Hello! Happy 2018!
One of my favorite ways to celebrate a new year is to host a giveaway. With that in mind, on the blog today is the awesome Charles Yallowitz.
Those of you who have followed me for a while have seen many posts featuring Charles’s books from his Legends of Windemere series. Well, today he’s here to talk about the final novel in the series: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. Let’s celebrate with Charles by talking with him about this milestone in his series.
El Space: Four quick facts about yourself?
Charles: 1. I was born premature and required two blood transfusions before I could finally go home. Been told that my head was shaved to allow for the wires and sensors they put on me. Part of me wonders if this introduction to the world is why I have such a visceral fear of needles. It’s to the point where trying to give blood can result in me fainting.
2. Pizza is my favorite food and I use it as a reward for hard work. I don’t get it for myself when I’m working on a project. Once I’m done, I pick a day where I go to the local pizza place and get a few variety slices. My favorite is a Rigatoni Ala Vodka slice.
3. According to my parents, I was given a Gonzo (The Muppets) prototype plushie when I was a kid. The story goes that a family friend in the business suggested they test their upcoming plushie line on me. She showed me the toys, but I was upset that there was no Gonzo. This led to me getting a Gonzo toy a few weeks later with a cape and this soft plastic nose. I chewed that part up a lot and always shared my gum with him, so any value was pretty quickly destroyed.
4. I used to have a habit of watching an anime called Neon Genesis Evangelion when I was depressed. To explain, I get blue and down periods a lot if I’m under a lot of stress. No real urge to do anything and I can’t find a real source of the gray mindset. So, I’d put this anime on, which is strange because it can get really dark and depressing itself. Neon Genesis Evangelion isn’t really a happy, pick-me-up series, but I kept watching it for some reason because it made me feel better.
El Space: In completing the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson said on his website:
I’ve reached the end of the journey and set down my burdens. It’s wonderful, relaxing, and solemn all at once. I love the Wheel of Time. It’s also great to be done.
What are some of your thoughts at the conclusion of your series?
Charles: Wow, I feel like I need a cool quote like that now, but I keep feeling like I’m at a crossroads instead of an exit. Legends of Windemere has been a part of my life for so long that it feels weird knowing I no longer wake up to working on it. Yet the survivors can show up in other adventures. I spent a lot of time planning future series. I keep saying that it’s bittersweet when I write about it, so that’s definitely the best word. Is it great to be done like Sanderson said in his quote? I wouldn’t say it’s great, but I definitely feel proud about making it to the end of such a big adventure for both my characters and myself. Guess just like with the champions, I have to accept the ending and move on too.
El Space: Your series began almost twenty years ago. Looking back at your initial vision for the series, did it come out the way you envisioned it? Why or why not?
Charles: Since this was based on a D&D game, the vision was always a little fluid. Yet the initial version is very different from what I came out with. Merchant of Nevra Coil, The Mercenary Prince, and Path of the Traitors weren’t part of the original idea. Those stories stemmed from me seeing some characters who were interesting, but underutilized. On a more detailed level, the character relationships stayed pretty much where I expected them as far as the champions themselves. I stumbled onto various secrets and surprises as I wrote, which changed the vision and world building slightly. Mostly, it involved how magic and various cultures worked since this series was also designed to set the stage for future series.
Covers by Jason Pedersen
I always wanted to have a lot of action, humor, and entertaining characters to draw my readers into the world. I think that’s stayed relatively stable while the pieces have changes and morphed over time.
El Space: Without giving any spoilers, which character(s) was/were the most surprising to you in their development? Why?
Charles: All of my characters have thrown me curveballs from time to time. But the reigning champion has to be Kira Grasdon. It might be weird to pick a supporting character, but the surprising part of her development is that she had any in the first place. Way back when, she was a nameless blonde in the background of Beginning of a Hero. Then she got the name Linny and became a mouthy character in one chapter. At some point, I decided she would be better as a decoy for something and gave her more scenes. Things rolled with her proving to have more sparks with Luke than his original lady love from the game and the entire Bor’daruk culture was created around the newly dubbed Kira Grasdon. So, she’s a nameless figure that managed to grab more and more attention in every edit until she became an essential player. The series wouldn’t be what it is now without her even though I know she’s ruffled a lot of reader feathers over the years.
Kira illustration by Kayla Matt
El Space: Who will you miss writing about the most? Why?
Charles: Luke Callindor will probably be missed the most. He was my character in that D&D game, so there’s a closer bond between us than with the other champions. It was always very natural for me to write his scenes and dialogue, which might stem from me being him for so long. There will be a few other characters like him in other series, but Luke could be considered my first surrogate. That and I always felt like I could do more to him than the other characters without feeling as much guilt or getting in as much trouble.
Luke illustration by Kayla Matt; cover art by Jason Pedersen
El Space: What advice do you have for newbie authors who’d like to try their hand at a fantasy series?
Charles: Since we’re talking about series specifically, I would advise that new authors put a lot of attention on continuity. World building is very important to fantasy, so you need to make sure your magical systems, cultures, monsters, and everything else are consistent. It’s hard to keep track of after a few volumes, so developing a system of notes is highly recommended. Readers are very quick to point out inconsistencies in the world, so never be afraid to go back in the series to make sure you’re keeping things the same.
El Space: What will you work on next?
Charles: My next series is going to delve into the world of the Dawn Fangs, which are the day-walking vampires of Windemere. It will reveal their origins and the vampire civil war that ensued between them and the old worlds. Right now, it’s looking like nine books at most, since this is going to be another foundation series for Windemere. Aside from War of Nytefall, I have a one-shot spinoff of Legends of Windemere that I plan on publishing next summer. So, I’m planning on staying fairly busy, even if I take it a little slower in January. Maybe just focus on outlines during that time.
Thanks, Charles, for being my guest!
Looking for Charles? You can find him at his blog, Twitter, Facebook.
Warlord of the Forgotten Age can be found on Amazon. But one of you will win a copy of this book. Comment below to be entered in the drawing. Winner to be announced on January 15, 2018, along with the winner of another book you will hear about soon!
Warlord of the Forgotten Age cover and author photo courtesy of Charles Yallowitz. Legends of Windemere cover art by Jason Pedersen. Character art by Kayla Matt. A Memory of Light cover from Goodreads. Rigatoni ala vodka pizza image from gfcookiesxo.blogspot.com. New Year image from happynewyear2018photos.net. Finale image from grandbanktheater.ca. Neon Genesis Evangelion image from taringa.net.
Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
Thanks for the fun interview.
Thanks for all that you do for so many authors. Congratulations on this milestone!
Congratulations, Charles! It was fun to learn more about you. We are kindred spirits.,.pizza is my favorite food, too! Happy New Year to you and L. Marie!
Happy New Year to you, Jill! Looking forward to more books and stories from you.
Happy New Year! Think I’m looking forward to pizza more than hot chocolate right now. 🙂
I could go for some pizza!
Got a frozen one to split with the kid in case tomorrow is a snow day.
I need to get a pizza!
Great interview, really enjoyed it.
Thanks for stopping by, Craig!
Happy New Year and thank you for the interview! I hope 2018 is a great year for you!
Happy New Year, Lyn! Thank you!
Thanks. Have a happy new year too.
Congrats on finishing the series!
You deserve a pizza break!!!
So do we ~ we’re having pizza tonight. 😀
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year, Nancy! I had pizza two nights ago! 😁
Thanks. Sadly, no pizza for at least a week. Weather is causing havoc with my schedule.
The weather has been bad here too. Though the temp finally warmed up to 15 degrees. Felt like a heatwave!
Have a snow day tomorrow and then frigid temps until 30’s to 40’s next week. Doesn’t feel right.
Hope you can get to that pizza! I sure want some!
One day. Store bought today, which isn’t the same.
I don’t mind store bought. I have a good pizza stone.
We used to have one, but nobody knows where it was put after the kitchen was redone. My wife and I have a metal pizza dish too, but that’s packed away with nowhere in the kitchen to put it. Think it’s a full 18 incher if I remember correctly.
They’re great for baking cookies!
You had me at ‘Gonzo’, Charles! I’m thinking maybe baby Elmo was then elected to take his place in the marketplace due to your plastic nose incident as a tester?!!!
Anyway, congrats. I know what you mean about the end of a project…bittersweet, but then it’s always a part of you, so never really ‘gone’…
Thanks for a great interview, as always, Linda!
BTW: came back from sunny (70F) CA to 20F here in the deep south…and…it’s snowing! Dance of joy!
Hi, Laura! Thank you! I’ll bet you’re right. I remember when Elmo was introduced. Instantly loved him!
Wow. So warm in CA! I heard that the south has snow. Snowed here too! I was a little less joyful. 😀 😁 But I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I’m sure the kids are thrilled beyond measure.
Funny thing is that Elmo wasn’t really around when I was a kid, which always seems to confuse people. He was there as a baby monster, but I don’t think they named him until 1985. This was when The Muppet Show, Muppet Babies, and movies were big, so the toy line was from those instead of Sesame Street. I really miss the days when the Muppets ruled the world.
Sorry about the snow. I’m up in New York where it’s snowing and frigid. How is anyone surviving in the South with the unnatural cold? I’ve seen pictures of crocodiles frozen in lakes recently.
So cold everywhere! That’s probably why we didn’t see any alligators or wild pigs. (Yes, wild pigs roam around my brother’s neighborhood in Texas. Alligators live in the nearby swamp.)
I’ve heard of the wild pigs in the south. Pretty dangerous, aren’t they?
My sister-in-law said they’re huge. We didn’t get to see them, since they come out in the early morning hours. And they may have been daunted by the cooler weather.
I remember seeing a show about how domesticated pigs quickly go feral when they escape into the wild. They get coarse hair, bigger, and grow tusks as well as get aggressive. Amazing how close those cute pink guys are to transforming into wild boars.
She mentioned tusks! I wanted to get a picture of them, but alas.
What Charles says shows how much we are shaped by early childhood experiences
In addition we can say: tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are (pizza) 🙂
Thanks for your grretings Linda and my best wishes to you and also to the success of the latest edition of the Legends of Windemere.
Comment ça va, Michel?
Thank you for stopping by! Love to you and Janine! I hope she had a good birthday last month.
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