Oliver Blakemore - Storyteller
I'm open to working with an agent who can a) name the best Judas Priest album, b) see why that's an interesting question, or c) justify why the answer is Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin.
I tried to explain myself once. But I stuttered, so I wrote it down.
The rest is the present.
I write fantasy novels and short stories, but I forgot to make a study of the conventions of fantasy. I grew up on the storytelling assumptions of other genres (mystery, spy fiction, a hard sci-fi, epic saga). Now I write the books I want to read. My mother always said that if I see a problem that I have the power to fix then I've just discovered my purpose too. Since the age of twelve, I've been writing the books that I wanted to read: that is to say, fantasy that felt as deep as Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter, as clever as a Sherlock Holmes story, as intricate as a le Carré novel, as precise as anything by Raymond Chandler, and as immediate as Rocket to Russia by the Ramones. I wanted those books, so I've written them.
The heartache of which is now I'll never read them for the first time.
I've found a silver lining. While comparison is specious, I have grown to appreciate the truth that some writers out there do write books that I wanted when I was a child. Now I want to appear on lists with these authors...
Jonathan L. Howard
To a certain extent, Christopher Moore
But especially Natasha Pulley, whose mind I have a profound crush upon.
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, was my entry drug into this other side of fantasy, where it could be truer than true and sprawling and weird without compromising whether or not it could be entertaining.
I have a novel (City Song) and a collection of short stories (Ragged Museum). They are my portfolio and the proofs of my work ethic and devotion to this profession.
At present, I'm in the process of editing another fantasy novel, and I have several more on back burners waiting to get stirred up to see what spirits rise out.
Although I have a modicum of natural skill with words, I'm mainly proud of my work ethic. I work bloody hard on this storytelling thing, and as good at is as I've grown to be I mostly look forward to the stories that someday I will have the wit to tell as prettily as they deserve.