It is a great pleasure for me to welcome D. Bassiti, the author of God of Thieves : Initiation Book here, in my blog.
Hi, and thanks for inviting me!
Tell me a little about yourself?
Well, although I’ve been writing for some time, I only recently made the jump to full-time. I left the London rat-race and moved to beautiful sunny Spain. It’s working out really well! I give thanks every single day for being in such a fortunate position in my life, and to do what I love in such beautiful surroundings.
What have been your recent projects?
It’s been an exciting and creative period for me. In the last year I collaborated on a self-help book, focusing on mindfulness, which is very important to me. I also published a novel under a pen name, because it’s in a very “different” genre…
Haha, I totally understand, say no more!
But most of my time has been spent on the most recent Craft of Shadows book, the first in a prequel series to “Jewel of Nineveh”, entitled “God of Thieves: Initiation”. Like “Jewel” it’s a rich and complex adventure following some orphaned thieves and their mysterious master.
How do you approach such large projects?
In my ‘old life’ I had a lot of experience with project management, and thankfully many of those skills transfer well to writing novels. I’m a big fan of Directed Brainstorming, although it’s a process that is heavily dependent on the skills and experience of the people running it. After that I have a profusion of spreadsheets and mindmaps, but moving to Scrivener a couple of years back was one of the best steps in streamlining my process.
I do believe that stories have a life of their own, and I let my characters speak to each other, and tell me things they think are important. I learn some of the most important things in my story by listening to the characters explain it to me! This does mean that sometimes they are in charge. “God of Thieves” was originally conceived as a single short novel, but more characters demanded I listen to their stories and motivations, and those fears and dreams all ended up expanding the original story into something deeper, richer and more epic in scale. Zarbenus (the Magister), the eponymous anti-hero of “God of Thieves”, has a particularly annoying habit of invading my dreams and mocking me for not keeping up with his plots and strategies. Waking up and thinking, “now I understand what you’ve been up to!”, has been key to many of the central twists in his story arc.
There is a lot of mythology in your fantasy works, mixed in with a lot of archaeology and history. Did you set out to write that sort of story?
I actually set out just to consolidate my notes on the backstory for some central characters, but then their stories dragged me in deeper and I was hooked. Who could turn down the chance to find out the secrets of a master thief spending twenty years on an elaborate plan for revenge?
I’m fascinated by the recurring motifs in mythology. Symbols or images that are so powerful to our minds that we re-tell them over and over for thousands of years. Although my books are all about action and adventure, and in no way academic investigations into mythology, these ideas inspire me and stimulate my writing. In God of Thieves, I drew heavily on the triple-goddess image that celebrates three stages of divine womanhood. This I explored through the personification of Hekate, a goddess of importance in Greek and Roman mythology. The first volume, “Initiation”, features a feral orphan central to the plot, and their feelings related to the loss of their mother. Various themes explore this, in particular his relationship to the supernatural temptations of a protective mother goddess—Hekate as the Night Mother.
In the second volume, “Injustice”, the plot deepens in complexity and danger as the characters mature and face new challenges. The relationship of the protagonist to Hekate changes as he struggles to separate himself from constricting maternal bonds, and ultimately explores his relationship with the maiden aspect of the triple-goddess; characterised by romantic attraction as well as deception. The journey of growth from child to adult has many resonances with recurring fables and legends of this time in life when the maternal influences recede and are supplanted by the romantic and the sexual.
The third volume, “Retribution”, draws heavily on the final aspect of the triple-goddess, that of the crone or matriarch. Modern patriarchal societies are often in conflict with strong female motifs, and I find the crone one of the most fascinating as its origins are obscured in the mists of prehistory. I saved my favourite and most powerful theme for the final volume, but don’t want to give away anything at this stage. You’ll have to read the book!
Looking forward to it!
Now it’s time for me to get back to writing. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you.
My pleasure, and good luck. Any last words for our readers?
Be excellent to each other 🙂