I'm happy to be here, Rachel. Thank you for inviting me.
Tell us about your book!
Merlin's Heir is the start of a long story about a young man named Jack McAllister. He's a medical student living in Los Angeles, California who just got engaged to his high school sweetheart, Debbie. In a twist of fate, he becomes the victim of a shooting and dies defending his fiance. Four months later, he wakes up in his grave and discovers he's been granted immortality for his sacrifice, hence the name of the series. He's then led by an angel, sent from heaven, to live a new life beyond the mortal world. Soon after arriving, he happens across a small orb that causes him to see things when he touches it, and only when he touches it. So he sets off to discover why.
It has a lot of romantic concepts, I try to illustrate what it's really like when you're in love. Even though Jack is dead, he often thinks about her, and is still willing to do anything for her. I also wanted to approach a new concept about death. Religion often tells us that if someone is sufficiently righteous, they're taken to a paradise after death and will be eternally happy. I thought to myself, 'then what?' How exactly will I be eternally happy? Is this paradise the same for everyone, or unique to each person?
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Believe it or not, it's actually because of badly-written novels. About a year or so ago, I was reading one of my ex-girlfriend's books, The House of Night series, and I was just appalled by how bad the story was. It just didn't feel real to me at all, and I just couldn't stay excited. I thought about it for a while and realized that a lot of these young adult fiction novels tend to teach poor adult values. Women are objectified and are treated like a ping pong game, bouncing back and forth between players. What this genre needed was real adult values, as well as a strong male role model, for a change. I told myself, 'I can do better than this', so I did. A year later, I finished Merlin's Heir.
It seems like Fantasy is becoming more popular all the time. Why do you think fantasy is so hot right now?
A couple things, actually. I think part of it is the fact that the world we live in is so mundane, people need a place to escape. Secretly, everyone imagines a world where different possibilities exist. Most people believe that magic is just a fantasy concept, and there's no more wonder in this world, but as Roald Dahl said: “Those who don't believe in magic will never see it.”
From a demand perspective, I would say that it would be because the current book market is getting low on quality fantasy. Lots of authors are writing other genres like military fiction, spiritual guides and memoirs, self-help books, mysteries, thrillers, autobiographies, but hardly any fantasies. I'm not saying these aren't some very good authors, but once in a while, people want to escape reality, not experience a different one.
Who are some of your literary influences?
Stephen King, Anne Rice, and J. K. Rowling, mostly.
That's definitely a good crew for a fantasy writer! My favorite fantasy author is George R.R. Martin, but Interview With The Vampire was amazing, too. Are you working on any new books at the moment?
I'm currently working on finishing the series, but I do have other new story ideas on the back burner as well. The next book I plan to release is The King of Bones, which will pick up the story right where Merlin's Heir left off.
In your Goodreads profile, you mentioned that you love to cook. Any favorite dishes you’d like to share?
Well, I do have a recipe for some amazing tacos. Firstly, I like to use mild Italian sausage rather than ground beef. Then I add equal parts seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic salt, cumin, ground coriander seed, chili powder, and three parts smoked paprika. It's much better than those seasoning packets you get at the store since those tend to use a lot of starch, and mine is a flavor you can only get from your own spices.
Your tacos sound delicious! I love some good Tex-Mex, but Italian sausage sounds like it would really boost the flavor. Thank you so much for joining us on the Freelance and Fiction blog!
Thank you. I was happy to contribute!
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