Book Tour Q&A: A Shade of Madness by Thiago Abdalla
Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for A Shade of Madness by Thiago Abdalla! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.
About the book
Avarin tumbles into madness through the shattered ruin of a centuries-old peace.
As griffin riders clash against airships above and hordes of madmen below, Lynn finds herself surrounded by enemies. Ones that will test the limits of her faith. To defeat them, she must risk everything… including her sanity.
Adrian has lost the Legion, but new magics on foreign shores might be the answer he needs to rebuild his army. His return to the Domain will bring vengeance, and the hope that he will finally prove himself to his father.
Nasha’s curse has taken on a new, terrifying shape. She dreads it could be just what the dead goddess needs to escape from Her prison within the Silent Earth. Will she be strong enough to resist, or will Nasha’s curse give rise to the monster she fears to become?
Madness is spreading and it cares not for the borders of men.
A Shade of Madness is the second book in the Ashes of Avarin series, picking up straight after the exciting conclusion of A Touch of Light.
On to the interview...!
Thank you so much for joining us for this Q&A! We’ll start off with one of our standard podcast opening questions–tell us something great that’s happened recently.
My pleasure! Something great that happened recently was getting the illustration for the hardback of A Shade of Madness. I was absolutely blown away!
What are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?
Currently reading Deathless Beast by Andrew D Meredith. It’s great and what made me pick it up was the inclusion of religion (there’s a great paladin order) and his writing. Up next is the Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham and Rise of the Ranger by Philip C Quaintrell.
What is one book you want to shout about to the world? What about it makes you love it so much?
The Girl and the Moon by Mark Lawrence. It’s the culmination of a shared universe between all of his books and more people should be aware of that! It’s masterfully done!
They say to never judge a book by its cover, but a cover is still a marketing tool that helps sell books. Can you tell us about the idea behind the cover of your book?
I wanted something that would draw readers’ eyes even as a small thumbnail on Amazon so the vivid color was an important part of that. Symbolically, I wanted there to be a representation of life and death and for you to not be sure which one was winning. I think the artist, Alejandro Colucci, hit it way out of the park. It’s amazing.
Can you give us an elevator pitch for your book?
It’s a multi-pov epic fantasy that has characters struggling through a world where the religion has declared the dead to be unworthy. You cannot mourn the dead or even remember them. The religion shapes various aspects of this world, but as a strange plague-like madness arises, the characters will find themselves questioning their faith.
How different is the final version of this book from the first draft?
It doesn’t even look like the same book. I consider the first draft to be the clay. It’s just a pile of words that I then shape into the book.
Has your writing process changed since you wrote the previous book? If so, how?
Yes, definitely. I’m always looking to learn and think I’ve progressed technically. I feel more in control as I write and see things that weren’t clear before.
Are there any challenges specific to continuing a series vs starting it?
Having all the weight of everything that’s happened and having to keep an eye out for consistency to avoid plot holes and unbelievable character reactions is the biggest challenge in my opinion.
When you started the series, did you have a clear idea in mind for how you wanted to continue it in subsequent books? How, if at all, has that changed while writing this book?
Yes. I outline all four books before writing the first one. While the moments in between have changed, the big milestones of what will happen have not.
How do you manage character growth vs consistency over a multi-book arc?
There are various kinds of arcs that can be used as inspiration for characters depending on their moment in life and what they’re going through. It sounds formulaic, but it really isn’t. I base a lot of how I go about character arcs on KM Weiland’s life arcs articles.
Has your favorite character to write changed from book to book?
I feel like I have a different favorite every book. I really enjoyed writing Kadmus in A Shade of Madness, while my favorite in A Touch of Light was probably Lynn. Nasha is always the hardest, but I love where her story is going, especially in A Shade of Madness.
Would you say that this book went through more or less extensive editing than your previous books? If yes, why do you think that is?
Roughly the same. I put my books through A LOT of editing. Editors are a writer’s secret weapon.
In your opinion, what kind of reader would like this book?
Readers who don’t go in looking to be spoon-fed and like to learn as they go. Readers who like to be in the character’s skin, not minding a bit of confusion as part of feeling what the character is feeling.
What would you like readers to take away from this book?
Everyone has a different, and very personal, experience with reading. I’m just happy to have readers thinking about it after they’ve finished.
Do you have a favorite quote from this book that you can share with us? What about this quote in particular makes it your favorite?
I have two I can remember: “Everyone’s hero is someone else’s monster.” I like this one because it provokes the reader to consider both sides.
And the other one: “Honor is a story told in times of peace. War is not fair.”
I like this one because of the blunt sincerity in it. The character is telling another that if they want to succeed, they can’t expect the world to be fair. They need to fight with the tools they have. It reminds me of real life in a sense and I like being able to make that connection.
Is there anything you can tell us about any current projects you’re working on?
Just that I’m really excited for book 3, A Twist of Faith, and that you can expect that and hopefully book 4, A Promise of Dawn, this year (beginning of next year at the latest.)
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?
I’d just like to thank everyone who’s shown interest in my books. It means the world to me and I hope you all had a great time with Avarin.
And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?
I’m most active on twitter @Tabdalla, but you can also find me on Instagram (@tabdalla_author) and Discord in a few different servers (Indie Accords, Keymark, Knights of Allenxandria, Wizardly Duo, The Grimoire, and a few others)