Eleventh Cycle ( Mistland #1) By Kian N. Ardalan | AUTHOR INTERVIEW | Escapist Book Tours
TITLE : Eleventh Cycle (Mistland #1)
AUTHOR : Kian N. Ardalan
GENRE : Dark Fantasy/Grimdark
INTENTED AGE GROUP : Adult
DATE OF PUBLISHING : February 3, 2023
PUBLISHER : Self Published
Welcome to my tour stop for Eleventh Cycle (Mistland #1) by Kian N. Ardalan, hosted by Escapist Book Tours. I am so grateful to be part of The Escapist Book Tours and for getting the chance to do a Q & A with the author. Make sure to check The Escapist Book Tours out because they do an awesome job of introducing a lot of new titles mainly self pub and indie published SFF books.
If you are interested in checking out the official page for the book tour – CLICK HERE
Content/Trigger Warnings :
Shown on page :
Graphic violence, Rape, Self harm, Emotional abuse, Suicidal ideation, Disability, Mental health (depression), Graphic sex, Child death, Ableism, Short scene involving dead dog
Alluded to :
It has been a thousand years since the last Seed abandoned their duty. The mists are closing in.
Finally, the Morning Bell tolls. A new Seed is born, but is it too late?
The rot eats away at mortals. The Witnesses pray so that they may not turn into one of the forgotten.
And the constricting mists infect the lands with fear.
But there is more to this tale than just the Elders and their Seeds. Four mortals will have a part to play in
Minethria’s fate. A farmer girl with only love in her eyes. A warrior born to the life of a refugee. A
highborn stuck between the realm of gods and men. And a woman running into front lines and away
Will the cycle finally be completed? Or will the mist swallow all?
“A seed is born and the evil is slain, so doth another cycle commence. Yet the last Seed born hath turned
traitor, and the mists which had been pushed back, returneth.”
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your journey as an author?
Gladly! I started writing very young during English class. When it was a creative writing assignment, it
was one of the few times my classmates held their breath. I started writing very young and while I was
always proud of my prose, I never knew how to form a full story.
In 2017, I started doing short stories through /r/writingprompts and found that people wanted to read
more and more of my work. I just kept at it. Eventually, one of these projects became a novella that I
published, and I also published my debut through a writing prompt. The more I wrote, the more I
realised that they like my writing. Before I knew it, I became a full-time author.
2. What was your inspiration for writing Eleventh Cycle?
Hollow Knight and Dark Souls and Berserk. I suppose there is also a bit of inspiration from watching
Angel’s Egg, one of my favourite movies ever.
3. What are some of the books that have inspired you and shaped you as an author?
Mark Lawrence mostly. It is his prose, and his worlds, that have really made me dive deep into this
endless universe of books.
4. What was the writing process and research process like for this book and the series?
Writing process included a lot of world building. Things that I had to jot down so I could stay consistent.
Other than that, the rest was fully pantsed. No outline. I just had ideas of scenes I definitely wanted and
then had to fill in the gaps in between.
As for research, disability is a big part of the book. I reached out to several people with disabilities to tell
me about their thoughts, their experiences, and what they would like. They even acted as my sensitivity
readers. I also read Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig and that was great to have a good understanding
of what disability is like.
5. How did you come up with the world and magic for this series? Can you tell us a little about the magic, world, and the different races you have in this world?
If I had to describe the world, I’d say it is hauntingly beautiful. It is a decaying world, which is kind of
helpless against the silent threat of oblivion.
As for the magic system, I really wanted to play with the theme of “Creation”. There are three main and important types of magic. The inspired, the colour mages, and the mistmages are what make up the different types of magic users.
The inspired are artists that evoke their magic through their art. A singer might sing calm into an
individual or screech shrill madness. A dancer can be found in the midst of a military formation and their
dancing ensures that the formation remains strong and firm.
A mistmage uses the Haar (mist) at the borders of the world to form anything out of it that they want.
Be it a sword, or an invisible shield.
The colourmages use ink, and depending on the colour, they have different properties. Blue ink brushed
on someone can induce calm, or the ink brushed on an arm can then spray geysers of water.
6. Who are the main characters in this book and what are the best and the worst things about them?
There are 5 main characters.
The Eleventh Seed is born and is enigmatic and almost like an empty vessel. There is nothing good or
bad about them. They are an empty body still waiting to be instilled with an idea.
Then there is Dalila, who we meet as a young girl from a farm. Her world is yet very tiny.
Erefiel is the son of White-Hawk, a zerub, and Erefiel is half zerub and half mortal. He gathers strays and
has a habit of helping anyone and everyone. His drive to help others comes from the lack of affection he
got from his own parents.
Chroma is an akar, my take on the “orc” race. But his people, despite being warriors, are living as
refugees within Bravnicka’s walls and he has to deal with what that means for him.
Nora is sometimes ornery, sometimes frustratingly stubborn, but most certainly badass. She fled her
home to escape the tyranny of her parents, and turned to the life of a soldier.
7. Tell us about a weird / most shocking thing you discovered while researching for the series.
Truth be told, it is the conditions that people with disabilities go through. The amount of abuse they face from their carers and being unable to deal with it. The way that society sees them as people with
nothing to offer and just waiting to die.
8. Tell us about your favorite thing you got to write in the book and the most challenging part?
Both of these things are most certainly the disability aspect. Writing about such a thing with such
emphasis in fantasy felt so new and I wanted to do it right. But it came with a lot of responsibility.
9. What do you love the most to write and hate to write in your stories(tropes & themes)?
I have thought as of recent how little I care for characters with no depth. Be it a character that is written
as a true Mary Sue, or be it a character that really has no redeeming quality. So I do really enjoy
including very competent characters.
Otherwise, I want to explore every possible trope or themes in books and have no necessary favourite.
10. You have different characters/protagonists’ POVs in the book, which one was your favorite and your least favorite to write?
They are honestly all my favourites. Some were challenging, like the Eleventh Seed, because writing
their chapters meant writing the prose in a more enigmatic way.
I guess Chroma was the least fun to write, but still a favourite of mine. I’ve heard from several readers
so far that he was their favourite.
11. How has your journey of book publishing been? With two books self-published, is there anything you would do differently with the insight and experience you have now? Also, what would your advice be for the upcoming authors looking into self-publishing their books?
Publishing independently is expensive. With two books under my belt, I feel confident that I finally am
getting a hang of the process. I put so much of my sweat and tears into Eleventh Cycle, that honestly, I
am quite happy leaving it as it is!.
Obviously, there is the typical “just start writing,” but more importantly, social networking! I really can’t
stress how underrated this is. Reach out to authors who have undertaken the journey before and see
where they went wrong and what advice they can give you!
12. Do you have any writing rituals?
Good night’s sleep, and waking up early to start writing 🙂 Nothing more than that.
13. If you couldn’t write in the genre you write in, which genre would you prefer to write in? Also which genre would be the most challenging for you to write in and why?
I think Sci-Fi. I’ve started writing a Sci-Fi book as well and it’s the closest thing to Fantasy. And for the
second question, I’d say romance? I don’t think I’d be very good at doing romance, especially because
I’d probably end every book on an unhappy note and that’s not romance haha.
14. What do you love the most about fantasy stories, especially the grimdark subgenre?
Good fantasy is always a reflection of our society. It can highlight the best and the worst points. It is an
opportunity to mirror the similarities, and show what other types of institutions could potentially look
As for grimdark, I can’t say I love anything in particular. But I will say that good grimdark gives the
opportunity to really display the rawest truths reality has to offer. It holds no punches.
15. Your favorite underhyped books you want more people to read.
Honestly? A book that I had the pleasure of reading last year. An Altar on the Village Green by Nathan
(This is our attempt at a bit of fun. We ask our authors to come up with a few short, clever, possibly pop
culture laden, descriptions of their books just to give a little taste of what’s to come for readers.)
Hello Darkness My Old Friend • Me: I want Dark Souls. Mom: We have Dark Souls at home. • Google:
“Hot Topic Knights”
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KIAN N. ARDALAN :
Kian N. Ardalan was born in Germany, Dusseldorf to Persian parents and has since travelled between so
many places that he sees himself as a person of the world; well, with one exception.
When he wasn’t playing video games or reading novels (mostly Darren Shan and Anthony Horowitz) or
trying to convince his parents to watch that R-rated movie about vampires and werewolves, he delved
into fantasy worlds of his own making.
It began with a novella about a young girl, not hoarded by a fierce dragon, but rather protected and
raised by one.
On the other hand, The Fantastically Underwhelming Epic wonders why the hero of the story always has
to be some all-powerful child of prophecy? Why can’t it just be about a clueless, young bard who is
simply trying to make good on a promise with a wise-cracking skull as their companion?
Despite his teacher’s warnings, Kian decided to lean into that realm and now invites others to also
explore these vibrant (and perhaps worrying) reflections of his own psyche.
Stay tuned for his upcoming book, inspired by the cryptic world of Dark Souls.
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