In celebration of the David Gemmell Award long-lists being published, Gollancz is thrilled to be running a series of interviews-in-sixty-seconds with as many long-listed authors as we can get our hands on. Today we’re fencing with Pierre Pevel, the bestselling and award winning French author of the acclaimed Cardinal’s Blades trilogy which began with The Cardinal’s Blades (for which he won the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Debut!), followed by The Alchemist in the Shadows (which was shortlisted for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Novel) and concludes with this year’s nominee The Dragon Arcana. We caught up with him, and took a moment to ask a few questions . . .
Congratulations on being long-listed for the David Gemmell Awards! Can you tell us, in a few words, why any readers who are new to your work should rush out and read it?
Well, actually, I would advise readers who aren’t familiar with my books to start by diving into The Cardinal’s Blades. And then invite them to read The Alchemist in the Shadows. And finally tackle the third volume in the trilogy, The Dragon Arcana: that’s the one nominated for the DGLA this year. But only if they enjoy historical fantasy, dragons and swashbuckling adventures. (But what am I saying? Doesn’t everyone enjoy historical fantasy, dragons and swashbuckling adventures?)
Who was your first favourite author?
Who would you cite as your influences?
Do you think authors have a responsibility to do more than tell an entertaining story?
Yes. They should also help old ladies crossing streets.
Is there a storytelling tradition you see your work as part of?
The novels that were originally serialised in the newspapers during the 19th and early 20th centuries. And in general, the whole great tradition of popular adventure novels, from James Fenimore Cooper to Maurice Leblanc (the creator of Arsène Lupin), including Walter Scott, Alexandre Dumas, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, etc.
If your novel were to be arrested for a crime of passion, what crime would it be and why (society may not be to blame!)?
Only one? Then a murder, no doubt. But a murder motivated by love, hate, jealousy, ambition, revenge, greed, and reasons of State, all rolled into one. And by a secret society of evil dragons. And by Cardinal Richelieu. And by . . . No, I guess that’s everything.
Pierre Pevel, born in 1968, is one of the foremost writers of French fantasy today. The author of seven novels, he was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire in 2002 and the Prix Imaginales in 2005, both for best novel. You can learn more about him and his novels online though www.orionbooks.co.uk, or why not follow his French publisher on twitter @BragelonneFR.
You can vote for The Dragon Arcana, or any of the novels long-listed for the Legend Award for Best Novel, here. You can also vote for Jon Sullivan’s gorgeous artwork, as the Best Art of the year, here.