An Interesting Psychology
Damnation is a thrilling dark fantasy novel that follows King Lortar as he finds himself surrounded by enemies. What was the inspiration for the setup to this novel?
Loosely, the Warring States period of ancient China.
Asuf was an intriguing character that I enjoyed following. Your book is filled with interesting characters, who was your favorite character to write for?
Princess Alerise. She has an interesting psychology and fun dialogue. Plus I have a thing for tomgirls, villainesses, and blondes, and Alerise just so happens to tick all those boxes.
The characters inhabit a world with a rich backstory. How did you create the backstory for this world and what were some themes you wanted to capture?
From the ground up. First the geography, then the ecology, then the peoples and their cultures, then their histories.
As for themes, I wanted to show a harsh people bred by a cruel and uncaring world—but more importantly, I wanted to show how kindness, however small, can exist even in a world that punishes the kind.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The sequel to this book will most likely be available sometime in 2021.
Author Links: Website | Twitter
An Empire fallen. A kingdom beset. A family divided. When King Lortar discovers a savage cult performing heathen rites, he’s forced to battle a foe he never imagined: his own son. Surrounded by enemies, Lortar is trapped in a world of treachery and betrayal, where mercy is vice and malice is glory.
Posted in Interviews
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I immediately liked Asuf the moment I started reading the book. On their hunting spree with Valhelm, the latter confessed how scared he was to hunt. He mentioned that he had heard stories, unpleasant of course and that something could be lurking around the part of the caverns the two were hunting. Asuf shut his partner down, Saying that whatever Valhelm was on was weakness and unacceptable. I like bold characters in books; Characters like Asuf, who are not frightened by minute issues. Though a little bit aggressive, I admired how Asuf demanded respect. He instilled a little fear in Valhelm when speaking, in that Valhelm felt inferior in his presence.
The book gets to be more interesting as one reads on. I like how the society in Igor Valec’s book held authority in high regard. A subject could not address the king in any manner. They had to use the appropriate title when speaking to those at the throne. One could also tell the mood and tone of the subjects Vis a Vis the king.
King Lortar’s reaction to discovering that there was a heathen cult in the kingdom was priceless. How and where was that? I appreciated Valhelm for informing Lortar about this cult. As they were speaking, one could feel Lortar’s concern in his words. He was worried that Valhelm had gone on his own to do the hunting. I enjoyed the conversation that followed as everyone was given a chance to air their views.
Damnation: A Grimdark Fantasy Political Drama is not your average book. Through the story, the author incorporated themes of leadership, family relations, and infighting among members of the same society, politics, and fantasy. Every chapter built on the story and tension of the last chapter, so as you read you always felt like something was about to happen.
Igor Valec’s character choice was marvelous. Looking at how the characters were distributed across the book, I have to admit that the author took his time to select which traits to give who. Hirr Valhelm remained my favorite character. Other characters I found interesting include Vost Kon Schmitt, Wiktor Kon Oydrich and Lady Eidi Kon Huss and of course King Lortar. I found the kingdom’s way of dealing with criminals and those who went against the king intriguing.
I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good story. The characters in the book are fascinating. The plot is superb and the writing style is amazing. I loved every page of Damnation. The book is action-packed, with suspense, adventure, drama, twists, and turns.
The book is fairly long, at 600+ pages, but this story does not feel overwhelming. I felt that opposite actually, the ending leaves you on a cliffhanger and I wanted more. This leaves the book open for a followup book to start, what could be, a fantasy series with a deep backstory and dynamic characters.
Pages: 644 | ASIN: B07HVHVDDY
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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Spare No One
Ashley Mercer, a college student in San Dino, is brutally murdered in the middle of the night, outside her apartment. Alex, her homicide detective brother, and his partner, Stoll, follow a web of death and deceit to find her killer unofficially. An underground cult starts to show its face, taking justice into their own hands, murdering all the people who did not help Ashely the night she was murdered outside her apartment building.
Rose, a new homicide detective takes over Ashley`s case, but what the department does not know is that he is more involved in the case than anyone could have ever imagined. Not only was Rose involved with Ashley but also has close ties with the cult that is involved with all the murders surrounding Ashley`s death. Trying to avenge the fact that no one helped his love, things in San Dino get messy, complicated, and no one knows who to trust or who to work with.
Spare No One is a psychological thriller that captures you from the beginning. From beginning to end the story takes so many twists and turns that at times you think you have it all figured out, and then a new event, perspective, or character is tossed into the story and it completely debunks what you thought you had figured out. The list of characters at the beginning of the book helped as a clarification as to what character fits where in the story. Over all the intricacy of the characters stories was well written and it was clear what role each character played in the story. The end was my favorite part especially because I did not see the story turning out the way that it did. How the past and the present were written together was well executed with little confusion when the switch happened.
There are very few things I would change about this story. Even though the switches in time periods throughout the story were over all well executed I would have liked if the title of the chapters were a little more distinct. There were times where I was so engrossed in the story and then a change in the time line would happen and I would have to pause and go back. The other thing was I would have liked a little more of was why the tenants of Ashley`s building didn’t help her. What was a little more of their back story the night Ashley was murdered.
Over all it was a great story that captivates the reader from the beginning and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire book. I would advise anyone who likes psychological thrillers, dramas, and books of the like to read this. It will be worth your time.
Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07CYNN4NZ
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, crime, cult, detective, ebook, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, killer, kindle, kobo, literature, murder, mystery, nook, novel, psychological, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, spare no one, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writer community, writing, zack scott
A New Kind of Monster
Seed Me follows Logan as he tries to navigate a murder, avoid a deadly cult and try to figure out who the girl was he made out with behind the dumpster. This is a unique setup to a novel. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this story?
The concept had evolved over time through various plots while keeping the same underlining theme of cults, a dead girl and carnivorous plants. The protagonist and scenarios changed from the original concept back in 2011. In a way, Seed Me is a prequel to the original manuscript. So there may be another book in the works in the future.
A lot of the inspiration that helped create Seed Me came from my own discomforts. For example, I had bed bugs back in 2011. They were hard to kill, only fed on human blood and spread like wildfire. I found it intriguing that a creature so small could cause something so large (being me) so much grief. This sparked my research into symbiotic relationships within nature. You see this style of monsters in the horror genre all the time. Some notable ones being John Carpenter’s The Thing or Ridley Scott’s Alien. This research is where a lot of the time was invested for the novel. I wanted to create a new kind of monster for the story l I was writing. Plants often get a bad wrap in the horror genre because they are difficult to make frightening, so I decided to challenge this.
As for the cult, religious groups are a huge interest of mine – you can see this in my Mental Damnation series as well. People have done some wild things in the name of their faith. It is a strong motivator.
I enjoyed the characters in this story because they were slow to build but had depth. What was your writing plan when creating these characters?
The characters within Seed Me are pulled from my own experiences of living in Edmonton. A lot of them being mashups of numerous personalities of people I know to create their unique persona. My Mental Damnation series has a lot of characters that serve a single function in the story. With Seed Me I wanted to strip away as many characters as possible and really see how deep I could go with their personas.
An example of that would be Janet’s passion for renewable energy and her father’s work in the oil industry. This brief backstory reveals conflict within her personal life, explaining some of her choices in the story.
There is a mysterious group of people called Harvesters that may or may not be behind the murders in town. How did you set about creating this group and did you accomplish everything you wanted?
The Harvesters went through MANY revamps. Much like the plants in the story, I researched to help define who the Harvesters were. Originally they were a group from eastern Asia, since these cultures have a vast history of working with plants and using them as medicine. However, after reading about the history of Edmonton and Alberta, I learned that many of the first settlers were from Europe. Settlers from Asia came to Alberta much later. With this new knowledge I had to restructure the Harvesters’ origins. Ultimately it worked better than the original concept: druids are well known in pop culture for having strong ties to nature which supported the plants.
I would say that the Harvesters accomplished what I wanted. The reader is given enough information to know what their goals are and where they are from, while how they came to be and their inner workings remains mysterious. There’s a lot more that could be told about them, perhaps this will be revealed in a sequel.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will that be available?
Currently I am working on the Mental Damnation series again. The story hasn’t been completed and I would love to give a conclusion for the readers. I have a lot more to share regarding this in the coming months. Keep watch for early 2017 for this next novel.
One thing I’d also like to add is that Seed Me’s release was accompanied by a musical score. Some of the tracks were written by me and others by local musicians in Edmonton who based their songs on various chapters found within the novel. The 10 track album encompasses the whole story of Seed Me through dark ambient music.
You can stream the album for free on Bandcamp
Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website
If you’re reading this, then you did not take the above warning seriously. In that case, you’re probably as stupid as me. I’m Logan, by the way. I didn’t pay attention to any warning signs either. Being an unemployed deadbeat in Edmonton with no family and getting dumped by your girlfriend for her best friend can wear a guy down. All I had was my cokehead buddy, Skip, to cheer me up.
Surprisingly, my precautionary tale was not caused by either Skip or the drugs. Let’s just say a drunken make-out session with a pale girl by a dumpster, who was supposedly pronounced dead earlier in the evening, can leave you mentally jumbled up. A good motivator to figure this scenario out is having robed cultists stalk you, asking where the girl is.
Is this an ill twist of fate? Did I bring this on myself? Is there a reason behind my misfortune? Is the moral to not make out with spooky girls behind dumpsters? Hell if I know…
Posted in Interviews
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