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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Special Challenge Participant Feature – Jamie at Mithril Wisdom!

One of the highlights of the A to Z Challenge included visiting Jamie Gibbs at Mithril Wisdom every day. A fantasy and metal dude, Jamie’s theme just rocked! So I asked him to join us today and give us a little insight…

Your Challenge theme involved fantasy and metal music. (Which I thought was wicked cool.) What made you merge the two together?

I've been listening to power and folk metal since I was 17, and it's given me a lost of inspiration in my writing. There's a whole lot of imagery in the music of that genre that other musical styles can't reach, but it's pretty niche and doesn't get a whole lot of recognition. It's very similar to fantasy as a literary genre - it tends to get sneered at by 'more established' genres but it's got such huge potential in terms of imagery and imagination.

Which song and band comprised your favorite post?

Ooo, don't make me choose! *quickly rilfes through A-Z posts*. That's a really hard one to nail down. I'm going to go for my M is for Mithril post (before anyone says anything, my blog's name did not influence the decision at all). The song is Durnir's Forge by Dragonland. The song itself is pretty badass (a hero venturing into the bowels of a dwarf fortress to gain the help of the dwarf king in order to overthrow an evil tyrant? What's not to love) but the entire album is amazing.

What usually grips me most of all about these kinds of albums is that I can perfectly imagine them being performed on the stage, like a rock opera/heavy metal musical. That's when you know you've struck gold, and this album Under the Grey Banner has all those qualities.

You mentioned science fiction once or twice – think you might want to tackle science fiction and metal music next year?

Sci-fi would be pretty sweet; there's definitely a good number of sci-fi inspired power metal songs out there (like one called Ironhead about an alien cowboy robot. It can get pretty crazy). The genre can go to some pretty dark places though, so maybe a sci-fi/horror theme is on the cards. People seemed to get a kick out of the fantasy songs, so it's possible!

You’re a D&D geek, aren’t you? Favorite type of character to play?

Oh boy, I suppose this is confession time. I've never actually played D&D. I played the kids version years ago, but real D&D I've never touched. I've always wanted to try it out, and I'm a big Warhammer geek as a way of compensating. Right now, though, Skyrim is taking up most of my life. I tend to opt for assassins when I play video games and mages in any other kind of RPG. Hurling fireballs at unsuspecting folk is definitely the way to go.

What do you blog about the other eleven months of the year?

I do my best to whittle down the massive pile of books on my to be read shelf, and I like to share the things I find online that tickle my geek bones. I've recently started writing fiction again, so expect to see more of that and some writing tips and tricks I find along the way.

You studied Egyptology in college. Any interesting stories? Find any mummies?

There's a long story involving beer, a jacuzzi, grenades, a 7 day ban from Egypt and a schizophrenic geologist, but I don't want to bore the readers with that. I didn't find any mummies, sadly, but I did help uncover a burial chamber in Luxor. I was lucky enough to be part of the team that helped excavate the tomb at the time (and my camera was the only one to hand when they broke in, so I got all the photos!) Getting into the burial chamber did involve belly crawling through a narrow gap filled with limestone chips and a 40 foot drop on the ricketiest ladder known to humankind. It was totally worth it, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

You’re engaged – does the future Mrs. Jamie Gibbs like fantasy and metal music?

Not as much as I'd like :) She's much more eclectic than me when it comes to music so she's more tolerant of my musical tastes than I am of hers. She's just as big a geek as I am, though, and almost as big a fantasy fan too (I'm hoping she's not reading this!). She takes more from the music side of things than the imagery, so I need to wear her down a little more before she likes some of the weird bands I show her.

Jamie, you rock!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE


  1. Oh please bore us with that story! :)

  2. Good hearing more about Jamie. I haven't listened to much of the much you do, Jamie, but what I've heard sounded pretty good.

    I'm still jealous about your writing job.

    Tossing It Out

  3. Woo! This is an awesome page, for starters. And Jamie, assassins rule, baby! Well, mages do to in a I'ma-gonna-kill-you-from-as-far-away-as-possible sort of way. ;) Right on and awesome theme. I'm going to check out that Under the Grey Banner!

  4. I would like to be bored with that story too. ;)

    That's so cool about studying Egyptology.

  5. I'd love to hear the story too! That's awesome you got to go to Egypt and uncover a tomb. Once upon a time, I wanted to be an Egyptologist. It's fascinating.

  6. I don't think I read every one of Jamie's posts, but I read most of them, and they were definitely awesome.

  7. "There's a long story involving beer, a jacuzzi, grenades, a 7 day ban from Egypt and a schizophrenic geologist, but I don't want to bore the readers with that."

    Bore me!

  8. A seven day ban from Egypt? How can that be a boring story? Congrats on the engagement.

  9. Alex, you used the expression 'wicked cool' which leads me to believe that you are in the Massachusetts/New England area? You don't hear that much outside this region, and it's unknown on the west coast except by New England transplants. :)

  10. Oh go on, tell us the boring, beer, ban and baby bomb story.

  11. I know nothing about metal although I like sci fi. Maybe your fiancé can convert you to some of the music she likes.

    Congrats on the engagement.

  12. JoJO, I'm a military brat, so I've lived all over the world, but ironically never in that area. No idea where I picked up the phrase.

    Jamie, you might have to bore people with that story some day!

  13. I'm major jealous of your Egypt adventures! What fun to find a burial chamber...

  14. First into a burial chamber? Banned from Egypt? You can bore me anytime. ;) I loved your posts as I had never listened to these bands before. You have really cool taste.

    Terrific interview!

  15. Jamie, I so love a boring mummy attempt story! I know someday you will bring it~ My son is sooo into Skyrim.
    I was the big sister that use to take my brother shopping for D&D stuff.

    Banned from Egypt...sounds like a great title for a book! ;D or maybe
    Band from Egypt?! Fun interview!

  16. Thanks for interviewing me, Alex!

    Ha, I think I opened up a can of worms with that story! Maybe I'll reveal the full tale .... one day.

  17. Enjoyed the interview! Glad you shared it with us. :)

  18. Mr. Jamie, great job on the challenge! Things sound pretty exciting in your life! Best of luck in your next endeavors!

    Mr. Alex - Great interview! Well done!

  19. "beer, a jacuzzi, grenades, a 7 day ban from Egypt and a schizophrenic geologist"--wait, wait, what? You have to tell us this story! :) LOL.

    Great interview! It was fun to learn more about you, Jamie.

  20. 1. I love everything about this interview. The interviewer, the interviewee, the questions, the answers. Yup.

    2. Man, I have *got* to go back and read the archive of Jamie's 2012 A-Z. I need some new metal. I never listen to metal except when I'm writing, which is a pretty good argument for me listening to metal quite a lot. But it's mostly on Pandora so I don't actually know that much about it. It's just weirdly good to write to.

    3. I never got a chance to get into D&D either, although I always suspected I would totally love it if I tried it.

  21. Fab interview. I never played D&D either, but I also love playing mages in games hehehe. Love those fire balls. ;)

  22. I have to admit, I didn't know this genre existed ;) Thanks for sharing. Loved the story about the burial chamber - wow! talk about inspiration!

  23. Alex, I love how you share your treasured finds with us. Jamie - best story teaser I've read in a long time. Now write the tale and let us know when it's posted. Otherwise I'll find some zombies from one of my boys' video games and send them to harass you until you do. And then Ezio will come and if you still haven't written it, I will send a dragon born warrior from Skyrim (my fave game) to hunt you down. Btw, I don't PLAY any of these. But u live to watch my boys (12 and 15) play.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  24. Soooo coooool that you got to help uncover a burial chamber! I want to see those pics some day! Think they are blog-worthy?

  25. Great interview!

    And congratulations on your engagement!

    Ooh, archaeology? I might need to ask you a few questions for my shiny new idea...


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