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Tuesday, November 14, 2023

'Interesting things happen to interesting people'


"I want readers turning pages until three o'clock in the morning. I want the themes of books to stick around for a reader. I'm always trying to find a way to balance characters and theme.” – Guy Gavriel Kay


Kay, born in Canada in November 1954, has had a knack for creating what is commonly known as “page turner” books, writing historical fantasy fiction with a flair that has distinguished his writing over several decades. He cut his teeth on fantasy writing by traveling to Oxford to assist Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien, editing J.R.R.’s unpublished work The Silmarillion.  With that experience as inspiration he began his own career with The Summer Tree. 


Many of his novels are set in fictional realms that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I, or Spain during the time of El Cid.   He has authored more than a dozen best-selling novels, now translated into some two dozen-plus languages with settings and lead characters from almost every era.


He has won multiple awards, including The World Fantasy Award for the book Ysabel, set in modern day France but bringing his teenage lead into direct contact with characters from both the distant past and a “parallel” world to ours.    


 “I have always argued,” Kay said, “(that) in a good novel, interesting things happen to interesting people, no matter who they are or where they are from.”

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