Reverence at its core is about William Marconi, a super soldier who, for many decades, has held up the superpower known as the United Nation Republic. The tyrannical government rules unopposed, that is until a new terrorist group emerges to challenge Chancellor Venloran. Will and his fellow soldiers are tasked with putting down the rebellion, but as the fight goes on Will learns the empire he’s been holding up may be keeping secrets from him. The super soldier becomes trapped between two choices: remain loyal to his Chancellor, or trust the words of the dangerous dissidents.
Loyalty or Trust? Which one would you pick? This is the question asked of the central super soldier at the heart of ‘Reverence’, and today I’ve been joined by Joshua Landeros, the author of this dystopian science fiction adventure to see his own ideas on these choices. Joshua, thanks for chatting with me today, to unveil a little of the story behind the story. And let’s kick off our unveiling today by chatting about the choices in your thinking lead to the birth of this novel? What was the initial spark of this novel?
A number of things really, but some of the major points off the top of my head would be the films Children of Men, V for Vendetta, and Blade Runner. Not only are these fantastic films, but they all comment on different aspects of society, which I definitely wanted to do in my work. As for the character of Will Marconi himself, I drew the biggest influence from Alucard of the Hellsing series and Roland from King’s The Dark Tower series. Both are anti-heroes that do unsavory things to get what they want, and yet at the same time the audience can still feel for them. Like both of those characters, Will is on a quest and the question, among many in the story, is if he’ll maintain his morality along the journey.
Was that discussion of morality the dominant message that you hoped your readers take from following William’s adventures? Or would you prefer another message sticks more in the minds of readers?
At the heart of the story, I hope readers embrace the idea of constantly questioning your surroundings. Questioning his surroundings is what truly starts Will’s journey. The moment we stop questioning things we become complacent and potentially blind to the true nature of a situation. The characters who “just go with the flow” are victims in their own way, which was the idea of the tragedy behind the character, Luis.
During the writing process did you find that you needed to explore many concepts to ensure that you didn’t fall into the being complacent like those ‘just go with the flow’ victims?
Tons upon tons, mainly a lot of history, staring at maps of Virginia, and guns, guns, and more guns.
One can never be too complacent about guns in a military world with super soldiers! When you’re working in this military world, did you find yourself turning any music on to get you in the right mindset and mood? And of course, what did you listen to?
Mostly movie soundtracks from all genres, and usually the works of Hans Zimmer, Akira Ifukube, Marco Beltrami, and John Williams.
What a list of top choices there! As you’ve picked such great choices I’m going to pull out of my quick-fire questions now because I’d like to get your opinion. If you ruled your own country, who would you get to write the national anthem?
Hans Zimmer or John Williams.
Yes, I agree either of those two would do a fantastic job! Now if you’re writing and you find that your music just isn’t working today to get you into the writing zone, is there any other techniques that you like to use to get you back on track?
Go for a long run, come back, have a shot of bourbon, and then hopefully by then my mind is racing. If it’s late, tons of coffee works too. P.S. definitely not for everyone.
Yep, I’m one of those people who can’t drink tonnes of coffee without being up for days! But I might try that bourbon! And when you’ve been in the zone long enough to come out with a completed draft, how to you go about editing? Is this something that you like to do yourself?
God no, call in the editors. Editing can be a mind-numbing task. NEVER do it alone.
You have to know your strengths and I love that you’re honest about your editing skills and get in a third party who can do a fantastic job for you. Is that your top tip for authors looking to self-publish?
First, find the right editor because they’ll see things you missed even after you’ve read your book a thousand times. Secondly, be patient. It’s rare for an author to be a hit overnight. Instead of worrying about making it big, focus on writing your next book. The fruits of your labor will shine through as long as you continue to move forward.
I completely agree that patience is the key, and if you keep working while hanging in there you can embark on an amazing career. What writing projects are coming up on your horizon as you move forward on your career as an author?
My God, a whole lot! I’ve already written a sequel to Reverence, which I am very proud of. A preview of it is provided in both print and Kindle editions of my first book, Reverence, and it greatly expands on the world. Readers can expect it to be released around April of this year. I’m also in the works of writing a prequel to the Reverence saga. I can’t say much, but what I can say is that you can expect it to be released this year as well. The prequel will focus on familiar characters like Robert Neeson, Captain Halsey, and Chancellor Venloran, but the main focus is on Will’s wife and daughter, Julissa and Zaneta. The story will explore the early stages of the UNR-rebel conflict.
Wow, all of those new explorations within the world of Reverence is fantastic news for readers looking to continue further into the world. Joshua, thank you for spending some time with me today to share your ponderings on the story behind the story and I wish you the best of luck with your continued pursuit of a writing career.
Want to find out more about Joshua Landeros? Connect here!