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This Disturbed View Of The World

Dave Maruszewski Author Interview

Malketh and the Undead follows three young knights on a journey who encounter a villain that wishes to reclaim the land for himself, and he brings an army. What was the inspiration for your story?

I much wanted to have a more classic bad guy (with some explanation) for this book.  That way the youth would have an easy time rooting against.  I wanted it to be a little tragic, like it didn’t have to be this way.  So, I layered in Malketh as a person who has a filter that he put on everything that he listened to and took in.  His subjectivity doesn’t allow him to take in the truth so he gets this disturbed view of the world and it affects his actions.

As a secondary part, I wanted to explore the protagonists a little more.  The first book set them on a journey.  So, it was more about the places they were going and who they were pursuing.  Here, we get a little more insight into the three.

Did you plan the tone and direction of the novel before writing or did it come out organically as you were writing?

Since I was going with the undead, I wanted it to feel urgent and a bit scary.  In that way, I had a definite tone laid out.  I had a direction as well, but I never want to control this too much in my storytelling.  It may crimp some great ideas.

What was your process in writing the characters interactions to develop the bond they have?

I use real people as inspirations.  That way I can make my characters more consistent.  Then, I make them converse quite a bit.  I find that dialogue makes reading easier for youth as it gives them more natural breaks.  That devise becomes the vital way on which they relate.

In this book, I gave my main characters something for which to compete.  That brought out there true natures.  So, I put that in the earlier chapters, to create some connection between the readers and the three.

What future adventures do you have in store for Raven Romda and Ravai?

It’s funny.  I already have a third book written, but I am actually evaluating right now whether I should put it out next.  So, I am in the middle of writing two more.  The hesitancy comes from what I would like to address.  Where magic will be allowed in the kingdom is a big question, since it had been outlawed and is making its way back in to fashion.  I also have to start to do more than hinting at my multi-book story arc.  In my mind that is the actually story with these books being sub-stories. The first of the three books that I am finishing is a story about a rebellious town using magic.  I employ multiple villains pitted against each other so that the plot is a little unpredictable.  The second book is about three former mentors of Raven, Romda and Ravia coming back and having a less than positive impact.  I’m growing fonder of this one because it will have many colorful characters in it, and will give a look into the life inside kingdom.  The third book has about one-third of a nearby town going mysteriously missing.  This has a twist or two in the plot and helps detach somewhat from the traditional epic fantasy themes.

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Raven, Romda and Ravai are settling into their new knightly duties well. With the Dark Beast defeated, their normal tasks almost seem mundane.

Amidst the boredom, Ravai asks, “Why does no one talk about villains from the past?”

Romda reasons, “What would be the point?”

There is a point. Even though villains may be defeated, they may still be around, waiting in the background ready to resurface once again. From the rubble and debris in which he was buried, Malketh has returned. Presumed dead, he now rises with a fury. His rage is fixed on what he believes belongs to him, the entire kingdom.

Malketh was not always like this. Once known as a mage of incredible knowledge and aptitude, he had admiration and opportunity. He started to investigate ancient and intentionally abandoned magic. That investigation became his downfall. When his mechanizations went wrong, Malketh was expelled from the kingdom.

Malketh has returned to the kingdom … different. He is back with an entire army … an entire army of undead soldiers!
Raven, Romda and Ravai are thinking, maybe hoping, that their hardest task is behind them. However, they will be blindsided by this coming force for which they won’t be ready. Their banter will soon be replaced by a call to action. And, action will come a-plenty.

How do you defeat an army with three people? Raven, Romda and Ravai will have to face this new challenge, and rise up like Malketh and the Undead.

A great story for the fantasy loving youth, this adventure will appeal to those who like action and humor in an easy reading environment. Following their adventures in The Dark Beast, this second book in the Raven, Romda and Ravai series raises the stakes in a continuing journey of the three.
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