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J Carson Rose
J Carson Rose


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1. Where did you get the idea for your book?

Dare I say it was always with me? As far back as I can remember, Eamin the Majae was another version of myself. One more enlightened, more advanced, more compassionate. When I was in Bennington College I had two dreams where I saw her very very clearly and understood her purpose. It was to teach humanity and compassion. And at times I think sometimes that is the entire premise of the book. But you cannot do that without exploring the utter opposite. Hate, jealousy, rage. So I introduced her polar opposite and true love, Madros. The greatest warrior the world has ever known, who is also capable of the greatest evil ever known, and yet he too is compassionate and thoughtful and knows true love. The dichotomy of this, the circumstances of these two strangers, destined to teach each other about humanity, compassion and love, is the driving force behind the entire series.

2. What is different about your book that would make people want to read it?

It’s a story within a story. Parallel events are happening 3 years apart. I decided to write the book in two time periods, switching from present tense to past tense intermittently, giving you past information that gives rise to the present situation. Most fantasy works don’t utilize present tense like that but I like to create the illusion that it’s happening right now, that you’ve also gone through a wrinkle in time, in the Grey Woods, with Fin.

The format is different. I write mostly dialogue and action, like a screenplay, and I limit the internalization and heavy world building. If I say, “Fin leads his horse to the armored gate…” you should already know enough about the world. Medieval? There’s a fortress or castle? It’s sort of daunting. Is he friend or foe? Are they going to shoot him? I trust my reader can piece Fin’s story together, while he is struggling to. It’s a journey, it’s a fast read chapter to chapter but one should be mindful of the breadcrumbs left for you!

3. Did you know how the book would end when you starting writing it?

I started with the end and worked backwards. The ‘end’ as in the climax actually, was worked out and then I had to figure out why that happened and how we got there.

4. Is this going to be a series? How many books?

Definitely a series. I started in the middle of the tale of Madros and Eamìn and Fin has at least one more book within that story. So there is plenty after and a whole lot before that I will have to deal with at some point. I’m just guessing, but I think six books can do it.

5. What type of research went into the world you created?

Tons. I think I’ve donated quite enough to Wikipedia and Barnes and Noble. I really focused on Irish history pre-Christianity which is so intriguing and magical to me. It seemed to be the one place in the world that had the most in common with my characters and their world, which I thought at first I had ‘made up’ and later realized, I was channeling truth, as I call it, from an actual historical source and putting it into a fictional context.

6. What language is the Dorgi language based on?

Dorgi is regurgitated Irish Gaelic and at times Scottish Gaelic, which do have variations. I’ve also poked around in the Nordic and Scandinavian languages but you quickly bump into Tolkien and George RR Martin and retreat. So there are some names of characters and places that are similar but that’s the nature of naming things based on what they are in another language. I do hope to have a Gaelic linguist on call one day, to really flesh out some of the Dorgi lore, expressions and basic everyday conversation.

7. Do you base your characters on real people?

Very few. The main characters just showed up one day and they haven’t left me alone. Try Ignoring Madros when he has to tell you something important. Over the years they’ve evolved and I’ve collected traits and mannerisms from people with similar personalities or circumstances to further flesh them out. But the only characters based on real people are Mateo, the first king in the Strongblood dynasty who, upon conception of his character, reminded me and became a fictionalized version of my father’s father Peter. His wife Rosina is based loosely on my mother’s mother Rosina and oddly enough, Tréa the ‘historian’, is influenced by an old office manager I used to work with.

8. Which character do you identify with most and why?

It’s not the one people think. Actually there are bits of me in Eamìn, Paden and Madros, but the one I identify with MOST would be Raumo. He’s a simple guy with little patience for ignorance or mean-spiritedness. He always tries to do the right thing for people; he’s compassionate, honest and truly tries to understand why people are what they are. We have that in common. And he’s best friends with Paden (who I would think would be an awesome best friend). He also grew up with Madros and his cousins, so he understands them more than anyone, but he came from a modest background, destined to be a blacksmith like his father. But he transcended anything anyone ever thought possible and becomes one of the most pivotal characters in this entire world.

9. Why did you self-publish?

I tried to wade through the logistics and requirements of traditional publishing and was turned down countless times (as all the greats are). It did not discourage me, it actually made me look harder at my work and my skill and made it better. So I am grateful for that part of the journey. However I realized, whatever they can do for me I can do for myself. Only I would make this book priority and breathe life into it day and night, as I have been for the past 15 years, and that’s exactly what it takes. So, I am clearly the only one for that job. But I did adhere to most industry guidelines in terms of how I executed the writing, which I believed was important since ultimately I am contributing to language and tradition, and it should be well written.

10. Do you have any advice for new writers?

Write the truth. Practice your craft. Know that you do not know everything and that’s ok, there’s always room to improve and always something new to learn. Seek guidance and help through either workshops or classes. Meet people who write. Read their stuff. Let them read yours. Read authors that feel similar to what you want to write and don’t look back. The worst thing I can ever imagine is leaving this world with this story still inside of me, untold. If you have a story, write the truth and others will want to read it.


J Carson Rose

J Carson Rose

J Carson Rose