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Posted by Krystal Larson at 9:00 PM Monday, July 2, 2012
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The Riverton family had been enjoying a simple summer vacation when, through a fluke of nature, they found themselves in a strange new land.
The Riverton brothers quickly realize that in this world, they have gained unusual powers. Powers that their parents fear will attract the attention of Azazel himself – the merciless wizard who brutally controls this world.
The two brothers soon learn that an ancient prophecy has finally been initiated by their arrival in Trimoria. As the heirs of this prophecy, they are destined to lead the armies of men, dwarves, elves, and even a misfit ogre against the prophesied demon horde.
Only one thing stands in their way.
The evil wizard who has learned of their presence, and has sent assassins to wipe them from existence.
From the Prologue
“Attend the throne room immediately!”
Heeding Lord Azazel’s call, Munson led the charge up the winding staircase to the top floor. There, he found his master awaiting them in a cold, barren room centered by an imposing throne carved of black stone. Torchlight danced in ominous patterns off the throne’s polished surface. The sound of Munson’s fellow soldiers pouring into the room echoed off the dank walls encircling them.
Munson took his place beside the room’s sole exit, bracing himself to endure more of the horrors that had become so commonplace of late. By now he had seen more of these interrogations than he cared to count. So he knew that this one, like all the others, would end in bloodshed. His gut tightened as he caught sight of today’s victim. The man crouched at the feet of his lord was a man named Farley, a man who had been Munson’s best friend since childhood.
“Please spare me, Lord Azazel!” Farley bellowed. Quivering, the prisoner reached out to trace his fingers over the hem of the wizard’s red robe.
Munson swallowed hard, praying that his master couldn’t sense from this distance the terrible pity he felt.
“I…I…,” Farley stammered. “I will never make such a mistake again.”With baleful eyes, Azazel studied the man groveling at his feet. He stood then to his full height, his robe billowing as he circled the prisoner. His otherwise handsome face parted into a menacing, almost hungry grin. “You will never make such a mistake again?” The wizard glanced at the soldiers all around him as if waiting for laughter. When it didn’t come, his face contorted into fury. “How many times have I heard that over the centuries?
Inspiration for the characters
My children inspired my writing. My first novel stems directly from a bed time tale I would tell my children that over time evolved and got more elaborate. So instead of making things up on-the-fly, I decided to write the outline for what ended up being HEIRS OF PROPHECY, TOOLS OF PROPHECY, and a yet-to-be-named book to follow (though I am partial to LORDS OF PROPHECY).
Of course, many of the characters within the story follow loosely on real people I know. It isn't a coincidence that my two children's names are Ryan and Aaron - and the personalities borrowed for the Rivertons are very reminiscent of them. In fact, I've been told that the parents in the tale, Jared and Aubrey are also clones of yours truly and my wife. It’s shocking how things like that happen. :-)
As to the inspiration for the other characters, I have always found myself partial to preplanning such things. I am an engineer by trade, so such things come as second-nature to me. However I'll admit that aside from some of the archetypes of the "bad guy" or the "good guy", many of the personalities that I have drawn upon are created somewhat organically as I start writing the dialog. For instance, with the character of Arabelle, who happens to end up being a much more major character in the follow-up book TOOLS OF PROPHECY - I purposefully introduced her as a very sweet character with a bit of a secret. That secret gets its first hints in the second book (which I won't divulge in this blog post), and suffice it to say that I dedicated an entire book to her alone that I am nearly finished with.
I have always enjoyed stories which leave what I might call little "Easter Eggs" within a plot line. Things that make you scratch your head and wonder "that's odd - I wonder 'why' they did that" - and I am very careful about ensuring that things always have a reason. That is one of the reasons why I am about to put the finishing touches on a prequel novel, PRINCESS INTERRUPTED which focuses greatly on elements that are hinted at in the first two books in the Prophecies series. I have yet to figure out which might be the best reading order of the story. Certainly, those that read the first two books (HEIRS, and TOOLS) will want to read the prequel and will have lots of "AHA!" moments that might want them to read the first two books over again. (Remember, I am a planner - so these things were planned to make you want to read it over again.) Also those that read the prequel first and then the first two of the Prophecies series will have a somewhat different experience. I suppose the jury will be out for a while to figure out which order is best, but I do hope people enjoy the tales nonetheless.
Regarding the other characters, I did note that they grow organically - however I tended to use some racial guidelines that I preferred. For instance, the dwarves might generally be considered boisterous and brash, although you will see some distinct exceptions to those rules. A reader will find the elves somewhat stoic and serious, and the humans you encounter will be somewhat all over the place - oftentimes inspired by real personalities I've encountered or organically inspired by an overdose of chocolate. ;-)
Writers are usually influenced by what they've read, so inspirations come from all directions. I'll freely admit to being a huge fan of Tolkien, so touches of influence you might see are definitely there. Although I feel my approaches are different. There is some irony in that influence, because sometimes people will attribute influence, where none had actually occurred. For instance, in some of the professional reviews I've received, I'll quote someone having said this of my upcoming novel TOOLS OF PROPHECY, "Borrowing some of the best concepts from works by others such as Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, and George R.R. Martin…"
I've said that I had influence by Tolkien, so there is no secret there. I literally laughed out loud when I saw the authors I've evidently been influenced by - let's be frank. If my name is ever mentioned in the company of the three aforementioned authors in any favorable way, I look at that as a huge compliment. I only know of the latter two authors, and have had their books on my to-be-read wish list, but ironically enough - never read any of their works. Maybe I should go ahead and do that, but when it comes right down to it, I'll freely admit that my influences that I've had tend to be more in the direction of Dave Farland, Brandon Sanderson, and of course - all of our favorite - Tolkien.
Before I close out the topic of influences and inspirations (I may have strayed - so forgive me) - I did want to bring up Orson Scott Card. My youngest son has read him, but ironically I haven't. When I was writing my prequel novel that happens to have timelines that overlap with the first book in the Prophecies series he mentioned, "Umm - Dad, this is similar in concept to…" and I immediately forgot whatever title he mentioned, though I did ask about who the author was. So when the time comes, I tip my hat to Orson, my condolences to Anne's family, and wish Rail Road the best (George's nickname) - any similarities are coincidental, and any favorable comparisons are appreciated. ;-)
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