Interview with Fantasy Author Bruce Skye

A former technical writer, detail is important to Bruce Skye. His research for the Deathsong Chronicles included medieval armor and fortresses, as well as Celtic names and magic. "If you create a world, it must be consistent. And that's what I strive for Grayrider's world to be. I've built a database of material for each of the Deathsong Chronicles. Those databases aid me in keeping the world the same from book to book.

"When I wrote Grayrider, I followed the advice of Stephen King. I did not write the book following any sort of outline. I have no more idea than my readers do when I write a novel what will happen in the midst of the story. It makes it more exciting for both the readers and myself."

You can visit his website at

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Bruce. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I’ve been everything from a PC technician to setting off professional fireworks on the 4th of July. I’ve been writing novels for about 5 or 6 years now, as well as being a published poet.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

The novel revolved around a refugee king, Gabriel the Gray. His parents were murdered by those who invaded his land. He now fights for the realm south of his own, attempting to keep the Ansgar Empire from seizing that kingdom as well. All he has is a magical sword and an immense black warhorse to aid him in this struggle. But all is not what it seems. This is a story which has been within me since 1979. Several years ago I decided to finally put it on paper.

What kind of research was involved in writing Grayrider?

Medieval weaponry and battles as well as Celtic names, magic and legends were all researched.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I had quite a bit of input. The artists sent me a first cover which showed Grayrider wearing armor, which he doesn't. So I had to send back long descriptions of him and his horse before that was corrected.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

To be quite honest, it's been quite a bumpy ride. I spent 4 years writing and having my work rejected by agents. It was only in the last year that I found an excellent agent who was able to sell my work to a publisher.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

Approximately 14 weeks for the e-book version. It took less time to bring the book to print afterwards.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

Yes. Her name is Georgina. She’s a senior agent works for the Writers Literary Agency. And yes, I think an agent is essential to getting a book successfully published.

Do you plan subsequent books?

There will be at least two more. The second book in the series I hope to publish later this year.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I’m definitely a morning writer.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

More aggressive and extensive Internet as well as radio advertising.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self promotion is essential to succeeding as an author. Publishers, for the most part, can be considered simply print shops. They won’t sell your work. Only you can. To do that, you must believe in what you’re doing and don’t be afraid in getting a few lumps in the process. You must sell yourself and your work if you are to succeed in this business.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Stay at it and keep writing. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was amazed at the common assumption someone could sit down and bang out a bestseller or a great TV script without any practice. He maintained practice was just as essential for a writer as it was for an Olympic athlete. He was right. So keep writing and don’t give up!

Thank you for this interview, Bruce. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

They can find me at I also have a character blog being written by the hero of Grayrider at The book is available on both and the Barnes & Noble websites. Any bookstore can order it for you.

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