– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Sword of Betrayal’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
By day, Robert Evert is an old and decrepit university professor who teaches hordes of smelly college students who rarely deign to look up from their damned phones to pay attention to the many brilliant and exciting things he has to say in class. By night, he is an aspiring writer.
Once young and idealistic and built like a skinny Norwegian god, Robert has been beaten down by time, pointless faculty meetings, and hundreds of students who repeatedly come up to him and ask: “I wasn’t in class last week. Did I miss anything?” He is now a shell of a man who sits in his darkened office sobbing while he waits patiently for Ragnarök.
When Robert isn’t daydreaming about walking through the streets of Bree or sitting in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, he writes fantasy stories which he reads to the critical acclaim of his two dogs and three cats.
His wife wants him to stop grumbling to himself and finish doing the dishes.
Title: Sword of Betrayal
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Between the Lines
Edris’s lay-about life of privilege ends abruptly when his father, Lord Elros, announces that his adolescent son will enter the military in the spring. Edris has only six months to ready himself to serve a king who despises his family and will undoubtedly make his life beyond miserable.
To prepare him, Lord Elros puts Edris through a brutal training regime. Not only does he demand Edris beat every man with whom he spars, but he also insists his son knock them unconscious—even if that means fighting dirty.
About to crack under the relentless pressure, the sensitive Edris seeks a way to get out from under his father’s heavy thumb. A solution presents itself when an announcement for the latest Kings’ Quest arrives. According to the royal proclamation, the adventurer who finds the fabled Sword of Betrayal will win one thousand gold pieces, money Edris could use to start his own life with the woman he loves.
Edris proposes to undertake the quest in order to get in better shape; however, Lord Elros has another idea—Edris will undertake the quest so he can get close to, and kill, the king’s son.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thank you so much for having me! And for promoting Sword of Betrayal! I really appreciate your help. I hope I can say something of interest to your readers.
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Well, I’m a middle age, grumpy college professor. I teach students who want to become special education teachers. I specialize in what we call “intensive” disabilities—such as autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities. I have two teenage sons who have phones welded in front of their non-blinking eyes, and a wife who thinks fantasy books are stupid. My dogs, however, think I’m cool and follow me around all day. They love fantasy books!
How did I become an author…? I’ve always been a writer. I’ve always written crazy stories and little poems. Even in fourth grade, I had thick notebooks filled with weird tales about aliens and zombie teachers. My classmates used to go into my desk and read them when I was at recess.
I became an author after a friend read my first book-length manuscript (Riddle in Stone). She loved it and told me to send it to this agent-friend of hers, who also loved it. And…here I am!
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Growing up, I was obsessed with the Lord of the Rings. I read them over and over, non-stop. My mother got worried that the books were some sort of cult-gateway. Then she read them and understood their beauty.
Actually, I was just listening to the Two Towers while I worked out this morning—the part where Frodo and Sam meet Sméagol. So I’m still very connected to Middle Earth and often daydream about walking around Bree or the Trollshaws, sightseeing. There’s nothing more magical than losing one’s self in a good book (except, perhaps, seeing your children sleeping…the noisy little bastards).
I also like Harry Potter.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would’ve loved to talk with Tolkien! Boy, that would’ve been amazing! He’d be able to give me so much clarity regarding my life now.
For example, I wonder..did he ever doubt himself? Did he sit in his den, reading his manuscript thinking, “Geez! This sucks! I’m such a miserable failure. Why can’t I write as well as everybody else?” I’d love to learn how to get past all of the pain and self-doubt that stab at my heart.
I also wonder whether his characters felt real to him. Did he talk to them in his head? Did he daydream about climbing the Misty Pass and looking down upon a group of mountain trolls playing catch with boulders? Or was it all merely a story to him? Something to do when the Germans weren’t attacking? He seems like he was a very interesting guy.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Boy! Good question!
I actually talk to my own characters. Edris, the main character in Sword of Betrayal, is very much like me in that we’re both extremely sensitive and don’t know what we want out of life. We both have been pushed into our respective professions because of what other people think our gifts are.
As for other people’s characters, I’d enjoy having tea with Hermione Granger. I like smart people who have a different perspective or lifestyle than I have. It’s amazing to me that two people can live in the same world, but see it from two completely different points of view. It’s as if we’re all in our own universes…or in our own stories. It’s ashame we can get to know each other as simply as reading a book.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have to have a hot cup of tea to my left (at the moment, it’s Tea of Inquiry). It can’t be on my right, or things don’t “feel” proper. It must be on my left. And it needs to be in a certain tea-stained mug. That I’m sure everybody else thinks is gross.
Also, I have to pull up the word document I’m working on and then let it sit on my screen for a few minutes. I have no idea why. I can’t simply open it and then start writing like any sane person. I have to pull it up, then do something, like check my e-mail or play a little World of Warcraft, before I can start working.
The lights in my office have to be off—except one desk lamp that shine onto my keyboard. I usually work at a standing desk when writing the first draft, but then I have to work from my seated desk when revising.
I also talk to myself while I’m writing.
Man, I sound like a nut job!
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
LOL! Some people do inspire some of my characters. I used to play DnD when I was a kid and I can imagine how our characters would react in certain situations. Occasionally, one of my students will say something and I think… “That should be in a story!”
Generally speaking, though, I imagine a person in a situation and then sit back and watch. I might see a woman peering out a rain-sodden window, weeping. And I wonder…what’s going on? So I sit at my computer and find out! Nothing is conscious. I don’t say, “I want to write about a guy with a black patch over his eye and a penguin on his shoulder.” Things just happen.
Where do the ideas come from? Where does love come from? I suspect the same place.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Complete pantser. I have no idea what the hell I’m doing (in writing or in life). In fact, my first book, Riddle in Stone, wasn’t even going to be a book! It was a writing exercise. I started with some bald, fat, stuttering guy walking along the road with a dog next to him. I had no idea who he was or what he wanted out of life. I just kept writing and a story emerged!
With my current book, Sword of Betrayal, I had this opening scene in my head. A big, muscular teenager is fighting in a tournament. He’s huge…but also really sensitive. He doesn’t want to hurt anybody. He sees fighting as a fun game. But his father wants him to be a killer. From there, the story grew on its own.
It might’ve been inspired by what a lot to athletically gifted kids. What do they do when their parents want them to be one thing (a superstar football player or Olympic swimmer) and they want to be something else (a poet)? It’s difficult enough growing up, nowadays. It’s even harder when you have gifts that everybody but you values. I suppose we all have to figure out who we are and find our own way in life—even middle aged college professors.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Absolutely! First, read Stephen King’s On Writing. It changed my life. I suddenly saw writing at a craft that I have to work at, rather than something people simply do for fun.
Second, keep in mind that something could be brilliant as well as be a piece of shit. I love the Lord of the Rings. You might hate it. It’s the same book, but we both have equally valuable opinions about it. And that’s okay! We’re here to release stories from our souls—not please everybody.
Third, when you start a manuscript, don’t think about getting published or how successful you’re going to be. Write for fun! Enjoy being with your characters. See writing as a pleasurable escape from reality. If you enjoy writing it, your readers will enjoy reading it!
Fourth, your first draft will suck. Sorry—it will. As Stephen King says, “Only God gets it right the first time.” Don’t beat yourself up about it. Write, revise, repeat. If your first draft didn’t stink, you wouldn’t be able to improve as a writer. So embrace your suckyness! See it as the Mister Miyagi that it is.
Finally, everybody says to be a good writer, you must read a lot and write a lot. I’d add that you also have to live a lot. Travel! Meet new people! Do things you’ve never done before! The richness of your life will help you flesh out the lives of your characters.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m hoping people will like Sword of Betrayal and post LOTS of good, constructive reviews. Books from Indie presses don’t do well without word of mouth. If people like what I wrote, I’m hoping to write more…maybe continue the series or write something completely new!
I really have to stress this point…if you LOVE a book–whether it is mine or somebody else’s—tell people! Post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and wherever you can. Tell your coworkers and facebook friends! In order for authors to keep getting published, their books have to sell. Publishers don’t actively promote books from new authors. So we need all of you to spread the word as much as you can. Just remember…you could’ve saved Star Trek!
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Sure!!! I hope this is okay!
Lord Elros got even closer to his son’s face.
“I want you to kill the next man you fight. You kill him and strike fear into everybody who ever crosses your god-damned path. Are you listening to me? The next man you fight, you kill. Snap his neck!”
Edris nodded, not sure if he could live with himself if he actually killed somebody. The fights were games. All of this was supposed to be for fun. But fighting dirty and killing somebody? That wasn’t the type of person he wanted to be.
“Look,” Lord Elros said. “You’re starting your service to the king next year. The job of a kingsman is to kill. That’s what you’re being trained for. You’re a warrior. Warriors kill. Get used to it. The king points, and you kill the man, woman, or child on the other end of his prissy little finger. You can’t be the best if you’re soft.”
Edris didn’t say anything. The tirade was nearly over, and he didn’t want to inflame his father’s wrath by saying something wrong.
“Be the best,” his father finished, “or you aren’t my son. Got it?”
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Robert Evert.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
Blog Tour Organized By:
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!