Author Interview with Ed McDonald

POSTED ON October 1, 2017 BY Austine IN Interview

Good morning everyone! I’m so excited to welcome Ed McDonald, the author of Blackwing, to the blog! Keep reading to learn what advice he has for aspiring authors, who would he cast if Blackwing was made into a movie, and if he’s a coffee or tea person!

About Ed McDonald

Ed McDonald has spent many years dancing between different professions, cities and countries, but the only thing any of them share in common is that they have allowed him enough free time to write. He currently lives with his wife in London, a city that provides him with constant inspiration, where he works as a university lecturer. When he’s not grading essays or wrangling with misbehaving plot lines he can usually be found fencing with longswords, rapiers and pollaxes.


All About Ed

You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired Blackwing?

Thanks, it feels pretty awesome! The starting idea for Blackwing was that I wanted to explore themes of absolute power, but I wanted to explore them from the view of a soldier on the ground. I’ve always wanted to write about non-elite characters in fantasy – there are plenty of stories about princes out there already. I was also really enjoying spy thrillers and found that I wanted to write a fantasy that had that same page-turning fast pace. Hopefully I succeeded!

Introduce us to your main character!

Blackwing is told through the eyes of Ryhalt Galharrow. He’s a failed military officer, disgraced after bad (and murderous) conduct, but then has wound up serving one of the dark powers of the world, an immortal named Crowfoot. Crowfoot owns him, having made a sinister deal many years before, and Galharrow runs around doing Crowfoot’s bidding. He’s a broken man, but he’s also a man with heart. Oh, and he’s not shy about getting all red.

Walk us through a day in the life of Ed McDonald.

I’m fortunate enough that I only do my day job as a lecturer for three days each week, leaving me to write a good deal of the time. I’m normally at work in front of the laptop by 8am and over the course of the day will try to put out about 3,500 to 5,000 words. I eat a huge breakfast – six sausages, three eggs, beans, bread – and that means that I don’t have to eat for the rest of the day. I might hit the gym or go train swordsmanship (HEMA) in the evening. Oh, and then there’ll be a beer mixed in there somewhere. I love London bars and cocktail places.

Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?

Everyone is different; there’s no single way to do things; don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you have to write every day or any other nonsense rules; just be sure that you’re enjoying your writing – if you love it, so will other people.

I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?

A book that hasn’t got nearly as much praise as it deserves is Snakewood by Adrian Selby which came out last November. It’s very, very dark and not for the faint hearted but I loved it.

Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?

If you’re a fantasy fan then this book has everything you look for: magic, monsters, dark wizards, post-apocalyptic deserts, intrigue and so on. But if you don’t normally read fantasy, then you’ll still find that this is a story first and a fantasy second: fast paced, intrigue, murder, betrayal, and at its core, a love story. I like love stories. They make all the other stuff matter that much more.


Now for the Fun…

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Driven. Awesome. Humble.

What is your most embarrassing memory?

I recently asked a barber for a particular haircut and he looked at me and said, “nah mate. That’s a younger man’s haircut.” #gotold

What is your Hogwarts house?

I’m a total Slytherin on every test that I do. I’m not evil, I’m just extremely focused, hard working and determined. I tend to believe that you should get everything that you can out of life.

Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?

I’m pretty sure that they’d bide their time, come up with a convoluted means to escape and then slaughter the politicians who put them in there.

A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters. Which actors/actresses make the cut?

Galharrow would be played by Ray Stevenson.
Ezabeth would be played by Keira Knightley.
Nenn would be played by Ronda Rousey, who would need acting lessons but I love her.
Tnota would be played by Idris Elba.

You just won America’s Got Talent. What’s your talent?

I can eat a whole panda in one sitting.

Radioactive space rock fell from the sky and turned you into a superhero/villain. Tell us your new name, describe your powers, and what does your costume look like?

I’d be called “What Was I Saying Man”. My power would be that I could make people forget what they were saying mid-sentence all the time. I’d dress as a giant bumblebee just to confuse my enemies.

This morning you woke up with the ability to time travel to only one time period. Where (or more accurately “when”) would you go?

I’d go to 90,000 BC, hunt animals and then carve WE CAME FROM THE STARS into them and then drop them into places where I could know that they’d be preserved, to baffle scientists forever.

Coffee or tea?

Seriously, I’m English. Coffee is just tea for people who don’t understand how to drink tea.

Best ice cream flavor ever?


Your theme song/personal anthem?

Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks.

Favorite quote?

“Come back you fools! Dogs aren’t dangerous!” – General Woundwort, Watership Down.

What is one piece of advice you would tell everyone?

If you’re absolutely certain about something, it’s worth realizing that so were/are the billions of wrong people who feel/felt the same. Certainty around your own knowledge is a weakness that prevents criticality, and will never lead you to greater understanding.

Author Interview with Ed McDonald
Ravens' Mark #1
by Ed McDonald
Published on October 3, 2017 by Ace
Pages: 336
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Buy the Book!
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Austine

Well hello there! I see you've reached the end of the post. Bummer. But perhaps I may interest you in a comment? And in case you were wondering, I'm a 20-something college grad with a piece of paper that says I know about wildlife. Reviewer of books since 2011, amateur photographer by day, and aspiring author by night. I believe animals (and books) are better than people.

Feed the book dragon and leave your thoughts!