The Questioning Author Edition

The Questioning: Lee C. Conley

The Questioning is where everything gets upside down. Every month I invite one author and one blogger, who showed me great support during my blogging life. Then I push them waaaaay out of their comfort zones. Authors has become interrogators and Bloggers get interrogated. Rest assured, no one gets hurt (much) and everyone has fun (eventually). You can find every related post on The Questioning page!
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Lee is a writer and musician living in the historic cathedral city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire in the UK.
Working primarily as a music teacher he teaches advanced guitar and theory, Lee also practices and instructs historical martial arts and swordsmanship.
Lee’s first book ‘The Guitar Teachers Grimoire’ is an advanced guitar theory textbook.
He nows turns his hand to writing fiction and is currently working on ‘The Dead Sagas’ a Dark Fantasy Horror series.

OK, I’m gonna dive in with a topic close to my heart. Timy, as you probably know I train and teach medieval weaponry so… If you could be trained in any weapon of your choice what would it be and why? It can be any weapon, fictional or real-life. What’s your favourite?

Honestly? I don’t know much about weapons, but I think a dagger would suit me. You’ve met me, so you know I’m not exactly strong built, lol. Something small and light would be good for me. But of course I want it to have some magical features. Not sure what yet, but it definitely has to play background music when in action. I’ll think up some other fun stuff later…

Background music! *laughs* That’s amazing and possibly the best idea ever. I think a magic dagger is a great choice though, fast, light and deadly. Indeed that suits you.

Thank you! I do come up with some great ideas every once in a while 😉

Right, next question, out of all the Sci-fi and Fantasy worlds you have come across which for you is the darkest and nastiest of them all?

Oh, that’s a hard question. If we talk about strictly worlds, then probably the Yarnsworld, but the world Ben Galley created in the Chasing Graves trilogy comes close as well. On second thought, I’m probably a bit biased towards the Yarnsworld actually, there at least there is some kindness, and love, while in Chasing Graves, not so much. Ah, and let’s not forget about the Nightside either. So many options!

I loved Araxes from Chasing Graves too, it is certainly a bleak setting. Interesting choices though. Now bearing all of that in mind, of all the Fantasy characters from any book or film, who would you have guide you through the dangers of your chosen world? Of course you can be armed with your chosen weapon too.

Oooooh, let’s see. How about Raylan and his dragon Galirras from the Stone War Chronicles by A.J. Norfiled? They make an awesome pair and I always wanted to meet Galirras who is a real sweetheart. But I wouldn’t mind to wander around the Yarnsworld with the Leandros brothers either, from the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman which introduced me to dark urban fantasy and made me fall in love with the genre for life. If things come to worse, I would take John Taylor as well as he has a few nice tricks, but on the condition he won’t whine about his mom.

And you can be damn sure I’ll take my awesome dagger along! I just need a cool name for it…

Hell yeah, you will need the awesome background music in all the inevitable knife fights.


OK, think back over every story you’ve experienced, every film, every book. What was the coolest death you ever heard of? Any favourites?

Ugh, my memory seriously sucks. I don’t think there was one that stands out to me. Is there such a thing as cool death anyway?

You know you’re right. There is no such thing as a cool death. I’m a terrible person. *Grins evilly* I’ll tell you mine though, personally from film mine would be, either Eowin stabbing the Nazgul king in the face in LoTR or Madmartigan killing Kael in Willow by standing on his sword hilt and pulling Kael on to it – super cool sword death! But I have a strange interest in swords and the dispatching of foes. Anyway, before I completely disparage my own character, let’s move on.

I think it’s too late for that…

What is your favourite fantastic creature? And, if you had one as a pet or a minion, what would its name be?

Okay, now I know “favourite” is your favourite word, hah! Honestly, I’m a sucker for angels. But one of the most memorable fantastic creature I came across was a talking squirrel, Bright-Eyed in Shattered Dreams by Ulff Lehmann. If I could choose a pet though I’d got for a pixie – the cunning, mischievous kind like in Kingshold. Oh, and I need to give a name too, huh? I suck at names… I still need to come up with a name for my dagger too, so give me a break, will you?

Talking squirrel! That sounds fun. I have Shattered Dreams on my TBR and I’ll be reading it soon. It’s one I’m forward to and I’ve heard good things. I love the dark grizzly creatures myself, Zombies, nightmare horrors, stuff like that. You’d never guess that reading The Dead Sagas, ha.

You definitely should read it! Uh oh, yeah, colour me surprised, please 😛

Now as an avid horror fan and a writer of horror tinged epic fantasy, I know it is incredibly hard find (or write) a book that is truly scary. Has a book ever terrified you and if so what was it?

I don’t get easily terrified by books. There was one though that affected me emotionally a lot – Downfall, the 9th book of the Cal Leandros series. At the time I thought it was the last, and thought I saw where the story was going and I honestly wanted to put it down halfway in as I couldn’t handle that. Remember that episode in Friends where Joey puts The Shining in the freezer? Yeah, I seriously considered doing exactly that, though I’m not sure my Kindle would have liked that kind of treatment. The ending wasn’t exactly what I expected, and although I was kind of relieved I was also disappointed because it would have been the perfect closure for the series – or so I thought back then. Turned out that 2 more books were scheduled to be released but only one was which ended in a cliffhanger and seems like book 11 never will be released. So, as far as I’m concerned, book 9 is the end of the series. If I get to rereading/listening the series, I don’t know how I’ll take this book for the second time.

That’s cool, I’ll check them out. My good lady wife claims no book can scare her so I’m on a constant quest to discover a book to terrify her. I’m always asking people that one. Fear seems to be the hardest emotion to conjure as a writer so if a book ever scares you throw it my way.  

I think I found it scary because I was really attached to the characters, and I feared that they’ll end as I expected and I didn’t want that. It was emotionally hard for me, and not scary like, say, a horror movie. I agree though on fear being the hardest emotion to make readers feel. I think most of us experience that kind of horror where we fear for a character’s life.

Ok so you know I work as a professional musician as my day job, and I know music is important to you too. So here’s a tricky question. Have you a favourite song of all time and if you can’t pick one (I know I couldn’t) perhaps a top three?

Hah, yeah, I know and am still jealous about that! Definitely can’t pick a favourite song. Top 3 is near impossible as well. I just have too many favourites! Why are you doing this to me?? Okay, I’ll go with the first three that comes to mind from different bands, just to be fair, but I have to say, there are MUCH more on my list…

I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin
The Story by Fivefold
Carnival of Rust by Poets of the Fall

Follow up question, favourite band? Mine’s probably Megadeth but what is yours?

Seriously? 1 favourite band? Only 1???

Sorry, but if you had to choose.

Okay, well, in that case I’ll have to go with Breaking Benjamin. But please note that I hate you for making me do this decision.

Ha ha, great band though and I apologise for the savage music questions.

Last music question now, this one not so bad. Do you play an instrument? And, which instrument would you play in a rock band, drums, guitar etc. ? Guitars are great, let me just get that out there.

Sadly, no. I had dreams learning to play guitar, but I was too lazy to self teach myself – I absolutely can’t motivate myself – even though a friend lent her guitar to me for a while. Besides, I have small hands – and they are stiff too – so holding a guitar and playing the chords right is such a pain in the ass. I’ve been fascinated by guitars – I guess because guitarists are always on display and it’s easy to see them rocking out on the stage.

Ha ha, totally not the reason I play guitar… *Looks around nervously*

Hah! Knew it! Anyway,  later I started to appreciate the drums more. I always find myself tapping the rhythm when I listen to music. Drums are pretty cool, and once I went to have a Taiko lesson! It was awesome! My arms were killing me the next day and it’s so much harder to do it than it seems, but I’m probably going to go to take more lessons just for fun – that place I went to mostly have regular classes on weekdays and far away from my workplace/home so I can’t attend them.

In recent years I started to fall for violin too. It’s a shame there aren’t much rock bands out using violin more. I like Lindsey Strum, but her music is a bit far from my taste and I prefer music where there is singing, so, yeah, I’m picky. But her song with Lzzy Hale, Shatter Me is one of my favourite ones for sure!

Little known fact, I play a little violin myself, just badly. It’s the hardest instrument I’ve ever tried to learn but it’s so beautiful and haunting. I think you should definitely learn violin, and pursue those drum lessons too, when you can. There’s something very raw and primal about the drums.

I love the sound of the violin, but I’m probably too old and too impatient to start to learn it. Also it would cost money, so… I can only look at people jealously. Although I totally agree on violion being beautiful and haunting, and the drum being raw. A few years ago there was a Hungarian duo – I don’t know if they still play together – a pianist and a drummer. They played instrumental music which is not a favorite of mine but damn, they were good! But then, we are talking about the best Hungarian pianist and the drummer of a rock band, they are bound to be badass. Here, one of their songs, with some cool pictures of Budapest and Hungarian culture – mainly sports.

Next, a serious writer’s question. Very serious. Out of all the authors you have read or reviewed is there anyone whose prose has struck you down with its awesomeness and beauty?

Good question. Honestly, by now everyone knows I’m in love with Benedict Patrick‘s books. And I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but damn, that guy can write. I’ve only read one book from R.S. Belcher so far, but I was quite amazed by his prose in The Six-Gun Tarot. Also, Elliott Downing, his novella, Some Distant Sunrise was one of my favorite reads last year.

I need to read more Yarnsworld I think. I don’t know those guys I’m gonna go check them out.

Yes, yes you do. I definitely recommend checking the others too.

Now, dare I ask, do you have an all-time favourite book or series?

What’s with all these favourites?? For book I probably would go with Lamb by Christopher Moore. I just LOVE that book. It’s one of the few books I reread a lot. As for a series… did I ever mention Yarnsworld? No? Oh well… Seriously though, I’m a big Harry Potter fan too, that’s also a series I reread/relisten every year or so. And the Cal Leandros series! I think it’s about time to do a reread of that one as well, to see if it lives up to my memories.

I’m definitely checking out more Yarnsworld! I love the covers too! Good choices. For re-readability I love REH’s Conan, just love it, by Crom. But my all-time favourite? Maybe Malazan Book of the Fallen by Erikson or The Faithful And The Fallen by John Gwynne. Oh and I forgot The Dark Tower by King, their all amazing.  

I’ve heard good things about John Gwynne. I have The Time of Dread lined up to be read in the next few months. I seriously start to get hyped and I hope it won’t affect my judgement. Also heard a lot about The Dark Tower, maybe one day I’ll get to that too.

Anyway, that’s me out of questions now unfortunately, Timy. But, as always, it’s been a pleasure chatting with you. It’s been fun. Thanks for having me and letting me come in take over the asylum to question you.

You are welcome! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


If you’d like to get in contact with Lee C Conley, you can find him on social media:

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Check out Lee’s book in The Dead Sagas series, A Ritual of Bone:


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