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Author Spotlight: The Shadow of Narwyrm: The Complete Trilogy by Tom Fallwell

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Tom Fallwell joining us with his complete trilogy, The Shadow of Narwyrm. He’ll also be answering some questions later on. But first…

Tom Fallwell, early in his life, found a love for the wonderful escape into realms undreamed of through books of Fantasy and Science-Fiction. Weaned on some of the greats, like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, Michael Moorcock, just to name a few, Tom’s imagination was forever inspired by those marvelous tales.

One day, he discovered a simple book of rules called Chainmail, by Gary Gygax, and found a new love. The love of creating adventures and stories of his own. Chainmail evolved into Dungeons & Dragons, and Tom played consistently with friends as both a player and a dungeon master (DM). Such activities developed his ability to create worlds and stories for other players to enjoy.

Now retired from his long career as a software developer, Tom writes all the adventures and characters that seem to constantly fill his mind and share them with the world.

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About the Books

The Rangers of Laerean are the protectors of the people, the heroes of Hir. Their exploits are legendary and their great deeds recounted in tales across the ages. These are the stories that will be told for generations.

Baric is a Ranger, a true leader, whose destiny lies before him. It’s a journey that starts out small, with but a whisper, and leads him on a quest to save his world from total annihilation and destruction. A journey fraught with obstacles, mystery, love and loss. A journey that tests him and drives him ever closer to the destiny that awaits him.

The forces of shadow conspire against the Rangers and the land to bring about total chaos and destruction. Baric finds himself embroiled in a dark plot to put an end to all civilized races and must find a way to stop the terror. Finding new friends along the way, Baric learns about the past Eras of Hir and the about the creatures called, the Mythica. He soon realizes he is battling forces that have been in contention since the beginning of time, and it will take all his strength and willpower to overcome against the Shadow of Narwyrm.

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

It wasn’t so much of a decision as an opportunity. I’d always loved creating stories and adventures, but never had much time to do much with my ideas and all the characters I created, until I retired from my software developer career. I then found I have lot of time and just sat down and started writing. I haven’t stopped yet.

Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?

I didn’t really mind sharing, though I did have that fear of rejection that I’m sure we all go through at times. But my faith is my shield, and I simply put my trust in God. If I see a bad review or rating, I don’t allow it to tear me down. I write for me, and not anyone else. It is a special bonus to know someone else enjoys what I write.

What genres do you write?

As far as published works, so far it has been Fantasy, and Science-Fantasy. Although I’ve many ideas and notes which cover Science-Fiction, Mystery, Thriller and other genres. I must admit I favor Fantasy, but I won’t limit myself.

Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?

I’ve actually been experimenting with a story idea that could be classified as a Thriller/Mystery. I have a lot going on, so I’m not sure when that one will get completely written, though I do a little work on it from time to time. I also have a couple of Science-Fiction stories I’m developing, though I can’t put a lot of time into them at the moment.

How often do you write?

Every day. Occasionally I may take a day or two off, but pretty much every day.

How long does it take you to write a novel?

I don’t write fast. I’m more focused on quality, perhaps a holdover from my computer programming days. Generally, about 4-6 months, though that varies.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

It would definitely be the Ranger Baric. Baric is a character that was created a long time ago, and has been with me for many decades. I know him better than any of my characters, and he has always been the epitome of a hero to me.

What authors/books have most influenced you?

J.R.R. Tolkien is my greatest influence, hands down, though not the only author whom I admire. There are so many. On top of my list is C.S. Lewis, Robert E. Howard and Frank Herbert. For books it is, of course, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Conan series and Dune.

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

J.R.R. Tokien. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be taught storytelling by the master storyteller. 🙂

When did you first consider yourself an author?

When I started writing. As far as I’m concerned, the term ‘author’ is not a title that someone bequeaths to you, it is what you do. Being an author does not require anyone’s approval or permission. Also, success at being an author is a relative thing. Your own success is however you wish to define it. It’s not always monetary.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author?

For me, it was when my father (who never reads books) read my book and liked it. I’ve never received a better compliment. 🙂

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

If you don’t write simply because you love writing, then maybe you should consider another profession or pastime. Your attitude and love of writing will be reflected in what you write. So be sure you’re writing for yourself first.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I like having full control over my work. Just that plain and simple. I don’t want anyone telling me what I can or can’t write, when I can write, or how much my work should sell for.

Author Spotlight: Showdown (Wyrd West Chronicles #1) by Diane Morrison

 

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight. Today I have Diane Morrison visiting to tell us about the first book in her Wyrd West Chronicles series, Showdown. One of the characters from the book, Graeme Walsh, will be paying us a visit as well, but first more about the author.

Diane Morrison lives with her partners and works part-time in a bookstore in Vernon, BC, where she was born and raised. An avid National Novel Writing Month participant, she is proudly Canadian and proudly LGBTQ. Under her pen name “Sable Aradia” she is a successful Pagan author, a musician, and a professional blogger. After a lifetime of putting the needs of her family first, she is striking out to become what she always wanted to be; a speculative fiction writer.

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About the Book

In Queenstown, an untried youth is the only one who can face down a notorious Desperado. But Graeme Walsh is not a Gunslinger: not yet. Will his training and his secret sorcerer’s powers be enough to get the drop on the Outlaw, before the Outlaw gets the drop on him?

Welcome to the Wyrd West, the world next door, where Western meets high fantasy, apocalyptica and a dash of steampunk. This novelette serial will be published bimonthly in e-format, with collections published in print format once a year.

 

 

 

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Keep reading for an interview with Graeme Walsh, Apprentice Gunslinger, from Showdown:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

Well, I was born on my folks’ horse ranch, ’bout a day’s ride outside of Queenstown. It’s a region we call the Windpan. Guess they used to call it Saskatchewan? A province in Canada? That was before the Cataclysm, of course. Ancient times now. I guess my upbringin’ was pretty typical of a rancher’s son, except of course that I’m half-sidhe, which ain’t common ’round these parts, and I’ve been trainin’ to be a Gunslinger like my father.

Do you have a close relationship with your family?

Sure I do! I’d say we’re a real close lot. My folks are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Unless you’re a Desperado, of course.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

Listenin’ to my momma play piano and sing. She’s sidhe and she has a beautiful voice.

Who was your best friend growing up?

I guess that’d be my little sister Piper. She’s still my best friend, really. But if I had to pick one outside the family, that’d be Jessie Williams. His folks own the cattle ranch just north of us. Sometimes our folks would take us in to town together to do their business, and we’d chum around.

Who is your enemy?

Any right-thinkin’ Slinger has got to regard the Desperados as our enemies.

What makes you enemies?

They’re our dark reflections, so to speak. We Gunslingers try to defend the common folk, and the Powers of Light are kind enough to grant us some abilities to help do that. Desperados make deals with the Powers of Darkness for selfish reasons, mostly power. We got to stand against ’em.

Who do you most admire in your world?

My father.

Why?

I wish I were half so brave. I’m not quite so naive as to think he’s perfect, but he’s got some mighty big boots to fill.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

Well, there ain’t nearly as many people as you have in your time! I guess the Cataclysm took care of that. Like I said, long time ago now, ancient history; we keep findin’ ruins of the Ancients but we ain’t entirely sure what they all were for. I guess lots of them nuclear power plants blew up when it happened, so some areas you still can’t go or the air and the ground’ll poison you. Most of that’s far to the south and the east, though.

The rest of us mostly live in cities like Queenstown, but there’s still lots of frontier folk like ourselves. Big exodus from the south when the Cataclysm happened, so I guess our ancestors came from both Canada and the United States? Except I know you ain’t got no elves, dwarves or gnomes in your time. Or trolls, or Mantis-folk, or intelligent equines like the Gunslinger horses and the Nightmares.

And I know our technology ain’t what yours is. See, the laws of physics don’t work the same in all places these days, so you can’t rely on them. We’ve started to figure out ways to make tech work in some places, though, like steam engines and dirigibles and telegraphs. So I guess we’re catchin’ up!

There’s Cree in the Qu’Appelle Valley, and we get on fine with them. Respect them and they’ll respect you. Spirit Bear, he’s their shaman, and he’s a friend and a mentor of mine. But the local Mantis-folk can get violent. Inter-tribal warfare bleeds over and truces between tribes change with their chieftains. And someone just got lynched recently. Piper and Henry — that’s our lead ranch hand and a family friend, kind of like an uncle to us — and I found a body on the way into Queenstown to ship the latest young horses off to the Order.

As to “my place in it” . . . well, our family raises Gunslinger horses for the Order. My dad’s semi-retired since he married my momma and he’s been teaching me how to be a Slinger since I was knee-high to the Mantis-folk. He don’t want to, but all the signs say it’s my fate, so he figured I ought to be ready. And I help out with the ranchin’ of course. Me and Momma and Piper too. We’re responsible for the ranch hands and Queenstown is our Protectorate. The local folk tithe us a share of their harvest so we can concentrate on their defense.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?

Aw, shucks, I get tongue-tied when I try to do public speakin’. My tongue trips over itself and I sound like a fool.

What are your goals?

To do justice to the Gunslinger legacy. To honour my predecessors. Maybe to make a difference in the world, and protect people as best I can.

What is your greatest fear?

I’m afraid of lettin’ people down.

How will you overcome it?

I don’t rightly know how to overcome it; I just keep tryin’ to do my best and hope it’s enough.

 

Liebster Award – My Second Nomination! :-D

First of all, thank you to Allison D. Reid for nominating me for this award. It’s the second time I’ve been nominated since starting this blog a few years ago, so that’s pretty cool. 😀

Now to answer Allison’s questions:

1. What is your favorite book, or if you prefer, your favorite author?

This always changes with my mood, but so far Terry Goodkind is probably my ultimate favorite. I absolutely love his Sword of Truth series. 😀

2. Is there a country you have always wanted to visit, if so where?

It’s a tie between Scotland and Italy. Scotland because it’s just so beautiful, and I’ve always wanted to see it in real life. And Italy because my mom is of Italian descent, and it would be nice to see the place where some of my ancestors have come from.

3. What do you enjoy about blogging, and how has your blog changed in unexpected ways since you started it?

I originally started my blog to share my writing and gain new readers. Since then, it’s also turned into a place where I share what I learn about writing and the industry with other authors as well. I love blogging as long as it’s not something I HAVE to do and something I just do when the mood strikes me. I find I enjoy it a lot more when I’m not forcing myself. It’s another way for me to get my thoughts out of my head and maybe entertain/inform others in the process.

4. What’s your preferred writing and/or blogging space?

My desk is in the lounge room right next to a huge sliding glass door that overlooks our back yard. I love having the TV going behind me for background noise when I write/blog. When the weather is nice, I also like to take my laptop out onto the deck and sit outside to write. I haven’t had much chance to do that with the hot weather, but it’s cooling down now. Just have to wait for a rain free day. 😀

5. How do you find inspiration?

I don’t often have to go looking for inspiration. It generally comes to me in the form of dreams and a very vivid and overactive imagination. When I do need inspiration, usually for short stories, I use a plot generator to get my creative juices flowing. I don’t use one idea though. I usually read through a few of them until inspiration strikes and my imagination takes over.

6. What do you like to do for fun when you need a break from writing (or from your blog)?

Read… I read or play Star Wars: The Old Republic online. Or I watch movies with my family and play board games with my daughter. Sometimes we’ll even bake together or do science experiments, but that happens less often as she’s getting older.

7. What started you down the road of writing and/or blogging?

I’ve always liked telling stories I’d make up on the spot. My friends thought I was crazy, but they loved my stories. I never considered writing them down until I was in college. My English instructor suggested I get some of my work published. But it still took a while before I finally came around to making a career of it. Blogging came naturally as a result, I guess. It just made sense to have a blog as a way to keep my readers informed.

8. Are there any Indie authors you would recommend to readers looking for a good book?

Yes, definitely. If you like epic fantasy with a steampunk feel and assassins, you’ll really love Lindsay Buroker’s The Emperor’s Edge series. You can download the first book free on Amazon. I’m also really enjoying Joshua Robertson’s dark fantasy book, Melkorka. It’s taking me forever to read because I’m more tired than usual lately and I fall asleep almost as soon as I start reading (that’s normal for me when my immune system is out of whack). And I’m loving Allison’s Wind Rider Chronicles too. It’s Christian fantasy, but its themes are subtle and non-preachy if that kind of thing bothers you. It’s a really good story, and I definitely recommend it.

9. How do you keep yourself motivated?

I don’t have to be motivated to write. If I don’t write my anxiety and stress levels go through the roof. Writing keeps me sane, and I love it. There are days I don’t feel like getting my brain in gear, but I just tell myself I’ll write and paragraph and stop, but I very rarely stop after a paragraph.

10. What superpower would you choose and why?

Considering I don’t have a car, flying would be a good one to have. Even if I did have a car, flying would be awesome!

11. What four people would you invite to a dinner party; contemporary, historical, or fictional?

Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi most definitely. I mean, real Jedi in my house. How cool would that be? Jamie Oliver, because I’d need his advice and help with the menu. And my grandfather. I didn’t get to see him before he died, so I’d love to see him one last time. Preferably as a spirit and not a zombie…

I’m supposed to nominate 11 others, but just about everyone I would nominate have already been nominated recently, and the rest don’t have blogs. So I’m breaking the rules this time. I nominated people last time, so I think I can get away with it. 😉

 

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