Today we're welcoming author Ron Hartman to the blog on his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for her fantasy novel, "The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Foretold".
Ron will be awarding signed cover flats for each tour stop and a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow his tour (if you click on the banner over there on the top, it'll take you to a list of his tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win prize!
Ron was kind enough to answer all my prying questions. Thanks!
Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?
When I was young and started reading, fantasy was my first love. Over the years my tastes have widened considerably, but still fantasy is where my heart is. I think I am drawn to it because of all of the great possibilities. Magic lurks around every corner! How can you not like that? For Prophecy Foretold I wanted to tell a fantasy tale, but I didn’t want it to be overwhelmed by mystical creatures and powerful magic. I did pepper it with the magical, like the Quarenian Waye, a carnivorous horse with long shaggy hair, a ram’s curled horns, and glowing green eyes. Aside from a few obvious examples like that, the magic is pretty subtle in the book, only to be fully explained in Prophecy Chronicles 2 and 3.
What world-building is required?
Naphthali is a country on a large continent called Enialé. I wanted this land in turmoil to be part of a greater whole, but also separate from it, so Naphthali is geographically isolated. It is on the eastern coasts of the continent, separated from the whole by an immense mountain chain called the Cloudspeak Mountains. At the southern end of the mountains is the vast Darjeeli Desert, to the north the Great Northern Swamp. There are only two passes through the mountains…which are where the Empire strikes.
I put a lot of effort into creating a world that was influenced by an outside presence, but at the same time alone against the world. They are invaded, but not beaten. Broken, but not irreparably so.
Name one thing you learned from your protagonist.
I think I knew this all along, but I never really considered how disconnected we all are from nature anymore. When Daniel Marten, a man from our modern world, gets pulled into Naphthali he is overwhelmed by how helpless he is. He realizes pretty soon that he has no choice but to follow where others wish him to go…he can’t protect or feed himself, defend the weak or stop the tyranny of those who’ve captured him. His relatively cushy life has him completely unprepared for the rigors that face him when awakes along a battlefield. Daniel taught me how much we should all be prepared, in case we find ourselves without the comforts of modern technology.
Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
I don’t know if I have any superstitions, but I do know that every time I turn on my computer to write, I always check email first. Also, when I’m really busy, I might go a week or two without writing. When that happens I am almost always thinking about getting back to the grind, but a part of me knows that if I tried nothing would come. I’ve always felt that when it was time for a certain sequence to be written, I’d write it. Usually pushing the pace would only result in a paragraph at most being written before I’d give up with a curse.
Plotter or pantser?
I’m not entirely sure what this means, but I’m guessing you’re asking if I “fly by the seat of my pants”. If that is the case, my writing is mostly of the plotter variety. I start with an outline, but even that is only written after carefully considering the story arc and working out the major points ahead of time in my mind. Occasionally, though, a sequence will just come to me while I’m writing. Those are really exciting! I’ve no idea where these tangents come from, but they are some of the most enjoyable portions to write. I love it when I sit down without any idea what I’ll write and when I’m finished say, “Wow! Where did that come from?” One example is a character that appears near the end of Prophecy Foretold. He is a hermit living in the Great Northern Swamp. I had no idea he was there until Daniel found him, but his home and personality really lit up that part of a dark swamp!
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
I have a very cluttered office! To my right is a countertop that is overflowing with textbooks, old electronics that probably don’t work anymore, a case of Puffs, a jumbo-sized box of Tootsie Pops and a calendar. The calendar is behind the mound of everything else so I can’t even see the days of the month, just an inviting tropical scene on top. Oh, there are also a couple monuments to my great loves in childhood—Lego Star Wars ships, fully assembled and on display stands!
Anything new coming up from you? What?
Yes! Prophecy Foretold is the first in The Prophecy Chronicles trilogy. I’ve already written rough drafts of both of the sequels, so currently I am revising those while also starting on a new project. The new book will be more of a mainstream fictional tale following a group of high school friends twenty years after they’ve graduated. The overall theme will be about forgiveness and what happens if you do (and don’t) ask for or receive it.
Do you have a question for our readers?
What would be your ideal vacation? Would you be skiing down a snowy slope or across a sapphire lake? Would it require a lot of clothes or only a little (or none at all)? Most importantly, would it include a good book?!? Read on!
These are dark days for Naphthali. The king has been murdered, the land invaded by the Imperial Army. It will absorb Naphthali into an Empire that stretches across all of Enialé at any cost. The ravaged people cling to an ancient promise, an assurance that a Prophesied savior will come to set them free…Daniel Martin is trapped in a life that hasn’t gone as expected. His pharmacy is struggling and he is losing all hope of making a difference in his patients’ lives. His family is the one shining light in his disenchanted life, but he is torn from them when an accident draws him to Naphthali. The people need him but Daniel is driven by his need to return to the family he loves. Is he the Prophesied One? Only time will tell as both the Empire and the Resistance battle for Daniel while the fate of Naphthali hangs in the balance…
“Is there another way out?” Soren asked. Alaric grimly shook his head. The captain rested his hand on the door knob and looked back at the men. “We move quickly. Away from the house, back to the other district…we’ll lose them in the streets.” He glanced at Daniel and snapped, “Get your hood up!” When Daniel complied he glanced around once more. “Ready?” He threw the door open and launched himself down the steps, everyone racing behind him.
Daniel glanced to the side and saw a large bloody stain on the wall, the headless body of Dalen lying on the ground beneath it. Soren took one step and froze when a man emerged from the shadows across the street. Daniel froze also, his legs nearly unhinging and dropping him to the ground. He recognized the red robes and his heart skipped a beat before he even saw Malthion’s face. Without a word, the sorcerer raised his arms and crossed them, making an X with his little fingers and thumbs extended. He lowered his head for a split second until a pulsing ball of light grew before him. He threw his chin up and arms out simultaneously and the light launched toward Daniel, moving almost too fast to follow.
Daniel closed his eyes and cringed, but just before impact he was pushed from behind and Regnar vaulted in front of him. The light hit the carpenter in the chest and he was instantly engulfed in flames. He never cried out. The intense flames seared away flesh and melted bone. Regnar managed two steps before falling face-first to the cobblestones. Daniel froze as he stared in horror at his friend’s corpse and gasped, “No!
To purchase book: www.roguephoenixpress.com; www.bn.com; www.amazon.com