Today I am happy to introduce you to R.L. Drembic, author of the epic fantasy THE KNIGHTS OF THE CAERS. I was delighted to interview him because I love epic fantasy. Since my childhood I have always had a fondness for fantasy books. It started with The Lord of the Rings and has continued throughout my adult life. Currently I am reading the book three in the Artesan of Albia series by Cas Peace and it’s phenomenal…speaking of phenomenal let’s get to the interview with R.L. Drembic.
Can you share a little about yourself and your book, THE KNIGHTS OF THE CAERS?
R.L. Drembic: I am a recent college graduate and worked on The Knights of the Caers throughout my college career. I have always enjoyed reading from a young age. By the time I finished high school, I calculated that I had read over a thousand books. I’ve always loved reading and I want to give someone else that same joy. The Knights of the Caers is a coming of age story about a young man who chases his dreams while struggling with a haunting past. The plot is filled with intriguing characters, unforeseeable plot twists, scheming villains, and intense action scenes. A more comprehensive synopsis is available on both of the links below.
I have to say over a thousand books before finishing high school is an amazing feat! What types of books did you read when you were a teen? How does effect what you write now?
R.L. Drembic: I read all types of books as a teen. My favorites were fantasy novels either set in mystical lands with magic and demons or in space with aliens. I never did really enjoy reading a book set in modern times about somebody’s everyday life. The way I think about it, we all live in this world, and a book should be a means to escape it for a while, not just to live in a different part of it.
What inspired you to write this book? / When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
R.L. Drembic: I first got the idea to write my own story when playing a story game with a friend, the kind where you text back and forth, each adding the next bit of the story. I never did write that story down, but when I had an idea for another story a few months later, I took it more serious. I didn’t start writing though, until several months later when I learned that a friend was writing a novel and trying to get it published. It was her courage that gave me the inspiration to try it myself.
Let’s talk about your writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
R.L. Drembic: The writing process for this was simple; I thought about the book for months, planning out every section and even writing different scenes in my head. By the time I started writing, I had most of it planned out. The rest was planned as I wrote; my mind was always racing ahead of my hand. I don’t have a routine; I just sit and write when creativity strikes. For this novel, I chose to create my own world to avoid research. I wanted to focus on creativity, not facts. I did do some minimal research on different types of old sailing ships, but that just consisted of Googling. The biggest piece of research I did was on Google translate, figuring out names for different characters and places. I got the idea from the Harry Potter novels to give some of the names a deeper meaning. However, I took it to another level. Some of the names are from Latin, but there are also names from a dozen other languages. And not all of the meanings are easy to discern; I wanted to make it a puzzle, so the meanings are hidden. I am curious to see whether or not readers will be able to figure them out (I’m thinking of making a contest of it).
You should make a contest of it. That would be a fun feature! What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
R.L. Drembic: My main goal is to give the readers a grand adventure. The book does have some serious themes meant to also inspire the reader: The story focuses on a main character who is struggling with a mysterious past. Another of the main characters also has a haunting past. I hope that any readers with skeletons in their closet or ghosts in their past will realize that it doesn’t mean the end of the world. There is always hope no matter what someone has done.
THE KNIGHTS OF THE CAERS is an epic fantasy, what tips can you give to writers wanting to attempt writing something in this genre?
R.L. Drembic: The biggest tip I can give is this: if you don’t enjoy writing your story, then no one will enjoy reading it. A great novel is every bit as enthralling to write as it is to read. I can’t tell you the number of times I was completely enraptured by my own story to the point where I could not put it down to eat, sleep, or go to class.
Where can we go to buy your book?
R.L. Drembic: The best, and cheapest, place to purchase The Knights of the Caers is on the publisher’s website at http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000002441596/R.L.-Drembic-The-Knights-of-the-Caers
Any other links or info you'd like to share?
R.L. Drembic: This is my facebook page, where I will have updated information on the book and any contests that I hold. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Knights-of-the-Caers/151638944908817
bookstore/title/ 119734000002441596/R.L.- Drembic-The-Knights-of-the- Caers
Excerpt from book:
Stephen stood on the platform and watched in dismay as their forces dwindled. They’d nearly been cut in half, but they were holding their own.
Edric and Cal were almost single handedly holding the left end of the line. They fought side by side and would not be pushed back. Quint and Jost Hok were fighting on the right side, though not side by side, and Madiba and her crew held the center of the line. Klis stood on the platform and fired arrows into the guards. The shkafs had charged into the center of the guards and fought with deadly efficiency. While the battle was going reasonably well, their line could fall apart any moment under the sheer weight of the guards’ numbers.
Stephen looked up at what was left of the stars, probably for the last time. If we take enough guards with us, then the slaves will be able to escape on their own. He thought grimly. Stephen raised his sword and started chanting “Freemen!” as he pushed his way to the front.
Edric, Cal, and Quint heard his chant and joined in, making their way to the middle. Madiba ordered her crew to split up to hold the ends of the line, letting the Knights of the Caers take the center. Soon the entire Freeman army was chanting the battle cry. It infused every
one with new strength, courage, hope, and determination.
Edric felt new strength surge through him. This is what his life had been building to: battling injustice no matter what it took, fighting to the very end to make the world a better place. The Knights joined together at the head of the Freemen and fought to hold the line. The guards came at them again and again, but they would not be moved.
“This is for you,” Edric whispered to his dead brother. Even though Erst had never been a slave, he had always dreamed of having an adventure. Erst and Edric had daydreamed of noble quests to rid the world of some terrible evil, like stopping a Fulk invasion or defeating the Pirate Brothers. Edric felt sure that taking down the great slave market counted.
Edric glanced up at the stars once more before charging forward. Cal was a step behind him, with Stephen and Quint another second behind them. The Knights of the Caers smashed into the guards’ line…
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