Q&A with R.J. Madigan, Author of The Sword of Air

This is the first time I’ve played host to another author and I couldn’t be happier to host the fantastic author that is R.J. Madigan. R.J. has written the wonderful title ‘The Sword of Air’. This is an Epic Fantasy set in medieval Ireland and if any of you don’t already know that’s my home country (o;

So, be sure to read through the question and answers, watch the beautiful trailer and sneak peak YouTube links (they are really good) and be sure to buy yourself a copy of R.J’s book from your nearest Apple product

Sword of Air
Q1) Why did you decide to write?

A1) As a child I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on. But I wasn’t the kind of kid who told stories or wrote them down. Writing came a lot later for me, several years after I finished university. I joined a creative writing group out of sheer curiosity and went from there.

Q2) What genres do you enjoy?

A2) I don’t have a favourite genre. I read everything from Fantasy, YA, Children’s Literature Sci-Fi, Gothic literature, Poetry to more literary novels and of course the Classics. I think it is important to read as widely as possible if you want to be a writer and to not be snobbish about books.

Q3) What author famous or not, dead or alive, would you like to meet and why?

A3) I would love to go back in time and meet Daphne du Maurier. I want to thank her for writing Rebecca, one of my favourite gothic novels. I am not one for re reading novels, but Rebecca is one work I have returned to time and time again for inspiration. In my humble opinion it is a gothic masterpiece.

Q4) If you had only one question to ask them, what would it be?

A4) I would ask her why she disliked Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of her short story The Birds so much. I’ve always wondered if it was because he replaced her beloved Cornish coastline where gales sweep across stark hills and isolated farmhouses with a placid northern California setting.

Q5) What tip or trick would you offer another writer to help their writing process?

A5) To write every day. If you sit around waiting for inspiration to hit you then you will never write anything. I would also advise any new writer to read Stephen King’s – On Writing – which is one of the best books ever written on the craft of writing. I still refer to it all the time.

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Q6) You opted for a very unique form of publication for your YA Fantasy novel The Sword of Air. Tell us a bit about the book.

A6) The Sword of Air, is an epic fantasy story set in an altered reality of medieval Ireland. Sixteen-year-old Niamh Kelly’s village is burnt to the ground by the Raven Queen’s Fomor army and her adoptive grandmother is brutally murdered right in front of her. She is forced to flee into the forest of the Nadur with only an old storyteller, her best friend Rauri and his wolfhound Bran for protection. Hunted by the Raven Queen, the brutal ruler of Ireland, and her armies, Niamh desperately searches for the forgotten Fae people to help her. She must find allies and the power within herself if she is to survive against the dark powers of the Raven Queen.

Characters such as the beautiful but merciless Raven Queen, and unforgiving King of the dwarves- Abcan, spring from the page with hundreds of beautiful photographs, that go full screen at the tap of a finger. Sound effects put you inside the action instead of your just being told about it. The cinematic soundtrack adds another layer, telling the story and giving depth to the characters as the book progresses. Short movies built into the story put you inside the characters’ heads, let you see what they see and feel their emotions.

Q7) What first gave you the idea to break the publishing mold and try something so innovative?

A7) Every day authors are publishing new titles and it is getting harder and harder to stand out in such a crowded market place. Apple have given everyone the iBooks author software for free because they have a very forward thinking strategy towards their users. This software enabled me to take my story and illustrate it in a way that is not possible in a normal printed book.

I was inspired by the fiction of Isaac Asimov and Neil Stephenson where books are more than just print. They come alive and talk to you, react and interact with you. The iPad is science fiction made real. No one’s really taken advantage of this new technology. I wanted to use it for my storytelling and the iPad makes this possible.

Q8) How do you put an iBook together?

A8) Good question. First of all I wrote the manuscript for The Sword of Air without any media input. Then I consulted with ‘The Producer,’ (my IT whizz of a friend) to service suitable imagery and music for my story. We wanted to find music that matched the epic tone of the story. It was an iterative process, particularly to create the end chapter movies. I wanted to make sure they reflected the feel of the story at that point. We used iBooks author, iPhoto and iMovie to pull all the underlying constituent parts together into the final iBooks author manuscript.

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Q9) What are the barriers to publishing an iBook like The Sword of Air.

A9) Firstly the technology is so new and cutting edge that an iBook can only be read on a Mac or iPad. Therefore if you do not own either of theses devices you cannot read ‘The Sword of Air.’ I know a lot of readers have been frustrated because they cannot access my book. So as an interim measure I have started to serialize The Sword of Air on Wattpad, with a new release every week. http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/34571220-the-sword-of-air.

It has also been frustrating as an author because I have lost out on reviews because people willing to do so do not own a Mac or an iPad.

Another barrier is you cannot publish on Amazon or similar platforms. You have to use the iBooks store to publish your work.

However I still think the greatest barrier for authors wanting to publish an iBook is the steep learning curve involved in using iBooks author. This software is not consumer orientated for the casual user like WordPress or word. This is why I teamed up with ‘The Producer,’ in order to produce the book I wanted.

Q10) Where can we find R.J. Madigan and The Sword of Air on the internet?

You can download The Sword of Air from the iBooks store https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-sword-of-air/id954619981?mt=11

You can follow the progress of The Sword of Air on my blog www.swordofair.net.

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sword-of-Air/855233981196248?ref=hl

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/authorrjmadigan/

R.J. Madigan



  1. Reblogged this on The Sword of Air and commented:
    Thank you to talented author David Delaney for playing host to an author question and answer with myself on his awesome blog. If you are looking for a gripping new thriller then I suggest you grab a copy of his new book ‘The Vanishing,’ now!


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