Author interview with Scott Oden

Moonlake: Hi, Scott. I read all of the chapters of Twilight of the Gods (TOG) on your blog over the Christmas break and it’s funny. I started wondering about Njall from book 1 who I wasn’t really interested in throughout A Gathering of Ravens (GOR). And the epilogue of GOR also gave me an expectation that Etain is going to make a recurrence. But from TOG, I’m getting the sense that neither of these two would reappear. 

So without giving away spoilers for book 2 since I fully intend to read it once it comes out, I’m wondering how standalone is each book of this series from all the others?

Scott: Each book is fully standalone, with the only recurring character being Grimnir, himself.  He’s functionally immortal, so except for violence he can live forever. Too bad he really loves violence 🙂

200 years separate A Gathering of Ravens and Twilight of the Gods; 130-ish years between Twilight and the proposed third book, The Doom of Odin.

Moonlake: But what about the loose ends in book 1 (Griminir’s revenge and the other characters in GOR besides Griminir)? Are they going to be short stories one day or readers just have to make a guess themselves or perhaps they would be alluded to indirectly in TOG or book 3, The Doom of Odin?

Scott: I don’t think I left any loose ends in the first book (at least, none I’m aware of).  There’s an epilogue that briefly details what happened to Etain and some of the others. The historical figures resume their historical paths, and Grimnir goes on his way.  That said, he does mention a few of the characters on Twilight of the Gods, and there is one surprise in there for folks who’ve read AGoR. A rather BIG surprise 🙂

Moonlake: Okay, we will quickly turn to another question before we give away any actual spoilers. So I’m personally a die-hard fan of LOTR. But despite that, I was never interested in Tolkien’s orcs. But after reading GOR, I would actually like a peek into your kaunar society that I don’t think we are going to see in the Griminir series or are we?

Scott: In Twilight of the Gods, there’s a fairly long section from Grimnir’s POV, detailing a bit about their society — where they dwelled, various roles, his father, and a good bit about his Mom.  I also included a bit about the other heads of kaunar clans.

Moonlake: Cool but I was hoping for a prequel. So if you were to write one, in what ways are you going to present the kaunar society and the other lore-rich aspect of the world? And would the prequel be about a younger Grimnir? 

Scott: I would love to do a Silmarillion-esque story of how the kaunar came to be . . . who the Nine Fathers were before they were taken and turned from dvergar to kaunar; the story of their fight with the AEsir and their flight to our world.  I think that would make an awesome companion piece to the series.

Moonlake: I would so love to read that one day. And now, here comes the tough question. What do you think is the overarching element on all of your work spanning between historical fiction and fantasy that readers would be drawn to if they only read one of the genres? And what would be the attraction for someone who never reads either genre?

Scott: I think the draw for people from both genres, and for those new to both, would be the world-building — the ability to relate the ancient/medieval world in such a way as NOT to alienate the modern reader.  I pride myself on being able to evoke time and place, on conjuring a dead society from dust and research so as to make it interesting to lay readers and acurrate enough for some deep readers and scholars. This sounds like an arrogant boast, but it’s the one constant piece of praise that spans all of my novels.

Moonlake: Yes, that’s why I’m drawn- the immersion factor. That and I’m a sucker for lore, as most predominant fantasy readers are.

Now, the final question: can we get a sneak peek into The Doom of Odin without any spoilers being given? And actually I realise this might be tough question #2 or the tough question *mischievous wink* 

Scott: I don’t have anything in a state to share beyond the rough of the jacket copy.  Here it is:

[To save space, I’m going to redirect you all to Scott’s own teaser post on his own blog]

Moonlake: Sounds right up my alley. Epic fantasy is actually my main staple and this sounds like my level of epic-ness. So that concludes our interview. And as of the time when this interview is out on my blog, the Twilight of Gods is out already. So if it interests you, be sure to grab and leave a review if you please. I’m sure to grab a copy and read it this year. As it was, it’s already on my TBR list this year, as my blog followers would attest.

Thank you, Scott, for your time. And best wishes.

Scott: Thank you for the interest!  I hope you enjoy Twilight of the Gods 🙂

Moonlake:I’m a cautious reader and I already sneak peeked what you put up on your blog so I’m pretty sure I would 🙂

The tale behind Tales (1)- Christopher Lee and Lore of Aos Si

Note from Moonlake: Don’t forget to pre-order on Inkshares if you like this work. There is also a Facebook page for the series. Me and Chris had lots of fun conducting this interview and it got a little long. If the length defeats your attention span, don’t forget to scroll to the end to read the exclusive secret that Chris is sharing with us only *wink*

Moonlake: Hi, I’m Moonlake Ku and welcome to the first episode of The Tale behind Tales. Today, we have Christopher Lee, the author of Lore of Aos Si , with us. Firstly, tell us about yourself and your journey into writing, Chris.

Chris: I’ve always been fascinated by the art of storytelling. From an early age I was enchanted by the vastness of human imagination. Whether it was in books, movies, or being told orally I’ve been captivated by the magic. Stories have been how I learn, how I grow, and these days what keep me going.

Moonlake: I think most humans are fascinated with stories, including myself. Interesting though that your fascination went so deep that you actually consciously recognise learning through stories. So when is it that you first decided to pursue writing in a serious way and what are the circumstances?

Chris: Well, in my teens I wrote a fair amount of absolutely putrid fan fiction. Mostly relating to star wars. Of course I didn’t know it was utter drivel, but hell I was having a blast. That carried me into my first collaborative effort which was a grand Space Opera that a friend and I worked on for over 12 years before I handed the reins over to him.

You see I went to school to study storytelling, and learned the craft but one professor said one thing that really stuck with me. He said, “You can’t tell a story about others, about life, or any of the grand philosophical questions, until you’ve lived.” In other words, we were all too young to take up the craft, because the craft itself had yet to grow within us. His philosophy was that you need to live life before you can really tell others what it’s about. I took that to heart and I put story telling away for many years before it reared its beautiful head once again.

Boy did I live lol

It wasn’t until about 2012 when I started to germinate a grand idea. And that was when I started studying the craft further.

Moonlake:I think that professor is right, speaking from personal experience. I assume this grand idea you are talking about now is the Lores of Aos Si?

Chris: Yes.

Moonlake: Now that you mention it, what is the tale behind Aos Si? What are the circumstances under which this story is born?

Chris: The Lore of the Aos Si is an examination of the human condition at its core. I know every book is in some way, but I wanted to go deeper. For years I sought answers in religions that I studied, in science, in the musings of the science fiction universes. I was concerned for our earth, for our future generations, for our legacy as a species.

I wanted to answer the questions, what was our big oops moment, some call it original sin, the fall of man, the rotten parts of what we are. What is our ultimate purpose.

For years I looked to the future for the answers when, all along I simply had to redirect my focus and look to the past.

Basically the story I want to tell is the greatest story never told

Moonlake: Ar ha, life’s purpose, I have a lot of empathy with that and looking to the past for answers. The past has a long shadow, I think. So what would you say are the biggest inspirations for the Lores of Aos Si during the course of your own introspection on the human condition?

Chris: Somewhere along the long line of the human experience we lost something. It’s sometimes called wisdom, sometimes it’s called magic. We lost a crucial part of our soul that links us to this shiny blue rock. Something came along and severed that connection between us and our mother, leaving us feeling alone and disconnected. Alien even. I wanted to go as far back as possible and examine what it was that we or someone else did that severed our relationship with the magical world of mythology.

Moonlake: I can see that Aos Si is a very internally driven project but have you read up on others’ work and incorporated that into the concept of Aos Si? In what way? When you talk about the magical world of mythology, what specific mythology are you thinking of?

Chris: As far as others’ work, I have to admit that a large part of my world comes from denying the standards that form the pillars of modern fantasy and SciFi. For instance, Tolkien’s mythology dominates the fantasy world. You almost have to use his work if you are going to be successful. This generation’s lack of imagination hampers the creative noose of the writer. Go too far and you’ll hang yourself. So much of modern mythology was influenced by Tolkien’s work, that I decided to dig deeper, and go further back, and fan out.

Aos Si is PanMythological, in that it takes the basis of most western mythological pantheon’s and works and combines them in a new and fresh way. For instance, Tolkien’s elves are freakishly different than those of mythology. Tall, slender, serious. In most mythological cycles they were small, impish, and playful. In Aos Si, they may be serious, but they are of average height, maybe a bit shorter, and share a distinct kinship with the moon and the moon’s familiar the wolf. They are shapeshifters who despise humankind almost entirely. They are obviously more. Complex than that, but the point is, that I bent and shaped my world to resemble the world of antediluvian history, the time before the Great Flood.

Moonlake: Of all your bending of existing work including Tolkien and what he establishes for modern fantasy, sci-fi and antediluvian history, what do you personally see as the most interesting that you’ve done? What is your personal favourite?

Chris: Honestly, it is how I chose to deal with Adam and Eve. In The Lore of the Aos Si, the part of Eve is played by the primordial goddess, the mother of creation. The part of Adam is played by, well Adam, the first man. Entrusted with unbelievable power as the steward of her creation, the keeper of her sacred word. Adam like all men, is fundamentally flawed, his curiosity and nativity drive him to crowning himself Elohim, the God of Mankind, and forsakes his mother, his lover, and thus begins the age old feud between man and fae, and the matriarchy and that patriarchy!

Moonlake: It’s certainly a new twist on Adam and Eve lore. And being a fan myself of Aos Si, I know there is an immense cast in the story. Which character is your absolute favourite, without giving away too much of the story?

Chris: I’d have to say it’s a grand tie, between Falbanach the beggar god, a druid of the first age and the Lord of Time, and what you can call our primary antagonist, Ensi Ubara Tutu the religious zealot and leader of the Cult of Empyrean, a group of exiled mankind that hails from ancient Sumeria.

Moonlake: Ah, I like Falbanach a fair bit too. Well, it is certainly my pleasure today to talk to you, Chris, but I think it’s time to draw to the close. So I would like to ask you whether you could share a little secret with me and our readers today? About current and upcoming project or about some of your secrets of trade?

Chris: Well as all Fantasy series go, The Lore of the Aos Si can’t end with one book. It is a sweeping epic that is meant to cover the breadth of human history. What I think will be the most fun is how I plan to release the tale. As many of the main characters are immortals the storylines will carry through over time. Basically the secret is this, I won’t be following up this book with the chronological next book, I’ll be jumping forward somewhat and I haven’t decided yet, but it could be set during the Crusades, or I might jump to the Gilded Age around 1893. I hope that my readers can hang with the jumping through time.

Moonlake: Wow, that is certainly an adventurous approach to take and I’m caught off guard. But still, I like the occasional surprise and I wonder how I will deal with the time jump. Well, thank you for your time today, Chris. Keep us informed of your progress.

Chris: Will do, I am glad we had the time to talk about the Lore of the Aos Si, I hope everyone else finds it as intriguing as you.

Moonlake: All the best, and hope that our readers have fun today as much as we two have.

Moonlake’s Spotlight (2): Man’s Damnation by Christopher Lee!

This week I have another work that I’m excited to share with you all, Man’s Damnation- Lore of the Aos Si, also taking pre-orders on Inkshares by Christopher Lee, the founder of the Indie Authors Collective! Here’s the synopsis or back cover blurb of Man’s Damnation:

Our ancestors once lived in harmony with the creator. It was a Golden Age, where man lived in the fabled Garden of Eden where none suffered and all needs were fulfilled. The Primordial Goddess was their mother and her first child was Adam.

Adam, the first man, and father of mankind was charged with the protection of her sacred creation. The power bestowed upon him proved too great for Adam thus was born the folly of man. The Goddess rested for the act of creation had drained her of her power. Adam was filled with hubris and named himself God among men.

His pride corrupted the creation of the Goddess and perverted mankind. War between Adam and the Goddess raged in the heavens. The Fae, the siblings of mankind, waged war on their rebellious brothers and sisters. The Goddess claimed victory over Adam and mankind was banished from Eden and stripped of their ability to wield the gift of magic.

It is the year 3002 B.C.E. in the Silver Age. The Fae King Dagda rules over the four houses of the Seeley Court of Tír na nÓg. Mankind is scattered across the realms of Tír na nÓg and Tír nam Beo. Tensions between the Fae and Man are reaching a breaking point. As the Silver Age draws to a close the world will be thrown into chaos by the return of the Usurper Adam. Four young souls will rise as the ancient forces of the world continue their age-old feud. As MidSummer’s Eve approaches, the first and greatest world war will erupt once more between Man and the Fae.

mansdamnation

Also, here’s the art trailer which shows the mind-scattering amount of world-building work that had gone into this particular series:

If all of the above still don’t convince you to get into this series, then let’s hear about what others have to say on Inkshares:

review-1

~Mark A. Mix, author seeking pre-orders with The Darkholme Chronicles: Cruxfire

review-2

~ Jane-Holly Meissner, author seeking pre-orders with Fae Child

review-3

~ Audrey T. Carroll, author of Queen of Pentacles

review-4

~ Tahani Nelson, author seeking pre-orders with The Last Faoii

 

And last but not least, an endorsement from Moonlake herself:

If you are a die-hard fan of lore like me, you would be hooked as I am now!”

Overall, I think this series has large potential. It reminds me of LoR in the immensity and complexity of the underlying world, the large cast and rich lores woven into the tapestry of the world itself. Get behind this series on Inkshares now if you appreciate any of these elements.

Moonlake’s Spotlight (1): The War of Wind and Moon by Darcy Conroy!

I’m finally excited to do my post today which is the start of a brand new post series called Moonlake’s Spotlight! This will happen in conjunction with a brand new section that I’m opening on my blog as noted on the About page.

So, in this grand opening, I would like to share with you all a high quality work, The War of Wind and Moon , now taking pre-orders on Inkshares by Darcy Conroy who also wrote As Long as She Lives! Here’s the synopsis or back cover blurb of the War of Wind and Moon:

Seventeen-year-old Mia trusts no-one. She wants to – she’d give almost anything to be able to – but when your physical and emotional safety depends on the acute awareness of every whim and mood swing of your narcissistic, rage-filled mother, mistrust is a survival instinct.

Expert at reading body language, facial expressions and vocal fluctuations, Mia is permanently prepared to fight or flee at the slightest hint of anger, aggression or even just disapproval. She’s learned it’s easier to be alone.

But Mia’s not alone. In fact, she’s been under surveillance for some time and the supernatural creature watching her is about to make a report to its masters that will make them question everything they thought they knew about death, life and what happens in between.

cover

Also, here’re selected excerpts that readers have loved about this work:

“Floating to the ceiling of Mia’s bedroom, its dangling belly swollen after a feast of rage and fear, the Gossip enjoyed a dessert of contempt and defiance”

“There were so many they could have chosen – an elegant bottle or a happy leaf green – but no, someone had chosen the mud green of bruised avocado flesh. Which, now she thought about it, was appropriate, considering the state of her back this morning.”

If all of the above still doesn’t convince you to get into this series, then let’s hear about what others have to say on Inkshares :Avalon review
~ Avalon Marissa Radys, Marketing Manager at InksharesMikereview

~ Mike Mongo, author of the Astronaut Instruction Manual
Jessica review

~ Jessica S. Carter, author of Villainous

Wesley review

~Wesley Reid, author seeking pre-orders with Child of Secrets

 

And last but not least, the endorsement from Moonlake herself:

“This is a well-written story with good pacing and solid hooks planted that will easily pull you into the underlying world and the events the protagonist is experiencing. It’s a fast-paced and pleasurable read.”

 

By the way, if you pre-order War of Wind and Moon on Inkshares now, you get a free copy of As Long As She Lives , a contemporary thriller by the same author- a buy-1-get-1-free offer so snap it up while you can!