Definitely. Fantasy is a powerful genre, partly because it offers a lot of freedom. I do, however, plan to delve into other genres, including science fiction.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I wanted to show people that even when things seem bleak, there is a way through. Book One was largely a tragedy, but Book Two is about redemption and recovery. No matter how dark it gets, there is always light. I think this is epitomised in the following quote from the book:
“Do you yearn for life, even when it is often cruel?”
“Yes,” Belnavar said. “Because it is often cruel, not always, and when it is not cruel, it is kind beyond any measure, and those moments outweigh the darker ones that precede or follow. Even when night comes and smothers day, there are stars up there in the blackness.”
How much of the book is realistic?
The book is fantasy, but the issues it explores are real. Sometimes speculative fiction is the best medium to explore complex human problems in a way that deeply resonates with readers.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot?
It is impossible not to include life experiences, which include friendships, in some manner, shape or form, since a creation always involves, if not emanates from, the creator. However, I do not consciously and deliberately include people I know in my books. Certain characteristics might be included, but I prefer to craft a character instead of mimicking, and potentially parodying, a person.
How important do you think villains are in a story?
Villains are essential to a story, but they don’t necessarily need to be apparent. Sometimes the villain is the main character, or a supporting character, and sometimes the villain is a concept, a force, or an idea. Often the greatest villains (and indeed heroes) are those that are not black and white, because then it is far closer to reality, to the villains of the everyday world.
What are your goals as a writer?
To communicate a good story, to deliver a strong message, to entertain the reader and hopefully provide them with something they can take away from the book that will help them in their lives.
Have you started another book yet?
I am deep into Book Three of The Children of Telm, entitled The Chains of War. The story sees the Beast Agon finally break free from the Underworld, and the desperate attempts of the people of Iraldas to defeat him. I hope it will prove a satisfying conclusion to the series.
Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?
I’m on a bit of a Charles Dickens reading binge at the moment. I bought all of his works and am steadily working my way through them.
What contributes to making a writer successful?
Perseverance and determination. The successful in writing, as in all aspects of life, are rarely just those who are good at what they do, but those who persevere. If we think of many of the great success stories in the fiction world, they have often battled through many hurdles that might have held them back, and yet they pushed on and kept going. It is this dogged determination that is the key to success.
Do you have any advice for writers?
Write and read. It sounds simple, but it is how you learn and improve your craft, and it is what makes you a writer in the first place. Don’t wait for inspiration—invite it into your life. Force yourself to sit down and write on a regular basis, even if you are not in the mood. Discipline is required to write a novel. It can be like exercise—the first few minutes can be a chore, but once you get into it you will find that you actually enjoy it.
When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have?
I don’t anticipate I will ever retire. Writing to me is an expression of being, and I think the former won’t end until the latter ends. That said, I am sure I will have many reflections, including feelings of accomplishment and regret, and they will likely feed into whatever I am writing at the time. My hope and aim is that I will be able to look back on my life and know that I have achieved a lot of what I set out to do, that I have fulfilled many of my dreams, that I have helped people in some way, and that I have left a positive mark upon the world.
THE DYING BREATH. THE DYING WILL. THE DYING HOPE.
After the catastrophe of the Call of Agon, Ifferon and his companions find themselves in the unenviable situation of witnessing, and partaking in, the death of another god—this time Corrias, the ruler of the Overworld.
With Corrias locked inside the corpse of the boy Théos, he suffers a fate worse than the bonds of the Beast Agon. Yet hope is kindled when the company find a way to restore the boy, and possibly the god, back to life.
The road to rebirth has many pitfalls, and there are some who consider such meddling with the afterlife a grave risk. The prize might be life anew—but the price might also be a second death.
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Genre - Epic Fantasy
Rating – PG
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