Monday, June 20, 2016

Andy Peloquin: Author Interview & Spotlight

Ready for some Dark Fantasy with a bit of Sword & Sorcery? Please welcome Andy Peloquin, author of Blade of the Destroyer.

Book Blurb:

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer
The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?


A chill hung in the night air, and sweat dripped down the nameless nobleman's back, soaking his thick tunic. He clenched his fists to still his shaking hands. His nondescript clothing blended with the rough crowd of the Blackfall District, and yet he felt eyes upon him, following his every step.
He cast anxious glances around the darkened alleyway, searching for a sign of…what?
By Derelana, why do I fear so?
Perhaps it was the terror of a moonless night, or the instinctive fear dredged up at the thought of meeting the legendary Hunter of Voramis.
He chided himself. Fuck me for a jumpy little princess!
He would rather be somewhere else, anywhere else, but here. He had no desire to face the creature the mothers of Voramis used to threaten their children into behaving. His mother had used those legends to frighten him, and he had developed a healthy fear.
Get it together. You have a job to do. Get in, get it done, and get the fiery hell out of there!
The doors to the dilapidated tavern swung shut behind, but none of the handful of patrons at the tables paid him any heed. He slipped a pair of copper bits into the bartender's hand.
"Top of the stairs, door at the end of the hall," the portly pub landlord drawled as he made the coins disappear.
The stairs creaked dangerously as the noble climbed, but he forced himself to place one foot in front of the other. The smell of mold filled his nostrils and threatened to make him sneeze. Swallowing hard, he stared at the door at the end of the darkened hall. It looked like something out of his nightmares, and it made his blood run cold.
"Hello?" he called in a weak voice as he entered the room.
He saw no one in the gloomy darkness, and breathed a sigh of relief as he closed the door behind him. Believing himself alone, the noble took deep, calming breaths.
"What brings you to the underbelly of Voramis, little man?" The voice sounded far too close for the nobleman's liking.
He leapt backward, a feminine squeak bursting from his mouth. His back slammed against the door, knocking the breath from his lungs.
Fucking Hunter!
The nobleman struggled to regain his composure, trying to ignore the thick drops of sweat rolling down his face and coating his palms.
"I-I-I h-have a c-c-commission for you, er, Hunter, sir," he managed to stutter.
"Tell me more," the Hunter said in a rough voice. He stepped forward, pulling back his hood.
Scars crisscrossed the dark face, twisting his upper lip into a perpetual sneer. Heavy brows hooded his dark eyes, and his crooked nose had been broken and badly set. A scarlet ribbon bound his midnight black hair, which hung in long, greasy strands.
Bloody twisted hell, no wonder he hides himself. I would too if I looked like that!
The nobleman realized his mouth hung open, and snapped it shut. He belatedly tried to hide his revulsion at seeing the Hunter's grim visage, but knew it had shown through.
The dark figure with the horrible face waited in silence, clearly unaffected by the nobleman's disdain.
"My, er, master," stuttered the shaken man, gulping as he spoke, "requests your services in a matter of a…er… delicate nature."
The Hunter raised an eyebrow. "Your master understands that delicate situations cost more?"
"Of course, sir, er, Hunter. I have more than enough to c-cover any extras beyond your usual fees." The nobleman removed a leather purse from his cloak. His hand trembled as he passed it to the Hunter, who balanced it in a burn-scarred hand.
"Good. It will suffice." The purse disappeared into the Hunter's cloak with a movement that caused the noble to jump. His cheeks burned with shame, and he saw mockery in the Hunter's cold eyes. "You have the other item?" the Hunter demanded.
"Of-of course," the noble stammered. He fished around in his robes for a moment before producing a handkerchief. His fingers brushed dangerously close to the Hunter's hand as the assassin took the kerchief, and the aristocrat's skin crawled.
"I-I hope it is enough," the noble whispered, the fear in his voice audible. "It was all my master could procure."
The Hunter's rough fingers traced the initials embroidered in one corner of the delicate cloth. G.D.
"It will do," the Hunter rasped.
"So you will take the job? You'll make the coward pay for his affront to my master? The swine—"
The Hunter cut him off. "I care little for your master's reasons why, as long as his coin is good. The job will be done." He pulled the hood up, obscuring all but his mouth from the nobleman's view. "Does your master have any special requests?"
"No," the noble replied. "He simply wishes for the job to be done before the Feast of the Mistress, and would prefer the target die in his own home. It is to send a message, you see, to all the nobles of Voramis that—"
"No details, fool," the Hunter growled, interrupting him. "They matter not."
The nobleman stiffened, offended at the Hunter's interruption. The muscles in his back went rigid, and he somehow summoned up the courage to glare at the Hunter. One look into the dark hood, however, and his pride deflated.
"Good." The Hunter's mouth twisted into a horrifying semblance of a grin. "I will contact you when the job is complete."
Shuffling nervously from foot to foot, the noble called upon all of his limited courage and limitless self-importance to stand tall, when he wanted nothing more than to flee. He thought he detected a smile twitch the corner of the Hunter's lips.
"Have the rest of the sum at hand," the Hunter grated. "I will expect it once I have carried out the contract."
"Of-of course," the noble said, "I will…"
He trailed off as he found himself talking to an empty room. The Hunter had simply disappeared, startling him and leaving him feeling like a fool.
Long moments passed before the noble regained his shattered composure. The darkness of the room haunted him, and his eyes darted around as if expecting to see the Hunter standing there once more. His breath came in ragged gasps, and every muscle in his body tensed in fear.
"Fucking Hunter," he cursed in a quiet voice.
He wiped sweaty palms on his fine robes, and his hands shook as he reached for the doorknob. His fear diminished with each shaky step toward the dim light of the stairwell, his relief growing as he stepped into the smoky alehouse taproom. Ignoring the few patrons sitting and drinking, he stumbled into the cool Voramis night.
He breathed deep, filling his lungs with the foul-smelling air and letting the chill calm his nerves.
"Fucking Hunter," he repeated. The curse helped to restore some of his shaken confidence.
His sweat-sodden robes clung to his body, causing him to shudder and pull his cloak tighter. The heavy garment offered some protection from the cold, but the noble knew it would be hours before he would be able to sit without feeling a stab of panic.
With his attention consumed by his desire to leave the stinking alehouse and the horrific memory of the Hunter's scarred visage behind, the terrified man failed to notice the dark figure sitting on the inn rooftop. Midnight black eyes followed the noble's steps, and a scarlet ribbon fluttered in the breeze.

Get it here:

A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis--a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (Blade of the Destroyer--dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)


Andy Peloquin--a third culture kid to the core--has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.

When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn't looked back since.

Andy's first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.
Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.


1. Dark Fantasy and a heroic anti-hero, what led you to write in this genre?

I love fantasy as a genre, but I find that a lot of fantasy novels fail to take into account just how harsh and unforgiving life was for the common man in medieval times. Dark fantasy (grimdark, really) has that gritty, grim tone that I love. Plus, it's so much fun to put my characters through the grinder when I'm writing a book with the outset of "this is going to push him/her to their limits and beyond".

As for an anti-hero, I've always been fascinated by the darker side of human nature. I, like all humans, have to fight the urge to punch someone in the face when they're an a******e. Writing a character that gets to do that is a TON of fun. To make him realistic and someone you can root for, I had to give him just enough heroism. It's a beautiful balance, one I relish exploring.

2. It looks like you have gotten a lot of great reviews. What's the key to getting reviews?
I've given away A LOT of copies of the book to people, asking them to write an honest review. From 1 to 5 stars, it doesn't matter, so long as the review is constructive and honest. Plus, I've been lucky enough to have my book bought by people who love to write reviews.

3. What are you currently writing? Is there a Book Two on the way?

Oh absolutely, and a Books 3 through 6! Book Two is sitting in the publisher's hands as we speak, and I'm coming down the home stretch on Book 3. The rough draft of Book 4 is written and with alpha readers. I intend to have all six books written and submitted by 2019.

Plus, I'm working on a separate series set in the same world, but with a different character--a young thief girl instead of a half-demon assassin. A different side of the criminal world, but with the same gritty tone.

4. It looks like you are a hybrid author, both self-published and traditionally published. Tell us about your publishing experience.

I self-published my first novel, In the Days, but in doing so, I realized that I'm not perfect. I can't write, edit, and proofread. I knew I needed people to help me make my books as good as they can be, so working with a publisher has ensured that my work goes through as many edits/proofreads as possible. The end result is MUCH better for it.

Most of the marketing is still on my shoulders, but that's to be expected. However, in working with a small indie press, I've come to understand that my goal is NOT necessarily to make money, but to put out great books and get them in the hands of as many people as possible. That means working with a large press--my ultimate goal.

5. What have you learned since publishing your first book that you wish you knew just starting out?

Be patient. I blasted through my first book in 3 months--from first draft to self-publishing. I worked way too many hours, pissed off my family, and essentially rushed through it. While the book is still a creation I'm proud of, I'd do it differently now. I've learned to take my time to make sure the books are really good.

6. I'm intrigued by your main character, The Hunter of Voramis. What makes him tick?

The Hunter is a very complicated person, yet simple at the same time.

He has a need to kill, thanks to his dagger. If he doesn't feed it, it becomes like a migraine headache mixed with internal voices. He has become an assassin as sort of a coping mechanism. He gets paid to kill, and he finds peace from the dagger.

But the life of an assassin has made him an outsider. He has no place in the world, and so he feels isolated and alone. He wants to belong, but cannot. So it's really the story of a man trying to make a genuine human connection with people who are nothing like him. A problem I can definitely relate to.

He's no hero, but he has decency in him. He's the shadow between dark and light--to quote one of my favorite songs "On the wrong side of Heaven, but the righteous side of Hell".

Follow Andy at these places...

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