Sara Douglass, pseudonym of Sara Warneke, is the best selling fantasy author in Australia, with a dozen novels to her credit. Using her training as an historian to invoke periods beyond the standard medieval European setting so familiar to fantasy readers, Douglass is helping to expand the boundaries of genre fantasy. Her work is just beginning to receive the attention it merits in the United States. Tor Books has recently published four of her novels, including Hades’ Daughter, the first book in a projected four-volume series called The Troy Game, which spans the past three thousand years of recorded history.
Hades’ Daughter was a nominee for this year’s Aurealis Award for best Australian fantasy novel of the year, along with The Crippled Angel, the third book in Douglass’ Crucible Trilogy. This comes as no surprise. Douglass is a two-time winner of the Aurealis Award, and in the award’s eight-year history, Douglass has never not been nominated in the best fantasy novel category.
Fantastic Reviews (FR): A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald said that some new writers want to be the next Tolkien or J.K. Rowling, but “the canny ones want to be the new Sara Douglass.” How gratifying is it to be held in your homeland as the model of success?
Sara Douglass (SD): I haven’t seen that article, but that comment has made my weekend. So, yes, it is gratifying, although now I’m starting to look over my shoulder.
FR: You tried your hand at straight romance before turning to fantasy. Why do you think your talents are so suited to the fantasy genre?
SD: I tried my hand at a great deal of things before I started on fantasy. I tried fantasy because I had a really good research background in pre-modern worlds (not just medieval) and that made me very comfortable with the genre. I knew how people lived and thought in a pre-modern setting, how landscape, for instance, is the major factor in determining a society’s religion as well as economics and politics. And it was fun. What else can I say?
FR: Thank you very much for taking the time to respond!
SD: A pleasure!
©2003 Aaron Hughes / Fantastic Reviews. To read the full interview on the Fantastic Reviews website please click on this link.