Monday, January 8, 2018

Interview with Christopher Lee, author of Nemeton: The Trial of Calas

Welcome Christopher Lee!  Thanks for stopping by, can you share a little about yourself with us.

            I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, raised in the south, and have been in Denver, Colorado now                 for eighteen years. I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for a degree in Film                      Studies. It was in college where my childhood desire to tell stories began to blossom into what            it is today. I recently published my first novel on Amazon via the KDP Select program. I am an              avid student of history and mythology, a reiki practitioner, and a keeper of the old ways.

Chris, what got you into writing?

        My first love affair with books was Dr. Seuss. I think I memorized a number of them by the age of five. As time went on I believe it was Star Wars that brought me closer to telling stories of my own. It started as fanfiction, my first story was called Boba Fett’s revenge written on notebook paper, and fully illustrated with terrible drawings. It was my desire to know more about the universe that was unanswered by the films. That fanfiction led to creating worlds of my own, and ultimately to my latest work, the Hallowed Veil Series.

I think that's how a lot of writers get started.  They want to answer the unanswered questions. Will you share a short excerpt from your novel with us?

        By my blood, I will not cease my service,
By my blood, I will break the bonds,
By my blood, I will bring forth justice,
For father, my people, and all.

As she sat in darkness, repeating her blood oath a warm light enveloped her. She sensed the stone draw from her the venomous anger and rage that had entrapped her. She focused pouring her anger, hate, and sadness into the stone and watched as it transmuted to singular purpose.
“Rage is a material, a material that can be forged into righteous purpose. Create a weapon within your mind, steel yourself and resolve to end that which was taken so much from you. If you do this, nothing will stand in your way.” said the warlock. “What you hold in your hands Samsara is the ancient stone of the Kings of Men. It will show us the way, it will show us the one who bears the mark of redemption, the one who will rend the bonds. It contains the memories of all things long since past. With it you cannot be defeated. It has chosen you to be the one, the steward of the throne, until the rightful body can take its place upon it.”
His words seemed to cause the stone to vibrate. Samsara gripped the stone. Falbanach spoke to her in the ancient language. As he did, she began to understand the stone’s power. It spoke to her. It showed her the ancient battles of the heavens, the past as it truly happened. In her hands was the power to change the world, she but had to have the resolve to use it.
“Listen to its wisdom and it will show you the proper path,” he said.
Samsara closed off all other thought. As she fell into the power of the stone, she saw a small glimpse of her future. She stood before her future self. Though her future did not speak to her, she could tell the place her path carried her was one not of brokenness or pain, but of righteous fury against the forces that had destroyed her world.
With her vows complete and her purpose realized, Samsara sat in the center of her cell in contemplation, forging a spiritual blade she would wield against the forces of chaos until she no longer drew breath. In her alchemical laboratory of the mind, she toiled and transformed herself into a living weapon.

Sounds intriguing,  tell us a little bit about your main characters

        Nemeton features a handful of personalities and I am loathed to present any of them as main characters, though I expect Samsara will be the main character throughout the long arc. The tale that begins with Nemeton: The Trial of Calas is a coming of age tale for four different characters from very different walks of life. Samsara comes from a background of books, Arabella comes from royalty, Lugh comes from the dirty streets, and Nastas comes from exile. All of them must find a way to reconcile their past with the ever persistent strings of destiny. 

How do you promote your books? Any tips you can share?

        I am still getting the hang of promoting my works, as this is my first published novel, though I know a few tricks. A strong social media presence is required if you are going to begin to create an audience. We authors often talk about finding your audience, but they are not found, they are created, especially in the world of self-publishing. I established a strong base of readers via the Inkshares platform, whereby I tried to crowd-publish my work. Now that I have self-published I use facebook, facebook ads, twitter, and GoodReads to promote. I also run a blog on my author website featuring indie authors, as a form of cross promotion which is key, you need allies in this fight!

I completely agree, we need to help each other. Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

        This is Book One of the Hallowed Veil Series, it is a series I hope will continue long into the future. I have big hopes and dreams for it, as I wanted to tell a story that links the disparate parts of human history into one cohesive tale, a tale of our legacy. 
Do you have people read your drafts before you publish?  How do you select beta readers?
        I do, I have a handful of readers and professionals who read my work before I publish. I usually ask a couple of close friends of family members to give me some pointers on what they liked and disliked. Then I draft again and present it to a carefully selected group of freelance beta’s who offer editorial suggestions and point out glaring holes in the plot.

I think its so important to have others read your work. I want flaws found early so I can correct them. What brought about the idea for your book?

       I wanted to answer a specific question, a riddle of sorts. As a student of history and mythology I have often wondered how the disconnect between our mythic, some might sight magical past and the modern present came to be. I wanted to know what happened to the world with fantastic creatures, monsters, magic, where did it retreat. The Hallowed Veil is an attempt to answer that question. 

What was your writing process like?

        This particularly story has taken my five years to develop. Conceptually the world building took most of that time. I researched deep into the myths of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America to find a link, things that might tie humanities past together. Once I had a sufficient base of knowledge I began crafting characters, some out of myth, some out of my own imagination. Once I had them the story began to take shape by way of their own motivations. Draft led to draft until finally I had a pliable story with which to work. I would describe my process as organic, it breathes, speaks to me. I do not so much write it as much as it is dictated to me. 
In your novels, which character is your favorite?
        I find Ubara my little bad to be the most intriguing, he is not wholly bad, and definitely not good. He exists in this delusion, a madness that he grapples with and it is that kind of nature that I hope to examine in more detail in subsequent novels. 
Christopher, what advice would you give someone who is considering publishing? Should they consider traditional or self-publishing?

        Traditional is a hard road, though not one that should be wholly left alone or forgotten. The experience of self-publishing was terribly frustrating, but entirely rewarding. I learned a great deal, which I know will aid me in future endeavors. My next novel will be better because of what I have learned. I recommend everyone at least try the process from point A to Z in self-publishing if not solely for the personal edification. Traditional publishing will always be there, and if you become a strong self-published author, eventually they will come knocking.

Thanks for Sharing with us today.  Don't forget to check out Christopher at all the great sites below.  Happy Reading!!

Cover Design - Done by myself

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