The debut novel from Elliott Baker, The Sun God’s Heir: Return is a new addition to the historical fantasy tradition of Wilbur Smith, Guy Gavriel Kay, Diana Gabaldon, and Patrick O’Brian.
For three thousand years a brother’s hatred burns. In seventeenth-century France two souls incarnate, one born the child of a prosperous merchant, the other, forces his way into incarnation, determined to continue a reign of terror begun long ago.
One remembers one does not.
What has been remembered, and what has been forgotten? Here to explore memory, Elliot Baker, has returned to ItsWriteNow.com to chat about a debut novel, writing and more. Elliot, it’s great to see you back here for a chat! What’s been going on with you since we last caught up?
Exploring the maze that is book promotion. The maze in Harry Potter’s got nothing on this one.
*Laughs* Yep, book promotion is much tricker than the Harry Potter maze! I’m sure that many an author looks enviously upon Harry and that maze, I mean at least he got a wand a whole bunch of spells to help him out! Has your recent time in the maze of self-promotion led you to think more about your author brand?
I can’t say that I understand branding enough to expound on it.
Well, we can’t really lament the lack of marketing and branding spells that could help you out there, although if they existed they would be awesome, so let’s chat a little about how your journey has changed. What’s new?
I have been introduced to writer’s block. Books one, two, and three of The Sun God’s Heir were published in 2017. I found that having done something to the best of my ability, the voice in my head leads off with “You’ll never be able to to that.” :) Took me a while to first recognize what was going on, and then find a strategy to get around it. I did and have begun book four.
Oh no, not the dreaded writer’s block! I’m sorry to hear that it caught up with you, but I’m very glad to see that you’ve worked your way forward to book four. How is book four going?
The Sun God’s Heir: Oracle (Book Four) There, it’s in print so it has to happen, right?
I think it would take something fairly big to derail it now! Do you feel that working past your first significant period of writer’s block has changed your author voice?
I don’t know. If I can temporarily ignore all the things I’ve learned, it should be fine. If I get tangled in the conventions of current writerlyness, I suspect I’ll lose the flow.
What thoughts do you keep at the top of your mind so that you keep yourself in a state of flow?
The current character. Story is always about character. Even creating the world the character is set in is only working on the frame. A beautiful frame will enhance the picture within, but without a worthy picture (character) the most beautiful frame can add nothing.
It’s so important to see both the frame and the subject in the frame working together to create the art that is a novel. And I really want to see The Sun Gods Heir: Return as a little more of a beautiful frame complete with characters, so let’s go back to the start. How did it all begin?
The Sun God’s Heir began as a dream remembered. I suspect many writers have found their stories in this way. It was a fairly comprehensive dream and I remember being miffed upon awakening. I wanted to know what happened to the protagonist and his love interest.
At least you remembered enough about your dream to continue it. There’s nothing worse than knowing you had a great dream, but you can’t remember it. How did your characters transition from the dream to your writing?
Like any writer, I thought about them, and as we became more familiar, they somehow introduced the other characters in their play.
Did you introduce some of your life experiences to the characters to help them or their surrounds become more familiar?
Was I a pirate? Not in this lifetime, but the ideas have to come from somewhere.
Perhaps you’ll be a pirate in your next lifetime! Other than trying to become a pirate, what was important to share with your readers in this novel?
Power is inversely useful to the amount you have.
Was exploring power where you found your greatest lessons while writing, or did you learn more somewhere else?
To complete a creative task requires a great deal of support. Without my wife, these books probably don’t get finished. If you don’t have that level of support, go out and find it. Like anything else (sorry for the philosophy) if you look, you’ll find.
And when you’re looking to write, what do you usually find? Do you find yourself energise, or exhausted?
Since I write Historical Fantasy, the research can sometimes exhaust me, but the fantasy always energizes me. Kind of why I include them both.
I love the mix of multiple ideas. It makes things much more interesting! When you’re thinking about writing, or talking about writing like we’ve done here today, what random thoughts keeping popping up in your head?
As an author, I’m always looking for authentic motivation. As I write, I’m sure I’m asking myself questions like “What would he or she do if…” Interviews are time-consuming, but somewhere along the way, I start getting energy from the attitude of your questions. I mean, you’re not here now, but your words carry energy. I wonder if someone could just make up character interviews that would catalyze a writer in creating characters. Just a thought.
OMG, bringing characters to life through interviews! I want to see that in action! I’m going to think about that for a while now because it’s such an interesting idea! You know we’ve been very serious so far today, so let’s let our interest wander onto a few of my sillier questions, starting with, if money doesn’t grow on trees then why do banks have branches?
Why are airports called terminals?
To mock long-haul travellers who see no end in sight to their journeys. Can you cry underwater?
If space is a vacuum, who changes the bags?
LOL. You mean like from a black hole?
I wasn’t exactly thinking of a black hole, but I think it would make cleaning up all of those broken bits of galaxies much simpler! So, now that we’ve cleaned up the universe if you had the chance to invent a monster what would it look like and what would you call it?
It would be a dragon because dragons make the best monsters. I’d call it ‘Best Intentions.”
Nice name! Keeping on the idea of monsters, what happens if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
Wow, that’s reverse engineering. I suppose he becomes just a man. Double negatives and all that.
I love that logic, and I think you’re probably right! Let’s keep that logic going and see what happens when we apply it to the next question if you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
Now that sounds so cute, and I personally think it would be a winner for a best-seller plush toy line! You know, each time we’ve caught up I’ve liked to end the interviews by asking you about your personal favourite lines from The Sun God’s Return: Heir, so let’s turn the tables a little. What’s your favourite feedback that you’ve received from your debut work?
Yep, lost a night’s sleep with this one, a rapid pace and excellent writing kept me hooked when I should have put out the light! Great story and descriptive writing as well the philosophy included in the teachings of the Maestro. Loved it. Eagerly awaiting the continuing saga.
As we all are. Elliot, thank you so much for returning to share your latest updates on The Sun God’s series, and I’m sure we’ve enticed a few readers to sacrifice a little of their sleep to this adventuresome series!
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘The Sun God’s Heir: Return (Book One) ( ASIN: B01MS3RCE0 )‘.
Want to find out more about Elliott Baker? Connect here!