The gods, makers of worlds, seek to create balance — between matter and energy; and between mortals who strive toward the transcendent, and the natural perils they must tame or overcome. But one of the gods fashions a world filled with hellish creatures far too powerful to allow balance; he is condemned to live for eternity with his most hateful creations in that world’s distant Bourne, restrained by a magical veil kept vital by the power of song.
Millennia pass, awareness of the hidden danger fades to legend, and both song and veil weaken. And the most remote cities are laid waste by fell, nightmarish troops escaped from the Bourne. Some people dismiss the attacks as mere rumor. Instead of standing against the real threat, they persecute those with the knowledge, magic and power to fight these abominations, denying the inevitability of war and annihilation. And the evil from the Bourne swells...
The troubles of the world seem far from the Hollows where Tahn Junell struggles to remember his lost childhood and to understand words he feels compelled to utter each time he draws his bow. Trouble arrives when two strangers — an enigmatic man wearing the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far — come, to take Tahn, his sister and his two best friends on a dangerous, secret journey.
Tahn knows neither why nor where they will go. He knows only that terrible forces have been unleashed upon mankind and he has been called to stand up and face that which most daunts him—his own forgotten secrets and the darkness that would destroy him and his world.
1. Is there anything that is in your life that influenced this story?
Years ago I had a long conversation with David Morrell about the degree to which all fiction is autobiography. I’ve found most writers hate this notion, except to say that life in general has made them who they are. Then, in turn, part of who they are is a writer, so, indirectly, life has influenced their work.
Maybe that’s sufficient. I don’t know. But it’s also true that I’ve met writers who write overtly about topics in the real world that are important to them, infusing their fiction with personal feelings and beliefs.
For me, there’s no explicit tie between the real world and my fiction. I’ve no agenda. I don’t even start with theme. Though theme often happens.
But all that said, it’d be shortsighted not to acknowledge that my love of music didn’t influence the series. I’ve developed a music magic system. So, not hard to figure that one out.
And back to David Morrell, I have, in fact, found that sometimes, in retrospect, there are pieces of my life that have found their way into the work. For instance, while I’m no psychologist, when I started a family of my own, the value of life leapt off the charts in my own worldview. I’ve wondered if that didn’t—at least in part—factor into some of the plotlines in the series that have to do with abandoned children, human trafficking, and the like, that weave through the books. I don’t think actively about issues when I write. But, as I say, I’ve wondered if my subconscious is doing its thing there.
2. What authors did you enjoy reading in your childhood?
Well, I read a thing or two by Wilson Rawls. I adored (and still do) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I read some Hardy Boys stuff. Also, Chose Your Own Adventure.
3. Which part of your book did you enjoy writing most?
Lately, it’s the quiet moments. You know Faulkner’s whole “human heart in conflict with itself” thing? Yeah, that. Don’t get me wrong. Battles are the awesome. I loves me some of my own music magic, too. But those scenes where characters make irrevocable choices. Which can come in battle, and with magic, and all such goodness. Those moments are like islands of bitter joy.
4. At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be an author?
I think I was in sixth grade. Wrote a play for my elementary school. It was a mystery. Ultimately, me and my co-writer wound up turning it into a melodrama, complete with strobe lights. Was awesome.
5. What character did you enjoy writing the most?
For me, it’s more about the scene. I’ve loved writing every character in the books, but I most enjoy writing them based on the scene itself. They each have high points, in terms of the enjoyment of the writing. Goes back to that “quiet moments” thing I mentioned above. All that said, I do have a character who’s a bit of a smartass. Him I like quite a lot, just because he’s got no filter. I, on the other hand, have a finely developed filter. I’ve had to, you see, because I’m a contrarian. And that used to get me into all kinds of trouble. You don’t want to know.
6. What do you do to get motivated to sit down and start writing?
I get up. Sounds glib, yeah? But really, I have a demanding day job, a family, and I’m a musician besides. I can’t really afford the luxury of motivation. I get up at , go in, down one of those shot-sized energy drinks, do a couple of minutes of Facebook to be sure the world didn’t stop, and then go to it. Not a particularly glamorous answer, that. But there you go.