Devin Madson is an Aurealis Award-winning fantasy author from Down Under.
After some sucky teenage years, she gave up reality and is now a dual-wielding rogue who works through every tiny side-quest and always ends up too over-powered for the final boss. Anything but zen, Devin subsists on tea and chocolate and so much fried zucchini she ought to have turned into one by now.
Devin writes obsessively, but if you’re after happy, fuzzy tales then you’ve come to the wrong place. Her fantasy novels come in all shades of grey and are populated with characters of questionable morals and a liking for witty banter.
Your favourite mythological creature?
I know everyone goes for dragons, but I’m more into fairies/pixies or sirens for that matter.
If you could go anywhere in the world with no expense, where would go and why?
Japan. That country fascinates me, and I really want to see it. First I’d need a translator or a tour guide or someone like that to help me out. Or I could just learn Japanese by the time I win the lottery. Which will take a long time considering I don’t play lottery. Maybe it’s time to start it? Anyway, Japan is really just the top of the list of places I’d like to (re)visit someday.
What’s your favourite colour – shiny black, matte black, or faded old rockstar black?
If you ask me like THAT than you really don’t give me much choice, you know. Of course faded old rockstar black, duh. Though, I like to mix my blacks with some purple too. Even if I wear all black I always have some colors on (usually purple) with jewellery (or I have a purple hat and scarf) and my glasses have a purple frame. And let’s not forget about my totally awesome purple tinted sunglasses!
“Accidentally” today I’m wearing black and purple and can prove it! Btw, the word on the top is: AWESOME. Just saying.
Camping or 5 star hotel?
I… ugh… I’d opt for a hotel. I like comfy sleeping you see and electricity. Besides I’m a city girl. Nature is nice and all, and I don’t mind spending a few hours by a lake or river or waterfall undisturbed, but at the end of the day, I need to be surrounded by a city. Which is funny, if you know me and my social awkwardness all around…
Favourite childhood story?
Well, I already spoke about my favorite childhood books to Ben Galley. So, let me entertain you with the story where I lost my cousin in a wood. There was this camp where I went for several summers for a week. I really loved it and have quite a few fond memories. In my first year there was an older guy I liked, and I kept annoying him to get his attention. He always threatened me that he’ll throw me out of the window if I won’t stop kicking his back (I was sitting on the top of a sofa behind him). Of course I didn’t stop so he picked me up and carried me to the window – but of course he didn’t throw me out or harmed me any way. I was a little annoying shit (who am I kidding, I still am if you know me) but I was cute as well. Of course I got my punishment, as on the last night where we had some competitions, he made me dress as a mouse… I’ve got a grey hoodie from him and we put socks into the hood to be my ears….
But back to my cousin. He is almost 2 years younger than me, so I was “responsible” to look after him. It was in the second year when we went together. I think it was the summer of 2001 or 2002, so I was around 13 or 14. On the last night the camp went out to have a bonfire and play “war of numbers”. This a pretty common team play here for children: you form two groups, everyone gets a piece of paper on their foreheads and the goal is to eliminate the other team’s player by calling out the 4 digits number put on their foreheads (or to eliminate players and get the other team’s flag and bring back to your own base). It’s usually played in a big area like a forest/wood or a courtyard where players can hide and put their foreheads to walls or trees to stop the other team eliminating them. So, not far from the camp was a woody hill and we went to play there. There was a line behind which we couldn’t go so we wouldn’t be lost. We finished playing, the sky got dark and we started the bonfire and prepared food. When suddenly someone realised my cousin was missing. So the adults went off searching for him and I was terrified and tried to figure out what the hell I’m going to say to his parents. Turned out, he went over the line and somehow got to the top of the hill, where there was this place where you can see the landscape all around – it’s pretty cool and he remembered it because we were there the year before. He asked someone to help him get back and the adults found him and his companion walking down the road in a few hours. If I say I was relieved as fuck I’m not even close to the truth. The next year everyone was teasing him not to get lost, lol. At that year we already had our own mobile phones too…
Do you have a favourite go-to comfort read for when you’re feeling down?
Oh yes, I do. I either go pick up Harry Potter or Lamb by Christopher Moore. I’m currently listening to Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone in the evenings before sleep. And I recently reread Lamb (in January to be precise) when I had a really shitty period. That book is one of my all time favorites, and I still need to finish my review for it…
Do you have a book you didn’t think you’d like that you ended up loving?
Actually, I do. I refused to read Harry Potter for YEARS, mainly because I’ve read the first pages when I got the first book and didn’t like it and partly because EVERYONE was reading it and I didn’t want to get in line. When I did read it years later, I was prepared to hate it. Instead, I finished the first five books within weeks.
A more recent story: I accepted a review request from Graham Austin-King to read The Lore of Prometheus. I didn’t know much about the book at the time, and when later I saw the blurb and the e-mail he sent me with the book, I got worried I won’t like it at all. Military stuff is not really my mojo. I practically read the book in one sitting (only stupid read and work got in my way) and was one of my favorite reads last year.
What period in history would you most like to visit?
Ugh, tough question. Probably Elizabethan England. I love that period, though reading about it and living there is two different things… But think about it: seeing Shakespeare’s plays for the first time! How cool that would be? And those cool (literally, brr) manor houses!
On the other hand, I’m really interested in the Ancient Age too – Greeks, the Indians, Sumers, so many civilisations and cultures!
Or how about the age where bushido warriors were a thing in feudal Japan? Though I probably would hate all those rules and rituals they require in their social relationships…
Pineapple on pizza, yes or yes?
Hell yes! I mean, I don’t mind having pineapples on my pizza. I don’t even understand what’s the problem with that. Actually the only way I can eat pineapple if it’s on my pizza. Or in that sweet-sour sauce I like.
Your favourite planet (pluto totally counts)?
I think Neptune, it has such pretty colors.
If you could have dinner with one historical figure who would it be and why?
You don’t make this easy for me, do you? Why is that no one comes to mind when I need it the most??
Okay, so, how about Robin Hood? There was a book in the school’s library about his adventures which I really loved and read about a dozen times. (Did I mention I really LOVED historical fiction as a kid and that I was a tomboy?) His story is fascinating and I really want to know who he really was – did he even existed? Was he one person or his legend was based on several people living in England at different times? And how about his gang: Little John, Scarlet Will and the others? Where they really rouges or heroes? Sooo many questions.
What giant animal would you ride into battle on?
A panda. Is that a question?? Though, honestly, an elephant might be a wiser option. But I’m sure no one would expect a giant panda, would they? And don’t be fooled by their cuteness, they can be pretty ferocious when they are angered. The downside is we either have to stay near a bambus forest or have to have constant supply as they eat a LOT. And I could only use it for a few hours as they spend most of the day eating and sleeping.
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