Did you have a personal reason to write the novel? – Yes. My first Realmsic book was a hundred pages long and written completely in rhyme. It was something I’d always wanted to do as a promise to my younger self. I didn’t think people would actually be interested in a rhyming epic-adventure. But a year after its publishing, I started receiving emails from readers and reviewers. They primarily wanted to know why I wrote the book in verse, and what happened to the main characters. Knowing I had an audience prompted me to re-write the entire Realmsic saga as novels that would hopefully answer everyone’s questions.
Why do you call this Self-Help Fantasy? – Another writer once asked me to describe my book in less than five words. Self-Help Fantasy seemed the most accurate description. I personally wanted to write a great story that contained challenges my readers could identify with. I also wanted my characters to inspire readers and give them insight into overcoming their own obstacles. Many people know exactly how it feels to be thrown into leadership before they felt ready for it. You don’t wanna mess up or let people down, and this is the very dilemma King Maebus, my main character, has found himself in. So, Self-Help Fantasy is really life lessons disguised within a world of wizards and magic.
When you started the The Hero of Legend did you intend for it to become a series (Demethius is currently working on the second book in the series titled The Icon of Earth) or do the characters demand to continue on and tell their story? – After deciding to expand the rhyming book, I sat down and wrote out the entire Realmsic story from beginning to end. That alone took over a year to complete. The story is vast! Too much to fit into a single book. So it made sense to break it up into a trilogy.
Your books are written specifically for young adults and pre-teens. Do you think older readers can enjoy them too? – Absolutely! Google and Facebook analytics are incredible, and I was recently surprised to learn that readers as old as 44, are all really engaged in the book. You’d think creating effective marketing that targets such a broad demographic would be tricky. But it just goes to prove that Self-Help Fantasy appeals to everyone because everyone –regardless of age, has something to learn!
Why did you choose to drop the reader straight into the conflict in the opening of the novel? Well, as huge as the conflict is, it’s not the most important aspect of the story. For me, it was the personal journey and growth of the characters. So instead of slowly building up the conflict, I wanted to drop the reader right into the mix, so they’d get a sense of how overwhelmed King Maebus and Grand Wizard Kelm are feeling. That way, readers would be emotionally invested in the character’s survival.
Which character do you think takes most after you? – Magic, if you consider the element of magic to be a character in the story. It’s feared and loved, but mostly misunderstood… just like me! 🙂
How do you think readers will feel about the struggle between King Maebus and Warlord Damian? It doesn’t seem clear cut that Damian is entirely evil. – Wow! I really don’t know how readers will feel. There certainly does exist an interesting dynamic between Maebus and Damian. Neither seems to be completely good or bad. It’s all a matter of perspective, just like real life. Maebus wants to save his people, but to do so, he has to deceive them, which strongly goes against his morality. And Damian truly believes he’s fighting the kingdom for the good of all Realmsic people.
A lot of stories have an obvious romantic/love story, but The Hero of Legend seems to shy away from any sort of romance triangle. Why is that? – Frankly, the Realmsic Kingdom is facing the greatest threat of its entire history. Maebus is terrified and conflicted. He’s literally betraying his own morality to do what he feels is right. Under those tense and dynamically changing circumstances, there isn’t really an opportunity for him to indulge in romance. However, Maebus isn’t alone. Grand Wizard Kelm is with him every step of the way, and it’s interesting to see their “bromance” develop. It’s very reminiscent of Dr. Gregory House and James Wilson.
Without spoilers! what do we have to look forward to with King Maebus and Grand Wizard Kelm in the next book? – #MM – More Mayhem!
There are few good, fleshed out, female characters in fantasy novels. But it seems the females in HOL are completely equal and as awesome as the male characters. How do you feel is the best way to write good female characters? – Well, females ARE completely equal to and as awesome as men, and it bothers me when I see females portrayed in the same typical story/movie roles. I grew up without a father. So as a kid, my mother was the strongest and amazing person in the world! Therefore, I wanted to include females that were equally strong and amazing within my story. And if you like what you’ve seen so far, just wait until the next book. Females kick ass and run the world!
After this series is written, are there any other ideas you have on the plate or other genres you’d like to explore in the future? – Yes! I have a couple of other book ideas. One is a comedy crime drama…that’s not a typo. The other story revolves around a schoolyard conflict that quickly grows out of control.
Now when are you going to come out with an audio book for The Hero of Legend? – I’d like to voice the audio book myself, so it’s just a matter of finding the time to record it.
Check out the The Hero of Legend bitly.com/HOLebook