We’re happy to have Chris Turner here to talk more about Freebooter and his fantasy series.
1. Baus is definitely the king of anti-hero’s, what were your inspirations for writing the character?
While reading a lot of different fantasy, I noted it was always those characters who were off the wall that got under my skin, i.e. the ones with mischievous natures and a grey area built up around them. The more these qualities they had, the more they fascinated me…The concept of the anti-hero is a dangerous area for any author to explore, especially in any longer work. Over the years I’ve had a healthy inspiration of Jack Vance, Alexander Dumas and Fritz Leiber as well as Andy Kaufman in the comedy arena…
2. I really liked the character of Valere, are there any plans for his story in the future?
Yes. Other readers have expressed that they too liked Valere. He develops in Book II, Freebooter as a character rich in experience and stability. He ends up being a major player in this series, actually as a foil to Baus. There exists a bond between him and Baus, the main character, that is sometimes very intense, yet always supportive, even though the two are really rogues. Both are comrades in exile—Valere is the older and somewhat veteran vagabond outlaw of the party, who many times serves as the seasoned voice that stops Baus from completely going off into deep water. Like other characters in the story, the twain’s past history is less important than their ongoing deeds and the situations they get themselves embroiled in.
3. What research did you do for this book and did you find the world building difficult or easy?
I have always been a fan of medieval fantasy. As a result, I’ve soaked up a lot of old world facts and figures, similarly no small amount of historical fiction. I researched a lot of old ships for Book II—caravels, windjammers and whatnot, tales of pirates, finding out what weapons they used, how they fought, what was important to them, and how hellish it was to be on those majestic ships sailing for weeks on end, with the law close on their heels. Oddly enough, a lot of the magical powers that come into play by Book III were derived from descriptions of yogic ‘siddhis’, though more as a dark parody, best evidenced by Aurimag the magician.
The ‘outlaw’ archetype has always intrigued me too. Robin Hood, as a classic example, is almost ‘too good’ a character for where I wanted to take ‘Rogues’. I wanted a character that was really unpredictable, one who really had no scruples, who also could get away with almost anything and be completely a joker at times, not assessing or caring about the heap of trouble he stirred up. This was the glue I needed to keep the reader guessing at every step…
As for world-building, I will be the first to admit that it is no easy pastime. Everything has to be visualized in minute detail. The setting has to be consistent to the reader, while at the same time integrating with the story and the characters. The process is so engrossing, that even while working day by day for a lot of years, I must admit that it didn’t really feel like work. I could dwell in those worlds. I could see the story unfold in greater detail week by week, visualize every seaside cliff, every wild island, gleaming palace, colourful market, prison cell, game and trick played, sea-battle and skirmish, strife and conquest, rivalry and grievance, and weirdly ironic situation. After throwing in a backdrop of bizarre dialogue, I felt the package complete. It was a lot of fun (minus the editing!..)
4. As a fantasy writer what is your biggest goal when composing your novels?
To be somewhat original. This is very challenging in today’s world of wall to wall fantasy numbering in the tens of thousands of titles. Writing a story that has a lasting impression and is entertaining is a close second. There may be a lot of readers who will have a double-take reading ‘Rogues’, simply because the style is unorthodox and revolves around an uncharacteristic flamboyance of language, but that is the price to be paid, in my opinion, for a certain flavour of originality. And after having said this, I would not have done it any another way.
5. Finally, how many books about Baus and his adventures are available and can we expect more?
Rogues of Bindar is a trilogy consisting of the books: Wolfshead, Freebooter and Redeemer. The saga is complete by Book III. An omnibus version exists. Yes, there is scope for more continuing adventures of Baus, which I hope to write in the future…However, that is a major undertaking and will require more than a few years of planning.
Visual artist, meditator, writer of fantasy, adventure and SF.
Chris’s books include: The Relic Retriever, The Rogues of Bindar series, Future Destinies, Fantastic Realms and Denibus Ar.
Chris is also a prolific painter, with nearly a thousand oil art works to his name. He has also been involved in extensive studio recording, guitar and keyboard. After graduating from University of Waterloo in Computer Science in the ‘90s he backpacked and biked throughout Europe and Asia before teaching computer programming courses in Ottawa, Canada. Visit Chris at his website
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