TITLE : Seekers: The Winds of Change (Seekers Saga #1)
AUTHOR : Troy Knowlton
GENRE : YA Fantasy
INTENTED AGE GROUP : 13 – 18, 13-35
DATE OF PUBLISHING : July 12, 2022
PUBLISHER : Self Published
Welcome to my tour stop for Seekers: The Winds of Change by Troy Knowlton, hosted by Escapist Book Tours. I am so grateful to be part of The Escapist Book Tours and for getting the chance to do a Q & A with the author, Troy Knowlton. Make sure to check The Escapist Book Tours out because they do an awesome job of introducing a lot of new titles mainly self pub and indie published SFF books.
If you are interested in checking out the official page for the book tour – CLICK HERE
Content/Trigger Warnings :
Shown on page :
Gratuitous violence, Gore, Suicidal ideation, Child abduction, Drug/alcohol usage, Animal violence, Torture
Alluded to :
After an assassination attempt that could lead to an all-out war, Tyras and Oren, two young Seekers of the Argan Empire, are each given secret missions in an attempt to thwart the coming chaos. Both tasks require the Seekers to venture through the war-torn continent of Tiarna where the young men face mortal danger, horrible monsters, and hostile groups – all challenges Seekers are trained to combat. Luckily, the two Seekers also find guidance, friendship, and romance along the way. However, powerful and mysterious forces are conspiring behind the scenes and both Tyras and Oren will have to overcome a host of obstacles, including their own inner demons, in order to maintain a glimmer of hope for success. With war imminent and the unknown ahead, will the Seekers triumph, or will they be swallowed by the turbulent, relentless Winds of Change?
Set in a new, masterfully created high fantasy world, Seekers: The Winds of Change is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faisal.
1. What was your inspiration for writing Seekers: The Winds Of Change?
I’ve always wanted to tell stories, ever since a young age. The sheer excitement and wonder one can
experience when reading/watching/listening to an adventure story really resonated with me as a child,
as I’m sure does for most children. After reading the Hobbit as a child, I was hooked on that thrill of the
hero’s journey. After reading the Neverending Story a bit later, I felt a strange feeling when I turned the
final page: sheer satisfaction. It was like I’d literally been on the journey with them and the book’s
closing felt like a blissful rest after the rollercoaster of emotion. As a teenager, I fell in love with cinema, getting the same rush of emotion at the end of a fulfilling story. I’m an avid daydreamer, and I’d often think about what made those moments so compelling, trying to evoke the emotions once more. In my head, ideas began to blossom, though I didn’t know what to do with them. I had silloeutes of characters in my mind, I just never thought I’d have the wherewithal to actually write the story I wanted to tell. After a failed Dungeons and Dragons campaign left me with a self-created fantasy world to act as my canvas, I got to work, and Seekers: The Winds of Change is the result.
2. What are some of the fantasy books that have influenced you as authors?
I grew up with The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Harry Potter. Being a huge Star Wars fan, I also read A. C. Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy of novels at a very young age, which (via the Harrison Ford
connection) led me to the Indiana Jones films, which heavily influenced the kind of “fast-paced
adventure with a snarky artifact hunter” sort of story that I wanted to tell, but in a fantasy setting. Even
earlier, while in elementary school, I fondly remember Emily Rhodda’s Deltora Quest series, which had a similar “colorful adventure through varied fantasy landscapes, searching for the macguffin” sort of fantasy that I fell in love with.
3. What was the research and writing process like?
If I’m writing about a topic that I think I’ll need an expanded knowledge in (ie. sword stances, ship/boat
terms, etc.) I’ll spend a fair amount of time looking through both articles and pictures to get an idea of
how those particular things seem in order to be able to adequately describe them in detail in my novel
without confusing the reader. Thankfully, these topics didn’t arise too often.
4. Do you have any writing rituals?
Nothing so ritualistic to where I can’t write without it, but I do have preferences for sure. My ideal
writing setting is a dark room, music playing, and a caffeinated beverage within arms reach. A glass of
wine or bottle of soju will also do the trick.
5. If you couldn’t write in the genre you write in, which genre would you prefer to write in?
I’d love to write sci-fi. The concepts/possibilities of the genre excite me like crazy.
6. Which genre would be the most challenging for you to write in and why?
In my opinion, I think any non-fiction genre would be difficult for me as I have a love for the mysterious
and fantastical. I feel like I get enough doses of the real world when I’m not writing, so writer’s
block/procrastination would be an issue for me.
7. Tell us about a funny/weird/cool/most shocking thing you discovered while researching for the series.
While researching different parts of the various buildings/structures I needed to describe, I found the
best way to describe what I’d envisioned for the Archive at Arga included a perron, an architectural
word most people (at least that I’ve spoken with) have never heard of. I’ve fielded many a question
regarding the use of that particular architectural descriptor.
8. How has your journey of book publishing been?
A rollercoaster. I started off trying to go through the trad pub route, but after dozens of agent
rejections, I decided to take matters into my own hands and self pub. I enjoyed the idea of having
complete control over the product I’m putting out there, even though all the different proverbial “hats”
I’d have to wear scared the hell out of me. I had an absolutely crazy journey of highs and lows. I went
through multiple interior designers, had to have my map redrawn, had my cover done, then redone, and went through round after round of fixing typos that arose from a glitch in the word processing software. Along the way, I met so many amazing people who I built an excellent rapport with. I’ve also become entrenched into some awesome bookish communities throughout social media. This corner of the creative landscape is so utterly bright and welcoming that it keeps me afloat during the hard days.
9. Tell us about the most fun and favorite thing you got to write in the book.
While I have a great deal of concepts/worldbuilding tidbits that were fun to write (the monsters
immediately come to mind), my most whimsical, favorite thing I wrote in the book was putting side
cannons on a horse. The image of a horse rearing and two cannons dropping to either side of it
definitely has to go in my top 10 coolest mental images.
10. What do you love the most to write and hate to write in your stories?
I love writing the dialogue. Fleshing out the characters through dialogue as they get quiet moments of
peace is easily my favorite thing to write. My least favorite thing to write (ironically), are action scenes. I have a lot of them in my book. I constantly doubt myself when thinking through the choreography and
sequence of events. My inner critic is constantly berating me, saying “This isn’t good enough. It’s going to bore people.”
11. How did you come up with the world and the idea of Seekers and could you tell us a little about the process of creating them?
Funnily enough, I came up with the world of Tiarna when my friends and I wanted to start playing
Dungeons and Dragons. I was going to be the DM and, as such, wanted to supply the world that our
campaign would take place in. The campaign didn’t really take off due to our busy schedules, but I still
had a map of a world that was begging to be explored. Later on, I went to a coffee shop with my fiance
because, at the time, she was studying to obtain her teaching credentials and needed a spot to focus on her work. I brought a notebook and my imagination, and two hours later, I had named all the Argan
sovereigns and their organizations, including Lunaris’s Archive and the Seekers who work for him.
12. If you were on a secret mission with other Seekers to stop a conflict that’s threatening the stability of the empire, who would you like to be on your team(please choose authors you want on your team) and your reason for choosing them?
If we’re talking authors, I’ll take George Orwell, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Margret Atwood. The
combined governmental/societal insight of those three minds could find a solution to whatever
threatened the empire, and would make for some excellent conversation afterwards.
13. What are the best things and the worst things about your main characters Tyras and Oren?
As far as them as people? For Tyras, it’s his trusting nature and near-addict level of desire to be the
praised as the best. He adores the recognition he gets as Senior Seeker and puts himself in harm’s way to get his next fix. For Oren, it’s his hesitancy to act due to fear and his aimless nature. He’s merely drifting through life, and he knows it.
14. If Tyras and Oren’s life was made into a movie, what would be the name of it?
Umm… I’m going to take the profoundly unoriginal route and say it’d be called: Seekers.
In the interest of providing something different, I’ll give a second possible title: Brothers in Blue, though that sounds more like a cop drama.
15. Your favorite underhyped books you want more people to read.
In no particular order, here are some books I’ve recently read that deserve ALL the hype:
A Touch of Light by Thiago Abdalla
The Legend of Black Jack by A.R. Witham
Thrice by Andrew D. Meredith
A Drowned Kingdom by P.L. Stuart
A King’s Radiance by L. R. Schulz
These are by no means all the books I’d recommend, as I’ve become acquainted with an absolute
wellspring of exceptional indie authors, but I’m limiting myself to titles I’ve personally read this year.
See Also :
(This is our attempt at a bit of fun. We ask our authors to come up with a few short, clever, possibly pop culture laden, descriptions of their books just to give a little taste of what’s to come for readers.)
“It belongs in a museum.” • Carry on Wayward Son • “The stuff that dreams are made of.”
Troy currently lives in Southern California, where he was born and raised, graduating from Crafton Hills College with an Associate of Science degree, later earning x-ray technologist credentials through Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Many of the darker themes present in his work are inspired by his experiences with patients as a healthcare worker, especially during the pandemic. When not writing, he’s either working at the hospital as an x-ray technologist or in the classroom as a teacher for his hospital’s x-ray program. His hobbies include video games, anime, and Magic: The Gathering. His passion for storytelling led him to refine his writing skills to do what he loves most: telling stories.
Troy’s socials :
Prize: A Signed Paperback Copy of Seekers: The Winds of Change!
Starts: October 24, 2022 at 12:00am EST
Ends: October 30, 2022 at 11:59pm EST