Two Different Journeys

Sara A. Noë
Sara A. Noë Author Interview

Phantom’s Mask is a thrilling continuation of your War of the Realms series. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?

Each book in the series has a very different tone. Book I thrived on suspense and the hunter/prey relationship, and it introduced the scaffolding for the world building. Book II has much stronger action scenes and shows off more of the supernatural powers. It also portrays a completely different side of the main character cast. In the first book, the Alpha fugitives were relatively helpless, always on the run with many of them unable to access their true abilities. In the sequel, they’ve shifted from defense to offense in a big way. Azar played a more direct role as an antagonist. Character development is a gradual process throughout the series, and you’ll definitely know the characters much better after this book.

I enjoyed the delve into Cato’s past. Did you have his past already planned or did it develop as you were writing?

Yes, it was planned! I had to be careful with the way I presented Cato in the first book in order to set up his transformation in the sequel. Because Cato’s memory has been so critically damaged after two years of torture, the reader gets to discover his past piece by piece as he searches for the answers. Cato actually has two different journeys; navigating his way through the present and uncovering the truth about his past.

I likened the book to Stranger Things or The Boys on Amazon, but I found it difficult to find a comparison as the book was quite unique. What sources of inspiration did you draw from?

Cato’s earliest conception was heavily influenced by a cartoon I loved when I was young. The idea of having ghostly powers fascinated me, and I often pondered what that kind of world would look like when I was bored and letting my mind wander. I thought, what if all the stories about spirits and mythological beasts were actually true, at least in part? Maybe we got some parts wrong in all the retellings. But what if those beings had been here a long time ago? What if they still exist, just not in this world anymore? Cato evolved into his own being, and I pulled religious concepts, fairy tales, paranormal superstitions, mythology, magic, and natural phenomena into a brand-new world around him where the spiritual and physical could coexist.

Cato in particular was an interesting study because I had to figure out what kind of Cryokinetic he should be. There are so many examples in comic books, movies, television shows, literature, etc. Should he create elaborate structures, like Elsa from Frozen? Slide on ice tracks like Frozone from The Incredibles? Create walls and shoot a frosty blast out of his hands like Iceman from X-Men? This factor would determine what kind of fighting style he would have. I also had to think about how his technique would have changed from the time he was Phantom to the present, how he would have honed his abilities during his intense trials. I decided to make him conservative with his ice. He rarely uses it on a large scale, instead preferring to protect himself with armor, form shields on his arm like a gladiator, utilize ice blades on the offensive, and shoot small projectiles across short distances. Because the creatures in this world have a limited reservoir of power, Cato has to be smart about how much he uses at one time. No ice castles!

This is book two in your War of the Realms series. What can you share about book three in the series?

Book III is going to focus heavily on character development and internal conflict. Cato and Axel were both pushed to the brink in Book II; the next installment will show Cato grappling with the person he was, the person he’s become, and the person he’s expected to be, and Axel is in a dark place psychologically after the events of Phantom’s Mask. Character relationships across the board will be put to the test. RC’s secretive past is going to come back to haunt him. Azar, who is used to always getting what he wants, just suffered a devastating defeat and will need to reevaluate his strategy. But most importantly, Cato finally uncovers the truth about what happened to him, and he has to come to terms with it and decide how to move forward.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Series Website

Cato and his lab-family had a difficult choice to make—stay in Phantom Heights as mercenaries to protect the very humans who betrayed him once before, or cross the Rip into Avilésor where Azar lurks in his dark fortress. Neither Realm is safe, and no matter where they go, they’ll be fugitives.
Cato thought he was ready to forget his past. But he has questions that need to be answered before he can truly move on. He can’t remember the accident that turned him into a half-breed, only a mysterious flash of green light. And his blood-family’s betrayal still haunts him. What did Agent Kovak tell his mother to make her disown him? And how did she explain his disappearance? Unraveling the twisted web of secrets and lies could put his lab-family in even more danger . . .
. . . and the only person in Phantom Heights who suspects his escape is desperate to make sure the truth stays buried.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on September 13, 2020, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: