Author Interview – Al Burke – “The King is Dead” (Epic Fantasy)

Hello friends.

Let’s raise a toast to Writer Wednesday again, where does the time go, eh? (Out the window when you are reading or writing, that’s for sure!)

Just a quick note before we get started properly. I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your Spam folders in your Setting Menus and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own blog posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉

For tonight’s entertainment, I have conjured up a conversation with author Al Burke, as he fills us in on his debut fantasy novel “The King is Dead” and tells us what to expect, along with sharing his writing experiences with us.

Let’s get this show on the road and thanks for reading folks.


Hi there Al, fantastic to have you over here to discuss your passions and inspirations, along with your writing endeavours.

Thanks David, it’s great to be here.

Let’s start with your debut novel, the epic fantasy book “The King is Dead”, which you just published at the end of last year. Congratulations! Please tell us more about the plot, what the stakes are for the lead protagonists and the fantasy elements that define your particular tale.

The tale is set in the country of Etruvia, which has known 20 years of peace. The titular hero is Eric, who became king at an early age, but has never had a change to rule in anything other than name, as his father’s former councillors took control. As a result, the citizens on Etruvia believe he is dead (hence the title).

In the far reaches of Etruvia, creatures out of legend are wreaking havoc, and Eric must rise above his own failings to save his country. Helping him along the way is loyal soldier William Rend, who is a former war hero, but has been similarly kept out of the picture by the Council.

The King is Dead

Why do you write in the Fantasy genre? What specifically draws you to this particular genre?

I love fantasy (and speculative fiction in general). It allows you scope to play with historical events and people under the guise of others. You can wax philosophical and political to your heart’s content. And you can have dragons, ogres and other cool creatures.

What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?

How about a racoon? Roots through your trash, then sneers at you as you chase it away. I really have no idea (laughs).

What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?

Not sure I have a quirk or style as yet. I love mythology and philosophy, so expect to see some thrown in there. I also like the idea of using traditional bad guys as heroes.


If your novel was to be made into a film (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?

Chris Hemsworth would make a solid King Eric, while Zach McGowan of Black Sails would be a great William (grizzled vet). He might need to cut his hair though.

What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?

Finding the time is my traditional gripe. One my son goes to kindergarten in September, I have little excuse. As for easiest, once I start rolling, I’m very prolific.

Who are some of the authors, poets and historical figures that inspire you?

Tolkien, Welles, Verne, Bradbury, Orwell and many others.

What sort of research do you do to write your books?

I’ve been researching Irish folklore and mythology (I’m Irish) for my next couple of works. Also some Greek mythology for a potential NaNoWriMo effort.


Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?

I always wrote, even as kid. I enjoy it, and it puts a smile on my face when it all comes together. Prior to writing my novel, I covered NCAA football for about five years. I don’t think I became a writer, I think I was born one.

What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?

The knowledge that it won’t be the end. Inspiration can strike at any time. One must be ready.

You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Start writing now. You can do it, you’re awesome (chuckles)…

How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

Reading or watching TV or movies. Or TV movies. I’m boring.


Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?

Already alluded to this. I’m planning on writing a rift on the Second Battle of Moytura, a famous Irish legend written by Christian monks to inspire the Irish to fight off Viking raiders. I’m also writing some horror short stories based on Irish folklore.

Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?

Sit your butt down. Start writing. Don’t come to me looking for marketing advice.

And that’s a wrap! Thanks for dropping by Al, we look forward to exploring your book soon 🙂

Thanks for having me David, it’s been a blast.


Author Al Burke

Al was born in Dublin, Ireland, but moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2009 with his wife and baby daughter. Now the proud (and active) father of two children, Al pays the bills by working in his local library. Al is the author of The King is Dead, an epic fantasy novel recently published by Bella Tulip Publishing. With his first novel under his belt, Al plans to release at least one more in 2017, including a series of short stories.

You can connect with Al via the following Social Media channels:-

Facebook:- Al Wrote A Book (FB)
Goodreads:- Al Burke (Goodreads Author)
Twitter:- @alwroteabook
Website:- Al Wrote A Book – The Website of Author Al Burke

You can buy his book here:-

Buy books by Al Burke in the UK/Europe

Buy books by Al Burke in the US/Rest of the World

If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.

Still want more? Well, in Al’s book, his protagonist Eric is a forgotten king trying to get back in the public light and elevate himself in their eyes again. For more articles on the theme of ‘Elevate’ then check out the links below:-

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