Storm’s Herald is a coming-of-age story, following the stories of Lynette, a peasant girl who dreams of becoming a sorceress, and Baxter, a farm boy who hopes to become a knight.
Both are drawn, unwillingly, into a quest for a lost relic against which a king’s bounty has been set. And both must find themselves along that perilous journey.
What will a peasant girl and future knight discover in their quest to locate a lost relic? J.W. Golan, author of Storm’s Herald, has joined me today to guide our readers through a taste of the adventure in behind the book. J.W., let’s set off our adventuring at the start, what lead you to write this novel?
The characters and stories woven into this book were developed from ideas that I had been playing with for decades – but was my teenage daughters who inspired me to put those ideas into a novel.
Literature was something that we could all share, including our mutual love of fantasy novels. I shared some of my old favorites with them, while they introduced me to more recent authors – ultimately inspiring me to compose my ideas into a novel of my own.
What kinds of ideas did you use from your own life in that composition process?
I am a strong believer that you get out of life what you put into it. Very few of us will be born with success guaranteed by an accident of birth. To find ourselves, and our way in the world, we have to earn those opportunities. So yes, I believe that is reflected in the book.
Was the requirement for people to earn their opportunities the most important idea that you wanted to be reflected to readers, or was there a stronger message that appeared?
I very much wanted the heroes and heroines of the book to begin their journey as common citizens. They are not “chosen ones”, and they begin their journey without guarantees of success. They have to struggle, and learn from their mistakes, and mature and move on. Even if they might eventually be witnesses to an epic struggle, retaining that common person’s view was essential to what I wanted from this book.
How did these ‘common citizen’ characters come to you?
Some of the main characters that feature in the book were first envisioned decades ago. Some remain largely unchanged from how I had first envisioned them, while others have evolved to play very different roles from their original incarnations. Other characters were added more recently, to provide the balance that the story needed to achieve its end.
Did find building this balance kept you energised to keep writing, or did it get a bit much over time?
What keeps me writing, in part, is looking forward to how the next chapter or the next scene will be received by my readers. My teenage daughters have been my beta-readers throughout much of the writing process, and I very much look forward to seeing how they, and other readers, will react to the events and character developments along the way. It’s a large part of what motivates me to see each chapter through to the end.
What thoughts do you like to keep in your mind to keep that motivation to write up?
When I write, I usually have a very clear picture in my mind for how each book is expected to begin, and how it will conclude. There will also be a few key moments in between that I will have a clear picture of. All of the other details, however, tend to flow from that foundation.
Flowing with the ideas highlights the fact that each book is a different journey. And I always feel that each new journey a new chance to learn more about the overall writing and publishing process. What did you learn through Storm’s Herald?
I am a previously published author, through a traditional printed publishing house, in non-fiction. I published an aviation history book, not long ago – so I was already familiar with the writing and editing process for a full-length book. Writing fantasy, however, has also been a different experience – particularly as an indie author. The writer’s voice is different, but the editing process is equally demanding.
How has your voice as an author changed from non-fiction to fiction?
Writing fantasy, or any form of fiction, is both similar to and also very different from my non-fiction writings. The editing process for the two is very similar. You start with an idea, a beginning and end, then flesh it out and edit it repeatedly to polish your creation. But the writer’s voice for fantasy is very different from that used in non-fiction, so it takes a certain amount of practice and adjustment to get what I want out of each chapter and page.
Do you have a new project you’re working on to help you practice the fiction writing skills you developed in this book?
I am currently a little over half-way through the first draft of the second book in the Stormfall Chronicles. I’m hoping to have it ready for release by mid-2019 – so there’s a lot of writing and editing to complete.
That’s awesome news for our eager readers! To help readers kick off their excitement for your upcoming book, what favourite line from this book do you think to get them in the mood?
When Gyaltso tells Kalden, “More than anything, the world needs mending. To piece together the broken pieces of everyday existence and find a way to make them a little better.”
We can’t wait to see a bit of world mending happening in both of your books! J.W., thanks for sharing a little of the world of Storm’s Herald with us, and hopefully we see even more in the second book soon!
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Storm’s Herald ( ASIN: B07MYK9QHC )‘.
Want to find out more about J.W. Golan? Connect here!