illustration of author Nicholas Woode-Smith, white male, brown hair, brown beard in a orangey top
author interview,  urban fantasy

Author Interview – Nicholas Woode-Smith

This month, I caught up with urban fantasy author Nicholas Woode-Smith to chat about his books and why he writes.

Nice to chat with you Nicholas, so for readers who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself.

This is always the question I get stuck on. And, of course, it’s the first one! [GC: that’s my evil plan, to put you off by asking about yourself!] Well, I’m an urban fantasy and sci-fi author from Cape Town, South Africa. Better known as Hope City in the Kat Drummond Series. Apart from my fiction writing, I have a degree in politics, philosophy, and economic history, which I use to complain about the growing irrelevancy of many degrees. I do love the subjects, however, and love to filter as much history, philosophy and politics into my works as I can without the books becoming bogged down in pretentious drivel. Aside from my work, I’m an avid gamer, and love playing, you guessed it, historical grand strategy games. And also, RPGs. I’m currently knee-deep into Baldur’s Gate 3. So that’s going to be keeping me busy for a few yonks.

And your best known series is the Kat Drummond one, can you give us a summary of that?

The Kat Drummond Series is about a university (college for you yanks) student living in a world where magic and monsters have become the norm. To pay the rent and her tuition, she hunts monsters, with the help of a ghostly knight living inside her head.

The series is set in Hope City, a transformed version of real-life Cape Town. But Kat does travel, taking the story all the way from Shetland to New Zealand. The entire world changed when magic and monsters returned, so there’s plenty to explore!

Many authors say that characters live rent free in their heads, what is it about Kat that makes her so compelling?

I love the dynamic between Kat and Treth (the ghost inside her head). While Kat is, mostly, normal, she is able to gain a wealth of experience and abilities through her connection to this mysterious ghost. And, of course, she has a lot of magical friends. Skilled wizards, fiery sorcerers, and even a necromancer pops up. And as Kat’s main vendetta is with the undead, necromancy is very complex in this series. I really enjoyed exploring how it works.

And you do it so well, I love your work. Which authors do you enjoy reading?

I love Brandon Sanderson’s work. Mistborn is phenomenal and I really enjoy his YA sci-fi as well. Raymond Feist’s Rift War Saga is probably the series that got me into writing, as I loved the breadth and depth of his world and storylines. [GC: I really enjoyed the Rift War books too!]

Thanks for chatting with me, where can readers learn more about you and your books?


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curious crafter, aspiring author, board game enthusiast