TITLE : Warrior of Light
AUTHOR : William Heinzen
GENRE : Epic Fantasy
INTENTED AGE GROUP : 14+
DATE OF PUBLISHING : 2018
PUBLISHER : Self Published
Welcome to my tour stop for Warrior of Light by William Heinzen, 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. 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 :
Alluded to :
Tim Matthias has only ever known the peace of the South, but that peace is shattered when a group of mysterious creatures destroys his home. In search of answers, Tim discovers the poisoned wastelands of the North, where the Dark Lord Zadinn Kanas rules over all. It is here that Tim joins forces with a band of freedom fighters on a quest to find the Army of Kah’lash, a mythical force destined to serve those in need. At the same time, Tim must learn to use the magic of the Lifesource, for he is the Warrior of Light. As Tim struggles to accept his destiny, those around him must battle their way across the North, seeking a means to wage one last, desperate stand against Zadinn and his armies…
AUTHOR Q & A
1. What was your inspiration for writing Warrior Of Light?
I grew up reading quest-based epic fantasy adventures, along the lines of Brian
Jacques’ Redwall series, Terry Brooks’ Shannara novels, The Belgariad and The
Malloreon by David Eddings, and Tad Williams’ Memory Sorrow and Thorn. Nearly all of
these featured ordinary characters who have to set out from the world they know and
face something dark and evil, often with the fate of humanity at stake. My absolute
favorite series of all time was Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, which takes the standard
hero’s journey and plays it out and a truly massive and epic scale. I wrote Warrior of
Light out of love for these kinds of stories. To me, this was an opportunity to tell the kind
of tale that got me into reading in the first place. I wanted to create that same magical
experience for other readers that I’d had.
2. What is it about epic fantasy and magic that excites you the most?
I call it the combination of sense of wonder and sense of dread. For me, the magic
featured in epic fantasy invokes a kind of awe, and the idea that the heroes can harness
inexplicable yet powerful forces—in the name of doing good—really stimulates the
imagination. That’s the sense of wonder. On the flip side, the villains have access to
power to, only it’s dark and evil, and it brings to mind the old-fashioned tales of things
that go bump in the night. That’s the sense of dread. Having these larger-than-life forces
in play raises the stakes of the story and provides the opportunity for true clash of the
titans style spectacle.
3. If you were part of a band of freedom fighters on the quest to find Army of Kah’lash, who would you like to be on your team (please choose authors you want on your team) and why?
First I’d roll with Steven Rinella, who is probably better known as a podcaster and/or
Netflix personality, but he has also published several books so that’s fair game! Steven
Rinella is an outdoorsman who has basically crafted a personality around the harvesting
of wild game for food. His show and podcast is called Meat Eater. One of his books is
called The Wilderness Survival Guide. Long story short, Steven Rinella’s wilderness
survival knowledge and ability to harvest wild game just about anywhere would serve a
very practical purpose on the quest to find the Army of Kah’lash.
Next, I’d select Marcus Luttrell and Mark Owen. Marcus Luttrell is a Navy SEAL who
authored the book Lone Survivor, about a mission gone horribly wrong and from which
he was the only survivor. Mark Owen is a Navy SEAL who authored the book No Easy
Day, where he covers his part in the raid to kill Osama bin Laden as a member of SEAL
Team Six. Needless to say, Navy SEALs are among the deadliest men on the planet, so
you can’t go wrong with them on your team.
Finally, I’d select Jim Collins, author of the leadership book Good to Great. I think his
leadership capabilities would go a long way toward keeping the team unified.
Is selecting all nonfiction authors cheating? 😉
4. What are some of the magical abilities you would love to have as a character in the book?
Ah, the famous “which magical power would you have” question. The answer is always,
telekinesis. Sure, a lot of folks like to pick flying, but realize if you have telekinesis you can not
only manipulate objects around you, you can choose for yourself to be the object you
manipulate, therefore you can telekinize (not a word, I know) your way into flying while still being
able to levitate other objects, which is incredibly handy in combat, and most importantly, it’s the
closest thing there is to being a Jedi Knight.
5. What is the best thing and the worst thing about your main character Tim Matthias?
The best thing about him is his commitment to doing the right thing. Tim goes through his own
character journey for sure, which I won’t get into for the sake of spoilers, but one of the core
lessons he learns is the significance of acting with absolute integrity. As I see it, know other
personality traits trump integrity. You can be the most intelligent person in the world, but if you
don’t possess integrity, you could use that intelligence to do some pretty horrible things.
The worst thing about Tim Matthias is that I was still learning a lot of things about character
development when I wrote him. I didn’t quite understand the nuances that went into a well-
crafted character. I’m happy where his story ended up, but there are definitely times you can
see where I was still learning how all of this worked.
6. If Zadin Kannas’s life was made into a movie or he wrote a memoir/ autobiography, what would be the name of it?
“Because I Can”. That’s Zadinn in a nutshell for you. It’s the antithesis of everything I
just mentioned about Tim in my answer to the previous question. He is quite a skilled
individual, but he lives entirely for himself.
7. What was the research process like?
Osmosis. Not literally—but a lot of my research wasn’t sitting down and reading books on
specific topics, or Wikipedia pages, or articles on the Internet. I’d been reading epic fantasy for
close to twenty years by the time I wrote this book. I’m nowhere near an expert on the medieval
world per se, but enough of the fantasies I read were set in a medieval setting that I could at
least fake the essentials of this one. Beyond that, if I had a very specific question, I’d use the
good old Google for it, but it wasn’t a major part of the process.
8. Do you have any writing rituals?
Does drinking coffee count? Other than that, I try to be relatively consistent about
writing at the same time of day. Generally, this is first thing in the morning on Saturdays
and Sundays, and after dinner on weeknights. I figure this helps my mind get in the
mental rhythm of when it’s time to focus on writing, versus being distracted by other
9. If you couldn’t write in the genre you write in, which genre would you prefer to write in?
I’d write something along the lines of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. They are thriller /mystery novels with extremely addictive pacing. (George RR Martin once referred to Lee Child
as a crack dealer). I’m a huge Jack Reacher fanboy—I consider him my spirit animal. Stephen
King had a really fun quote in an article where he said (I’m paraphrasing a little) that Jack
Reacher embodies “the ultimate male daydream … which is to roam the country, ramble about,
and help people in need – sometimes with a blowtorch, Beretta, or submachine gun”. I also
think Lee Child brings a high caliber of prose to a genre where it is sometimes sorely lacking.
He’s actually in the process of retiring … maybe I’ll be able to pick up the character and roll with
him from here? (He’s actually already handed off Reacher to his brother)
10. Which genre would be the most challenging for you to write in and why?
Comedy is one of the hardest artistic forms to nail in any medium. There’s a quote
mentioned in acting school: “dying is easy, comedy is hard”. Supposedly it was said by
this actor or another on his death bed, though because the attribution changes, I
suspect it’s apocryphal. True quote or not, the point is that being truly funny is one of
the most challenging things to do. Humor strikes a balance between reality and the
absurd, and if you err on one side or the other people just aren’t going to find it funny.
I’ve made a deliberate effort to include more humor in my third novel, but they are
definitely the most challenging sequences to include.
11. Tell us about a funny/weird / most shocking thing you discovered while researching for your book/ books.
Go into just about any castle and you’ll notice that the spiral staircases, leading up into
towers and such, are almost always clockwise. It’s a defensive construction. Anyone
attacking the castle would be climbing the stairs, and most of us are right-handed,
therefore most attackers would be trying to draw and swing a sword against the wall’s
curve. It limits their range of motion significantly. Inversely, the defenders at the top of
the stars would be facing the opposite direction and they have full range of motion to
swing their swords.
12. How has your journey of book publishing been like?
Independent publishing has significantly changed the landscape for new writers. On the
one hand, it’s made it a fantastic time to be an author, because we have more avenues
than ever before for getting our work into print. Rather than having to sell a book to an
editor or agent, an independently published author only needs to sell to the only
audience that matters, which is the readers. Because I’m independently published, this
publishing model is the very reason I’m able to be having this conversation today. When
I was twelve, the thought of having a book in print was an unachievable pie-in-the-sky
goal, yet here we are. Now, on the other hand, the giving in to instant gratification is a
very real danger. When it becomes so easy to get a book into print—all a site like
Amazon KDP needs is a digital manuscript file and a cover file—then it can be easy to
jump right to getting one’s book into print without going through any quality control steps
like content editing, copyediting, and proofreading. We have to be careful to make sure
our work is truly ready to share before putting it into the world. It also means it’s as hard
as it ever was to stand out among the noise. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
13. Tell us about the most fun and favorite thing you got to write in the book.
My favorite part to write was the very last scene. This was the first novel I ever finished,
though the initial draft was substantially different than the one that is in print now.
However, when I put the final punctuation mark on the final sentence, after having
wanted to write a complete story for so long, it goes down as one of the most rewarding
moments I have ever experienced. I’ll always remember typing that line and thinking to
myself, “well, I did it.”
14. What do you love the most to write and hate to write in your stories?
I absolutely love writing battle scenes. I have a technique that I like to leverage, where I
will use very brief sequences set apart by section breaks where I am flowing from one
character’s point of view to another’s. There’s a real cadence to this, where you have to
end a particular sequence with just the right form of tension to keep the reader burning
through the pages to find out what happens next. I remember first noticing how effective
this technique was when I was reading Michael Crichton’s novels Jurassic Park and The
Lost World, and it’s definitely become my M.O. ever since. It’s fairly popular with writers
like Steven Erikson too.
There’s nothing I hate about writing. If I did, I wouldn’t do it. Sure, there are days where
I’m not exactly feeling up to sitting down and doing the work, and sometimes there are
scenes where I’m just burned out and not operating at my best, but at most that’s just a
signal that I need to do something to freshen up my focus. I don’t ever hate it.
15. Your favorite underhyped books you want more people to read.
If I can get away with referencing Lee Child twice, I’ll do it here. He’s probably got more
hype now that there is an Amazon Prime series featuring his character, plus a couple of
previous movies with Tom Cruise, so maybe this is a stretch, but it seems like I can’t go
through any interview without mentioning Lee Child two or more times.
I’ll also toss out the novels J.K. Rowling writes under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym,
the Cormoran Strike mystery novels. It might also be a stretch to call these under-hyped
as well, since they regularly reach bestseller status, but relative to the Harry Potter
novels I’ll say they get less coverage. You don’t have midnight lines waiting for
Cormoran Strike at the bookstore. Rowling, however, is just as talented as she was
when she wrote Harry Potter, each of which was really a mystery novel anyway, and so
those talents have naturally carried through to her Cormoran Strike books.
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.)
Two Wizards Try to Blow Each Other Up • When You Don’t Have Enough Time to Read Sanderson • The
Wrong Place at an Even Worse Time
William Heinzen is the author of the epic fantasy novels Warrior of Light and City of Darkness, as well as the short stories Malichon Manor, Nightfall, and Shadows in the Snow. He has been a guest at FanExpo New Orleans, Tampa Bay Comic Convention, ValleyCon, and iMagicon. He has also presented at North Dakota State University’s Creative Writing Camp. William lives in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he works as a cybersecurity professional by day and writes by night. In 2018 he was named to Prairie Business Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list.
Prize: An eBook or Paperback Copy of Warrior of Light!
Starts: August 25, 2022 at 12:00am EST
Ends: August 31, 2022 at 11:59pm EST