Today, I’m excited to announce that I was able to chat with John Flanagan, author of the Ranger’s Apprentice books, along with the Brotherband Chronicles and Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years! I posted announcements out to his fans on multiple social media sites, and collected questions from them. Enjoy!
Before we get started, I just wanted to thank you again for agreeing to do this with me. It’s a huge honor having been able to converse with you, as I’ve been a fan for over five years now. I look forward to hearing your answers to these questions, and learning more about your writing!
Of the fans that I am in contact with, quite a few had questions they were interested in having answered, and they are wonderful (and a few hilarious) questions that I’m also very excited to see answered. So, without further ado, the questions!:
The Royal Ranger changed up a lot of things within the Ranger’s Apprentice universe. Do you ever plan to revisit that era of the series, or write more adventures of Maddie and Will?
I’ve just signed up for two more books about Maddie’s adventures in her second year as an apprentice.
I’m delighted to hear that there will be more books with Maddie and Will! Do you have any idea when they will be announced officially?
I don’t know when they’ll be announced. I’ll be writing them over the next year.
Sean O’Carrick is one of the few surviving relatives of Halt, a fan favorite. Do the two of them keep in contact after the events in The Kings of Clonmel, or have you ever thought of bringing him back into the series as a larger character?
We also got to know a lot of Halt’s relationship with his brother Ferris, but his relationship with his sister, Caitlyn, wasn’t mentioned much within the books besides being Sean’s mother. Is there anything else you can tell us about her, such as her relationship with Halt?
She was much younger than Halt. He didn’t know her well when she was a child and he left Dunbrogan when she was still young.
All of your characters seem so realistic. What do you love most about creating and developing these characters?
The best part is when my readers relate to them and find them realistic
You surprised us all when you decided to write The Early Years Trilogy. Do you plan to write more in the Ranger’s Apprentice world, or will your current three series be it?
I’ll be writing more books about Maddie, the Royal Ranger.
There’s been a Ranger’s Apprentice movie in the talks for quite some time, from what I can remember. Do you have any movie updates, such as auditions, producing, etc.?
It’s hugely frustrating. After nearly ten years, the producers finally secured funding from Chinese investors as part of a $500 million package. ($100 million of which was earmarked for the Rangers movie. Contracts were signed and the deal was announced in Variety and then the Chinese investors just changed their minds and cancelled. There’s no way you can sue a Chinese company for breach of contract like this. The Chinese courts won’t even consider it. So now we start again.
While most readers can tell that the map, and the countries that are on it, of the Araluen area are inspired by real countries, did you have a favorite to write? A favorite to research?
I quite liked Hibernia, as my ancestry is Irish. My mother’s family came from a town called Clonmel. Sound familiar? But I liked writing and researching for the emperor of Nihon Ja as my son and grandson live in Japan. For some years, they lived in a town called Iwanai, which is one of the towns named in the book.
There is a large gap in the timeline between The Battle for Skandia/The Oakleaf Bearers and The Sorcerer in the North. Would you ever consider going back to write those years? Most fans are wondering, especially, how Will coped with the drug addiction and slavery after getting home, and everything going back to normal?
Book 7 actually fits into that gap. I wrote it out of sequence. Many readers have commented on the fact that in books 5 and 6, Will is a graduate ranger, whereas in Book 7 he’s an apprentice again.
The Ruins of Gorlan has some measure of magic in it, with Morgarath’s mind control and dominion over the wargals. The Tournament at Gorlan also features a spellbook, showing where Morgarath gets the magic. But later in the series, the magic dies out. Even in The Sorcerer in the North, the magic is dismissed and explained as science! Was this a conscious choice, or something that just happened?
It was conscious. Too many Other people were doing magic and I wanted a point of difference for my books.
You go in-depth for so many descriptions, especially for archery and sailing. Where did you gain this experience?
From archery and sailing, which were two of my hobbies. I’ve always been fascinated by archery. I currently have two longbows. And for several years I had a Laser dinghy that I sailed on Sydney harbour. The Heron is actually an overgrown laster.
If you’re able to say, what will be your next book coming out?
My next book to be release is Brotherband 7, The Caldera. It should come out towards the end of the year.
(Here are a few of the funny questions that people still wanted answered. Hope you like them!)
If after leaving a mug of coffee out in the open, would Halt reheat it, pour it out, or drink it cold?
He’d put it in the microwave to reheat it. Are you crazy? Halt would never leave a cup of coffee to get cold!
We meet Old Bob’s family in a few of your newer books, and they all have the name “Bob”. This is a hilarious quirk that make people wonder: does he have any family that aren’t named “Bob”?
He has a budgerigar named Sheherezade . She’s green and yellow and a great talker.
Rangers are masters at stealth. They can move silently in a forest, and it’s been explained that they feel on the ground with their foot for sticks that could possibly break before they step down–but what about crunchy leaves? Those are hard to avoid, and impossibly loud. How do the Rangers avoid stepping on them?