.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

No, I think that's it!

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