C.A. ARDRON Q&A
Q&A TRANSCRIPT AUGUST 2021
To mark the realise of her fourth book Predgarians: Trial by Fire on Thursday 26th August author C.A. Ardron fielded questions here is a transcript of the questions:
Question 1: This is a re-written version of the fourth book in your series Predgarians how do you feel it's changed?
Answer: Though it hasn’t changed much since the re-launch, it has changed drastically from version 1. Golden Lion is a far more involved character. The world itself just feels fuller.
Question 2: Would you say your writing has improved in this time period from the first edition of Trial By Fire?
Answer: Absolutely. I’m always trying to better my writing and my way of telling the story.
Question 3: Without too many spoilers what can readers expect from Trial By Fire?
Answer: It has the action of the first three books, and focuses in on the Sarpiens working for two different masters, and their conflict. You will also see for the first time the ruling body of the Predgarian Order, and how they affect Lion’s unit in Steiron.
Question 4: Do you think your fans that have bought your previous books will get a lot out of the new version of Trial By Fire?
Answer: I’m nor sure. Obviously I always recommend keeping up to date for new scenes which may appear, but I would say there have been far greater changes in the first 2 books than this one.
Question 5: And do they have to have read the previous books in the Predgarians series or does Trial By Fire stand up as a book by itself?
Answer: If you read Trial by Fire as a single book, you’ll be left with a horde of questions. Definitely start with book 1 – Jackal’s Gambit. The series features the same protag, the same characters, the same villains, and is a continuation of the greater story arc.
Question 6: Predgarians Book 4 – Trial by Fire has a great eye-catching cover, how does the symbol of the lion relate to the story?
Answer: The lion on the front depicts the medallion of the Predgarian unit leader, Captain Golden Lion. This book focuses on him a lot, and is also the reason for the book title.
Question 7: Is there anyone out of the ordinary we should be looking out for in Trial by Fire?
Answer: It’s always good to watch out for the sneaky Bronze Cobra, but keep your eyes on Red. He’s been loitering in the area since book 1, and in book three there was a startling revelation about him. I drop more hints into his identity during Trial by Fire.
Question 8: What do you like most about the writing process?
Answer: I love the world-building, and getting into the heads of my characters, feeling them out and writing their interactions.
Question 9: Flipside to previous question what do you hate the most about the writing process?
Answer: The go-to is the editing. Beyond that, I’d say those times when you have to cut scenes because the tale has grown too long, or finding places to add scenes in an already existing manuscript. Both are part of editing, of course, but just ‘editing’ would be a mundane answer :P
Question 10: Can you tell us a bit about the languages used in Predgarians?
Answer: There are four main languages represented in the series. Unician, Iskvarre, Draconian and Old Aljurian. Unician is featured the most, since the protag of the series is of Unician descent, but the others do pop up in different places.
Question 11: How do you get into the mindset to write a villain?
Answer: It’s acting mostly. I get into character, focus on their desires, their motives, what they want to achieve, and even how they would react based on past experiences.
Question 12: Can we expect any other wacky inventions from Cobra?
Answer: Not for a while, but we haven’t seen the last of them. The Power Converter from book 1 and the mind-controlling scarabs from book 2 are nothing compared to what he can achieve when he puts his mind to it.
Question 13: Which Predgarian do you think would make a good Sarpien?
Answer: I would say the White Dove. It’s easy to think of the best Sarpiens being the ones who are strongest or fastest, but the most dangerous are the ones with sharp minds. Dove has the ability to read people’s emotions, which means she could manipulate and second-guess her opponents.
Question 14: What inspired the fighting styles in Predgarians?
Answer: The different styles are inspired by forms of real-life combat. Canine has a lot of boxing and wrestling techniques, whilst Feline is heavy on the kick-boxing. Overall, the techniques are inspired by Shaolin Kung Fu, and their animal fighting styles.
Question 15: Do you have a character which you didn’t like to begin with but do now?
Answer: I wasn’t that fond of Leopard, but she has grown on me, and in book 5 really comes into her own.
Question 16: And the reverse, do you have a character you used to like but don’t so much now?
Answer: Not really. Falcon has always been a favourite of mine, but has become hard to write in places because of her harrowing past and struggle to survive in a world which seems bent on killing her.
Question 17: Who do you think has had the most character development in the story so far?
Answer: Probably Falcon. In book 1 she wanted nothing to do with the new friends who were foisted upon her. Books 2 and 3 she still struggles with communication, trust and working as part of the team, but come book 4 she finally starts to find her place.
Question 18: What would you have done if you hadn't been a writer in your chosen profession?
Answer: Umm, something to do with wildlife? As a little kid I wanted to be a vet, that turned into more scientific designs as I grew older. I had an interest in ornithology, insectology and marine biology. Or perhaps I would have kept up with my drawing and sold pictures for a living :P
Question 19: What do you do to combat writers block?
Answer: Take a break, do dialogue scenes in my head. Going to a different scene can help too.
Question 20: What in real life would you change to make it more like your fantasy books?
Answer: Well, I definitely wouldn’t want the sclithe and their Sarpiens to exist. I think having the Asterion Empire existing in the real world would be cool. Or the discovery of teleportation devices.
Question 21: What town in the world of Courin would you most like to visit?
Answer: That’s a hard one. There are so many awe-inspiring locations. I’ll have to go with Phoenicia. Using its advanced anti-gravity engines, it maintains a permanent presence in the sky, overwatching everyone below.
Question 22: If you could take a Predgarian character and put them in another world, who would it be and where?
Answer: I always wonder how it would go if Falcon found herself in the MCU. Her magical armour, giant silver wings, ice powers and swift combat techniques would make her a powerful ally or adversary.
Question 23: Some quickfire questions - Who is your favourite writer?
Answer: David Eddings. He fuelled my love for fantasy and magic.
Question 24: Favourite Book?
Answer: Hmm, hard choice. One of my all-time favourites is Spellfire by Ed Green. A Forgotten Realms tale.
Question 25: What's your favourite film?
Answer: Again, hard choice. There isn’t one that stands ahead of the rest, but a few I go back to often are Independence Day, Ocean’s Eleven and Lethal Weapon. I’ve recently re-fallen in love with Tremors too.
Question 26: What's your favourite fruit?
Answer: Raspberries 😊
Question 27: Favourite ice cream?
Answer: Hmm.. Mars ice cream bars.
Question 28: E-book or paperback?
Answer: I prefer paperbacks. Old-fashioned perhaps, but so are my eyes.
Question 29: Theatre show or film?
Answer: Theatre has its place, but films can build more atmosphere and be more immersive.
Question 30: CD or vinyl?
Answer: CD. I still have a CD collection to this day, even though music has moved into digital.
Question 31: Sweet or Savoury
Answer: I love chocolate, but overall. I’m a fan of savoury.
Question 32: Chips or rice?
Answer: I love fries, but you can’t beat chicken and rice or a bowl of risotto.
Question 33: What's your favourite drink?
Answer: Gotta be earl grey, or lavender and camomile. I’m a big fan of tea, and always have dozens of blends in-house.
Question 34: Do you believe in ghosts?
Answer: I believe in echoes. I think there have been too
many shared experiences to deny ghosts, but I’m not sure if they’re sentient, or just the hangover of terrible things that happened in the past.
Question 35: Do you believe in Aliens?
Answer: Yes, but not as in little green men. I think it unlikely there isn’t at least some manner of life out there. The law of averages dictate it, even if it’s just bacteria.
Question 36: Summer or winter?
Answer: I’ll pick winter. Not because I prefer snow, but because my eyes are sensitive to light.
Question 37: Spring or Autumn?
Answer: Many prefer spring, but I think there’s something beautiful about the autumn, the harvest and late blooming flowers. Like the heather on the moors, for instance.
Question 38: Do you hate these type of questions? Lol Okay I’ll stop.
Answer: I don’t mind 😊 but I much prefer talking about my books than myself.
Question 39: What real world leaders would you put in your fantasy books and what role would you give them?
Answer: Not a fan of real-world politics. However, if the Asterion Empire came a-calling, it would be interesting to see how the world leaders would react. Because one of the stipulations for joining and trading with the empire would be an end to war.
Question 40: Does Courin have a standard police force?
Answer: In a way. In Steiron they’re called the Guard. The towns and cities on Courin are mostly city-states, not kingdoms all ruled by the same government. So different places have different forms of law enforcement.
Question 41: What's it like being a writer and having all these character’s lives at your fingertips? Do you ever get sad thinking that you have to say kill one off, for example?
Answer: I do like writing all these characters, but I do get attached. I’m not the kind of person who kills off characters because I feel like it. But I will if it serves the story.
Question 42: This is book 4 just republished is a book 5 on its way? What can we expect in the near future?
Answer: Book 5 is coming very soon. It’s been hinted at that there’s a higher tier of Sarpien behind the scenes. In book five you will get to meet one of them.
Question 43: Predgarians is a big series, how many books do you have planned or think you will write in the series?
Answer: I can’t give an exact number, since some of the books have not been written yet. There’s definitely enough material to get near to the 20 mark though.
Question 44: Would you ever consider telling the story of how the invasion began?
Answer: Yes, and in fact it’s on my list of things to do. The founding of the five Orders is a story I want to tell, and that only comes about because of the arrival of the sclithe.
Question 45: And will there be other series of books that you'll be working on? Different world’s trims, characters?
Answer: I have some others in the pipeline. I adore dragons, so I definitely plan to write a series about those. I also have a trilogy on wolves, a series about the warring factions between light and dark, and a romantic fantasy trilogy. I’ll get to all of them, have no fear.
Question 46: Do you ever write characters in a story and think Oh, I should give you your own book?
Answer: Not really. A couple have avoided death because they turned into characters that were just too good or lovable to kill off.
Question 47: A little bird tells you are about to move to the country will that help your writing do you think?
Answer: I hope so. I think my soul will be happier. I love peace and nature.