Interview with James Bartholomeusz, author of The Grey Star

Publisher: Medallion Press

Publication Date: December 1, 2013

Synopsis: After thwarting the Cult of Dionysus and with the city of Nexus in ruins, all that remains for the Apollonians is to find the final Shards of the Risa Star before the Cult can use it to wreak havoc on an astronomical scale—but in this final installment of the Seven Stars trilogy, Jack Lawson and his allies face unexpected challenges. They are worlds apart; some battling old enemies in a desert fortress, and others in a formerly prosperous city-state that is slipping into totalitarianism. All the while, the pieces of a greater puzzle have been moving into place and a trap has been laid, and Jack must confront a truth that threatens to destroy everything.

The Seven Stars series: The White Fox (1), The Black Rose (2), The Grey Star (3)

Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.

A. As with the previous books in the series, I've had a lot of different influences. I've said before that I don't like talking about this too much - I prefer for readers to be able to make their own links! - but I hope people will be able to pick up veins of mythology, political history and certain aspects of philosophy.

I'd say that, where The White Fox grew very much out of my reading at school, The Black Rose and The Grey Star have been more a product of my university studies. So readers who know the humanities curriculum at Exeter may be in a privileged position!

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

A. Writing affects me in many different ways, but this book specifically has felt like a maturation. It's the completion of my first published series and a story that's been gestating for around a decade, so it feels like a pretty big deal for it to be coming to an end. I suppose it's a fitting point to reach in my graduation year.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

A. I don't really like the idea of 'writers block' - it's far too simplistic a notion - but there are definitely times when you feel very creative compared to others. I find writing regularly and pushing something through to completion the two hardest things. I tend to have bursts of inspiration every so often which produce a lot of beginnings but it then takes a real push to follow them through.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

A. Absolutely. I've got a lot of ideas in the pipeline - novels, short stories, poetry, plays - but I'm going to take my time. I'm just starting my MA, which will be very busy, though I expect it to yield a lot of ideas. And, as much as I've enjoyed it, it's good to have some breathing space from the 'one novel a year' timetable. So watch this space!

Q. What are you currently reading?

A. Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. I'm enjoying it, but I'm still waiting for the point at which I realise it's one of the greatest novels ever written. Notes from Underground (which I read last summer) was near-perfect, so I'm hoping this will do that one justice. Oh, and some metaphysics for my philosophy course, which is enthralling in a very different way...

Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).

A. I guess it's that I've just come back from summer school and travelling in China. I'd thoroughly recommend Shanghai to anyone looking to travel - it's the most incredible metropolis and there's so much to see and do. And if you get the opportunity to study Mandarin and politics at East China Normal University, all the better.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

A. Nothing beyond the obvious - just a big thank you for sticking with the series thus far and I hope you all enjoy the final part of the trilogy. Any feedback, please let me know!

Giveaway Information: 

There are 5 copies of 'The Grey Star' for giveaway!

To enter: please leave a comment with your email address. The winner will be chosen at random once the giveaway ends December 13, 2013. This giveaway is open to US Residents only.

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