Sunday, May 20, 2012

Interview With Author Kevis Hendrickson

The Fall of Ithar

Hi Kevis, Thanks so much to agreeing to do the Q&A. I warn you, you are the first to be subjected to an interview. But I promise to be gentle.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to share a bit about myself with the readers of your blog. Being the first author to be interviewed by you makes it even more special. My name is Kevis Hendrickson, a writer of speculative fiction, musician, illustrator, and aspiring filmmaker. I've been authoring books for a few years now and am one of the early pioneers of the indie author movement who used the opportunities presented by the advances in digital technology to introduce my books to readers around the world.

How long have you been writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I've been writing stories ever since I was a child. Writing is the outlet to my very active imagination which used to get me into quite a bit of trouble when I was younger as many of my grade school teachers can attest! My mind is crammed with all these wonderful characters and adventures and writing became the principal means by which I could bring them to life.

When I was reading The Fall of Ithar I was reminded of Tolkien's story of Beren and Luthien. Has Tolkien's work been an inspiration for you or are there other literary influences?

J.R.R. Tolkien has been a great influence on my work. The scope of his tales is beyond anything I've read in modern fiction and impressed upon me not only the power of the imagination, but also the written word, especially archaic languages. I consider myself an heir to the legacy he created and am proud to carry on the tradition of writing old school fantasy.

I noticed that the names of the characters in The Fall of Ithar were a bit unusual. What languages or cultures were these taken from?

One of the pitfalls many fantasy writers succumb to is spewing gobbledygook when trying to invent fanciful names. Like many readers, the quickest way to make me toss a fantasy book across the room is to bombard me with unpronounceable character names and places.

The Fall of Ithar, like most of the fantasy books I write, takes place in a quasi-medieval setting. The character names and lands used in my book are the result of years of studying linguistic structures. In this case, I constructed the names for my book using a mish mash of languages, including ancient Greek, Welsh, and Old Norse. Hopefully, the hard work I put into creating the names will add to the richness of my story as opposed to causing readers migraine headaches.

It seems like there is a great potential for making this into a much longer work. Is this something that you are considering for the future?

The Fall of Ithar is a condensed version of a much longer tale I wrote a few years ago. That tale is part of a collection of stories and myths that comprise the history of the world of Arva which is the setting for my fantasy works. Sometime in the future, I would like to publish that longer story, as part of the collection, or as a stand-alone story so readers can get the full scope of the events that take place in The Fall of Ithar and the lives of the characters that appear in it.

I really love the cover art on your book. Did you design that or did you have someone else do that?

It's wonderful to hear how much you like the cover for The Fall of Ithar. Although I'm an artist, the honors for designing the cover goes to Char Marie Adles, my new cover designer. She created two other book covers for me (The Grey Elk and The Blue Witch (paperback edition), but I think it may be the best one she's done for me so far.. Char's an amazing talent. I was really lucky to find her. She really knows how to take the basic premise of any book and put together a cover that not only draws the reader into the world of the book, but wows them even at thumbnail size. She's a gem and is proving herself to be indispensable to my career right now. Hopefully, we'll be joined at the hip for years to come.

Are there other books that you are working on at the moment?

I have a laundry list of books I'm currently working on, not the least of which is a reboot of my flagship science fiction book series entitled Rogue Hunter. It's a series about the adventures of an intergalactic bounty hunter named Zyra Zanr. Of all my projects, it's the most demanding. Fortunately, I'm working with a team of very talented authors, editors, and illustrators who are helping me to make sure the series can compete with the best stuff out there. The first of the new Rogue Hunter books is called Alliance and will make its debut later this year.

One last question just for fun: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one book what would it be and why?

This probably won't come as a surprise, but I would say it would have to be The Silmarillion. It's such an incredible book and I never tire of reading it. Outside of ancient mythology or The Bible, there really isn't anything else like it in literature. Most people consider The Lord of the Rings as Professor Tolkien's best work. For me, it's The Silmarillion.

I agree completely with your view of The Silmarillion. Its one of my favorite books as well and I also think it was Tolkein's best work.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

The Fall of Ithar will be published at Amazon on June 1st, 2012 and will have its debut at other online bookstores shortly afterwards. I invite fans of epic fantasy (or just a plain ol' good read) to download their copy. Hopefully, they'll check out the rest of my books as well.

Once again, thanks so much for doing this. I really enjoyed The Fall of Ithar and I certainly hope you do decide to expand it.

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