A short while ago,I wrote up Thief with No Name by Emily Gee. She was kind enough o answer a couple of questions about the book.
What drove you to write your novel?
I loved the darkness of the story–although obviously there are much darker fantasy novels out there–and I really enjoyed writing Thief. It was the first time Iâ€™d done anything so dark, and it was a lot of fun!
Through the novel, you focus on Melke and itâ€™s almost a feminist fantasy. What made you write the book in such a way and what choices did you make to realise the novelâ€™s ending?
Itâ€™s interesting that you think Thief is almost feminist, because I donâ€™t think of it like that at all! Itâ€™s also been called female-centric … again, not what Iâ€™d call it. Thief is Melkeâ€™s story, but equally itâ€™s Bastianâ€™s. With regard to the ending, I didnâ€™t make any conscious choices; that was how the story unfolded in my head!
The focus on the salamanders in unusual. How did this and the unusual sex scenes come about?
Actually, the original seed of an idea had a lamia, which eventually became a psaaron and the salamanders. I love the salamanders!
I didnâ€™t deliberately set out to write a book with disturbing sex in it. The story evolved in my head over several months and the sex was an integral part of the plot–and as inevitable as the ending.
How do the genres of fantasy and romance work together in your view?
I think that fantasy and romance go very well together. Off the top of my head, I canâ€™t recall reading many fantasy novels, or fantasy series, that didnâ€™t have an element of romance somewhere. I wouldnâ€™t have wanted to write Thief without the romance. My personal opinion is that romance adds depth to fantasy novels.
Who influenced you and what are you currently reading?
If anyone has influenced me, I guess it would be the fantasy writers whose books I like to read. Two of my favourite fantasy authors are Robin McKinley and Diana Wynne Jones, both of whom can get quite dark! Iâ€™ve just started reading You Had Me At Halo by Amanda Ashby, and next on my list are The Summoner by Gail Martin and Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh.
Do we see any more of Melke or are you now writing something different?
The novel Iâ€™m writing at the moment is set on a different world to Thief–more Elizabethan than Medieval–and has a different kind of magic. Itâ€™s still dark, like Thief, and has an element of romance. You wonâ€™t see Melke again, although itâ€™s possible Iâ€™ll revisit the world of Thief one day. Iâ€™d love to do a lamia story!