A Bite of… Assaph Mehr

We managed to persuade Assaph Mehr, creator of Felix the Fox and the world of Egretia to sit down long enough to answer some questions for us.

Q1: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’d love to be close to classical Europe again. Hope on a train or a short flight, and visit museum, historical sites and what not. It’s probably the one thing I miss most about moving to Australia – it’s just so far away from everything!

That said, I think I’d also love not just where, but WHEN. When I visit ancient sites, heck even when I walk in the “old” streets of Sydney (with building under 150 years old – practically new), I only half pay attention to traffic. The other half of my mind is always seeing things as they once were. I’d love to visit some of those historical places when they were in their prime, see how they really were and how close my imagination filled in the details.

 

Q2: Which aspects of you are in Felix and why do you feel it is those ones that came through?

There is a lot of me in Felix. Not surprising, really. He’s more gregarious in social situation, though I’d say he’s probably still just a high-functioning introvert. He likes to solve things by himself, by thinking them through (like me), even though he’s very effective in face to face human interactions (unlike me).

He’s a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. When I used to role-play, most of my characters were that way. Specialisation, as Heinlein once said, is for insects. Just like in my day job and in my author life I tend to pick up broad knowledge and enough skills to get the job done, so does Felix. He never completed his arcane studies, he didn’t stick long in the legions, he learned the art of investigation but went on his own quickly enough. It’s that unique blend of skills – plus his (unlike mine 😉 looser morals – that make him such an effective paranormal trouble solver.

 

Q3: Who, outside of family and friends, would you most want to read and enjoy your books?

There are authors I admire, some of whose characters influenced Felix. Steven Saylor, author of the Roma Sub Rosa series starring Gordianus the finder, for example. Mr Saylor was very gracious when I sent him an early copy of my novel, and had some encouraging words. Lindsey Davis, author of the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries, on the other hand refuses to read anything by fans of her works.

Ruth Downie, author of the Medicus Roman Mysteries starring Gaius Petreius Russo, was also very supportive. When Felix needed a medic in my upcoming novel, I borrowed Russo – with Ms Downie’s permission!

And there are others, so many others, who’s work influenced me and my writing. Harry Turtledove (the master of alternate histories), Boris Akunin (with his amazing detective Erast Fandorin), Barry Hughart (whose Number Ten Ox is still my favourite historical-fantasy-detective), and many, many others. I’d like to think it’s only a matter of time till I could hold a discussion with them, with turning into an awestruck, blubbering fool.

You can catch up with Assaph on his website, Amazon or Facebook pages and be sure to check out the coffee break read extract from his next Felix adventure that we have right here on the blog!

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