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Not Really Heroes

Grant T. Reed

Grant T. Reed Author Interview

Welcome to Deep Cove is an energetic fantasy adventure tale with some intriguing characters. Garrett is a private investigator with a small dragon for a partner. How did you set about writing for this dynamic duo?

The groundwork for the Vellian Mysteries was laid out in the prequel books – the Vellian Heroes series. My twin Gary and I set out to write some fantasy adventure novels for teens, and the protagonists were Garrett and his training partner Azilda who were around the age of twelve in the first two books. The Vellian Heroes series tells the story of how Garrett and Azilda were trained by their ancient masters- Yarl and Fonn, to become future protectors of the realm. Like the Vellian Mysteries, the ‘Heroes‘ series also maintains a humorous tone, where we wanted to keep the story fast paced and as entertaining as possible. The Cassadian Chalice (Vellian Heroes Book 2) Essentially tells the tale of how Garrett met Merle and P.C.

In this story some dock workers are missing and Garrett must investigate. What was your inspiration for the mystery he must unravel?

I wanted to show that Garrett and his partner Merle, were just average Joes trying to make a living. They’re not really heroes in the truest sense of the word, but when their mettle is tested, they become a formidable pair. Having to work dock duty to pay off back rent they owed to their landlord was almost a parallel to my own life at the time, where I seemed to go from one menial job to the next in a bid to pay the bills. Of course, if some of those dock workers happen to turn up missing, I thought this might be a way to ease into a much deeper mystery, which really has very little to do with the actual disappearance of one of Kline’s hired muscle, but more to do with how far a man would go to avenge the loss of his family and to right the wrongs perpetrated on him and his loved ones. After all what would you do to protect your family? I know I would do almost anything- even if it took me years to get my revenge. So as you can see, one small aspect of the story really feeds a much bigger idea.

Garrett and other characters come from another of your book series, Vellian Heroes. How has character development changed for you through the series for the main characters?

As I mentioned, the Vellian Heroes take place when Garrett and Azilda are twelve years old. After writing those books for a couple of years and then taking a couple years off, I came back ready to write when I was 31 years old (I’m 40 now) and at the time I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how these characters turned out twenty years after the stories told in the first two books. Did they become great heroes and protectors of the realm or was their a more realistic arc to the expectations that had been thrust upon the youngsters? Even I didn’t know, but I thought it might be fun to investigate. Advancing the story by twenty years, I was able to write Garrett’s perspective from that of a man’s. Of course, as kids they had their own personalities and inconsistencies, and I tried to keep these intact for Garrett and Azilda, but with the added factor they had now experienced twenty years, since they were trained by the masters.

Welcome to Deep Cove is the first book in the Vellian Mystery series. Where does the next book in the series, Something Stinks in Deep Cove, take the characters?

Book 2 – Something Stinks in Deep Cove, reunites Garrett with his sister Azilda. There are also several other characters brought back from the Heroe’s series as well, and you might even have to think back to figure out where some of them come into play. For those that have read the first two books, I think it will be quite fun to see how  these characters turned out (especially Uncle Willie who plays a key role in Something Stinks in Deep Cove). At first glance, the mystery itself seems pretty cut and dry. P.C, Garrett and Merle’s automaton, is seen attacking a Deep Cove businessman in front of dozens of witnesses. The old man has a heart attack, and now Merle and P.C must stand trial for murder. How the heck is Merle going to get out of this one? I thought it would be fun to dissect a case like this and take something that seemed black and white and break it down through the eyes of Merle who must use all of his sleuthing skills to get to the bottom of what really happened to Mr. Potty.

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Welcome to Deep Cove (Vellian Mysteries, # 1)At thirty-one, Garrett Willigins has finally earned his private investigator’s badge. Unfortunately the bills haven’t stopped coming and building a solid reputation won’t happen overnight. Forced to take employment wherever they can, Garrett and his miniature dragon partner, Merle, must dirty their hands any way possible to make a buck. Shoveling manure, chasing cats, and dock duty seem to be the order of the day. Working off back rent for a notorious gangster isn’t the safest of jobs on a good day, but when the other dock workers begin disappearing, Garrett finds himself elbow deep in a mystery that might spell a quick end to his short P.I. career.

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Welcome to Deep Cove

Welcome to Deep Cove (Vellian Mysteries Book 1) by [Reed, Grant T.]4 StarsGrant Reed’s Welcome to Deep Cove is an energetic tale that involves intrigue, action and fantastical adventure. The first in a series, but using characters from another, we start off our adventure with an elite military unit infiltrating a potential enemy country. We immediately meet Jack, a crazy and entertaining prisoner. After things begin to go horribly wrong we switch our attention to our main men, Garret and Merle. To call Merle a man is a stretch as he is actually a dragon. The mix of fantastical creatures delivered as if they are completely normal and expected is quite well done. As the story goes on we meet an ogre, a robot named P.C. and some minotaurs. Garret is a former military man, part of an elite guard for the king, who has traded in his sword for a private investigators license. Garret’s new occupation draws him into a possible war with the Syndicate: the mafia arm of this world.

While the story starts off with some awesome punch it gets slow pretty fast as we watch Garret mosey about in his mediocre life. It’s not until part way through the tale that the energy picks up and we’re on for an exciting ride.

Reed does an amazing job with his descriptions and it’s easy to picture what everyone looks like in your mind as you read. The hair on the minotaurs and the scales on Merle are all described with such detail you could almost touch them.

If there were to be any criticism it would be regarding the lack of gender. Ninety five percent of the characters in this particular volume of the tale are men. There are around three women who we actually meet: a drunk girl at a bar, an older homemaker who has seemingly misplaced her husband and Coral. Coral is the only woman we meet who has a name. There is another woman who is referred to, but we never meet her. Even though she has a name and seems to have importance to the story we don’t see Coral very much and the first time we do she’s very cold. Her role is only briefly explained and her purpose is not entirely clear.

Aside from the lack of strong female characters this book is very well written and the story is thoroughly engaging. This is exceptionally high praise for a book that is published by an indie-author.

Welcome to Deep Cove is a great introduction to the characters and power balances of Deep Cove. The maps at the beginning of the story add to the visualization of the tale and make it that much more believable. The tale is expertly woven and it does indeed leave you ready and excited for the stories to come.

Pages: 289 | ASIN: B00J1KUXH0

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