eSpec Books interviews Richard Lee Byers, contributor to The Awakened Modern, edited by Hal Greenberg and Greg Schauer, which is currently funding on Kickstarter.

eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story from The Awakened Modern?

RLB: Actually, no, because it isn’t written yet. My story is a stretch goal.

eSB: What do you like most about The Awakened series, and why?

RLB: I like the limited magic. It allows writers to create formidable, interesting characters without falling into the trap of making them so powerful that nothing can challenge them. The clear parameters of the magic should also give readers the feeling writers are playing by the rules. Unlike some fantasy, the audience shouldn’t have the feeling that the writer can get the hero out of a jam by just having any random, arbitrary thing happen.

eSB: What kind of challenges did you find writing for this series?

RLB: The only story I’ve actually written to date is in the second Awakened anthology. It was set in a city-state that’s basically a fantasy version of ancient India. I’ve never written about that kind of setting before, so I had to do some research.

eSB: What interested you in writing for this series?

RLB: As I mentioned previously, I like the premise, and it’s always good to work with friends you respect and trust like Hal.

eSB: Do you have any plans to expand your story…or write in the same universe? If so, what more can your readers expect?

RLB: If I get into the anthology (like I said, I’m a stretch goal), I imagine I’ll write something that can continue into a hypothetical The Awakened: Modern II. But I don’t know yet what that will be.

eSB: If you could have a special power or familiar, what would it be and why?

RLB: If eternal youth and health counts, I’d take that for what I think are fairly obvious reasons. If that’s not on the menu, teleportation would be nice. Being able to instantly zip to anywhere in the world would greatly enrich a person’s life, or so it seems to be. Lunch in Paris followed by your kung fu lesson in Hong Kong followed by an evening stroll on the beach in Tahiti…pretty great!

eSB: Sunrise or stargazing?

RLB: Stargazing. I’m definitely not a get up early kind of person.

eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?

RLB: Recent books: Black Dogs (Privateer Press), The Impostor: Half a Hero (Rothco Press), The Ghost in the Stone (the Ed Greenwood Group), Dead Time (Crossroad Press.) All my stuff is available on Amazon.

eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?

RLB: Black Crowns (Privateer Press), This Sword for Hire (Rothco Press), Dark Fortune (Crossroad Press), The Things That Crawl (Crossroad Press), The Ire of the Void (Fantasy Flight Games.)

eSB: How can readers find out more about you? 

RLB: Check out my Amazon info and connect with me on social media. Catch me at a science fiction convention like Gen Con or Dragon Con.

Richard Lee Byers is the author of over forty fantasy and horror novels including Pathfinder Tales: Called to DarknessBlind God’s Bluff: A Billy Fox NovelThe Reav er:  The Sundering Book IV, Black Dogs (first in his new “Black River Irregulars” trilogy), The Ghost in the Stone, and the “Impostor” series. His novel The Spectral Blaze won Diehard GameFAN’s award for the Best Game -Based Novel of 2011.

Richard has also published dozens of short stories, some of which are collected in the eBooks The Q Word and Other Stories and Zombies in Paradise. His first graphic novel, the latest installment in the “Basil & Moebius” series created by Ryan Schifrin, will be out soon. He is also working on new electronic games.

 Richard lives in the Tampa Bay area and is a frequent guest at Gen Con, Dragon Con, and Florida SF conventions.

 He invites everyone to Follow him on Twitter (@rleebyers), Friend him on Facebook, and add him to your Circles on Google+.


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