2020 Snapshot: Sam Hawke

Sam Hawke is a fantasy writer who grew up and still lives in Canberra, Australia, where she and her husband are currently raising two small ninjas and two idiot dogs.

1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

I just submitted the final corrected proofs for my second book, Hollow Empire, this month. It’s a sequel to City of Lies. This is what it’s about, in blurb form:

Two years after a devastating siege tore the country apart, Silasta is rebuilt and recovered. But to the frustration of poison taster siblings Jovan and Kalina, sworn to protect the Chancellor, the city has grown complacent in its peace and prosperity. Now, amid the celebrations of the largest carnival the continent has ever seen, their mysterious enemy has returned.

The death of a former adversary sets Jovan on the trail of a subtle assassin, while Kalina negotiates the treacherous politics of the visiting dignitaries, knowing the mastermind may lurk among the princes and dukes, noble ladies and priests. Their investigations uncover another conspiracy which threatens not just Silasta and the Chancellor, but their own family. Assassins, witches, and a dangerous underground criminal network are closing in, and Jovan and Kalina must once again fight to save their city – and everyone they love – from a patient and powerful enemy determined to tear it all down.

Poison was only the beginning…

It will be out in late November. It’s been a bit of a weird process getting this book done but I am very pleased to have it finished and excited that it will finally be out in the world!

2. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?

I feel like I’m probably too early yet in my career to have a big list of things to choose from! Hard to beat the excitement of getting my first contract, but honestly one of the things that stands out was getting to meet so many people in Dublin Worldcon last year. I got to hang out with my agent in person, have dinner with my lovely UK editor, meet actual fans who wanted to talk to me (??!!! IKR???) and spend time with friends I’d only known online (and make new ones!). I feel especially warm and wistful thinking about it now, given it may be many years before we get to all be together like that again.

3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?

Well I’d like to give you a spectrum so for some excellent multi POV epic fantasy, We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson came out last month and it’s superb. If you prefer something early modern set in our world, on the same day we were treated to A Declaration on the Rights of Magicians by NZer HG Parry. For historical fantasy, next year we should see the remarkable She Who Became the Sun, which is loosely based on the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 14th century China, by Shelley Parker-Chan, and for political fantasy, The Councillor by EJ Beaton should scratch that itch!


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