Brhi Stokes is the author of Caligation and the newly released Turning Pages, which is the first book in her new series The Arbiter.
Question 1: You’ve just released the first book in The Arbiter series. What inspired you to start a new series, instead of writing a sequel to Caligation?
Caligation was always intended to be standalone. However, for those that have read Caligation, this new series continues on with some of the concepts covered in the end of the book. After I finished writing Caligation, I ran with a few of these loose concepts and eventually ended up with the weird transdimensional romp that is The Arbiter. While Caligation is very much fantasy, I wanted to work on something new that had an urban fantasy base but a science fantasy feel. In The Arbiter series, Page travels across dimensions to do odd jobs. Some of these dimensions are heavily rooted in science fiction, while others are strictly fantasy. Others still are a combination of both.
There is so much to play with in this series, and I’m already having fun designing new covers and pondering what other strange places Page will end up in.
Question 2: From where do you draw inspiration for the different planes Page travels to?
In the first book, Page travels to two very different worlds. One is a sprawling medieval city inhabited by people with a variety of buglike features. The centre of the city is walled off, and anything outside the wall appears to be the slums. The technology there is medieval, except for the huge coal train that runs along a raised platform high above the city. I have a very clear image in mind for this, and I would have to say that the aesthetic of videogames like Bloodborne and Dishonored spring to mind when picturing this particular world.
The other world is an idyllic fantasy setting that I won’t tell you too much about. If I drew on any specific references for inspiration, it was definitely subconscious as I can’t think of anything specific.
Question 3: So what’s next?
I am going to try desperately to find the free time to work on book two. I have the plot down, it just needs to be written. I’m hoping to have books two and three out this year. Once book three is out, I’m going to be working on a prequel novella for the series, which I will be offering for free on a few different platforms.
Brhi has been writing ever since she could put pen to paper and daydreaming in every spare second. She adores fantasy of all kinds but has a special love for urban fantasy with a dark edge. Her fascination with different places and cultures has seen her living overseas for several years, though she currently resides in Australia. This time abroad has strongly influenced her writing, much of which focuses on strange new places. In her spare time, Brhi enjoys reading, video games, tabletop RPGs, going for long, solitary jogs and music.
Find out more about Brhi and her ongoing writing projects on her website.