Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing Thomas Welsh, who is the author of Anna Undreaming (The Metiks Fade Trilogy, Book 1).

About the author:

Tom is 37 years old, lives in Scotland, and started writing fiction last year. He was the winner of the Elbow Room fiction prize for his short story “And Then I was Floating” and has also been published in a few other short story collections, including 404 Ink and Leicester Writes. He received an honourable mention in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction award, and his story “Suicide Vending Machine” is featured on the Pseudopod Podcast.

His work has qualified him for induction into the Fellowship of BAFTA, and he has been published on major sites like Kotaku, Unwinnable Magazine and GlitchFreeGaming. He loves Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny and dark fantasy stories where women save themselves!

Click here to visit his official website.

About Anna Undreaming:

“Sometimes the ash catches a spark and sometimes the flame splutters back to life.”

Lacking a better target, fate’s hammer falls on a heart already smashed to shards. That heart belongs to Anna, a young, apathetic student weighed down by the drudgery of her daily routine. Seeking an escape, she comes across a stranger called Teej who promises to open her up to a whole new world. A world of Aesthetes: writers, musicians and artists who are so preeminent in their respective fields that their abilities allow them to alter the very fabric of reality. The magical worlds they create are known as “Hazes” – possibility spaces where the world becomes dream, and the dreamer is God.

Seeking to escape tragedies in her past, Anna forsakes her old life to enter the dangerous world Teej has shown her. As a Metik, his job is to police the dream. To protect people from the Aesthete’s, and even challenge them within their own domain when they threaten the lives of the innocent. And to do that he needs a bodyguard. An Undreamer. Someone who can demolish Haze’s. A fighter and a warrior who can tear down the dream world. Teej believes he has found his new protector and guardian. His new Undreamer is Anna.

“In a world of dying light, you’re a bonfire in the night.”

As Anna travels through Haze’s – from endless deserts of purple sand to run-down bars on the moon – she learns that there’s as much beauty in the world as there is horror. With a complex conspiracy at work within the community of Aesthete’s that threatens to undermine reality itself, Anna will have to look deep within herself – and eventually will have to face the horrors of her own past – to save her old world as well as her new one.

AN INTERVIEW WITH THOMAS WELSH

- Could you tell us something about yourself in your own words?

I’m from Scotland and I’ve been writing seriously for the last two years. Before that I ran a video game review website and wrote about games freelance. My biggest success so far has been my Metiks Fade fantasy trilogy, which debuts with Anna Undreaming on March 20th. I’m kind of blown away by how big it’s gotten now and I am doing so many interviews. It’s fine though, because I enjoy talking about the book almost as much as I enjoyed writing it, and a lot more than editing it!

- What inspired you to become an author?

I just really love writing. I think lots of people want to be writers, but only a few people like to write. I’m always worried when aspiring authors tell me they find the writing part hard. That’s the fun bit! Re-writing, pitching to publishers and promoting are all just as much work, and much less fun.

- Have you always been interested in speculative fiction?

Yes, and I’ve always found the split between speculative fiction and literary fiction to be really weird and arbitrary. I just write about what’s interesting to me, and that could be anything from existential angst, suicide, the slow breakdown of a middle class marriage, serial killers, magic or cyborgs fighting vampires on the moon.

- Your debut novel, Anna Undreaming (The Metiks Fade Trilogy, Book 1), will be published in March 2018. What kind of a novel is it? Could you tell us something about it?

Well you can read the blurb on my website, but I can tell you a couple of random facts about it. First, although the book is about magic, I never use the word “magic” at all. Second, there is a lot of philosophy in it, but it’s not short of action. You get a bit of Wittgenstein, but you also get giant demons fighting robots.

- Is there anything you could tell us about Anna, who is the protagonist of Anna Undreaming? What kind of a character is she?

She is a clever young woman who can’t be easily tricked or manipulated, though almost everyone she has met has tried. She has a saying, “Never play their game; their game is always rigged.”

- What is the target audience of Anna Undreaming?

People who like weird stuff, people who want to read about magic (but a completely new type of magic they’ve never seen before) and anyone who loves art.

- How would you advertise Anna Undreaming to potential readers?

If they’re cynical I’d tell them it’s unlike any fantasy novel they’ve read before, and if they’re optimistic I’d tell them it’s even better than the synopsis.

- Is there anything you'd like to add?

Just thank you! I hope your readers enjoy Anna Undreaming, and I can’t wait to hear from them.

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