This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Today I welcome Jason Link to Archer’s Aim, author of The Legender. Let’s see what interesting tidbits Jason has to share today!
Q. What’s the title of your latest book and the story-line?
A. The Legender
Arkos, a reclusive artisan, bides the long age of peace carving animal bones and remembering his days of adventure. In the ancient city of Tierrion where he dwells, no one suspects he is one of the legenders—those forces of nature clad in human form who spoke with the elements and shaped them into mighty beasts. After the legenders fought in the bygone war against the Living Shadow, they faded into myth and have remained in historical obscurity. That is, until a great evil strikes Tierrion and Arkos saves the city with his power over the elements. This grand revelation of his true identity comes at a cost, however, for there are kings and politicians who would use a legender for their own purposes. Bound by an oath of service, Arkos must obey their commands—dire consequences descend upon legenders unfaithful to their vows.
Fearful that Tierrion’s catastrophe portends war, the kingdoms order Arkos to the uncharted wastelands of the north to discover if the Living Shadow and his legions are preparing to mount an attack once again. Arkos’ journey takes him over perilous mountains and through hostile terrain where he must use his elemental abilities to overcome dangers fatal to man. As he travels onward, a sinister and mysterious figure watches from afar, awaiting his dreadful schemes to unfold. When Arkos reaches the dark unknown and finds secrets lost in history, an unexpected choice confronts him: to take his long-awaited freedom or save the kingdoms that would enslave him.
(I’m currently working on Erthedge, the second book that follows in the series.)
Q. Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?
A. I think I’d like to share a long conversation and a pint of ale with C.S. Lewis at his old haunt The Eagle and Child. I would love to talk to him about theology, his thoughts on the art of storytelling, and his experiences in WWI.
Q. What song might fit your book well?
A. There’s a playlist on Youtube Musicthat is full of epic instrumental music created by talented (and I believe relatively unknown) composers. If my book were made into a movie, I think many of the composers on this list would score it beautifully.
Q. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A. I think finding time to write and fighting procrastination are my two biggest challenges to writing. The pressures of studying in grad school and raising a two-year-old make finding the time to write a hard thing to do. When I do get the chance, the thought that I should be doing something more “responsible” with my time always creeps into my head. I wish I could say that I’ve overcome this challenge, but I haven’t completely. What I have found helps, however, is creating a rough outline of what I’d like to write before I write it. This helps me use my writing time efficiently as it ultimately eases decision fatigue later on. Also, I need a special time set aside for writing. For me, that’s from 5am to about 8am. Now if only there was a remedy for procrastination…
Q. What is your favorite movie?
A. This is always a tough question, but my mind keeps coming back to Gladiator. When I first saw this movie as a teenager, I was entertained by the action and danger on the surface. But as I’ve grown up and watched it again, I find myself catching something new with each viewing. Woven throughout the exciting battles and beautiful scenery is a well written script—clever but not pretentious, divinely heroic but very human. This is not just a story about violence and political intrigue; it’s a story about how people deal with their deeply wounded selves in the midst of a power-grabbing empire.
Q. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A. This is another tough one. Each author I enjoy each has a set of skills and talents that touch different places of the mind and soul. But if I have to pick a favorite I’d say…Rudyard Kipling. His poem “If” is as inspiring as it is haunting. I’m also captivated by The Jungle Book. With rich and smart language, Kipling creates an animal culture that exhibits savagery alongside chivalry. It is a feral world foreign to humans, and yet it is painted in such a way that it is understandable. It is a world I love to get lost in, to come back to again and again.
Q. How long how long have you been writing and what inspired you to start?
A. I started dreaming up my story when I was twelve. I was walking home from school, and I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a story about….” I’ve been in that ellipses ever since. Every day as I walked to and from school, I’d think about my story and add a bit more to it. As the years went by, the story grew and changed—of course I grew and changed as well. In my final year of college, I decided to put my ideas to paper, and the first few chapters became my senior thesis. The Legender is the final result of the work—many years in the making.
Q. If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?
A. This is an easy one to answer. When I was high school, I wrote a short comedy screenplay about a super hero called the Blue Stripe Avenger. I based this hero on the jacket I had at the time, one with a wide blue stripe that ran from wrist to shoulder on both sleeves. As you can probably guess, the jacket was part of my superhero’s costume. When my friends and I shot some of the scenes, we didn’t have a big budget so the rest of the costume was pretty simple—blue running pants and a pair of blue shoes with stripes on the sides. Blue Stripe Avenger’s villain—Dr. Apacalypso—had a much cooler costume consisting of an old fashioned top hat (the most expensive prop I bought), a black cape, and a paintball mask modified with aluminum foil.
Q. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
A. If dreams come true and if China’s government still permits it, I’d love to backpack the Great Wall of China from end to end, camping out in the old watch towers along the way. According to an article I once read, two hikers did just this. As they traveled, they passed through jungles and over ruins and also received the warm generosity of some hospitable backcountry villages along the way. This sounds to me like the ideal adventure.
Bio: Jason Link is the author of The Legender. He’s recently come back to the US after many years of living in Nicaragua–the tropical land where he proposed to his wife on an active volcano. (This, however, makes him sound more adventurous than he really is.) Instead of cutting his way through the jungles with a machete, he now cuts his way through academia with a pen. He has taught high school English and is now in Pasadena attending seminary. To learn more, his personal site is www.authorjasonlink.com.
Thanks to Jason for being on the spot today for the interview. Please take some time and support his work by taking a look at his book. If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.
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