I was invited to participate by the incomparable Eddie Louise, a wonderful writer and fantastic person, always helpful and encouraging.
- What is the working title of your next book?
City of Thunder, book two of the Gifts of Vorallon trilogy. I will be self-publishing this title by the end of February 2013.
- Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea for the Gifts of Vorallon books came to me over twenty years ago. I had been doing a ton of worldbuilding for my role-playing game campaign. My friends were absolutely insatiable for gaming. We exchanged games weekly, taking turns exploring one another’s worlds. Within a year of this, I had built up a milk crate worth of notes, papers, maps, monsters, and non-player characters. I looked at all of it and said to myself “If I had put all this work toward writing a book, I would have a tome big enough to stun an ox!” At that time, I wrote fifty pages towards that book before losing my nerve.
A few years ago that memory came back to me as I was going through that same milk crate of paper artifacts and I found the guts to pull out those pages and take another look. I started rewriting, one line at a time, the book I had begun all those years ago, and everything I wrote for gaming has all become research material.
- What genre does your book fall under?
There are men, elves, dwarves, gods, and demons, on a world with a living spirit. Despite all those tropes, I have tried to answer questions I have never seen answered and build a unique world. I am going with High Fantasy, but the jury is still out regarding the exact classification. I hope it will carry the reader into another world and they will define it based on the success of that escape.
- What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Wow, I have a big cast of young characters. This is a tough question, and I really want the reader to envision the characters for themselves, even to the point of seeing themselves and their friends within the roles.
My own personal cast of characters in City of Thunder stars Amanda Seyfried in the role of Scythe, she has the petite stature and the huge, expressive eyes. Since seeing the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I can’t get Aidan Turner (Kili) out of my head when I picture Lorace. Dina Meyer, tough and beautiful wild-haired redhead in the role of Captain Falraan. A young Alexander Skarsgard definitely plays Tornin, tall, blonde, chisled, and I think he could even pull off the innocence required. A slightly older Chris Hemsworth might be able to pull off Sir Rindal. Dominic West could wrangle a good General Moyan and his brother, Hethal, could be played by Adrian Brody quite well. High Priest Oen is tough, but I really see about a 45 year old Joe Don Baker.
- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Lorace must solve the mysteries of the Chain of Vengeance and conquer the fires of rage that still burn within him before he can be the master of his own destiny.
- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published, but nothing is outside the realm of possibility.
- How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
If I recall correctly, the first draft for the whole trilogy took five months and ended up at just under 200k words.
- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A great many authors influence my writing. The Gifts of Vorallon goes further into the technical side of things regarding magic and gods, but the high fantasy aspects undeniably compares to Dennis L. Mckiernan’s Mithgar books. Some themes within my story also compare to the Elenium books by David Eddings. The heroic, moral, and purposeful characters of my story are attributable to the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
- Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Hugh Howey, author of Wool and all around awesome guy inspired me. He is so upfront with his fans and very present and communicative to them about his writing and his life. Hugh is a very brave writer who showed me that I could do it all myself.
I also have to add my gaming friends, who are my best friends, to the list of inspirations. Our role-playing allowed us to experience and interact with wildly imaginative fantasy worlds and we all learned that it is not the game master vs. the players. One of the worst things a game master can do his players is run a power play on them, forcing them to do something or ride the rails that only lead to the adventure he has planned out for them. A man fighting against the destiny forced upon him, and an intimate understanding of his struggle and outrage is key to this story.
- What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
The whole trilogy is a prequel to many more adventures, and the events within are set during a time when magic is young and primordial. Some of the future stories take place soon after this, but many more will reference the events within these books as ancient myth.