Today our guest is TJ Therien author of yesterday’s book The Scrolls of Scion: The Dark Queen Rising. Here is a link to my post. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5tO
Let’s find out more about TJ.
First I would like to thank Rosie for having me here and thank her for reading and reviewing my debut novel. I really do appreciate her taking the time out of her busy schedule for an obscure independent author.
1) Where is your home town?
I was born in East York and raised in North York, cities which no longer exist, having been absorbed by the Megacity of Metropolitan Toronto when it was created. I have also lived in Calgary, Alberta, Perry Sound, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and made my home in the Eastern Townships of Quebec for most of the last decade before returning to Toronto at the end of June this year in order to promote my writing in an English Province and large urban market.
2) You’ve climbed a very steep hill to become an author, would you care to share some of your journey with the readers?
I started my journey to become an author as an almost illiterate drop out at age 15. I could fill out a standard job application, but not a long form application, or an application that deviated from the standard set up. I basically knew what boxes to put the few words I did know. I quickly realized my job prospects would be severely limited if I did not learn how to read and write so I began to self-educate myself by picking up a book and a dictionary and referencing every word I did not know and referencing every word in the definition I did not understand. It was a very long and tedious process. I began writing Poetry because at the time I perceived it to be looser in structure than prose. That was when my love for the written word began.
3) What made you choose to write a fantasy book?
Fantasy was not the genre of my choosing for my first novel, it just kind of happened. I had tried to write a novel on several occasions mostly in the vein to Kerouac’s stream of conscious or in the genre of Romance, but never saw anything through to completion. In 2013 I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo. I didn’t have an outline for a story or even much of an idea so I fell back on a love of mine which is the genre of Fantasy; I figured Fantasy would allow me to fly by the seat of my pants. I prepared myself by making a childish map with the Paint program on my computer and writing down a few names. I then gave myself 30 prompts based on those names and locations and the rest is history. I posted the original draft as I wrote it on one of my old blogs “Fables, Fallacies and Short Form Fiction” The story took on a life of its own and the rest is history. Although the story itself was written in 30 days, it took nearly six-months of edits and rewrites to put the depth into the characters and the world.
4) How did you go about researching information for your book?
Here’s the thing, other than researching the names I would use I actually did no research for the book. It was completely improvised and drew upon my youth playing Dungeons & Dragons and the fantasy I read when I was older. I am a big Tolkien fan, but I did not want to tread on the creation of such a great. The Races I’ve chosen are all staple races in the fantasy genre, although I have tried to give them all a unique twist. I would mention, as I am a History buff, especially where Ancient History is concerned, I did try to incorporate that knowledge in ways that suited the story.
5) Can you tell the readers why the Drow were driven to the Iron Hills?
Elves, as I have laid them out in my world are divided primarily among three classes, The High Elf, The Wood Elf and The Drow. Savage Elves in my book predate Elven culture and since they worshiped the old Gods they were never accepted. Back to the Drow now, they were basically a slave class of Elf forced to mine the earth and work the forges in the time when Elves still did these things, they were also used as a military arm due to their ability to blend in with shadows. The Drow, led by Lolth, the original Queen of the Drow and High Priestess of the Cult of the Spider led the Drow in revolt against their Elven Overlords and sided with the Orc in the Great War that took place five thousand years before my story begins. I should mention that while Lolth is a Goddess according to D & D mythologies, in my novel she is not a Goddess, but a Drow that had acquired unique magical powers. The revolt failed and the Elves basically committed genocide in the destruction of Sion (the capital city of the Drow at the time.) A handful of Drow (a few low level priestesses and their guard) escaped the massacre and found a home in the Iron Hills where they rebuilt their numbers through selective breeding.
6) Tell us about some of the other races of species in your book.
Well I am using staple Races of the Fantasy genre as I said previously; I wanted to give them a unique twist. So I made my Orcs intelligent and there culture is kind of a Shamanic culture that has a code of honor and they are not outright evil, but were driven into the Barrenlands by the Dwarves in what was basically a territorial dispute and this is what the Great War was primarily about. On the topic of Dwarves, Dwarven females do not have beards, but they started wearing false beards in the time of the Great War to protect them from rape and they continued to wear them even after the war had ended. Savage Elves worship the ancient gods as I have said which were animals seen in the constellations. Savage Elves exist primarily in animal form and live extremely long lives, Lord Arthfeal, the Lord of Bears existence predates the Great War.
7) Who are the ancient sages and what is their role?
Ah, now that is an interesting question. I did not want to have typical Wizards in my story, so I created the Sages, who are very old and wise beings that spend most of their lives acquiring knowledge and magic which they are reluctant to use. They are often referred to as the First Ones and they perceive each other as brother and sister, although I have never gone into their origin. Each Sage represents one of the races and one of the Elements. Their primary function is as the Advisors of Kings and the Ruling Classes of the separate Races.
8) What is a Drider?
A Drider is a creature that is half Drow and half spider, they are magically created and it is the ultimate form of punishment for a Drow to be transformed into one. It is a particularly cruel fate and the transformation is very painful. A Drider retains his Drow memories and magical abilities, but this too is part of the curse. When a Drow is transformed into a Drider they are exiled from Drow society. The rite to transform a Drow to Drider had not been performed since the time of Lolth, before the Great War until Rianon performs the rite upon Prince Maelgad in the opening scene of the book.
9) Are you working on the next book in the series?
I will be beginning the penning of the sequel to “Scrolls of Sion: Rise of the Dark Queen” “The Scrolls of Sion: Broken Bloodlines” November 1st 2014 and will use the same NaNoWriMo process. All future books in the “Scrolls” series will also be done in this fashion, although I don’t know how many books it will be in the end, my intention is to produce one book each year (to be released on May 25th the following year) as long as I can keep the books interesting and relevant. I have other projects I am working on other than “Scrolls” that are not in the Fantasy genre including a Romance (“Forever: The First Epoch”) set in the Stone Age which I am hoping to finish writing and editing by the time NaNoWriMo starts. I also am working on a book of experimental Poetry entitled “Crossing Main.”
10) Where can readers find out more about you and where can they get your book? Is it still free on these sites?
Readers can find me at my new Primary blog “Inside the Poet’s Mind” and also on my blog devoted to “The Scrolls of Sion” which goes by the same name as the series. My books can be found on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and the i-Store, although I can’t find me on the i-Store, books are being downloaded there. Like the Drow, “Scrolls” exists in shadow and secret in the world of “Apple.” I also have an anthology of Poetry (“Liars, Hypocrites & the Development of Human Emotion) available through the same retailers. I have decided to keep all my books free until I debut them on Amazon. I have not yet set a date for my Amazon launch, but it will be before November 1st and maybe as early as August 1st so those who haven’t taken advantage of this free offer, better hurry.
Thank you again Rosie for having me here on your Blog. I have enjoyed the experience and truly appreciate the exposure.
Links to Blogs
Links to Book
Thank you TJ and good luck with the next book.