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Creating a Trilogy of Trilogies

A. Keith Carreiro
A. Keith Carreiro Author Interview

The Penitent – Part 1 begins an epic fantasy series spanning three novels. Did you know how deep the story would go when you first started?

I wanted to write a series like this one for a long time now. When I first started planning The Immortality Wars I knew it would be at least one trilogy. It very quickly morphed into the idea of creating a trilogy of trilogies. I wanted to create a series of realities, in part, that the characters in the story would experience. So the tale is built around a thought experiment that is configured like a Russian doll. I later learned that a work containing nine related books is called an ennealogy. I felt I needed such an expansive framework to house the full length of this saga on a comfortable basis.

I enjoyed the relationship between Pall and John. What were some sources that informed the development of their relationship?

One of the sources informing the development of their relationship with one another is the story of Robin Hood and Little John. However, I wanted to develop their relationship in a different way than it is cast with Robin and Little John, especially in their being more independent of one another. Each has a unique set of skills, background, and way of life. Yet, they are fierce warriors in their own right. When I originally introduced them in the story, one was going to kill the other. Curiously, they both immediately rebelled at this thought.

Was there anything personal, or taken from your own life, and placed in the story?

There is a sense of loss and of tragedy that imbues the story, as well as a love of nature and a deep sense of love of family that are all taken from my own life. Equally so, is my experience of and commitment to God that permeates Pall’s story. For example, there is a miraculous healing of Captain Joseph Martains. It is taken from a real-life experience I had in 1973. A professor was brought back to life as a result of a terrible fall he had from a roughly made staging placed against his house. He fell headfirst onto his cement driveway. No one expected him to live. However, God had other plans than death for the professor at that point in his life.

What has been the most surprising feedback you’ve received from readers about your series?

I am surprised at the reaction some readers have experienced from the intensity of the story, particularly the paranormal and combat scenes. These points in the story are not meant to be moments of gratuitous violence or unspeakable horror alone. They are set within the plot for a variety of reasons some of which would become spoilers if I explained why they are occurring there. Hopefully, I’ve written a tale that makes readers intrigued, on edge, and looking forward to what happens on every page that they read.

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A baby is born and placed in his dead mother’s arms. When the funeral shroud is cast over her, his father decides to name his son Pall. It will soon become a name that strikes a shiver into the hearts of those who hear it in combat.A lone survivor on a battlefield many years later, Pall dazedly recovers from the wounds of war. Despite the dead cast about him, everything he looks upon is unfamiliar to him. Wandering away from this scene of carnage, he encounters John Savage, a giant of a man who puts Pall within the sight of Savage’s seven-foot, nocked longbow.What ensues from this deadly encounter is an elusive journey for truth. Yet, it is haunted not just by a ravening demon that is out to destroy Pall and John, but by the vision of a startling beautiful young woman protecting Pall from afar.
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