Tuesday 23 June 2020

Interview with Author F. P. Spirit

Today I have another interview, this time with fantasy author F. P. Spirit. He stops by to talk about writing fantasy and about his books. Enjoy.

Interview with F. P. Spirit

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

 I’m a sci-fi/fantasy fan from back before it was cool to be a geek. I grew up on Star Trek, Tolkien, Asimov, and Piers Anthony. These days I’m a software developer by day and a writer whenever I can fit in the time (which is not as much as I’d like.) I have a very understanding wife and two sons of whom I’m extremely proud. We also have a dog who is the center of attention in our household. On top of that, I try to game with friends as often as possible and keep in shape as best I can (which is not an easy task at all these days.)


Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My latest book is titled “City of Tears.” It is the first novel in my next series, “Rise of the Thrall Lord.” The book follows the further exploits of the characters from the “Heroes of Ravenford,” though things take a far more serious turn.

In this installment, demons have once again crawled up from the Abyss, undead are roaming the earth, and someone has appeared who can exert control over dragons. All these signs point to the possible return of the dread Thrall Masters, a group of mega-powerful mages who nearly decimated the world over a century ago.

City deals with the first of these major encounters: a tower harboring enormous power, shrouded in mist, surrounded by an ancient city that has fallen under a terrible curse. All who once lived there walk the earth as undead, ruled by the former empress of the once great Naradon empire.


Of all the books you've written, do you have a favorite? 

My favorite would probably be City. Writing is a craft that can always be improved upon. I’ve learned a lot over the last ten years, and thankfully my writing has improved along with it. My first few novels were full of action, adventure, and humor. I did put quite a bit of effort into character backgrounds and development. However, I could have used more character introspection. This new book delves not just into the character’s minds, but truly captures their emotions and underlying motivations.


Do you have a favorite character? If so, why? 

It's a toss-up between Lloyd and Seth. Lloyd is the most genuine character you will ever meet. In some ways, he is the archetypical hero - athletic, good looking, always doing what's right. However, he is also quite modest and shy. Seth, on the contrary, is an extremely sarcastic character. His shady past makes him distrustful of everyone. He is also inclined to say whatever he is thinking without holding back. He's that voice in everyone's head that never gets expressed in real life.


 Why did you decide to write in the fantasy genre? 

I’ve always loved fantasy and a few years back we started role playing with family and friends. A number of amazing and amusing characters resulted from those sessions and I wanted to share their adventures with as many folks as I could. Little did I realize the long road I had ahead of me. After many iterations of world building, character development, and weaving together of plot lines, the Ruins on Stone Hill was finally born.


What is the hardest part of writing fantasy fiction? 

There are a couple of things, but the foremost is making up an entire world. Fantasy fiction often takes place in a completely different world from ours. Building that world requires a lot of work if it is going to be believable for the reader. There has to be rules, especially where magic is concerned, places, travel, races, creatures, and the like that need clear cut definitions. That world also should have a history. Defining that history can take months of painstaking work to map out. 


Did anything surprise you about the process of writing your book? 

The way that characters “talk” to you. Well-developed characters tend to have a mind of their own and tend to disrupt your plans as your writing. I've often hit a road block where a character will tell me "no way am I doing that!" It's just not in their nature. I have to then learn to write around it or change the plot point to fit the character.


 Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

David Eddings is probably my favorite author. I love the way he combines a large cast of characters and how they interact with each other. Tolkien is of course the father of fantasy and one of my favorites. I also love Piers Anthony. His Apprentice Adept series is one of my all-time favorites. On the Sci-Fi side, I've always loved Asimov. I cut my teeth, so to speak, on the original Foundation series. Heinlein and Niven are also two favorites. 


What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write, write, and write again. Never stop. Never give up. There's always room to grow as a writer. The key, though, is to write about things you love. The passion you feel as you write will translate into your stories and to your readers.


Ruins on Stone Hill (Book One: Heroes of Ravenford)


What do you get when you mix an elf, a gnome, a halfling, and a warrior? Magic, mayhem, and loads of sarcasm. 

Glolindir thought he knew all about magic until he came face to face with his very first monster. He only survived thanks to: 

Lloyd, the gallant spiritblade as talented as he is reckless.
Seth, the mysterious halfling whose knives are nearly as sharp as his tongue.
Aksel, the quiet gnome whose very touch can heal.

Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of their troubles. The little town of Ravenford is in desperate need of heroes. Before Glo and his friends know it, they are up to their necks in monsters and worse.

It all comes to a disastrous head when they confront a dark force in the ruins outside of town. Outclassed and overpowered, the only thing that can save them now is their wits and a bit of luck.


Ruins on Stone Hill is available at Amazon


F.P. Spirit writes high fantasy fiction inspired by the likes of Tolkien, Eddings, Brooks, and Piers Anthony. An avid science fiction fan, he became hooked on fantasy the moment he cracked open his first copy of Lord of the Rings in high school. When he is not writing, F.P. is either spending time with his family, gaming, doing yoga, or walking the dog.

A long-time lover of fantasy and the surreal, he hopes you enjoy his fun contributions to the world of fantasy and magic.

For more on F. P. Spirit and his books check out these sites:


Author’s Website


Facebook Page









Wednesday 17 June 2020

Interview with Author Chad Lehrmann

Today I have an interview with urban fantasy author, Chad Lehrmann, who is here to chat about his writing and books. Enjoy.

Interview with Chad Lehrmann


Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself. 

My name is Chad Lehrmann, and I am an independent author from Texas.  I began writing at an early age, but found it difficult to, well, finish writing. In my adult life, I wrote mostly for my career- I was a minister for eleven years, so I wrote curriculum and sermons.  Currently, I am a high school psychology, sociology, and social studies teacher, so I write lessons and curriculum.  I began to blog on education issues in my first year of teaching and started by creating educational parables.  While I enjoyed the discussion of real-life education issues, it was the development of creative stories that most excited me.  After completing my first education book- mostly out of a sense of obligation to finish what I started (see- I matured some!)- I wanted to exclusively devote my writing to fiction.  It was here that I found a release I had long searched for.  The beauty of crafting a character and a world for them to live in was captivating and empowering.  Not to mention a bit therapeutic!  For the first time in a long time, I found an intellectual pursuit that brought me as much happiness as it did challenge.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book? 

Sawyer Shepherd Chronicles: Rites of Passage introduces us to a world like our own, but when you peel back the edge of the curtain just a bit and you are able to find a supernatural (and demonic) threat just out of sight.  Sawyer Shepherd -just coming into adulthood after a tragic loss- stumbles into a small Colorado town looking for an identity, and quickly gets caught up in an epic battle against an ancient demon.  He has support from local “drunk” Eli Romer (who may know more than he lets on) and Mandy Jane, a college intern with the National Parks that quickly catches Sawyer’s eye.  The story deals with themes and ideas that I had struggled with in my late teens and early twenties, but also digs into the power greed has on us- as seen in supporting characters Lucius Furr, Lennox Dupree, and Elena Cordova.  They are big city developers looking for a big payout.  I went with the tagline of “Face Your Demons” in the promotion of the book, and it was a double-edged truth:  Sawyer faces literal demons, but also the demons of his past, and his own internal doubts and fears; demons in their own right.


Who is your intended readership? 

I think the book works for anyone over the age of 13, but I see comparisons with other works of fiction, too.  Fans of Rick Riordan’s Olympus books will find similar characters and humor, but there is also a definite connection to the Supernatural television series.  Fans of these, or of “light horror” will find much to enjoy.  The pace is fast in Rites of Passage, so fans of action and quick reads might also take a look.


Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration? 

My family vacations in a small town in Colorado, Lake City.  Outside of town is a memorial to some miners who died in the 1800’s.  What makes this unique is the lone survivor, Alferd Packer (yep, that is spelled right) was accused and convicted of cannibalism.  That story always stuck with me as a story seed- what if a miner or pioneer was accused of killing people, but the real killer was a demon?  From that grew the story of a demon released on a small town trapped in a snowstorm.  Pretty quickly, I knew this would be the story to launce the series surrounding Sawyer Shepherd as he faces even more evils of the supernatural world.


Did anything surprise you about the process of writing your book? 

I have seen writers talk about a character taking on a life of their own.  I always thought that was a load of crap until I saw it happen.  Characters that were just one-offs became key-players, and characters I had long-term plans for faded because they made dumb choices.  I find the organic nature of character growth sometimes makes me put characters into situations I do not like- that even makes me uncomfortable.  It is in the growth of the story and character, though. 


When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? 

 I have been writing all my life, but it hit me one day when my students asked me the usual question:  “If you were not a teacher, what would you do?”  I got tired of saying I would write but never doing anything to see it through.  So, I sat down and started writing this story that had existed in my head in some form for over twenty years.  And it just kept flowing.


Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine? 

I write when I can.  As a teacher, that means stolen moments early in the day or late at night.  When an inspired idea strikes, I make a note in my phone’s Notepad app, and go put it down when I can.  As far as where ideas come from, it is random.  Seeing a unique historical marker set off Rites of Passage.  Book two of the series had some key stuff come from a visit to the City Museum in St. Louis.  I mean, how can you see a school bus on top of a multi-story building and not write an action scene in it?  There were nightmares and dreams from my childhood that inspire some things.  I wrote a short story set in the Sawyer universe that was inspired by my desire to write a chase scene set to Carol of the Bells.


 What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies? 

Teaching is my career, but I also love to read.  I collect comic books and action figures.  But I also love to do woodworking.  I do some wood art, but since March, I have built five Adirondack chairs, a raised bed garden, four 8 foot flower towers, and two more flower planters.  The stay at home orders gave me lots of time. 


What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal? 

Book two of the series-Red Hand Rising- is out August 4th on Amazon.  It takes Sawyer & Co. to St. Louis on the trail of a demonic serial killer- who might just have ties to the big bad of the series.  I am currently writing book three, and its title is all I want to share right now:  Origins of Man and Myth.

Author Website

 You can find Sawyer Shepherd Chronicles: Rites of Passage on Amazon

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