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Q: Can you tell us a bit about Gideonís Dawn?
A: Gideonís Dawn is a complex epic of heroic adventure set in a unique, mysterious world where two magical languages-one borne of Creation, the other of Destruction-are building toward an ultimate war for dominance.
For generations the Council Lords of Phallenar, sole keepers of the language of Destruction, have ruled the lands unopposed, having long ago destroyed all those who spoke the language of life, and suppressed the knowledge of their tongue so completely that in time it became little more than legend.
And yet one tentative hope remained. Certain prophecies from ages past continued to rail against the Councilís heartless rule. They spoke of the coming a redeemer, one who would break the Councilís power and remake the world with a magic not like theirs.
Then one day, a stranger named Gideon appeared. No one knows where he came from or how he arrived. But they know he has power. This is no ordinary sojourner, they whisper. He may be the answer to ancient prophecies of doom and deliverance. Or he may just be Gideon Dawning, a graduate student from Texas, in over his head in a world beyond timeÖ
Q: What drove you to write fantasy fiction in the first place?
A: Iíve always been drawn by the power of fantasy and myth to shape the way we look at the world. From my earliest recollections as a child, stories of dragons and fairies and ogres and knights filled my imagination, and in their way conveyed to me certain truths about my own life, things Iím not sure I could have learned in other ways, and which I still carry with me as a man. And now that I am an adult, I find that those same stories, along with new ones I have read, have a way of challenging and enriching my understanding of the world in ways that other forms of writing cannot easily match.
As readers, we all come to a story with our own set of biases and "baggage" about the way we believe life is. For example, what it means to love someone, what it means to become a man or a woman, what we can reasonably hope for in life, and what is beyond our reach. Fantasy has a way of suspending those preconceptions, and allowing us to explore those timeless questions from a new perspective. Good fantasy, high fantasy as I would call it, not only entertains, but also forces us to question things we might never question otherwise. And through that struggle, hopefully leave us changed for the better.
Gideonís Dawn is in part a product of my own exploration of questions like these. At its core, Gideonís Dawn is a story of transformation, and the power of love to remake the human soul. The central question the novel asks is this: For someone as broken and messed up as Gideon, is meaningful redemption really possible? Can it really happen?
Q: What do you see as the most challenging aspects of writing a novel?
A: I think every writer would answer that question differently. For me, the most challenging struggle was in giving myself permission to go a bit insane. To write a novel, the characters have to be more than just characters. They have to become real, as real to you as your mother or father, your spouse or your best friend. For me, that was a difficult leap. If I allow a bunch of real, living people to run rampant inside my head, what does that say about my sanity? And yet, if the people in your story arenít real to you, how can you expect them to be real to your readers?
Another challenge is the isolation that writing of this sort imposes on your life. Not everyone understands the passion to write, and it can be hard for some of the people close to you to tolerate the long months you must spend sequestered in a room with nothing but coffee and the computer. Itís a tricky balance to maintain. A writer has to recognize that heís not the only one paying a price for the sake of the work.