Hi my dear fellow readers.
Today we have an interview with author T.A. Gallant and his novel The Legend of the Dagger Prince. Enjoy!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was raised by a traveling preacher and moved all over western Canada throughout my childhood and youth, living in cities and towns as well as on farms and even aboriginal reservations.
What inspired you to write?
Honestly, life inspires me to write. I’ve always loved words—I started reading when I was four years old—and I was trying to write fiction by the time I was about ten.
What inspired your novel?
The basic premise pretty much came to me, and I was fascinated with both the way I could develop plot twists from that premise, as well as what could be developed from it in terms of posing hard questions to the characters. It basically became a case where I just had to write it.
What is the genre?
I guess you could call it medievalesque low fantasy. It is set in a period something like our medieval times, but the world is made up. I would call it “low” fantasy, because it’s not filled with magical elements or superpowered characters.
What draws you to this genre?
I think almost everybody is drawn a bit to images of swords and shields, and I’ve always had a soft spot for themes like honor and chivalry. Plus, there is a lot of freedom in breaking away from our times and our world. You can let your imagination flow in world-building.
And of course, unlike historical fiction, nobody can point a finger at you and say, “Hey! that’s not historically accurate!”
How did you develop your plot and your characters?
So far as plot goes, as I said the central premise pretty much came to me, and then I just had to set about the hard work of writing to get from that to a full-blown plot. It sounds cliché, but it really was initial inspiration, and then a lot of perspiration to turn it into a story.
I consider plot and character development to be a mutual process. The story grows out of the characters, and the characters grow out of the story. As I developed the plot, that allowed me to draw out my characters; and as I drew out my characters that again helped me see where the plot could and should go.
What inspired your protagonist?
It would be easy to give too much away, but I’ll put it this way. Prince Korbin, who goes from about 13 years old to 17 in the story, is driven throughout by a profound sense of honor and justice. That grounds him completely; but that evolves as we get to watch how that plays out as he goes from, shall we say, adolescent judgment to maturity born from experience and wise guidance.
What inspired your antagonist?
Old-fashioned selfishness paired with a philosophy that power for me is what matters, no matter how I achieve it.
What was the hardest part to write in the book?
The middle, without question. I wrote the opening section fully knowing where that was going, and relatively early on I worked out an ending that I felt really satisfied the story, but it was hard for me to see how I was going to connect the two. Truthfully, it intimidated me a bit, and I let the story simmer for far too long.
What was your favourite part of your book to write?
I’d say the ending, because I could sense a bit of the power of the story as I wrote it. But also the scenes with Nattan were a lot of fun.
Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
I have quite a few mouths to feed, so I have to wear a few hats. I have a small design and web development business, and I also work in the hospitality industry. I would love to write full time, but things would obviously really need to catch fire.
What are you currently reading?
At the moment, I am reading The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
Who would you say are your favourite authors?
There are so many, but I love Potok, Austen, Lewis, Graham Greene, Anthony Trollope, Dostoevski—a wide swath of writers, really. I absolutely love Brandon Sanderson. I’m completely in awe of so much of what he does in terms of worldbuilding.
How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
Wow, that’s tough. So far as fiction goes, here are a few that would definitely be vying for the list: In the Beginning, by Potok; Emma, by Austen; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by Lewis. Dostoevski is really tough, because it’s hard to pick one out of that litany of great books, although I have a particular fondness for The Idiot.
What are your future projects, if any?
The Legend of the Dagger Prince is the opening of a series called The Annals of Adamah. I’m not sure exactly how many titles that will involve, but at least three or four. They will be set in different times, but there will be a unifying story to tie them together. The second volume is called Nabbl’s Concubine.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
Start with the publisher web site, timotheospress.com, and get on the mailing list! I try to throw a few treats out there that way to reward my fans.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just the one piece of advice that I keep having to remind myself: don’t give up. Stick to it. Good things come when you write, not when you wait.