Review Fix chats with author Aaron Allen, who discusses the next chapter of his Origin series, Secret of the Dead Mystics.
Review Fix: Why do you think sci-fi, fantasy and space operas have endured for so long?
Aaron Allen: I think each of these genres share a common thread of timelessness. People can escape in the fantastical worlds painted by the author and they can relate to the trials and tribulations the main characters overcome. I think both elements are key. Books are the ultimate escape, but the reader still needs something recognizable that grounds the story.
Review Fix: What inspired this book?
Allen: My love of fantasy books and 90s JRPGs inspired this book. I want the reader to feel present with the characters, like they are in an elaborate RPG. That’s primarily why I use 3rd person limited. I believe it draws the reader in. Omniscient, to me, is too disconnected. On the book side of things, I do like the classics (Tolkien, Brooks, Goodkind, Jordan etc). I also like newer fantasy authors like Rothfuss. I am a Joss Whedon fan, too. I suppose his influence is somewhere in there.
Review Fix: What was the research process like?
Allen: For this series, I mostly read non-fiction for research. I read books about military strategy, philosophy, history, religion, political commentary and economics. I even read a book about string theory. Some of the magic system is based off of theoretical physics. I actually enjoyed each book. I think it was at least 9-10 books for this series.
Review Fix: Was it difficult to edit?
Allen: This book flowed at a smoother pace. First, I had an excellent editor at Melange Books. Rachel made the process easier. Second, it wasn’t as much of a learning process. I feel like the foundation of this book was much more solid. It took me two years to write. The first was at least five years.
Review Fix: How is it different from the first book in the series?
Allen: The characters visit many more locales. The readers are introduced to more deities and their heralds. There is also a dragon! This dragon is far different from the dragons you are used to reading about. You can see that by looking at the cover! In other words, this is a much deeper dive into the world. I also give some big answers to burning questions. I don’t think those answers will be all that predictable.
Review Fix: What do you want people to get out of this book?
Allen: There is a lot of suspense in this book. I feel like I stirred the pot even more. I also want to provide an escape and give the reader something to think about. There are a lot of parallels in this book that somewhat mirror world history. There is a message embedded in there. Most of all, it’s a fun adventure full of twists and turns.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Allen: A super secret horror novel! I haven’t told many about it, but it’s going to be awesome! It’s in a modern setting, but at its core it’s very old school. Think weird tales…
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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