Shannon here: Brett Armstrong shares he’s like or unlike the characters in his latest Christian Epic Fantasy title, Succession, which is a new release from Scrivenings Press, where I’m part owner and content editor. Comment or answer the question in any post dated Oct 6th – 9th to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Oct 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Brett:
In my previous post I talked about how the start of my love story with my wife inspired the start of one of The Gathering Dark’s protagonists with the girl he loves. I also said I try not to make characters into clones of me or others I know. With Succession that’s definitely true. The novella is complementary to book one in the Quest of Fire saga, The Gathering Dark and in a lot of ways the coming-of-age story for Meredoch parallels Anargen’s in that both have to leave behind the only home they’ve known and make tremendous sacrifices to stay true to their oaths of loyalty to the High King.
Meredoch’s trials are particularly acute at a younger age. In particular, his relationship with his father is drastically different from mine with my father. Both of us admired our fathers from a young age, but whereas the shine quickly wears off of his father’s legacy in Succession, I’ve been blessed with a godly father who has exemplified year after year, no matter the hardship what a husband, father, hard worker, and man of God is to be like. Whereas the story sees Meredoch trying to fight to hold his family’s dignity out of the mire and just wants to get away, I’ve never wanted to escape my family. I’ve gotten to see my son become much closer to my father than I was able to be with my grandparents and I cherish that.
If there is something in common for Meredoch and I, it’s the desire to be faithful to the King. For Meredoch it’s the High King of All Realms, and for me it is the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. Following His calling and His leading sometimes takes us through difficult straits and forces us to face people and situations we’d rather not. I’m going through personal struggles with my work during the pandemic that keep forcing me to try to remember “forgive as Christ forgave”, and “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Colossians 3:13, Romans 12:18)
Meredoch has a similar struggle with forgiveness and figuring out the role the High King would have him play as he seeks to recover a valuable relic the dwarfs of Ordumair want badly to reclaim. But there’s a mutual bitterness there that could upend everything and there are monstrous creatures lurking just within the shadows ready to rush into the turmoil and wreak terrible havoc.
Several readers have compared my The Gathering Dark to Lord of the Rings, which I’ll happily take, but I think part of that is the sharp contrasts both have between light and dark. Evil has its way of creeping into places where it is not guarded against and the protagonists of the Quest of Fire saga, Meredoch included, learn that quickly and to their peril. Standing against evil in that world, much like our own isn’t easy or trivial. It’s a costly battle, but one we have to fight. Which is something I hope my stories encourage readers and help them to have in common with the protagonists.
About Brett: Brett Armstrong, author of the prize-winning novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, started writing stories at age nine, penning a tale of revenge and ambition set in the last days of the Aztec Empire. Twenty years later, he still tells stories enriched by his Christian faith and a master’s degree in creative writing. His goal with every work is to be like a brush in the Master artist’s hand and his hope is the finished composition always reflects the design God had in mind. He writes to engage, immerse, and entertain with deep, thoughtful stories. Continually busy at work with one or more new novels to come, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and playing with his beautiful wife and son. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Succession: Son of the Northern Realm’s Defender, raised among the dwarfs of Ordumair, Meredoch was anticipated to succeed his father. Some whispered he would bring the longed-for peace between Ordumair and their ancient foe, Ecthelowall. All of that changes when Ordumair’s Thane is killed and Meredoch and his family are exiled. From prestige to poverty, the young boy must chart a new course. As the years pass and the idol that was his father’s legacy tarnishes, his past threatens to resurface. An artifact of immeasurable worth to Ordumair is found and if recovered by the cruel Elder Ulster it means disaster for those Meredoch cares about. Battling creatures he believed only myths and racing Ulster’s minions to the prize, Meredoch must face the truth of his place in the world and claim his right of succession.
Watch: Succession Book Trailer
Question for Readers: Do you relate to characters better in their trials or their triumphs?
Come back Oct 13th for Amy R. Anguish!