Le ReclusiamCritiques des publications et Ebooks Warhammer 40 000 de la Black Library
Navigation
Navigation

Assassinorum Execution Force : Joe Parrino answers our questions

joe Parrino has been writing for Black Libray for a couple of years now and with his recent release Assassinorum: Execution Force, it was time for us to make an interview and get to know this writer and his work.

Here at Le Reclusiam, we review a good lot of Black Library publication and try our best to give our personal insight on how those fantastic books are writen and released. We couldn’t let all these answers only available in French so here’s a special english release on this otherwise French website. But you’re welcome in the comments below, and a share with your hobby friends would be a great reward for us !

We also interviewed Graham McNeill about his Horus Heresy latest monster, Vengeful Spirit.

L. R

Could you please introduce yourself for our reader and explain to us how did you end up writting for Black Library ?

J. P

Some call me a squid-hunter. Some call me “That Author.” Many refer to me as “Who?” Most call me Joe. Hello there and thank you for reading this far. My name is Joe Parrino and I write for the Black Library. You may have seen my stuff kicking around on the Black Library website or lurking on the shelves at your local game store. Let’s get some stuff cleared up right at the start. I have a confession to make, despite the spellings in my stories, I’m actually American. Shocking, I know. Like the elusive sasquatch for which my home is famed, I live, write and work amidst the towering trees and along the rain-lashed shores of Washington State in the American Pacific Northwest.

As to how I came to write for the Black Library, well, that’s a long story. I tall began on a dark and stormy evening, when the Winter sun sank below the Western horizon, hidden behind a veil of dark, torrential clouds…No, wait. That isn’t right. I got started with the Black Library through a submissions window. One of the editors happened to really like what I wrote and thus ‘Witness›, the first short story I ever wrote, made its way into the annals of the Black Library.

L. R

Could you please remind us of what was the first story you’ve written for Black Library ? Was it a good experience ?

J. P

Segueing right along (just imagine me leading you on a tour on one of those horrible two wheeled conveyance things), as I just mentioned, ‘Witness› was the first story I wrote for the Black Library. Not the first to be published (that would be ‘The Patient Hunter›). Writing ‘Witness› was a thrilling experience. At the time, I had just started my post-graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, so it was a fun challenge to juggle school, moving halfway across the world and writing for a company I had been following since I was in middle school.

In other ways, ‘Witness› was great because the story mirrored my experience in those first months of school to a certain extent. Obviously, there weren’t a number of daemonic incursions in Auld Reekie, at least none that I was aware of, and there were no Grey Knights battling through the Gothic streets. But the journey the main character, Captain Danel Prestoff of the Astra Militarum’s Brindleweld Ninth Division, undergoes followed my own. From a place of uncertainty, through setbacks and then rising triumph, our fates were entwined as my subconscious drove the words on the page. Our fate’s diverge pretty sharply though, but I won’t spoil the story.

L. R

How often do you write for Black Library ? Is there something which may change in future ?

J. P

At the moment, I am writing exclusively for the Black Library, although I have several plots and plans for future, independent things in the works of which I am quite proud. Thus far, they have kept me exceedingly busy, as my bibliography can attest.

In terms of a more mechanical sense, I write for the Black Library practically every day. I ensconce myself in a writing studio my dad and I built last summer that overlooks the Puget Sound and lose myself in the dark glory of the 41st Millennium.

L. R

You have already written a couple of things featuring the White Scars/Raven Guard/Eldar/Tau, any reason in particular ? Was it a request from Black Library ? Any preferences ?

J. P

All those factions have been at the request of the Black Library. I’ve been thoroughly grateful to be given the chance to write about them all. Each has challenged my writing skills in their own, unique ways. Trying to ensure that the eldar and the tau came across as sufficiently alien, trying to capture the honour, duty and motivations of Space Marines, each challenge stretched my skills, and left me the stronger for it.

As for favourites, I’m an unabashed Imperial at my heart (hear that, Inquisitors I am sure are reading?). I’m a historian and political scientist by background and training, so I’ve loved being able to integrate my knowledge and interests in writing the White Scars and the Raven Guard. With the Raven Guard in particular, I’ve been granted leave to expand on them, to stamp my thoughts, ideas and direction on the Sons of the Deliverer. Drawing on my interests in the Middle East, I’ve spent a long time creating their culture and approach to war, the Imperium and their place in Mankind’s Empire. Formulating the philosophies that drive them, turning the taciturn and silent reputation into a nuanced and, I believe, utterly fascinating and unique Chapter, has been one of the highlights of my writing career thus far.

L. R

How is your approach differing depending on the format you are writting (novella, audio, book, short story) ?

J. P

All the formats begin life in the same fashion, as outlines. Slowly, they branch apart in complexity and planning.

Each format demands a different approach. With short stories, much has to be said and established with few words. Broad strokes are necessary to establish background, character and description. Added on the particular limitations and benefits of short stories, comes the added layers of writing for an audio drama, since both begin life in the same fashion. When I write an audio drama, I pay an even greater attention to the atmosphere of the piece, to the potential sound effects and the dialogue between characters.

Novellas open up a lot more space for breathing room, a chance to linger on scene and setting, to flesh out the world and build a more precise picture of the world surrounding the characters. It gives those characters a greater chance to stretch out their legs and breathe. With a book, this effect is magnified, as I’m coming to find out.

L. R

The plot of your book Assassinorum : Execution Force seems very similar to Nemesis, characters aside, was it the publisher’s decision ? How did you came up with this story ?

J. P

The story was determined by the design studio in the insert that comes with the Execution Force boardgame. Hearkening back to the traditions established in Nemesis, my novella follows another Execution Force of assassins, uneasy allies, as they try to prevent calamity from befalling the Imperium of Man.

L. R

Could you share with us some anecdotes regarding this book ?

J. P

As I first set out to write the book, I was dead certain I knew which character would be my favourite and which I thought would be most challenging. As I sat down to write it, the one character I thought would be most one-dimensional and difficult to write, stepped forward and demanded, with the drug-addled and slurred shout of his voice, to be noticed. Sylas Torq, the Eversor, rapidly came to be my favourite perspective to write through. The tragedy of his existence, the brutality of his actions and the very crime of his training, brought a berserker into a tragic figure. The erasure of personality, the desperate desire to keep the drugs at bay and latch onto those comrades around him, proved a fascinating character.

The Black Legionnaire who appears in the prologue might claim the honour of being the first Warhammer character I ever wrote about. Back in the misted haze of my dissolute and naïve college days, when I was bored in class, I started writing a piece of fan fiction. While the story itself will never see the light of day, being able to include Beraddon ‘the Left Eye of the Black Legion› was an homage to my younger days and a fulfillment of my aspirations to someday write for the Black Library.

L. R

Is it an action orientated book ?

J. P

As with the majority of Black Library books, the novella does focus on action. This is the universe, after all, whose tagline is “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war

Saying that, the assassins and Severin Drask, are given a chance to shine. Between the pulse-pounding action, their personalities jostle and clamour, grow and interact.

L. R

Is this book on the Officio Assassinorum the first opus of a possible trilogy ?

J. P

While I’m not opposed to the idea, as far as I’m aware there are no plans for the novella to be the first in a trilogy. I’d say more about the difficulty in following these particular characters, but I think that might be edging into spoiler territory.

L. R

How did you manage to implement the fluff in this last one ? Was it challlenging ?

J. P

That’s part of the challenge in writing any tie-in fiction, finding ways to live and breathe within the existing lore, and, at the same time, to honour it. Flipping through the fluff presented in the rulebook, my own gathered reference materials and the hallowed pages of Lexicanum kept me afloat. For every project I embark upon, there’s a lot of time spent researching and letting that research percolate through my subconscious.

Taking several factions that I had never really done all that much reading into, and translating them from existing lore to living, breathing characters, has become a hallmark of my work for the Black Library. As a fan, I certainly had my favourites (those being the Inquisition, certain Space Marine Chapters, the Astra Militarum and the Legions of Chaos), and since becoming a writer, I’ve been challenged to broaden my horizons, to work in uncomfortable spaces and to triumph and overcome.

L. R

Have you read Nemesis from James Swallow and if yes, did you like it ? What do you think about this release, the timing in the Horus Heresy serie and its goal ?

J. P

I’ve been following the Horus Heresy series from the moment it was announced. I fell with Dan Abnett›s words in the opening of Horus Rising, “I was there the day Horus killed the Emperor.

While I love following the tragedy of the Civil War between the Legions, to read along with the sundering of formerly inviolate bonds of brotherhood, I relish books like Nemesis, Legion, Mechanicum and Prospero Burns. These books take the time to slow down, to show the mortals that are caught in the crossfire, to reveal the workings of the Imperium as it fights this internecine struggle in the very moment of its formation. These are the types of stories I love, the ones that show the ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

L. R

Are you currently working on something else ? Any future project for Black Library ?

J. P

Oh yes, I’m currently working on something else, something quite a bit larger than my previous efforts for the Black Library. I’ve been living within the shadows, watching them war against one another. In the darkness, I write for deliverance, riding on the wings of liberation. I hope to find either victory or death.

As I write this, there’s a number of damned ravens guarding my window.

L. R

Anything you would like to add, that’s here

J. P

I’d like to offer a huge helping of gratitude to you for reaching out to me and asking for an interview. I am constantly honoured and humbled by my fans and I hope I continue to do justice to your continued interest in my work.

We would like to thank Joe for his time, but also for sharing what it is to write for Black Library. We hope you liked this interview, gaving you a hint as to what to expect from his last book Assassinorum: Execution Force.

  • Publié le Jeudi 28 mai 2015
  • 8 révisions avant publication
  • 1 correction après publication
  • Par ▲ Technoprêtre ▲