Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Elementalist

Today's special guest is Andy Coughlan, a writer and filmmaker from South East England. The Elementalist is his first novel. Andy grew up on a healthy diet of J.R.R. Tolkien and Michael Moorcock, so it's no surprise that his first novel should be a fantasy tome. He’s currently preparing to make a sci-fi film of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and plotting out the sequel to The Elementalist.


What time does your book take place? Why did you select that particular era?

The book is set in an alternate version of the late 1700's. So there's no modern technology and the main method of transport is horse or boat. I wanted to write a pirate story as I always loved them as a child, so that very much influenced the period. 

Where does it take place? Why did you choose that specific location?

I invented my own world, an alternative version of Earth. I have a map sketched out in my head out how it all fits together. It very much grew as the story unfolded and I discovered the places that Barin and the Pirates needed to visit. I still think there are plenty of places left to discover.

Weather plays a large role in your book. How did you get interested in using weather as an antagonist and how did you weave it into the storyline?

I've always been fascinated by weather; I'm definitely a weather geek. As the story deals with people messing with "the natural order of things", the weather became a good way to show how things were getting messed up by the antagonist's actions.

The book also deals with the main character's great love - of love lost and love worth fighting for. Would you consider the book as much romance as adventure? Did anything specific inspire you to write a book about a man who must fight for his one true love?

I suppose it is a bit of a romance, with the two main male characters fighting over a woman. Certainly, when I was younger, I used to have somewhat wildly romantic notions, which I don't think I've ever let go of fully! It was one of the many things that just came out while I was writing, there was no premeditation to that aspect of the storyline.

You have a contest going on to win a free Kindle paperwhite. Can you tell us about that and provide a link to where readers can participate in the contest?

As I say, I love the weather and as it plays such a large part in the story I thought it would be fun to have a competition where people share their photos of weird or surreal weather. You can enter the contest at


Barin Elicerio is having a rough time. As an Elementalist he had both the physical and spiritual worlds at his command, but it's all taken away when he's found guilty of crimes he didn't commit.

Just as he's resigned himself to a lonely existence under house arrest, with only his two cats for company, a mysterious storm heralds the arrival of a pirate ship, and a whole heap of trouble for Barin.

When the Pirates tell Barin of mysterious things happening all over the world, the temptation to find out what's causing it all becomes too much, and leaves him running for his life.

Can Barin solve the mysteries, rescue the woman he loves, and save the world, before it's too late?


He drifted forward and inspected the door closely. From the other side, he heard a loud crack and the muffled sound of shouting. He placed his ear to the door. He could make out the sound of a struggle going on. Another loud crack, this time just the other side of the door, caused him to jump back.

He placed a hand on the door and tried to push. The door shifted open a little but slammed shut again. A low guttural growl followed by the sound of something sliding down the door.

He tried the incantation one more time, and the low growl increased in volume. As it did so, it moved away from the door, joined by other growling sounds. He could discern at least three guttural voices, arguing in low bass tones, their words harsh and sharp. Fire Demons? Barin stepped back from the door in surprise. This was not what he expected.

His surprise grew as a fourth voice joined the conversation. A human voice – it was Blissett. Barin strained to hear the conversation. It sounded like Blissett was pleading with them. The sound of another struggle ensued followed by a thunderous roar of fire. The door started to smoke and glow as flames battered the other side.

Barin stood clear just as the door disintegrated and two Fire Demons rocketed past him back up the tunnel, sending him spinning.

Barin steadied himself and turned to see Blissett standing in the smoking doorway. Behind him, an ugly fire demon lay on the floor, seriously injured.

“Barin!” cried Blissett, “Go! It’s a trap!”

Barin brushed the remains of the demolished door from his cloak and glanced back up the tunnel at the receding shapes of the two demons. He turned back to Blissett. “What are you talking about?”

“There are more demons on the way,” Blissett said, “I’ve sent those two out to protect you. Go! Now!”

Barin was bewildered, “But… but…” his mind finally caught up, “Tukes?”

“He’s trying to frame you.”

Read the first chapter online at


The main web site for the book is:

Andy is on various social networking sites: