Today we are proud to welcome once again to our pages, R.J. Terrell. R.J. is here to tell us a little bit about his newest novel, Legends of a Shattered Age. Thank you R. J. for taking the time to talk to our readers.
Rhodes Review: So what Inspired the scenario played out in this novel This covered an area more like an epic story such as LOTR?
RJ Terrell: With this one, I had more experience with writing and was able to see more of what I liked from the first book and wanted to develop more with the second. The other thing was, Echoes of A Shattered Age was an introduction to the World of A Shattered Age, as I call it. Things had to be introduced (and still are) with the first book while still leaving the reader wondering. With Legends of A Shattered Age, the characters are dealing more with the affects of what is going on as a result of the Drek’s activities. This book also delves a bit deeper into some of the characters from the first book as well as the other Races that inhabit the world that humans don’t know about.
Rhodes Review: Some new characters were introduced in this novel. Will we see them again in the 3rd story?
RJ Terrell: Absolutely! There are several that I’m especially fond of and I believe readers will connect with as well. Many of them will definitely play a part in the next story.
Rhodes Review: How have you grown as a writer since the first story?
RJ Terrell: *chuckles* Its funny to answer that question. Since the completion of Echoes of A Shattered Age, I’ve had more than plenty of time to step back and assess what my strengths and weaknesses were in the telling of the story. I had to be critical about what I needed to work on, and if what I was doing well truly mattered in the telling of the story. I think I’ve walked away from that analysis knowing how much detail is too much or not enough, and that I also wanted to develop a stronger connection with the characters. I’ve gained a deeper understanding that the reader has to care and connect with the characters. All else is secondary.
Rhodes Review: How do you go about writing your books. I’ve taken some classes, and they cover step by step processes, ie. come up with a plot, theme, outline, etc.
RJ Terrell: For me, it is less an academic approach and more an organic one. Of course, there is some structure in the beginning. I create an outline. So far they have tended to be not a great deal detailed, but the more complex the story, the more detailed the outlines are getting. An example is the difference in the outline for Echoes of A Shattered Age, and Legends of A Shattered Age. The former was about a page, the latter over two. Once I have the outline, I use it mostly as a guide to know what is happening with whom or where. That’s usually as far as I follow it. The characters tell me everything I need to know. *grin*
As far as plot goes, I don’t cover much in the outline for that simply because I already have it in mind and only need a few remarks here or there as a reference point. Theme is something to be careful with. For instance, if a book has a “green theme” the writer will need to be careful to get the message across without coming across as “preachy”. No matter the theme, the writer (in my experience) must be sure to balance it so that there is enough reference to our world to give the reader something to grasp, while at the same time not becoming too rooted in our world and writing a work of journalism instead of a novel.
Rhodes Review: What are you currently working on?
RJ Terrell: I am currently about 30% into Heroes of A Broken Age, the final chapter in the series.
Rhodes Review: Any plans to write in other Genres, or do you plan on sticking with Fantasy?
RJ Terrell: For now, I haven’t set my sights on any other genre, but you never know what the future holds. I will say, however, that I’ve had a vampire story clawing to get out of my head for several years now. I’ve been hesitant, with the influx of vampires flooding entertainment media. Perhaps when I finish my current project I may take a step into that world and see what I see. One thing I can say for certain is that I will be creating things from the ground up while doing my best to stick with the traditional lore. It could be interesting.
Rhodes Review: Anything going on you’d like to announce to my readers?
RJ Terrell: While working on the final novel in this series, I am in the process of re-releasing Echoes of A Shattered Age with the new publisher with which my next two novels, Legends of A Shattered Age, and Heroes of A Broken Age will be released. I’m pushing to have the entire trilogy completed and available by summer this year, so that is an exciting thing for me. I think anyone who has enjoyed Echoes of A Shattered Age will be truly taken by the next entries, as things continually get deeper and the stakes get higher!
About the Author:
R J Terrell is a native of California now living in Vancouver BC. If its outside and involves mountains, water and lots of trees and snow he most likely enjoys it. His love of fiction, particularly fantasy, has filled his bookshelves to bursting and has fueled his vigor to join the ranks of the most prominent figures in fiction and fantasy.