The Keepers of the Light follows an ordinary young man who finds out he’s destined to be a leader and face a dangerous enemy. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that was different from book one?
It was important to make the transition in this book to full-blown fantasy in a believable way. We are dealing with some classical fantasy elements n a contemporary setting so I really wanted this to feel believable. I approached this by asking myself if this were actually happening, how would these characters respond?
Garrett continues to be a compelling character. What were some obstacles in the story that you felt were important to his character development?
Trust. Every adult in Garrett’s life has lied to him about who is his entire life. Trust is, and will continue to be a challenge for him, and understandably so. The other issue for Garrett is leadership. He will have to take the reins in this series and lead. He will have to stop seeing himself as a just a kid and step up or humanity may not make it.
What was one of the most challenging scenes in this book to write?
The scenes inside the underground temple were tough because there were so many moving parts. I spent a lot of time with a tape measure, measuring out distances in my yard, throwing things, yelling, running around, and essentially acting it out. Yes, my neighbors may think I have issues and they may not be entirely wrong:) Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say it was tough with a whole group of humans and a handful of magical creatures to keep it clean and clear for the reader. Alternating between Breanne and Garrett’s perspective each chapter while controlling pace added to the challenge. My editor and I went back and forth a lot trying to perfect those scenes. In the end, I think the extra effort was totally worth it.
This is book two in your God Stones series. What can readers expect in book three?
Book three will take Garrett and his companions on a journey across the country as the world deteriorates into an apocalypse. There are still plenty of issues, both new and old, the friend’s need confront, overcome, and make peace with. Book three promises danger a plenty with dragons, giants, and what I am most excited about, a massive army of supernatural creatures that have been right here under our noses this hold time. I have been hard at work on book three and am excited to share that the rough draft is complete, and edit will begin very soon. Expect book 3 later this year!
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Young Garrett leads an average life in Petersburg, Illinois, until a series of events and revelations upend his life. It turns out he’s “The Light,” the chosen descendant of a certain Turek spoken of in an ancient prophecy. He’s destined to battle Apep, a wizard from another planet, and stop him from assembling the God Stones. Garrett soon discovers more shocking truths about his entire life, those around him, and an ancient secret society called the Keepers of the Light. Some of the group members have lived for hundreds of years, and their primary purpose has been to protect and prepare him to fulfill the prophecy. But Garrett doesn’t know that there’s more to his mission than meets the eye. He enlists the help of his friends and acquaintances as he embarks on this perilous adventure from which he may never return.
The Keepers of the Light is the second book in Otto Schafer’s thrilling God Stones series. It’s a fantastic tale of magic and mythical beasts. Schafer provides readers with a fast-paced, action-packed plot that’s both gripping and replete with jarring twists in all the right places. He tells his story with a striking choice of words, vivid analogies, and deft prose. The blend of all these factors makes for an entertaining read.
I love how the author uses conflict and tension to keep readers engrossed. He sure knows how to garnish a book with both nail-biting moments that will have readers holding their breath. It’s also worth noting that although The Keepers of the Light is the second book in the series, one still gets a decent idea of the backstory.
Schafer’s characters are authentic and relatable. For example, the Lenny character is the friend you need to have on your team when you’re on an impossible mission. He’s a trusted sidekick whose spirits can never be dampened. He’s funny and cheeky, in a way that can get you exasperated sometimes. But his cheekiness also provides much needed comic relief even in the direst of situations. It’s just enough to make you sigh; shake your head, and smile all at once.
Overall, The Keepers of the Light is an emotionally powerful story brimming with gestures and conversations that will tug at your heart’s strings. Yes, the duels and magical elements are intriguing. But it’s really the tales of friendship, love, sacrifice, bravery, and even betrayal that give the book its edge, in my opinion. If you’re looking for an excellent book to get lost in, this is undoubtedly a good option, especially if you’re a fan of archeology, fantasies, and prophecies.
Pages: 480 | ASIN: B08MDHL8TD
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The Secret Journal follows two teenagers that uncover a dangerous secret about their town. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?
I am a huge fan of archaeology thrillers. I love Indian Jones and National Treasure. The Goonies was my favorite movie as a kid. But I also love fantasy and magic like Tolkien of course, and more modern stuff Like Brent Weeks Lightbringer series. I combined these influences and wrote the book I would want to read.
Petersburg, Illinois was my hometown growing up. It is a beautiful little town full of history and old Victorian era homes. Old Abraham Lincoln himself surveyed the town, and if you visit there you will see it’s a magical place. As a kid, I played in all the mysterious drainage tunnels and I’ve been in some of the basements of those old homes high up on the bluffs. The key locations in the book, including the library, the old Victorian basement, and even the mysterious tunnel are all real, and were described to the best of my memory. So you see, it only made sense Petersburg had to be the setting for the magical story I wanted to tell.
Garrett and Breanne are intriguing and well-developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?
Garrett is a small-town kid from a blue-collar home who reminded me a lot of myself at his age. The problems I gave him were similar to problems I was going through at his age. Of course, I ramped it up as the story made the transition from mystery into fantastical.
My inspiration for Breanne was inspired by my wife and her father and brothers. I knew I wanted a diverse cast of characters in my book because I value diversity, and I think our culture needs more of it. So writing a young Black girl who wants nothing more than to be a world famous archaeologist like her father was my way of saying to any young girl out there, no matter her culture or background, you can and should be whatever you want to be! I also think it worked well that she couldn’t be any more different than Garrett. He is a poor, small-town kid who has to work side jobs for new shoes and has never really left home. While Breanne is a world traveler, cultured, and incredibly intelligent, yet they are drawn to each other.
I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was it planned before writing or did it develop organically while writing?
I am a panster at heart, so I didn’t plot much. I knew what needed to happen by the end of each chapter. I let the characters show me how to get there. Sometimes, I sat back in my chair completely surprised by the path they chose to take. Now that I am working on the third book of the series I plot a little more, but I still let the characters take me away and I am still surprised on a regular basis with the directions they choose to go.
This is book one in your God Stones series. What can readers expect in book two?
In ‘The Secret Journal’ I took readers on a suspenseful mystery where the intensity built chapter by chapter. By the end of the book it is obvious all hell is about to break loose. From the early pages of Book 2 ‘The Keepers of the Light’ that is exactly what happens, and it doesn’t stop. The action picks up as the teens fight for their lives, come to terms with their new reality, and try to save the world. The magic picks up too as we continue to transition from ‘real world’ ‘to a world suddenly saturated in a magic that wasn’t meant for us. I should mention, Book 2, ‘The Keepers of the Light’ is out now and I am hard at work on the 3rd book!
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The Secret Journal by Otto Schafer is an intriguing story of two intertwined lives of Garrett Turek and Breanne Moore. The story is an archaeological narrative with a touch of family, friendship, magic, and loyalty. Breanne Moore, a young lady being brought up by a single father, stumbles upon a mysterious artifact that holds secrets like Pandora’s box. Garret on the other hand is a young normal boy living his life under the pressure of his father. Garret and his friends find a journal in the basement of an old Victorian house and the secrets buried under their town come to life. When Garrett and Breanne’s paths cross, they realize that so much is at stake and they have to act fast before everything falls to shambles.
Otto Schafer has created a uniquely captivating story. The author connects the history of Ancient Egypt and the modern world in a meticulous yet engaging manner. The Secret Journal sets places the bar high for the rest of the series. The plot development of the novel is impressive and every small detail is captured to ensure that the readers are not lost
Every character is crafted carefully, and I enjoyed the slow evolution of their characters that unfolded throughout the entirety of the novel. Otto is such a diverse writer that he was able to differentiate each character in the book. Characters you empathize with are crucial to telling a good thriller and Otto Schafer has succeeded. Practically every chapter ends on a cliffhanger which made it difficult for me to find a spot to put the book down. The mystery at the heart of this story is beguiling but never bewildering, I understood what was happening, and why, even as the twists came.
The use of vivid imagery helped to immerse me in a world that is fully realized and painstakingly created. One minute you are in Egypt and the other you are in a basement somewhere in Illinois without getting lost for even a second. The Secret Journal is a thrilling young adult adventure story that is relentlessly entertaining.
Pages: 452 | ASIN: B081ZFMNB3
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, history, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, Otto Schafer, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, teen fiction, The Secret Journal, thriller, writer, writing, young adult