Wednesday, 12 February 2020

An Extra Slice of Cake With... B.K. Bass

I am delighted to welcome back B.K. Bass to 'extra-slice' - let's see what he's been up to!

B.K. Bass is an author of science fiction, fantasy, and horror inspired by the pulp fiction magazines of the early 20th century and classic speculative fiction. He is a student of history with a particular focus on the ancient, classical, and medieval eras. He has a lifetime of experience with a specialization in business management and human relations, and served in the U.S. Army. B.K. is also an owner and Publisher at Kyanite Publishing, the Editor-in-Chief of the Kyanite Press journal of speculative fiction, and the Writing Department Chair for Worldbuilding Magazine.

What types of books do you love to read?

Mostly science fiction and fantasy, with a smattering of horror and mystery. I love anything with a healthy dose of action. If there’s swords or spaceships, I want to find out more. I’d say my tastes are a bit eclectic within that scope. I gravitate towards short story anthologies that are full of old pulp-style tales of fast-paced action and adventure. On the other hand, I love nothing more than a sweeping, multi-volume epic fantasy series like the Wheel of Time. I’m also drawn to anything dark, so dark fantasy, macabre horror, and the like. One of the first authors that really hooked me on the power of the written word was Edgar Allen Poe. I started reading him at a young age, and to this day he’s one of my favourite authors. 

Which authors inspire you to write?

I love older books, and I’m a huge fan of the pulp fiction magazines from the early 20th century. A lot of my reading involves collections of stories by those authors; like Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Seabury Quinn. I also enjoy Victorian-era science fiction, so you’ll find H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Mary Shelly on the shelf. The golden age of science fiction in the 1950s and 1960s fascinates me, so I’ve spent time reading Orson Wells, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and others from that time. There’s also the mainstays of epic fantasy like Tolkien, Brooks, Erickson, and Martin. And, I have a rather unhealthy obsession with the 1980s and 1990s novels and anthologies that came out of the Dungeons and Dragons scene; so names like Greenwood, Weis, Hickman, and Salvatore take up a lot of room in the collection!

Since we last had a slice of cake, what have you been working on?

I’ve been pretty busy! When last we shared a cake, I had just finished the first four books in my dark fantasy series The Ravencrest Chronicles (Seahaven, The Hunter’s Apprentice, The Giant and the Fishes, and Tales From The Lusty Mermaid.)

Since then, I’ve started a publishing company called Kyanite Publishing with my business partner Sam Hendricks. We are a small press specializing in publishing works of speculative fiction that showcase a variety of independent voices and present thoughtful and exciting journeys into our own past, future, and other worlds. We also produce a quarterly speculative fiction journal called the Kyanite Press inspired by the old pulp fiction magazines. As of the end of 2019, we’ll have published twenty-seven books and have twenty-seven authors working with us, including those with releases slated for 2020 and 2021!

We’ve re-released The Ravencrest Chronicles books, along with an Omnibus collecting all four. There are also plans for another three books in this series (Midnight Masques, Tapestry of Lies, and Cult of the Shadow Queen.)

I’ve also been working with Worldbuilding Magazine, and have several articles published with them exploring the craft of writing and exploring how studying facets of our own history can help in the worldbuilding process. I’ve recently been appointed as the department head for the writing department there.

And yes, I’ve got some new books as well! Night Shift is the first book of The Night Trilogy, a trio of cyberpunk crime mystery novellas. In this, a routine murder investigation leads a homicide detective to unravelling a conspiracy involving the Russian mob and the government of the city of New Angeles. Warriors of Understone is a heroic fantasy tale set in a dwarven kingdom, which delves into the culture and lives of this fantasy race that’s usually relegated to secondary character status. This, also, is the first of a series called The Tales of Durgan Stoutheart. I’ve also published Parting the Veil, the first novel in a series called Beyond the Veil. This is set in 1939, just at the outbreak of World War Two. This cosmic horror book involves the adventures of a treasure hunter and an archaeologist who find something that leads them on a trip across the globe chasing down clues as the fabric of reality comes apart. Finally, I recently launched What Once Was Home, a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel about a young man surviving in the aftermath of an alien invasion. This dives into some deeper themes of community and morality and presents challenges in retaining one's moral compass in the face of impossible decisions.

What is your next project?

My next release is going to be Blood of the Desert, the first book in a new sandalpunk sword and sorcery series called The Burning Sands. This is inspired by Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. The world in which it’s set is covered in deserts, and the series is going to deal with themes of liberty, government oppression, economic injustice, the bonds of friendship, and community loyalty. More than all of that though, it’s an action-packed romp through the sands with tons of violence! It’s unapologetically meant to be fun more than anything. I already have two sequels planned for that as well (Into the Red Wastes and Empire of the Scale). Here’s the blurb for Blood of the Desert:

After escaping a life of slavery, the Taerwyn nomad Brego crosses the wastelands of Erimos. He must flee slavers, bounty hunters, and other more nefarious threats. As he seeks to shed the iron bonds of his youth, Brego treks across the Northern Peninsula in search of something he has never known: a home. In the process he finds something he never expected to find: a family. Allying with an assortment of unsavoury misfits, Brego must fight his way across the Cressian Badlands to find the Taerwyn of the Great Sand Sea. 

Here, Brego seeks to rejoin the people of his blood: the blood of the desert.

Blood of the Desert is currently on my editor’s desk and doesn’t have a release date set, but we have our eyes on the first quarter of 2020 for it.

Have you recently tried any new cake? What was the last cake you baked/bought? 

I’m going to be a rebel here. Last time, when you asked what my favourite cake was, my answer was New York cheesecake. That might have been a clue that I’m actually not a big fan of cakes!

But, I love pie. The good old-fashioned Dutch apple pie is my favourite. I haven’t bought or baked either in a while, but I recently discovered a recipe for an 18th-century savoury onion pie that I’m dying to try out. Here’s a link

Thanks, B.K - I too love pie! You can keep in touch with all of B.K's writing adventures on his website, follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram AND check out his world-building on WorldAnvil.

Join me next week when I interview Sean Haughton. If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find all her books on Amazon. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. 

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