A World of Magic and Mysticism

J.V. Hilliard Author Interview

The Last Keeper follows a young magician with the power of prophetic sight as he tries to stop the destruction of his world. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I have varied inspirations for the story, but the vast majority of the worldbuilding and plot lines were a result of twenty years of playing Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop role playing games.

During the planning process for the series, I was able to memorialize several of my unique campaigns and many of our characters, villains and “cryptids” and wove them into the greater story of The Last Keeper. I took inspiration from those adventures with friends and family and used it as the basis for the story. Thus, I had a built-in and battle tested geography, political system, pantheon of gods (that I refer to as “Ancients”) as well as backstories for each.

The exercise made for a ready-made world that I just needed to launch with book one.

Daemus Alaric has many challenges to overcome as a result of his prophetic sight. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The storyline of Daemus came to me in part by a set of recurring nightmares I had as a late teen, and I used some of the imagery to create the conflict between Daemus and the novel’s villain, Graytorris. In my dreams, I was visited by a similar entity to Graytorris that claimed to be a “guardian angel” of mine and was here to reward me if I followed his requests.

When I took that true-to-life experience and flung it into a world of magic and mysticism, it was easy to supercharge it into the metaphysical battle between protagonist and antagonist. I even used some “scenes” from my own nightmares, like the scene in the prologue near the placid pool shrouded in fog as the basis for Daemus and his first contact with Graytorris the Mad, in their shared dreamscape.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The book is a classic sword and sorcery novel, steeped in the spirit of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Dungeons and Dragons. At its heart, it highlights themes such as betrayal, struggle and duty. Betrayal in the form of a staged coup to topple the rightful king of Thronehelm; struggle in the form of a burgeoning war, but also struggles against Graytorris the Mad and his plot for revenge; and duty, in the form of service to kingdom as well as forbidden love between two main characters, Princess Addilyn Elspeth and Sir Ritter of Valkeener (racial tension).

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Book two, known as Vorodin’s Lair, is in editing now and will be available in late summer while the third book, The Trillias Gambit is nearly done and will enter the editing process later this year. I expect it’s release around the holidays of 2022 or early 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A young boy’s prophetic visions. 

Blind at birth, Daemus Alaric is blessed with the gift of prophetic Sight. Now, as a Keeper of the Forbidden, he must use his powers of the Sight to foil the plans of a fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad. 

An elven Princess with a horrifying secret.

Princess Addilyn Elspeth travels from Eldwal, the magically hidden home of the Vermilion elves, to begin her life as a diplomat to the human capital of Castleshire. During her journey, she stumbles upon a mystical creature foretelling ill tidings.

A terrifying force of evil. 

Daemus’ recurring nightmare vision threatens to catapult him into a terrifying struggle that will leave the fate of the Keepers—and the realm—hanging in the balance. Daemus and Princess Addilyn must set out to face the menace that threatens their very existence.

Will the entire realm fall to its knees?

The Last Keeper is the first book in The Warminster Series. With gripping, epic action and heart-pounding adventure, you’ll love this new adventure series.

Posted on April 4, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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