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Witches, Warlocks, Wolves and Such

Author Interview
Titus Murphy Author Interview

What was the initial idea behind this story and how did that transform as you were writing the novel?

Well, it started off as a love story and that continued to be the prevailing theme throughout book 1, as Mark and Sharon’s relationship continued to blossom. But later, the idea of the town of Black Oak took on a life of its own, with the people, the history and the setting evolved. It was so organic, that I had to cultivate that and build it out, so that as the love with Mark and Sharon grew, so did the richness of the narrative in the town, paralleling one another perfectly. As the sequels to book 1 are written, I think readers will be delighted as to how the landscape vastly changes and brings them along on a journey they least expect. I like to dramatically shift the prose of the story so that people are never comfortable or find themselves reading a predictable novel. You have to be prepared for something ‘new’ each time you crack open the next book. That’s why the first books is titled as “Chapter 1.”

How did the mystery develop for this story? Did you plan it before writing or did it develop organically?

I have always been intrigued with the paranormal; a world beyond the natural that peeks into the spiritual one. Black Oak is a town that is immersed in a rich fictional history of witches, warlocks, wolves and such, that people will find familiar as the art of storytelling is concerned, but the original spin that did with the traditional stories of old, makes it feel rich and new. That was the why of the story, but the mystery – the what and the how – came about in the characters and how their individuals lives play out over time. Each person is linked to the past of Black Oak, while having their own issues in the present that they must deal with, like ordinary people do all the time. I started with the past as a foundation for their narratives, and then the organic growth of each person came about by their present day tales that are quite natural and relatable to the reading audience.

This is Chapter 1 in The Loveless Chronicles. What can readers expect in Chapter 2?

Escalation! It will all be bigger. Everything in Chapter 2 will be directly linked to the setup of the story in Chapter 1. The characters’ story arcs will be bigger, the setting widens – with new locations being brought into the mix – and the action revs up as we get more paranormal themes weaved into the prose. Also, the backstory about Navartis is further explained to give a depth to the story that most people are not expecting. Readers will be un for a real treat.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

WELCOME TO BLACK OAK!

In the town of Black Oak, nothing is ever what it seems. Besides the wrangling local country-types, the city is marred by a history of indiscretions, murders, and no-named civilians perpetrating as heroes. But beneath the surface of this “run of the mill,” Midwestern locale lurks a pervasive past that is about to come full circle: like a blazing blood moon. Mark is an unassuming trucker who has fallen for a beautiful clerk working at a “Mom & Pop” store named Sharon, and nothing else in the world matters more than stealing her heart. But after making a run into the Bayou to deliver a package, destiny steps in and serves him a plate of “the unexpected,” which sparks the flames of wickedness that will set his hometown ablaze. And as the secrets buried in this town begin to unearth, the truth will fan those burning flames until there is nothing left but ashes and chaos. In the end, the only mystery left to solve will be if this is isolated to one town or involve the fate of the entire world…

Black Oak: The Loveless Chronicles: Chapter 1

In Titus Murphy’s Black Oak lies a story both riveting and enchanting. It contains a variety of characters and storylines, keeping you on your toes all through your reading. In summary, it follows the events happening in the small town of Wichita across different timelines; 1782, 1815, and the present day.

By depicting parallels and interconnections between these three timelines, it weaves a tale of love, magic, and destiny. As expected from any Young Adult Fantasy book, it is filled with mystical creatures like witches and jackals (hybrids of vampires and werewolves).

But what I truly find interesting about this book is that throughout the narrative, there seems to be a backdrop of suspense. The author has developed the plot in a way that you’re not really sure who to trust. Nobody and nothing is ever what they seem to be in this town. As such, with every page I read, I was constantly waiting for the next shoe to drop.

It also helps that this story reads easily, with tons of dialogue to break down the prose. However, while the fact that there are several main characters instead of a single protagonist makes it quite similar to real life and allows the author to draw interesting connections, it also means that a lot of characters are not fully developed.

I get a sense that this could be because this book is written to be the first one in a series though; leaving the author with several more venues to build on the characters. Truth be told, it is ultimately these missing details that make a reader yearn for more, curious about what will happen next. But if there is one element of this book that can definitely be improved upon, it is the grammar. There are a few errors here and there; something that can be polished up with some quick editing.

That aside, I love how the author subtly incorporates themes of racism and faith, making the narrative much more personal and relatable. The fact that even the readers don’t know who the villains are is a nice touch as well, giving this book some mysterious vibes. All things considered, Black Oak is a great read that will surely enchant and entertain any reader.

Pages: 275 | ASIN: B08KRQDCGY

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