Family Is More Than Just Blood

Neil O’Donnell Author Interview

The Keep in the Marsh follows a boy that lost all he knew to the plague and sets out to find adventure and makes new friends along the way. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Like the main character, Thomas, I want my parents to be remembered. He plans to devote his life to that goal as do I. Along with that, Thomas is seeking adventure in a realm akin to that of Dungeons and Dragons. The adventures in my book are meant to provide a glimpse of the life of D and D player characters between adventures. How do they pay for housing and food? How do they actually find trainers? And, most importantly, how do they find quests without the aid of a Dungeon Master?

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the character’s personalities grow organically as you were writing?

The characters grew organically for the most part during the writing, but I had some fundamental characteristics in mind when starting. I knew I wanted the characters to be out of their depths in starting their adventuring and I wanted them to be fleeing a life they didn’t want to pursue, hoping becoming an adventurer would save them. From there, I wanted the characters to see the sides of an adventurer’s life they didn’t anticipate – the grittier side of adventuring.

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

Family is more than just blood. We often create an immediate family through circumstances, happenstance and life-long associations. I also wanted to highlight that individuals can learn and adapt to embrace a new life when needed. Lastly… I wanted to show the importance of seeking help when needed.

What can you tell readers about the next book in the series and when will it be available?

I am hoping to have the next book out by early 2023 (Hammer of the Elements). This book was very much following the characters through their “Level 1” development. The next book is building the characters to ‘levels’ 2 and 3, so to speak, with more details of the world being revealed with the gods and their minions presenting more guidance and hurdles for the characters… along with a would-be Dungeon Master. FYI – for readers, I love parody.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

A village blacksmith from the middle of nowhere, Thomas seeks adventure after surviving a plague that eradicated his homeland.
Following his father’s advice and heading east, Thomas finds himself entwined in a surge of attacks by a thieves’ guild knows as Neydis. Similarly lost adventurers soon join him along the Queen’s Road, and they set their sights on breaking through the grasp of Neydis and finding “safe” adventure in dungeons without any dragons.
Thomas and his group may be reckless, but they aren’t stupid. Who would knowingly mess with a dragon? Find out in The Keep In The Marsh, the first book in Neil O’Donnell’s series of epic fantasy adventures.

Posted on July 6, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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