Danie Ware is the author of Valkyrie, “Recruit” (in the Vivisepulture anthology edited by Andy Remic and Wayne Simmons), The Mumbling Man, Cure. Her latest books, both published by Titan, are Ecko Rising its sequel Ecko Burning.
I loved Ecko Rising and was thrilled to get a chance to catch up with Danie about the newest book in the series, Ecko Burning!
Kristin Centorcelli: Danie, I absolutely loved Ecko Rising! Will you tell us what we can expect from the new book, Ecko Burning?
Danie Ware: Ecko Burning carries the story to new heights, increasing the political and social insight and tension as we move towards collapse. It also following Ecko and his motley crew as they’re lured into a confrontation with an old enemy they can’t hope to face. No spoilers about the ending – but I had a load of excessive fun writing it!
DW: Apart from the end? It’s sheer freedom. It’s the freedom of being able to write pure fantasy, and being able to use the tents of science fiction; the freedom of seeing how they spark, one from other, how they can both interweave and reflect each other, and how they can starkly differ. And it’s the freedom of taking what you need from two genres and then writing something that’s both original and homage! Ecko is about acknowledging rules are and then choosing to break them, and that’s the most fun of all.
KC: The gang went through a LOT in Ecko Rising. How would you say that Ecko and Co. have grown since the first book?
DW: Ecko himself faces a revelation at the end of this book – an epiphany that’s vitally necessary for him to survive. Triqueta and Amethea are both strengthening, coming to terms with what’s happened to them, and Rhan needs to remember where he left his cojones. There are other character changes though – great big ones – that’re there to shock and surprise. You’ll have to read the book!
KC: The Ecko series, at least for me, is very cinematic, so I have to ask…who do you think you’d cast as Ecko and Company if it were to hit the big screen?
DW: Oh good grief – this is always a tough one! Ecko himself hovers somewhere between Andy Serkis, Jackie Haley’s Rorshach, and Michael Keaton in BeetleJuice. With just a hint of Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler.
Amethea would look like Katheryn Winnick in The Vikings, and Triqueta like a somewhat smaller (and gold) version of Claudia Black in FarScape.
Gerard Butler would make a good Redlock (that one’s easy); the Bard seems to look like a non-Loki’d up Tom Hiddleston (longer hair and a short beard). And Rhan… who was it that played Pygar in Barbarella?
DW: The last book was Joanne Harris’s The Gospel of Loki, one I really enjoyed. I’ve loved the Viking (and Greek) myths from childhood and seeing them though new eyes, and with a modern turn to the language, was like revisiting an old friend. I’ve always had a soft spot for Loki himself as well – and one that seems to be publicly shared, judging by his recent rise in book, comics and film! I’d like to think that there was something of him in Ecko, but maybe that’s just the firelight…
KC: I’ve asked this questions quite a few times, and am never less than fascinated by the answer: Since becoming a published author, what is one of the most interesting/strange/etc. things you‘ve learned, and what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?
DW: That writing the book is only the beginning. That once it’s written, and accepted, that you have a whole crew of people who are there to support and help you, and who will make that book better. It’ll be a learning incline, and it’ll be hard work – you’ll sweat blood and you’ll throw things – but knowing that other people share your dream with you is a huge thing to realise. They’re there to make it better, and you can trust them!
And other’s the only piece of advice that ever really matters: put bum on chair, put fingers in keyboard. Face the cold page – and never, ever, ever quit.
KC: What’s next for you, this year and beyond?
DW: The third book in the series, Ecko Endgame, will tie all of the story threads into one epic ending. It’s a conclusion to span both worlds and all realities – you might even call it a fractal breakthrough, the realisation that everything connects to everything else. With Ecko done, though, it might be time for new direction. And that’s a big secret, for the moment!