Interview with John Gorman
Author of Quest For The Hope Box
Before his words found their way into print, John snapped the Eyesore of the Week for the Queens Ledger. He is the author of the novels Shades of Luz, Disposable Heroes, and the Fantasy/Adventure The Acolyte & The Amulet, which is something of a nod to both Terry Pratchett and Ursula K. Le Guin. Book 2 of the Nebilon Series, Quest for the Hope Box, is set for a July 2020 release. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University.
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How would you describe <Quest For The Hope Box> to a new reader?
- This is the second book of a humorous Fantasy/Adventure series. Young mage, Luma, must now raise a dragon as part of her responsibilities on her new quest. I think this book can even be read as a standalone. Having said that, I think there are a few things that might go over the reader's head, but he/she will not be lost. Anybody who loves Fantasy/Adventure will be pulled into the story.
What was the inspiration behind <Book 2 of the Nebilon Series> ?
- I wanted to write a book about the challenges in raising a baby dragon. I also wanted to write about an ambitious gargoyle, who witnessed some strange things perched atop his master's castle. I decided to combine the two ideas becasue they seemed to work quite well together.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
- Franz Kafka, Sir Terry Pratchett, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ursula K. Le Guin
I think all of their stories have made an impact on me, and I've tried to take their fiction in my own direction.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
- Nebilon is a fantasy realm that lies somewhere in the distant past, yet carries a good bit of the present and the future in its wonky aura. Sporka dn Spawn are two of its main hubs. Both pop and sizzle with magic.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- Write until your fingers are cramped. Then use your nose. Then your toes. by then, your finger should be rready for another few rounds.
What's your writing process?
- I start with a scene, usually dialogue. Sometimes it's just a simple situation, like somebody wants an extra stick of beef jerky and they're out of it. They want it and need to get some more. That's motivation. There's plenty of beef jerky and root beer in Book 1 of the Nebilon Series. In Book 2, there's hardly any root beer but there's still jerky.
I try to get as much as I can down on the paper, no matter how messy it may look. The editing process is all about the the heavy-lifting.
Which character in <Quest For The Hope Box > has had the greatest impact on readers?
- I believe my main character, Luma makes the biggest impression, but this time around, my first-timer, Stan the gargoyle is quite the rising parvenu. His foray into astronomy really adds layers to him.
If <Quest For The Hope Box> were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
- This is a really tricky question. I'm not a casting director so this is a bit of curveball. If I was hard-pressed, I would have to say, perhaps Millie Bobbie Brown, of Strangers Things fame could be an awesome Luma. There, now go out and spread the rumors so that it might become a reality.
How have readers responded to <Quest For the Hope Box>?
- People have responded pretty well to Book 2. I was quite worried because so may people loved Book 1 of the Nebilon Series. Unfortunately, there were a couple of characters that didn't make it into Book 2, but there have been a few interesting additions. You can't please everybody. So far, I am happy with the response.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- Right now, I am working on Book 3 of the Nebilon Series, however, I just had an inspiration for a totally different book, which I am also working on. This other novel is about an Alien Abduction. It's geared toward Middle Grade readers, although it probably could fit into the YA umbrella. It's a little bit of fox and hedgehog race to see which one I complete first. I will put my best foot forward to complete Book 3 of the Nebilon Series first, but if I get really inspired by the Alien Abduction novel, I might make it into another series. We shall see.
A giant blue egg has everybody talking in Harberk's castle. After it hatches, the baby dragon creates a heap of problems and forces the Archmage to call upon the Great Seer, Luma to help him out again. Soon Luma begins to have strange visions and is drawn to a mystical Hope Box that has been dormant for more than a century. With the help of an unseasoned crew of rookie adventures, she must lead a charge that is riddled with mishaps and chicanery. Babysitting a dragon is more than Luma had bargained for, but she needs all the help she can get. When she finally discovers the hidden Hope Box, she falls under its spell. Does she have the moxie and the magic necessary to match its mystical powers and bring it back to the Archmage?