Author Interview: Charles Landreth

“Sword Bearer” tells the story of Jonran who, under the burden of a highly technological world, finds an opportunity to escape through a magic portal. After passing through, he awakes to find himself on a more primitive planet and his body has been transformed into that of an ancient race of a long forgotten people.
Jonran is quickly captured and taken into slavery where he befriends a skilled yet questionable thief who helps him through the many trials of slavery. After their eventual escape, their paths split and Jonran stumbles alone into the protected elven lands where he falls in love with an elven woman, while his friend finds a future with a resistance force fighting a corrupt human government.
As they both seek an end to the violence, Jonran is led on a journey to a magic sword and on a quest to help a wizard to free his master, who is locked in battle with an evil invading army. That sword, combined with the crystals of the Elemental Lords, is the only hope to push back the enemy horde and save the world.
Will Jonran have what it takes?
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Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m 41 years old and have been married for almost 21 years. Most of those have been happily. LOL Seriously, though, my marriage is one of the achievements I’m most proud of, as you just don’t see many making it that long these days. My family consists of my loving wife and five rescue animals that do a great job of tearing up just about everything of value that we have. I’ve been a software tester for the past 14 years and that is what I’m currently doing to pay the bills. Sword Bearer is my debut novel and I hope that someday I can stop testing software and write full time.
If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?
If I could change anything in this world, it would be to make it where those in power were not corrupted by their positions. There are plenty of things that need changing, but if you’re limited to one you want to do something that will have a fundamental effect. My opinion is that this is a basic human flaw that gets in the way of some really great accomplishments time and again.
You find a magic lamp, give it a rub and a genie offers you three wishes. What are they?
My wife has dealt with chronic pain for many years, so my first wish would be to make her pain free. Wish number two, that all people would be a bit more tolerant of others. The last would be that the first two could not be twisted in some way that would be different from the intent of the wish. You have to watch out for tricksters. LOL
Why do you write?
There are several reasons I write. What really pushes me though is the impact reading has had on my life. Although I was a good kid most of my childhood, during my teens I did get into some things that could easily have led me down some dangerous paths. Although I had been playing Dungeons & Dragons for years, it was my senior year in high school when I read my first fantasy novel. After that I was hooked and spent more and more time reading, which kept me from going out and getting into trouble. I’m a different person today thanks to a good book.
What elements of your writing do you want to develop?
I would say character development. I feel that I can tell a good story, and my characters can hold your attention, but I want to make sure that the reader really feels for the characters and can see their personalities in their words and actions. As a reader, being able to feel that way is what draws me in and provides that escape from the day to day.
Will books disappear altogether in future?
At some point I could see print books giving way to digital, but the concept of books will always be there. The human race has told stories since we first developed a way to communicate. The format may change, but the stories will continue.
Does your mood affect your writing? If so, how?
Definitely. I have to be in a good peaceful mood most of the time. When I write I have to be able to visualize the story. I can’t describe it to you, if I can’t see it myself. I can’t write when I’m angry because it clouds my mind. I generally find that I can use those experiences to flesh out certain unsavoury characters to make them more villainous when needed.
Describe the process you took to write Sword Bearer.
It may sound simplistic, but the key for me was using an outline to structure the story. I found that without one the storyline wandered and every “good idea” that crossed my mind tried to get into the story. It also gave me something to work toward, before that I was just writing in the moment and had just a general idea of where I wanted to go with the story.
The general steps were:
  1. Determine general plot, characters & settings.
  2. Create a General Outline.
  3. Create a Detailed Outline (with supporting documents)
  4. Create 1st Draft.
  5. Edit/Re-Draft
  6. Format the Final Copy
What is the target audience for your book?
I was actually targeting the experienced fantasy reader. I didn’t spend a lot of time explaining what an elf was, or what a dwarf looked like. This let me concentrate on the storyline and the more unique aspects in my book. I depended on the reader to already have a concept in their minds of some of the more common races in fantasy novels. That being said, with more fantasy movies hitting the market even people that are new to the genre enter with much more knowledge than we did 30 years ago.
Quick fire:
  • Favorite Song?: “Amnesty is granted” by Sammy Hagar
  • Favorite Book?: The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
  • Favorite quote?: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein
Charles Landreth, a software tester living in Dallas, Texas, has been a fantasy buff from an early age. First experiencing fantasy from years of Dungeon & Dragons adventures, he expanded his story telling with influences from bestselling authors such as Tad Williams, Raymond E. Feist and many more. Being an avid reader, he draws on a diverse group of styles to create The Seeds of a Legend series.
Leave a comment below for a chance to win one of five signed copies of Sword Bearer!
Deadline is 11:59 pm EST, May 24, 2012.
Winners will be announced on May 25 with instructions how the winners can claim their signed copy!


SciYourFi said...

We are so sorry about all the trouble with the comments! We put up a new design and didn't realize the comments weren't configured properly. The problem is fixed now!

Fawn M. said...

I am glad to find out more about you and was touched by your first wish being for Tiff. The book looks like there is so much going on that there won't be any time to wonder what happens next. Looking forward to reading it Charles. Love to you and Tiff!

Mike Scarbrough said...

Great great to see that the fantasy genre is alive in well thanks to the efforts and passion of those like Charles. I have been immersed in fantasy and sci-fi since grade school, and my love for it hasn't waned in the 30+ years since. I move through day to day life much happier knowing that there are still countless worlds to explore and characters to move me...that that escape is there for me whenever I need it. I owe the many established and up and coming authors a debt of gratitude for the literally years of joy they have brought and will bring to me with the results of their passion and need to share their stories with the rest of us. Thanks Charles!

SciYourFi said...

Fawn & Mike. Thank you so much for leaving a comment! You both have won copies of Charles' book, "The Sword Bearer" - congratulations! If you would please email us at sciyourfiblog [at], we'll get you in touch with Charles to claim your book!