8 September 2016

Ask Your Question...

To mark this blog reaching 10,000 views I am doing a Q&A. 

Post your questions in the comments between now and Friday 16th, and I will blend them all together and post answers on the blog. 

SPOILERS - If your question is laden with spoiler, send it to me in a message. I will answer them in a spoiler separate spoiler-unsafe post. 


  1. Hi,

    Praetorian of Dorn is an amazing read. It heralds some pretty big changes to what we thought we knew in the 30K timeline.

    Was it difficult to pitch and get the powers that be to go along with these ideas ?

    Would you like to explore the more immediate consequences of what happens ?

  2. Thanks for "Praetorian of Dorn"; I really enjoyed the exploration and plot advancement and happy to see some of the "crunch" from the Forge World campaign books included (e.g. Headhunters).

    Gav Thorpe is on record that his book covering Corax will be his last on the Raven Guard in the Horus Heresy. As you've picked up the torch for the Imperial Fists and Alpha Legion, is there a hope you or another writer might do so for the Raven Guard?

    Finally, can we expect more new stories (not older pieces repeated in collections) about the Alpha Legion, or was "Praetorian of Dorn" the omega story, bookended to "Legion"?

    Thanks again, and welcome to "top table" of Black Library Horus Heresy authors!

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  4. How hard was it to capture a character as nuanced, complex and impossible to categorize as Ahzek Ahriman, in a trilogy?

  5. 1) Is he really you know dead? How did you get a chance to have permission to do that? Was it an editorial brawl?
    2) Will we see more about Ahriman? We need more - the trilogy and shorts were brilliant.
    3) It seems that the rememberer from the flashbacks of Archamus was the one from your 'The Last rememberer' story? Why you decided to use him?
    4) Who was the old man in the Kye cell? Was it Malcador?
    5) Just curious - after the loses of Phall - how it happens that IFs has so many ships? What class is a 'Monarch of Fire'?

  6. Which scene, character, or setting (HH, Dark Heresy, Arkham Horror etc) have you most enjoyed writing?

  7. 1) Each writer has their own perspective in writing about particular Legions and the sometimes numerous sub-cultures existing within each Legion. I love your take on the different cultures and how characters reflect their culture. In Grey Angel you succeeded in generating an atmosphere that portrayed the Calibanite experience (particularly from Luther's perspective) with great nuance.

    (A.) How do you envision Caliban?

    (B.) How do you perceive (1) Calibanite culture, (2) the culture of The Order in its current state of leadership and the relevant value systems it shares, and (3) how Luther feels and acts in his position of responsibility?

    2. In writing Grey Angel, what was the time period, i.e. the conditions on Caliban during the point in time that the novel is meant to take place? (I say this without directly referring to Fallen Angels' ending and other material that to my knowledge was written after Grey Angel was published.)

    3. **Potential Spoiler** The Watchers seem to have unclear motivations even when based on the fundamental role they seem to hold on the planet and more widely in the Legion itself. (A) Do the Watchers in the Dark have a single unified vision for why they take the actions they take? (B) Do they act independently from the rest of their Watcher brethren when they assist humans? (C) How do the Watchers choose the humans that they assist and coordinate with? (D) What inspiration do you draw on when envisioning the Watchers, what they may be, and the creative inspiration for what the Watchers are in the HH/40k lore?

    4. In writing for Luther, who is he to you as a character? Please describe his personality from your perspective as a character drawing from the different facets of his identity and character development. The way you wrote him is quite magical, and oftentimes a writer creates a character (or in this case portrays a character) and then the character becomes more than initially envisioned. It would also be nice to hear what inspiration you had for portraying him the way you did in Grey Angel.

    5. **Potential Spoiler** Loken is a wonderfully soulful character filled with wisdom, but after listening to Grey Angel for more than 100 times over the years, I still don't understand beyond the reasons stated in the story, why Loken chooses his course of action. What are the wider implications that I am apparently missing? I'd love to have it laid out for me, because Loken isn't someone to think shortsightedly.

    6. Do you think visually in architectural terms when writing scenes like where Aldurukh is being infiltrated? If so, what type of architecture do you envision for Aldurukh?

    7. I would also like to echo the question by Mike Wang. Ahriman experienced so much to become who he was in the Horus Heresy started, then continued to grow as a survivor through the millenia. (A) How do you undertake character development and identifying a personality for a character with that complexity? (B) Getting into the head of a long-living, psychic Astartes who has faced so many betrayals seems dizzying. Have there been books or workshops over the years that have been fundamental in guiding your creative process for character development for a character with long-standing IP pre-conditions?

    1. Hi There
      Thanks for your questions. I will try to answer most of them, though to be honest some I won't as the answers aren't really mine to give - details about Caliban the Order and the like. That is the kind of thing that Forge World spend a lot of time coming up with and exploring in their books.

      On your question about Loken's choice - do you mean his choice not to tell Luther what he knows, and to stay silent?


  8. Hello again mister French it is again about the doubt I have refering the last of your books I just have finish reading "Praetorian of Dorn". The question is:
    Did Alpharius posses Silonius? beacause i don't have fully understand all the thing off the twin psykers and the psychic reconstruction it sound like Alpharius was in Silonius head controlling him.