Mark Lawrence is married with four children. His day job is as a research scientist in the field of artificial intelligence. His first novel, The Prince of Thorns was published to critical acclaim and became a bestseller. Visit him here.
NAW- Tell us about your book, Prince of Fools. How did you get the idea for it? How difficult (or easy) is it penning down a book series?
The inspiration for the main character, Jalan, came from George MacDonald Fraser’s book Flashman (1969) and subsequent series. MacDonald Fraser himself lifted Flashman from Tomas Hughes’s Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857), so he is a new incarnation of a character who’s been with us at least 150 years!
I don’t find writing hard. I enjoy it.
NAW- How long did you take to finish the book? How did you decide the title?
It took about 6 months. The title is both fitting to the subject and an echo of Prince of Thorns, the title of my first book.
NAW- What drew you to the fantasy genre?
My mother read me Lord of the Rings when I was seven.
NAW- Tell us about your other works.
Before Prince of Fools I wrote the Broken Empire trilogy, starting with Prince of Thorns. It’s set in the same world as Prince of Fools but has a darker tone. The main character, Jorg Ancrath is a violent and destructive young man who might be the villain in many other books.
NAW- Tell us about yourself. What do you do when you are not writing?
My day-job is as a research scientist. I work in various areas that might be described as artificial intelligence. I’ve worked with highly classified information for both the UK and US governments.
NAW- Please name your favourite poets. Are there any who you’d like to name as an inspiration?
Philip Larkin, Wilfred Owen, Rainer Maria Rilke. I wouldn’t say any of them is a particular inspiration.
NAW-What are you currently reading?
Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb. A wonderfully written book.
NAW- What will you be working on next?
I’m finishing off the third book of The Red Queen’s War trilogy that begins with Prince of Fools. After that, I don’t know!