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Where Conflict Would Arise

KC J. Hutchins Author Interview

Scars and Scales follows an Omni dragon as he embarks on a perilous quest to unite the lands against a sorceress queen. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The original idea for this story came from an imaginary game I used to play with a school friend. I liked the adventures so much I brought them home and played the same game with my younger brother and cousin. They would look forward to our sessions as I created more and more scenarios, lands, and creatures while continuing from our last point. It inspired me enough to do some sketches throughout my younger years. When I decided to finally write the tale, I obviously updated it and thought it out a bit more. Believe it or not the ending popped into my brain as I relooked at characters and notes I made. From there, it all clicked together. I could clearly see how many beings were going to be in this company, how each one would grow in their development, where conflict would arise from within their group, and most of all Xerxes. With him, I wanted to make a character who the reader doesn’t know whether to trust him or not. Give them the same feeling his companions have while traveling with him. Thus, why the viewpoint changes between a few of the characters. Beyond this, I didn’t want to write another adventure story where the protagonist slowly learns to become strong. Instead, I created a master of sorts who needs to learn something a plucky protagonist usually possesses, trust.

Your characters are diverse and well-developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted to create characters which play against what one would think. An easy example is the bounty hunting leprechaun Donald. One would usually picture said creature as one who runs away from humans with the use of magic. Not so much in Donald’s case. In fact, he avoids it altogether by using tools and his wit. So, using this sort of basic thought I created each character with it, and this caused the surge in their development. Honestly, I could sit here and go on and on with each character… Alvilda being timid, but strong… Wolfgang with his struggle over his emotions, but controlling them enough to heal and save others… Sindri who speaks with a silver tongue, but isolates himself at the forge to create works he never finishes… Mjusnall the pacifist giant who defends others, including a bounty hunter… But I don’t want to make the answer too long.

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

Funny enough how this question melds with the other two. I wanted to write, at least with Xerxes, how difficult it can be to trust someone. Because I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it difficult to make friends. Heck, I think I can count the amount of them on one hand. So, I wanted him to show there are others who feel the same. At the same time, I didn’t want to make this bond grow easily… for we all possess some bad qualities, or we made poor decisions at some point in our lives which haunts us. This helps explore whether one can accept the worst in someone and still stay connected to them. Other than that, I’d say there are sprinklings of friendship, duty, and acceptance with a few drops of other themes throughout the story.

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

Good question. I find myself drifting between a few projects, but I focus way more on the second book of this series, Shimmer of Scales. The positive feedback gave me such a drive to work on it. So much so I’ve written over a hundred pages of it. When it will be available is the tricky part. Ideally, I’d say it’ll be available in a year. However, there are several factors which pour into it. Money is a big part of it. This book was only made possible through a combination of a relative passing away and working my butt off for years. So, if enough copies are sold (hint hint to the people reading this… though no pressure just thought it would be funny to put this here), or a publisher comes knocking with a decent offer… I can keep on this timeline.

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Ten years has passed since the slaying of the Omni dragons. These tyrannical beings subjected the world of Magitotum by the power they hold, the combined abilities of all other dragons. It was a celebrated day when Delsey, sorceress queen of Mendaxum, and her army slayed these beasts. But oh, how the lands were wrong in this thought. For soon after, the witch set her sight on conquering the rest of them. After destroying their oppressors, who else could oppose her?

Yet, there remains one hope. A single Omni survives known as Xerxes. Freed after ten years of torture, the dragon seeks to unite the lands against Delsey. He believes a mix of creatures in his own company will promote the change he seeks. Wolfgang from the healing werewolf tribe known as MoonClaw is the first to join and proves to be his biggest test. For the werewolf trusts him as much as the dragon trusts other… which is not at all. Who could blame him? Especially since the Omni’s former lover and friends were the cause of his torture and imprisonment. Yet through this journey, Xerxes needs to trust others including a silver-tongued dwarf, a timid yet strong elven princess, a pacifist giant, a bounty hunting leprechaun, and a lazy gargoyle. Together this group faces down the witch outside the fleeing city of Suregarde. The question is… do they possess the strength to succeed?

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