Friday, November 4, 2011
Author Interview: J.W. Baccaro
J.W Baccaro author of the epic fantasy series 'Guardian of The Seventh Realm' is talking with me today about his music, his characters, and more specifically his books, part 1 Prophecy of the Guardian, part 2 Siege of Darkness, and his most current release, part 3 The Coming of The Light. Continue >>>>>
Hi Jason. Thank you so much for joining me.
Hello Cynthia, and thank you so much for having me on the Wytch’s Mirror once again.
You are always welcome here, anytime! Before we get into the writing side of you, let's talk about the music in you. I know you are in a band and I know a little, but can I get you to share more about that? You know....What's the band's name? What instrument do you play? Do you sing? What is your favorite music? Who are some of your favorite artists?
The band’s name is Rigor Hill. Now, before anyone shouts: “Isn’t that a road or a diner?” let me explain the meaning behind it.
To be blunt, when it comes to war, what the hell are we fighting for? In other words, so many wars are fought over political reasons and/or selfish gain. Troops are called into fight, unfortunately die, giving their lives for their country and fellow soldiers, and yet...we ask again, if the war is on someone else’s territory, and is along the lines of politics or selfish gain, what are our sisters and brothers fighting and dying for? Like “Hamburger Hill” from the Vietnam War, Rigor Hill represents and honors our fallen soldiers of our country. It is by no means an anti-war statement, because war is necessary at times, sadly, but both you and I and probably everyone reading this is aware of all the BS that often occurs in politics and eventually leads to war.
I play guitar—rhythm and lead. I do not sing, otherwise no one would come to listen to us. :)
I love a lot of music, but my favorite style is metal. As far as bands? I love Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Five Finger Death Punch, etc. oh, and did I mention Rigor Hill? They’re awesome too!! But the list goes on and on.
Dave Mustaine from Megadeth is probably one of my favorite artists, because he’s an excellent all around guitar player. He’s not the best soloist, but he still kicks arse at soloing, and creates so many interesting rhythms that are complex in style. And of course, least I forget, every member of the band Iron Maiden—who to this day (in my opinion), still writes the best sounding guitar harmonies and catchy bass guitar lines. Gotta love Steve Harris.
I love that Jason! Rigor Hill sounds great and I love how you found your name! Ok, back to books. When you are not writing, who do you read and why?
Well, I used to read fantasy for the adventure and epic feel of it, and I’m still waiting on Madeline Howard’s third release for her wonderful “Rune of Unmaking” saga, but lately I’ve really been into Urban Fantasy and Dark Erotica. I guess I can relate to it a lot, and it touches me, and in some ways quenches my spirit. I especially love Dominant Females in Dark Erotica, preferably Joey W Hill style. *smiles*
Absolutely going to read some of Joey W Hill! *clears throat* On a different note, how long did it take for you to write 'Prophecy of the Guardian'?
Actually, Books 1 and 2 were supposed to be one book, but the publishing company wanted me to separate them. I had originally planned on a trilogy, but like I said, with the company I am signed to, they wanted me to turn it into a series. But to answer your question, “Prophecy of the Guardian” (with book two attached to it), took me about 5 or 6 years. Understand that in the beginning of the story (November 2000), while sitting down next to the Stuyvesant creek in my backyard, I started jotting down notes every now and again, and as time passed, those notes developed into a story, and I got more serious.
I sort of felt that while reading 'Siege of Darkness', but it worked out really great with it being two books! So now, there are 3 parts released. Were the other books (books two and three) easier or more difficult to write, after the first book?
Books one and two were more difficult to write than the last three books because they were the beginning of everything in my world. And I think (at least I hope) that as time went on I had gotten better at writing, so the next three came out a bit easier, and were a lot of fun to write.
I have read books 1 and 2, I loved them both. You wrote strong in both. *nods* So, getting into the characters, I have read some other interviews from you and I know that you molded Darshun based on you. Tell me more. How are you and Darshun similar?
Yes, except for the expertise in the martial arts, Darshun is I, and I am Darshun. I really wanted to see what it would be like if I could imagine myself into a world faced with a dilemma such as Dar. In a sense, we are in a world like that. We have wars fought over political corruption and selfish gain, wars that are necessary to fight for our freedom and existence, times of trial and tribulation we all without a doubt face, etc. And while we’re going through those difficult times, all of us, I’m sure, are hoping for a helping help, someone to be there with us, give us strength and encouragement, so we do not feel alone in our time of crisis, so that we can push through that piercing darkness—whatever that darkness may be, and hopefully surpass it and rise out from the ashes stronger.
Such is the case of myself intertwined with Darshun in my series. In fact, one of my favorite parts in my series is in “Prophecy of the Guardian,” chapter six, where Darshun first discovers his “calling,” what he has to do, and what he will face, sitting outside of the Wizard’s lair, pondering “why” it must be himself to save the Light from annihilation, and should he fail, the world will fall. When someone is as close to nature as Darshun is, and cherishes life, the fear of losing it—because of one’s own faults, is a heavy burden. Sure, many can say, “stop being a coward, and march through it!” But it’s not cowardice. When you ponder the situation, it’s much easier said than done.
For what if you were granted a vision of the future, laying witness to the end of the world, not the world, but your world; where the beautiful landscapes, from evergreen to meadow, drowned in a sea of blood? Where every majestic animal, every spouse, child, and all who you have befriended lay scattered, broken and dead before your feet. And the light of day swallowed into an eternal darkness. And what if someone told you the entirety of the earth, as you know it, depends solemnly on you-and you alone? That you were born a Guardian, a Defender, a Protector of what this world holds sacred. Would you stand up and fight? Would you persist in suffering and tragedy, facing the unknown, the darkness, striving to accomplish your objective, even if it meant giving up your very life?
And so, while Darshun is sitting alone toward the end of chapter six, his adoptive father eventually joins him. And what Mirabel says to him is exactly what I would want to hear someone say to me:
“ ‘Why’ is a question we all ask, my son. Why must evil exist in a world of such beauty? Why must pain, suffering and death be part of life? Why must the ones we love so dearly be taken from us? Perhaps these are questions we’re not meant to understand. Not in this life. But together we can face these trials and tribulations and move forward, realizing that every creature that longs for peace is worth fighting for.” He put his hand on Darshun’s shoulder. “Son, I would gladly take your place if it were in my power to do so. You know that.” Darshun nodded. “But I promise you this: I will be with you until my very last breath is gone, and I will share this burden and suffer with you, even if it brings me to the valley of death.”
Deeply sighing, tears in his eyes, Darshun turned to look at Mirabel. “Thank you, Father. I will do my best to end this crisis.”
That essence, all that you are talking about, really makes this story what it is. It's great! Are any other characters based on you or are there characters based on people close to you?
Yes, Cynthia. Kelarin is highly based off of my wife, her humble and selfless spirit. Nayland and Caelestias are also similar to a couple of close friends of mine.
Your wife sounds incredible. Say hello from me please and thank her for sharing you with me today. I read that you are writing a Dark Erotic Fantasy. How is that project going? When and where can I buy it!
Honestly, I only have three-quarters of chapter one complete—roughly written as well. The ideas are “fermenting” in my head, and I will complete it soon. I have to get rolling on it. The problem is, the music is beginning to catch a lot of attention also, and so I’ve been focusing on that, as well as writing blogs and guest posts, and answering interview questions for my “Guardian” series. But I promise I’ll complete my Dark Erotica one day. *laughs*
Let me know when you do! *grins* I absolutely want to read it! Do you have a teaser, or something to share about books four and five of your fantasy series 'Guardian of The Seventh Realm'?
Book Four “The Sword of Righteousness,” in my opinion, is a little different than my previous three. It’s within my style of writing, but there is just something about it that makes it feel kind of different. There’s a lot of sub plots, a little bit of philosophical talk, the emotional connection between Nayland and Minevara intensifies, and the best part of it all, it’s the klutzy King Loreus’ turn to shine, attempting to unite the Centaur Race with the Light. They are a Matriarchy, very self-righteous and bitter. It is a wild ride of emotion and suspense.
Book Five “Rise of the Guardian,” is by FAR my favorite one. To be blunt, in my opinion, it’s bad arse! If you think “Siege of Darkness” was a wild ride of bloody battle, wait until you read book five. It blows “Siege of Darkness” to ashes and dust. It’s almost ridiculously action-packed, but not to the point of boredom, if you know what I mean. By the time book five rolls around, everyone knows the characters, has his or her favorite, and the emotional connection with them is immensely deep. They ALL have a part to play in defeating the Dark. It is a story of love, sacrifice, honor, loyalty, darkness and light. I’m highly excited to see how well it does in comparison to the others.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog once more. I hope many fans of fantasy and even urban fantasy will give my series a shot. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.
Jason! This has been great! Thank you so much for being with me today *big smile* and I am absolutely loving 'The Coming of The Light'! I know books four and five will be awesome!