Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Guest interview: John Blackport

 Rick Rivoire is flush with money, women, and prospects. He protects his country as one of the Rainguns, an elite regiment of spellcasting cavalry. But national policy drifts ominously into slavery and religious persecution, sparking rebellion. Joining the rebels could land Rick on a prison ship, in slave-irons --- or atop the same gallows where he watched his father hang. The alternative looks no brighter. He must either defend a government whose actions disgust him --- or risk everything he has.
Warning: This book contains graphic violence and some explicit sex. It is intended for adults only.
Q: John, your story sounds quite unique. What influenced you?
A: Stories by Bernard Cornwell; George Macdonald Fraser; and to a lesser extent, C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian.  My hero is a cavalry mage.  He conjures his own magical mount whenever he can, because he doesn’t get along with horses very well.  He also thinks of magical theory only when he must --- the way the men of Sharpe’s Rifles rarely think of ballistics theory, even when they must conserve their ammunition.
Q: This is historical fantasy, which is certainly a unique genre. From where did you draw inspiration?
A: In a way, I was inspired by the real-world wars that America has been involved with over this last decade.  I wanted to show how politics, money and religion can all interact to drive fundamentally good people to seek the ruin of other fundamentally good people. These forces are not cancers that can somehow be surgically removed from society, they are part of being human.
Q: You've certainly put a lot of thought into this book. Tell us how and why it's different than everything else out there. 
A: I always knew I liked fantasy, but I also knew I didn't want to write about another Dark Lord who wants to destroy everything for no apparent reason. The appeal of this trope is similar to real-world conspiracy theories: there's some comfort in the fantasy that all evil ultimately comes from the same place.
I believe the real truth is both more depressing, more uplifting, and more fascinating.  The real truth is that there are no simple answers: our lives, both public and private, truly are as complex and confusing as they appear. But that's also what makes them wondeful. 
Raingun is now available at Amazon and Smashwords
A sample chapter and more available at the author's website.


  1. Great interview!! Thanks for posting.

  2. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to do more in the future!