My first novel has just been published by White Rocket Books. It is called My Brother’s Keeper and it is the first in a planned three-part series called Galahad’s Doom. It is Swords & Sorcery fantasy adventure with a spiritual theme. It is primarily a story about two brothers, Galen and Lucas Griffon, and the different paths their lives take, but I also weave a bunch of other story threads, as well.
I remember as kid growing up in the 80s, all the controversy surrounding Dungeons & Dragons and how it was an occult practice. Yet in the early 2000s, a lot of the same type of conservative groups that had condemned D&D were now praising the Lord of the Rings movies for their Christian message. Both instances confused me. I didn’t see the Devil in D&D and I didn’t see Jesus in Lord of the Rings, and I found it very interesting that there seemed to be a contradiction there.
It occurred to me that, in a day of Harry Potter stories that seemed to grow increasingly darker and draw increasing concern from watchdog groups, perhaps there was room within the fantasy genre to demonstrate a lighter sensibility. So I ended up with a spiritual theme to my book.
Galen is a young soldier who finds himself torn between duties to church and state; he must choose if he will serve his king or his god. Where Galen’s crisis is spiritual in nature, Lucas struggles with the physical and the emotional. He routinely makes bad choices and finds himself fighting for survival and acceptance. Meanwhile, there are wizards and demons secretly vying to control the fate of the world and war is brewing.
The backstory is that a religion called The Way was originally brought to this world by Saint Galahad from the World of Adam. Before he died, the Saint received a vision of a cataclysmic future. Not so much End-of-the-World Armageddon, but more like The Great Flood, where the whole world was wiped out for the purposes of basically starting over. But will this coming disaster end with all evil removed from the world, or all good? That is what is at stake in the Saint’s prophecy, which is known as Galahad’s Doom.
And, of course, Galen may just find himself at the heart of the prophecy as events begin to unfold.
I’m very excited about the book, very pleased with how it came out. I hope folks will check it out.
What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?
I don’t have a large body of work. I work during the day as a mild-mannered video producer. I began writing fiction in 2007. Since then, I have had a total of four short stories published and now this novel.
I had two stories appear in The Sentinels: Alternate Visions (White Rocket Books), a story and a poem in Gideon Cain: Demon Hunter (Airship 27) and then earlier this year Seventh Star Pressed published a story of mine in Hero’s Best Friend.
So I don’t know if I have a large enough body of work to recognize any threads. Although both Galen and Gideon Cain are spiritual, I suppose. And racial tensions are present in two of my short stories as well as My Brother’s Keeper.
My Hero’s Best Friend story, “Wind of Change”, is set in the same world as my novel and features two of my favorite supporting characters. It’s basically an origin story, telling how these two characters—one of which is a hawk—first meet each other.
Galen’s story is a planned trilogy and I have all kinds of ideas for short stories set in the same world, so I imagine all of those will end up sharing common themes.
What would be your dream project?
Well, my dream would be that somehow this novel catches on with the general public and is successful enough to allow me to write future installments on a full-time basis. I have been developing this setting and these characters for years and I’m full of story ideas. I live with a constant anxiety that I will never get these stories told before I die.
Or maybe I should say I’d love to one day serve as producer and creative consultant of the feature film adaptation of my book series.
If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?
My only regret is that I waited until 2007 to start writing. I wonder what I would have accomplished by now as a writer if I had just decided to pursue this wonderful hobby much earlier in life.
My father actually passed away in the middle of the writing of My Brother’s Keeper. And I ended up drawing on that experience towards the end of the book when Galen found himself with questions about this father.
My dad gave me my joy of reading and he and I enjoyed the same types of stories. He would have loved this book. So if I had a do-over, I’d only wish I had started in time to allow him to read the finished product.
What inspires you to write?
I’m not so much inspired as driven. As I said, I’m filled with anxiety that I might not ever tell all the stories I want to tell. There’s a constant, gnawing urgency that I often must ignore because of more pressing concerns.
It’s not so much that I want to write, as it is I must write. Does that make sense?
What writers have influenced your style and technique?
The obvious influences on this book are JRR Tolkien, Sir Thomas Malory and Howard Pyle. And probably Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I’m also influenced by my peers such as yourself, Van Plexico, Ian Watson and a bunch of others.
I’m also influenced by my own sense of visual storytelling. I’m a 20-year veteran in the world of video production and through that I’ve developed my own sense of how to build a scene and convey the action in an interesting way.
Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?
Right now, I’m just trying to promote My Brother’s Keeper. It will be debuting at the Alabama Phoenix Festival in Birmingham, May 30-June 1st. I am more than halfway through writing the sequel, which will be called “Marching As To War”.
There are Amazon links on my page at www.whiterocketbooks.com and I’d love for everyone to follow my blog at galengriffon.blogspot.com. More than anything, I crave conversation and discussion with readers of my book. I encourage everyone to talk to me after they’ve read the book.
Thank you, Sean. I appreciate you giving me the chance to talk about my book.