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By Patrick (2007-07-03)
Q: Without giving anything away, can you give us a taste of the story that is THE SUMMONER?
In The Summoner, the dwellers of The Winter Kingdoms live with the dead. Ghosts walk freely, intervening for good and ill in the affairs of the living. A fragile truce stands between mortals and Those Who Walk the Night, the vayash moru. Restless and raging spirits have had no solace since the death of the last great Summoner, and no one to reconcile grievances between the dead, the undead and the living. Tris Drayke, the new Summoner, may die before he can come into his full power. Fleeing for his life when his family is murdered, Tris is pursued by an evil mage and haunted by malicious ghosts.
Three true friends flee with Tris when they witness the kingís murder. Three new friends, an adventurer with a dark past, a healer with a tragic secret and a swordswoman with reasons of her own, join them on the journey. Tris must outrun the usurperís bounty hunters and find the sanctuary of a friendly court to raise an army and reclaim the throne. His greatest danger may be his own untrained magic, which he must tame in order to avenge his family, quell the restless spirits, and defeat the reborn Obsidian King.
Q: What can readers expect from the sequel, THE BLOOD KING?
When The Summoner ends, Tris is only halfway on his quest. He has some real physical and magical training to do before he can expect to have a chance to defeat Arontala and bring down Jared. Jaredís treachery and the possibility that the Obsidian King might rise again is straining old alliances between the living and the undead, and threatens to embroil the Winter Kingdoms in war. Tris faces a very dangerous road home to challenge Jared for the crown, and the odds of living through it-even for a Summoner-donít look good.
Q: You will conclude The Chronicles of the Necromancer duology with the release of THE BLOOD KING. Are there any other tales planned in that same world?
Yes. Weíre working out details right now for Books 3 and 4, and Iím already writing Book 3. I have a lot of stories to tell in the Winter Kingdoms, and Iím looking forward to sharing them!
Q: With THE BLOOD KING already written, what's the progress report on your next novel? Any tentative release date yet?
Iím already at work on Book 3, and weíre finalizing details on Books 3 and 4, but the expected publication dates would be February 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Q: Since THE SUMMONER is your fantasy debut, could you tell us a little of the road that saw this one go from manuscript to published novel?
Iíve written for a very long time-some of my friends have been reading my stuff since we were 12! I started out with fan fiction, and then started to invent my own characters and situations. I had the idea for a character with Trisí name and appearance in 1981, but his characteristics, the setting and the story itself had no relation to what eventually became The Summoner. I actually wrote the draft that became The Summoner back in 1997, but a move, a new baby and some career changes made me shelve it for a while. I never stopped believing in the power of the story and the characters. So when I started my own company in 2003 after a layoff from a Fortune 15 firm, getting the manuscript into shape was a top priority. I did some major editing and adding to finalize the manuscript. It took some time to connect with an agent, and then it took time for my agent to find the opportunity that was Solaris Books. In many ways, I think the timing was perfect, and it probably couldnít have happened any earlier.
Q: What do you feel is your strength as a writer/storyteller?
Iím probably the wrong one to ask about that, but I think that itís the ability to write a fast-paced story with characters who have depth to them. You can take the story on the surface and have a good adventure romp. Or you can go looking for deeper things to think about, and find a few of those too. I think it reads well on both levels.