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What if a Hoax Became Terrifyingly Real?

Robert Stava Author Interview

Robert Stava Author Interview

By Summers Last Twilight focuses on the nefarious work of the villain, Steven Crowley, who is building a secret cult. What was your inspiration for the cult that he is secretly building?

The cult was modeled after both the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley’s Thelemite order “A∴A∴”, the later which he co-founded in 1907. I also drew on Umberto Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum, which is a masterpiece on these types of cults and Hermetic Orders like the Rosacrutions. I leveraged their rituals & practices into the story as well as Crowley’s own teachings which were intriguing: to me it was as if it was all an elaborate joke/game to him, while at the same time he was truly searching for some higher mystical reality. Crowley may have been having us on, but he was exceedingly smart, if something of a lunatic. The ‘what if?” came in the form of “What if someone actually applied the techniques using current Quantum Physics theories…what if something that was half a hoax became something terrifyingly real?”

The Sacred Order of the New Golden Dawn comes back in this novel. Do you feel that you were able to explore all the chaos they can bring?

There was a conscious decision to be merciful to the reader and keep it under 300 pages. You could write volumes on this stuff.

I felt that the actions scenes of violence and mayhem were expertly crafted. I find that this is an area that can be overdone in novels. How did you approach this subject to make sure it flowed evenly?

Really? Now that’s a compliment! I can only tell you I try and write those parts cinematically, visualizing them like a choreographed movie scene. I find older movies where they relied purely on acting and directing useful for that, as opposed to most current ones that overly rely on CG effects and flashy editing.

There is a band of quirky characters through the novel that I enjoyed, especially CID detective John Easton. What was your favorite character to write for?

John Easton. When I originally conceived of the character, I knew I wanted a variation on the classic British Detective, but had no idea how to avoid the usual tired cliché’s. The answer provided itself on a red-eye flight to London when I found myself jammed into a seat next to this restless guy who turned out to be a CID Detective Superintendent from Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force. Something I’d never heard of or ever thought of before. He was going on leave after suffering a gunshot wound in the leg the day before and was half-zonked on Cabernet & Percocet to handle the pain. It was definitely a ‘Bingo!’ moment. We ended up in an engrossing conversation most the flight and I got a good piece of my character’s backstory effectively handed to me from the real McCoy. When I got to the hotel I couldn’t sleep so turned on the TV and the first image was a a movie with Callum Keith Rennie in it and thought, “Bingo #2 – and that’s what he looks like!”. Then it was a question of mixing in a few of my own traumatic experiences, a latent psychic ability (based on a woman I once dated) and a dash of the original James Bond and he pretty much stepped out of the pages ready to go. He’s a recurring character who pretty much writes himself – sorry I can’t explain that better – and since he’s a capable guy it’s I’m always curious how he’s going to get out of any particular mess I throw him in.

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Some nightmares refuse to stay dead… In the sleepy Hudson River village of Wyvern Falls, something dark and corrupting has re-emerged from the shadows, a secret cult seeded by the infamous Aleister Crowley. A cult that was supposedly struck down on the eve of the Great Depression: The Sacred Order of the New Golden Dawn With them will come nightmares and chaos, opening portals to horrifying dimensions . . . By Summer’s Last Twilight. A new chapter in Horror has begun…

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Horatio Hobbs and the Calimor

Horatio Hobbs and the Calimor: A tale of adventure by [Francis, L.J]5 StarsAt first glance this novel looks like a story taken from the world of Tolkien, you have trolls, mortals, a mystical race of beings that live in the woods, talking animals, and a quest. That, however, is where the similarities end. L.J.Francis has managed to create in Horatio Hobbs and the Calimor, a magical world that will appeal to readers of all ages. Francis brings in some of the traditional magic and creatures that people come to expect in fantasy novels, such as the trolls and elf like beings, but he turns many of the stereotypes of these fictional beings around. Nothing is as simple as it seams in the sleepy town of Drinkwater and the feared forest of Shadowmere.

Horatio is a young boy about to turn sixteen. In the town of Drinkwater, sixteen is when you become an adult to the community. He was raised by his grandfather Theodore Hobbs. You learn in the book that his mother died during child birth, as for his father, well you will have to read the book to find out what happened to him. Theodore Hobbs is a master furniture maker, and excels in his craft. He is known far and wide for his skill and ability to create the perfect item. At the center of this novel is one of his works of art. The mayoral throne. Unbeknownst to Theodore, he has carved this throne from magical wood. The tree that this wood came from is also the source of a magical acorn, the Calimor, that is delivered to Horatio by a fox. This acorn has a magical and devastating story.

The epic journey begins with Horatio setting out with his pony Thomas for the mysterious woods of Shadowmere. These woods are dark, thick, and filled with magic. The Bloodeye trolls make their home in Shadowmere. The leader of the Bloodeye, King Bovik, hates the mystical race of Eldrin that live in a protected area of Shadowmere called Celeste. When word gets back to him that Horatio has something from Celeste and is headed there King Bovik decides he will intercept Horatio and get information from him on how to destroy the Eldrin. The Bloodeye’s pursuit of Horatio and Thomas lead them on further adventures and bring them into contact with several interesting characters. One character that I feel offers the most passion and heart is Krunger, the exiled Bloodeye troll.

Francis’s ability to portray the relationship between Krunger and Horatio speaks volumes. These two characters couldn’t be more different on the outside but inside share the same goals and passions. The transformation both characters must go through is immense and will pull at the reader’s compassion and provide a renewed sense of hope.

Overall L.J. Francis gives readers a new look in the fantasy novel realm. He turns traditional character rolls around and offers a brightened future for the lands he creates. The easy reading style and lack of extreme gore from fighting scenes makes this novel appropriate for young adult readers. The complex character development and unique plot makes it appealing for adult fantasy novel followers. This book leaves the reader with just enough questions to look forward to the second installment that L.J. Francis is currently working on, but offers a conclusion to the story line in this novel. A well written novel with the promise of more adventures to come.

Pages: 284 | ASIN: B01D1XNPOA

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