Friday, July 27, 2012

Choosing a Specific Genre

Our guest today is Michael A. Rothman, courtesy of Goddess Fish. He's a self-described Army brat and the first person in his family to be born in the United States. This heavily influenced his youth by instilling a love of reading and a burning curiosity about the world and all of the things within it. As an adult, his love of travel allowed him to explore many unimaginable locations. He participated in many adventures and documented them in what will be a series of books.
Some might put these books in the Fantasy genre, and he never had issues with this label. After all, the adventures were, without any doubt in his mind, fantastic. He simply quibbles with the label of “Fiction” that some might put on these tales. These tales should be viewed as historical records, more along the lines of a documentary.
He says he's learned one thing over the years. Magic is real. Keep exploring, and you too will find your magic.


Why I Chose to Write and Why I Chose This Specific Genre

The only things that stand in their way are the assassins hired to destroy them and the Demon Lord’s minion who holds a personal grudge and intends to witness the young boys’ deaths.
It seems like I always had bouncing around an idea about writing an Epic Fantasy tale for my boys when they were old enough to appreciate it. In my mind, I'd always liked the "Fish out of water" type of story, similar to Alice in Wonderland - but I wanted a modern and more realistic setting that illustrated what it would be like to have an entire family suddenly find themselves in a new world, and try to make it as "realistic" as possible regarding their reactions, how they adapted, and eventually triumphed in a world that was "out to get them".

However when I think about my earliest reading, one book probably influenced me more than any others.

The one classic that stands head and shoulders above them all was J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. 

The Hobbit – my first Fantasy book, and by far the one that set me on the road I’ve walked in this genre.  It established a variety of archetypes that I believe many authors since have followed whether purposefully or accidentally.  The concepts and behaviors introduced with the character races as stereotypes are certainly things that have influenced my view on writing. For instance a reader might find my elves somewhat stoic and serious and the dwarves a touch boisterous and hard-working. As it was the first book in the genre I read, it was the measuring stick by which all future books were compared against.
I think the thing that draws me to Fantasy is that the genre doesn’t really limit what you can do as long as you make it believable. Your setting could be on the Jelly world of Blignartz where everyone is made of Peanut Butter.  (Okay, maybe that one is a bit odd – but illustrates my point.)  Or your setting could draw from the now classic archetypes set by Tolkien and have some elves, dwarves, etc all thrown into an otherwise pastoral world called Trimoria.
It then is up to the author to add his or her own storyline and break any perceived rules if it seems right.
About the Book

The TOOLS OF PROPHECY is the second volume in an epic saga which describes a prophecy that has placed the Riverton brothers in the lead roles of a struggle to save their world from being overrun by unspeakable horrors. This destiny requires that they face off with the demons that nearly destroyed their world over five centuries ago.

In the first book, the population of wizards had been practically eradicated by the former tyrant. The Rivertons are now charged with creating an Academy of Magic, recruiting qualified students, and furthering their own training with secrets that have long been held by the reclusive elves.

Despite their youth, a mysterious spirit has engaged them in an epic struggle to gain mastery of their newfound skills, help raise and train two armies, and stay alive long enough for their final showdown with destiny.



EXCERPT ONE:  from the Prologue - we are introduced to a very temperamental Demon Lord

In this region of the Abyss, the temperatures always bordered on freezing. Even so, the air was thick with wet mist. Malphas stared up at his master, who sat high atop his throne of blackest stone. Singeing waves of heat seemed to emanate from the Demon Lord’s skin. The repentant demon would call out to him, but he did not wish to provoke more of his master’s ire. For the time, Lord Sammael simply stared into the distance, refusing to acknowledge his general’s presence.

Finally, after what seemed like a long wait, Sammael directed his attention to Malphas. “I have learned that a new wizard has entered Trimoria,” he said without speaking. His voice, inky and coarse, erupted as if from within Malphas’s head. “You will find out how such a thing was possible.”

Malphas strode to the throne and knelt at his lord’s feet. The black scales of his knees rasped against the stone floor. At twenty feet tall, the general usually towered over his minions, but kneeling before the immense black throne made him feel utterly insignificant. Where he would normally cause all who looked upon him to cower, General Malphas found himself cowering at the feet of his master.

“But, my lord,” Malphas said in his gravelly voice, “how can that be? I thought you arranged for the purging of those who followed Seder.”

The temperature in the cold, dank chamber climbed rapidly as the Demon Lord’s rage bubbled to the surface. Lesser demons in the vicinity burst into flame, disappearing into greasy puffs of acrid smoke.

“Don’t ever mention my brother’s name again,” Sammael commanded. “I will not hear it spoken by the likes of you.”

How to Contact the Author

Michael’s Website:  http://michaelarothman.com/
Follow Michael on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/MichaelARothman

Michael will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

10 comments:

marybelle said...

Fantasy is an amazing genre to read. I too love the works by Tolkein.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

p.m.terrell said...

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Michael! I've enjoyed reading how you selected your genre. It adds so much depth to how fantasy is conceived.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Hobbit was one of my first fantasy books, along with The Sword of Shannara. That's why I like fantasy and science fiction - anything can happen.

Ingeborg said...

Thank you for the excerpt. I love fantasy.
Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Chelsea B. said...

Absolutely, fantasy is the best. I love getting lost in the worlds authors create. People are so, so creative.

justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Catherine Lee said...

p.m....Is this your blog? I don't think I've been to it before...and me being a North Carolina librarian and all--Shame on me! LOL. I'll go ahead and follow on GFC. I'm also following your book tour.

Michael...How do you choose your names--for people and places? They're unusual...Malphas, Sammael, Trimoria, Seder.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Michael A. Rothman said...

Sometimes the names are inspired from people or hallucinations from too much chocolate. However I find myself enjoying getting the readers involved in some way, and plan on doing that with the upcoming novels.

For instance, with the upcoming Prequel novel "Princess Interrupted" I did have a call out for names of readers of the prior books. [announced on my blog/facebook page]

I randomly selected some winners from the folks who submitted their data and usually adopted some form of their name to become a character in the story. For instance, I adopted a Miriam, John, etc and in one case I recall taking a female winner who I couldn't easily adapt her first name with, but instead used her last name "Tabor" as a solid name to leverage for an important character in that novel.

I'll do that again for "Lords of Prophecy" so folks who read the novels should likely pay attention to my blog for such announcements. :-)

Thanks,
Mike

p.m.terrell said...

Catherine Lee, yes, I started and maintain this blog and also started Book 'Em North Carolina (www.bookemnc.org) - Glad you stopped by. And thank you for following my tour!

Michael, I am really enjoying all the inside information on your writing, characters, names, etc. I love the idea of the contests!

Rebecca Hipworth said...

I love reading so I look forward to reading this.

Becky01x(at)gmail(dot)com