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Author interview - Paul Cude

Let's take a moment to get to know another fantasy author. This is what Paul Cude had to say.

Fantasy Author Interview – Paul Cude

1. What kind of fantasy do you write?

Fresh original Young Adult fantasy all about dragons, with most of it set in the current world we live in.

2. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background? Any personal stories to share?

Ordinary would be how I’d describe growing up. School was just okay. I remember having lots of friends on the estate where I lived and we would constantly ride our bikes and play football until it got dark. I was never really a fan of reading at school and didn’t find my love of it until much later on, long after I’d discovered the best sport in the world....field hockey!

When in my late teens, I mistakenly ordered a Tom Clancy book.....Debt of Honour. I was too lazy to return it, so it sat on my bedside table for weeks, until one evening, when I picked it up and started to read it. Many hours later I put it down, only because I needed a few hours’ sleep before I went to work. I was hooked. After finishing that, I went out and bought all the other Tom Clancy books I could find. It was also about that time that the Star Wars expanded universe books started to appear. I caught sight of the first one while working in a book shop in my role of service engineer. I can remember it clearly: Star Wars Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. It had a striking blue cover with some of the Star Wars characters on it, and I had to buy it there and then, in the middle of doing my job, much to the amusement of the owner of the bookshop. My love of the expanded universe has continued long after, and as soon as the next book came out.......I had to have it, reading all of it in one go, staying up well into the night, pretty much on no sleep at all the next day.

It seems my love of books goes in phases. If I have nothing to read, I wander around a bookshop until I find something I like the look of and then read it. If I get hooked, I go back and find other books by that author. Examples of this for me are Terry Goodkind and Christopher Paolini.....I love all of their books. The detail, the plot......the characters....are just all amazing. I can only dream of writing as well as they do. Other authors I've found and loved this way include Robin Hobb, J.V. Jones, David Gemmell and Trudi Canavan, to name but a few. I love the way they use their imaginations and the worlds that they create on the pages of the book. They're all very easy to visualise.

3. Of your work, what’s your favorite setting you’ve created?

So far I’ve written nine books. Three are shorter ones (for me anyway) that I use as reader magnets but they are also available to buy, ranging anywhere in length from 55,000 words to nearly 80,000 words. One of these is Christmas in Crisis, my wife’s favourite and my take on the festive season, a book I’ve had in me for ages, but only managed to write just under a year and a half ago. Here’s me teasing you with the first line of the blurb:

Ambushed in the run up to Christmas, Santa Claus finds HERself trapped and stripped of her power, held hostage by rogue magic users.

From that, I think you can see where this is going.

The main series features six books so far, ranging anywhere from 155,000 words to over 215,000 words. It starts with three friends, a diabolical plot, oh and have I mentioned, they’re all dragons disguised as humans. Good versus evil has never looked so prehistoric. The saga is set in the modern day, across all sorts of venues across the globe, both above ground in the human world, and below ground in the dragon domain, which is made up of huge supernatural cities throughout the earth, imbued with the most amazing magical and advanced technological feats, including a stunning monorail that makes fast travel between all points as simple as possible. With dragons everywhere having vowed to guide and protect the humans, something that stemmed from an ancient prophecy, many of the dragons slip seamlessly into human form using their magical mantras and inherent supernatural power to do just that. Unfortunately, other magic users from far in the past have other ideas about how the earth should be shaped and have set their minds on having their way, with results that put not only the planet at risk, but also the entire human race. Starting simply with a group of friends and their love for one another, the series quickly transforms into a race against time and the odds as dragons battle one another, as well as the feared nagas and a band of mythical creatures. Taken by surprise, the dragon domain and its leadership come under threat, as does the everyday dragon way of life. With everything on the line, only a few are in a position to step up, including a young female that’s been stripped of her powers and her memory.

Given that I hate spoilers, I feel as though I’ve already said too much. If you’d like to find out more, check out my website:

4. Who is your favourite fantasy author and why? And which book of theirs is your favourite?

My favourite author of all is the wonderful Terry Pratchett. If you haven't read one of his books you really should. While I love pretty much all the books he's written, the ones about the guards of Ankh-Morpork, Captain Carrot, Sam Vimes, Corporal Nobbs, Angua and of course the Lord Vetinari, are easily my favourites. The characters themselves are described in magnificent detail, all with their own funny little ways. The plots twist and turn like a raging river, and the humour.......well, let's just say that is exactly on my wavelength. I've cried with laughter on many occasions reading some of Terry Pratchett's books, and I can't recall doing that for any other author I've read. If you're a reading fan, you really must try one of his books.

The Fifth Elephant would have to be my favourite book ever. The story is magnificent and the way he paints the characters with words is just outstanding. I must have read the book about ten times in all and it never gets boring. And there’s one part in there, that even as I’m writing this is making me laugh. I won’t go into details, but it’s when Gaspode the talking dog has to tell Carrot the name of the wolf....that makes me cry with laughter every time. What’s ironic about this is that I used to see the late Terry Pratchett in Salisbury (the city where I used to live) but never had the courage to go up to him. I’m a very shy person and wouldn’t dream of going up to anyone in the street that I didn’t know, especially a famous author like him. Also, I didn’t want to invade his privacy. If I knew then, what I know now and I could go back in time, I most certainly would pluck up the courage to approach him, but only to tell him just how much pleasure his books have given me and shake his hand.

5. What would you name your pet dragon, and what would they look like?

I’d have to call him ‘Three’ after the number I used to wear on my hockey shirt. He’d definitely be blue (that’s my favourite colour) and be big enough to ride, but not mean in any way, shape or form.

6. What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever inspired you?

In this respect it has to be my dreams and I regard myself quite lucky. My ideas appear in my dreams and have continued to do so ever since that first Saturday night, many, many years ago, when the original dream flooded my mind. And I would say that if I ever get stuck, if I go to bed focused on the problem, there’s a really good chance that I’ll wake up with the solution. Early on, when I was writing the second book, I was stuck for about a week. I’d written something in the first book that was set in stone and couldn’t be altered, but it totally changed how the series would progress and I didn’t know how to get around it. I went to sleep with the problem the last thing on my mind. As soon as I opened my eyes in the morning, the solution was there, staring me in the face. Not only that, but it was so obvious. Ever since then, I’ve been able to use that to my advantage and if I go to bed and the problem is the last thing I’m thinking off, almost certainly I’ll wake up with the solution. Slightly weird, but ever so cool at the same time.

7. If you were a paranormal being, what do you think you would be and why?

I think I’d quite like to be a ghost of some sort....not the scary kind, but friendly and able to look out for my family and friends, warning them of danger, keeping an eye on them, making sure that they’re alright.

8. Where can we follow you? (3 things)

My website:

Facebook: @paulcude

Twitter: paul_cude

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