City of Ruin is now out in the US and I spotted this lovely review at Drying Ink:
Beware, though – there are no author’s darlings here! Characters suffer the consequences of their actions – or beyond them with impunity, and though it’s no A Storm of Swords yet… There’s definitely an ‘anyone can die’ feel to the book which definitely adds to the tension! There’s no safety net of ‘oh, x won’t be killed off’: because x very well might be. Then brutally dismembered for added drama, and sold as meat…
Mark Charan Newton has reached a stage of brutal genius, and I can’t wait to read more!
I thought I had mentioned this here, but it turns out I haven’t. There’s a pretty big interview with me, by Jeff VanderMeer, over at the Omnivoracious blog on Amazon.com. We talk about the books, but also about my approach to some of the technical aspects of writing, for what it’s worth:
Amazon.com: How do you approach characterization? And to what extent is the city in the novel “created” by the viewpoint characters?
Newton: I try to create a character who does something unusual, or has something about their personality that marks them out as different. That’s the starting point, because that then makes them interesting for me to write about (I have a low boredom threshold with characters). Then–just like everyone in the real world–I know they have problems, issues, or things they have to cope with–and I want that to be a decent part of what they have to do in the novel. For example, I wanted to know what it would be like if the military commander in the novel just happened to be gay, but was hiding that from people–what would that mean for the narrative, how would that shape his plot? How would it get in the way of his job? It’s those kinds of questions that make it all interesting…
If you’ve been brought up on ebook torrents and no longer think books should be paid for ever again, then you can win a copy of City of Ruin for free (and guilt-free!) at Blood of the Muse (though you’ve about a day left to enter).
Oh, and while I’m rambling on about the books, we’ve settled on a name for the monster in book four. It’s going to be called the Mourning Wasp.