Danie Ware is the author of Valkyrie, “Recruit” (in the Vivisepulture anthology edited by Andy Remic and Wayne Simmons), The Mumbling Man, Cure, and most recently, Ecko Rising, from Titan Books.
Danie was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the new book, and more!
Danie Ware: I’ve been writing since my teens – reams and reams of gloriously unpublishable word count, all inspired by my friends and by the worlds and craziness and creative projects that we crafted together. Coming back to it all, years later, it’s been interesting to see it with older eyes, to read it with the professional experience of immersion in the UK publishing industry – and then to take it onwards.
Like any chosen art form, when it’s yours, it’s catharsis and outlet, expression and vision. You do it because you want to and you love it – but you also do it because you have to!
KC: Your new book, Ecko Rising, is a genre-bending treat! For those that haven’t had the pleasure of reading it yet, will you give us a bit of a teaser?
“Fantastic. So – what? You gotta prophecy that says I kick the ass of the God of Evil? A Major McNasty that’s about to wake up? How ‘bout a World-Shaking War?” His sarcasm was vicious. “Where do I start?”
Only a teaser – Ecko’s read all the core fantasy texts as well as you have, and he’s pretty sure he knows exactly what this new world (or is a program?) has in store for him. He’s a hardwired supernasty and no Manifesting Dark God is going to scare him.
But this new reality around him may have other ideas, and then the fun really starts…
KC: What made you decide to combine futuristic SF with fantasy?
DW: It wasn’t conscious – when I started writing, it was an organic process, a ‘what happens if’, if you like. It was something that we did endlessly in our creative group, mashing the unlikely with the unexpected and seeing what survived the collision. It’s all about what happens when you look at the familiar stuff – at the clichés and the formulae – through completely different eyes. How do things change?
Has to be said, though, that you can’t poke fun at something unless you fell in love with it to start with. And I hope that love comes across too!
KC: What did you enjoy most about writing Ecko Rising?
DW: Ecko’s an outlet, he’s that furiously angry part of all of us that wants to rage against the machine, to kick down the walls, that wants to break out of society’s boundaries and refuse to do what we’re told. To burn it all down. However we strive to behave, there’s a bit of Ecko in all of us – and finding that and giving it free rein, particularly against the backdrop of the ‘idyllic’ fantasy setting, has been a whole lot of fun!
KC: Will there be more books in the world of Ecko Rising (fingers crossed)?
DW: Ecko Burning will be out from Titan Books in the UK in October this year – and there’s a third in the series to come!
KC: Who, or what, are some of the biggest influences on your writing?
DW: I’ve mentioned my friends any my creative group already – without them and the sheer breadth and daring of their vision, none of this would have happened.
As a teen, I read the set texts – Donaldson and May and Eddings and McCaffrey. In my twenties, I found Gibson and Stephenson; in my thirties, Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk. Coming back to fantasy in my cough forties, I’m reading Abercrombie and Morgan and I’m finding the genre darkening and growing like its own Evil Lord, challenging its own boundaries and changing with the times.
And that’s a good thing!
KC: What’s next for you?
DW: I’m halfway through the third of the Ecko books – after that, we shall have to see!