Sure thing, but first, I must say thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it!
The Circle of Sorcerers is the debut novel of my epic fantasy series, and it involves the early life of Laedron Telpist, a boy who hails from a small village but who is trained in magic by his mother. To continue his training, he must go to a formal environment and study beneath a skilled sorcerer. It seems simple enough until the winds of change come and shift the course of the Heraldan church—the largest religious organization in the world. When the new leader of this church swears to rid the world of free practitioners of magic, all of the Circle mages are endangered.
Excellent conflict. Tell us about your favorite character/s in your series.
Oh, there are so many in this book. Laedron, the young mage and main character, comes from humble, comfortable beginnings in the peace and solitude of Reven’s Landing. Marac, his best friend, enjoys ‘long nights and drinking from a tall cup’, to quote the book, but he has cause to be that way. Ismerelda, the Uxidi sorceress, was a very interesting character to explore throughout the book, and she is one of my favorites—complex, dangerous, but also kind and protective.
You mention your main character embraces old friends, consorts with unlikely allies and confronts potent enemies…can you share a few of the Laedron’s greatest challenges?
Without giving too much away, the premise of the book is based upon a battle of supremacy between the worldly sorcerers and the divine priests. Both use magic in one form or another and largely tolerated one another in the past, but with the appointment of Andolis Drakar as Grand Vicar of the Heraldan church, things change quickly. No longer are sorcerers safe; they become outnumbered and targeted once the church issues its declarations against them.
This sounds more exciting by the minute. What is the world like in The Circle of Sorcerers? It sounds so very unique and mystifying. And not a world that is very accepting to one spinning spells.
The world in the book consists of the Bloodmyr Isles, three large islands which are host to a variety of people and cultures. The story begins on the central island (the Midlands to the locals) in the nation of Sorbia, Laedron’s home country. Sorbia is quite accepting of magic and sorcerers, but the eastern island—the home to Falacore and the Heraldan theocratic lands—is far from being accepting. Mix in the appointment of a Grand Vicar hostile to sorcerers, and you have a war.
Different parts of the world are known for different things, and many of them draw heavily from our own history—such as the Al’Qarans being very much like the Persians while the Qal’Phametines draw heavily from Egypt. The Falacorans are similar in many ways to the Holy Roman Empire, and the Heraldan theocracy—of course—could quickly be compared to the early Catholic church. The Midlands have a wide diversity in culture and tradition, and I feel that makes them ripe for tolerance of different ideas. They were also invaded at one time by the Falacorans, and that would make anyone cautious of accepting any single ideal or way of doing things.
You have built an enticing world. Can you offer your fellow writers some advice on writing fantasy?
The key to writing good fantasy isn’t about copying what’s already out there. You could try to write like J.R.R. Tolkien and spend vast amounts of time doing so, but you’ll write yourself into a hole. The same goes for G.R.R. Martin—no need to mimic styles. It also goes for Sanderson, for he’s prolific enough to keep people busy with just his material for long stretches of time.
Tolkien spins a wonderful tale, but we have Tolkien’s works. Martin and Sanderson build interesting worlds and characters, but we have Martin and Sanderson. What we don’t have is your unique style, and that’s what people want when they pick up a different author. They don’t want someone trying to be someone else; they want you.
Beyond that, utilize the five senses. Do you have a unique food in your world? Make the reader taste it. Does the character happen upon a battlefield with rotten corpses? The smell is like no other. Many writers will easily say what they see and hear—most people are either sight- or audio-centric—but we mustn’t forget that smells and tastes do just as much to pull the reader into the story.
Oh, and research and anachronisms. Never too little of the former and never the latter.
Oh my, so very descript. Would you share your favorite excerpt/scene and tell us why this is so special to you.
I often cling to my scenes of loss. In this book, the pivotal moment of loss would be the death of Laedron’s teacher at the hands of the priest.
Regarding publication and marketing, what advice can you offer aspiring writers?
Always the tough one. Book bloggers can do wonders for your book and exposure, and it’s the kind of real marketing that you want to do. If I came up to you and said, “My book is wonderful. Buy it,” you have a totally different feeling than if someone else says, “This book is by Brian Kittrell, and it’s wonderful. You should buy it.” That’s because when I say it, it’s self-promotion. When someone else says it, it’s a recommendation. My self-promotion is basically, “The book’s out at (link)”, and then I work on finding people who might be willing to read it, review it, or otherwise say that other people should try it.
I do some paid advertisement, but it’s very cheap. My budget for that is something like $50 per month on all of the places I advertise. I try to do publicity at every opportunity because I think it’s more valuable.
And of course, last but not least…how can your fans find, follow or friend you?
I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t post at either one terribly much. I also maintain a newsletter list, and I post emails infrequently. Probably the easiest way to find any option to stay in touch is by going to my website, http://www.latenitebooks.com, and choosing whichever option you prefer.
A big thanks to Charlie for having me today. I appreciate it very much, and I hope you all enjoy your next book, whichever it may be!
It was my pleasure to host you today, Brian. I hope everyone is as captivated as I am with your new book, The Circle of Sorcerers and checks it out for Christmas. Thanks Brian.