LETS TALK FANTASY
WITH TALENTED AUTHOR JOSHUA ROBERTSON
Joshua Robertson was born in Kingman, Kansas on May 23, 1984. A graduate of Norwich High School, Robertson attended Wichita State University where he received his Masters in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Sociology. His bestselling novel, Melkorka, the first in The Kaelandur Series, was released in 2015. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He counts R.A. Salvatore and J.R.R. Tolkien among his literary influences.
THE KAELANDUR SERIES
Melkorka, the first in The Kaelandur Series
Dyndaer, the second in the Kaelandur Series
*What is your definition of fantasy?
My definition of fantasy literature does not drift too far from the typical explanation. Fantasy must have supernatural elements in the theme, setting, or plot of the story. Some writers like to include magic, and others may have a simple make-believe worlds to play inside. Regardless, I think fantasy should take a reader on an adventure they cannot experience anywhere else.
They always say simplicity is bliss. I love this definition.
*What are your favorite elements that make a great fantasy book?
Likely, the same thing as most good novels, but most of all, it must have dynamic characters. Fantasy has shown promise with the rise of books that drift away from the dichotomy of good and evil, and really explore the motivations of the protagonist and antagonist. In this way, we see multi-faced characters who have mixed elements of right and wrong, which makes a much more believable story…in a fantastical world.
Yes, I’m hearing this more and more. We tend to be drawn more to characters that seem to blur the lines between good and evil.
*How were you influenced by RA Salvatore & JRR Tolkien?
Tolkien I started reading around the age of 13 or 14, and continued re-reading through the course of my high school career. We know how impressionable the mind of a teenager can be…and I was a sponge for his words, characters, and philosophy. A couple years after reading Tolkien, I delved into many other great writers, such as Salvatore. The man’s description of battles were so real, I often finished the book with a serious sense of awe. Nowadays, after having a few interactions with Salvatore, I also admire his kindness, straightforwardness, and humanness.
That’s awesome. I love hearing about this, the impression that authors make upon readers in their early years. I guess you never know how your words might affect others!
*Does fantasy have to include magic to be successful?
Absolutely not. I have read many great stories without a hint of magic that were exceptional and stuck with me. I think the quality of a book is measured by the impression it has on your life after you have put it down. Without a doubt, you can achieve this without having magic included, even in fantasy literature.
Wonderful! My project is somewhat of a science fiction fantasy mashup, but without magic. I have several fantastical elements within it though.
*What are your favorite creatures?
Strangely enough, even as a Tolkien fan, I am not a huge fan of Tolkien creatures. In fact, the only time I really delve into elves, dwarves, etc., is when I am reading Tolkien, or playing a good ole’ game of Dungeons and Dragons. If I had to choose a favorite fantasy creature on the spot, it would be a dryad. Though, I have never considered writing a story focusing on their kind. I don’t think I could do it justice.
I’ve often thought of crafting my own creatures rather than going along with the norm. Never even heard of a dryad. Trolls are pretty cool too.
*Tell us about Anaerfell
Anaerfell is a dark fantasy tale about two brothers who are trapped beneath the ambitions of their father. Drast and Tyran were raised in a harsh home, offering them little grace and even less love. As a result, you see two grown men who are haunted by their own psychological and emotional demons, struggling to make the ‘right’ decisions. The story unfolds as their father sends them on a journey to kill the God of the Dead in hopes it will grant him immortality.
I absolutely adore the names that you come up with in your books. In fact, my first impression when reading your work was, THIS IS FANTASY. It’s almost the same as test driving a car for the first time. As soon as you step into the vehicle; grab the steering wheel, start the engine and pull out onto the road that it’s the car for you. Hey, it’s fantasy on wheels!
*What is the connection between Anaerfell & the Kaelandur Series?
Excellent question. Anaerfell takes place 80 years prior to the events in Melkorka, the first of the Kaelandur Series. The book, although a standalone, is written to be a prelude to the series, giving breadth to why the characters in the Kaelandur Series are facing the deadly threats of the Netherworld.
*What is Grimsdalr about?
Grimsdalr is a short story meant to highlight how hubris is regarded in modern society when compared to the norms of olden times. The story is a rewritten, 30-minute read masking the opening pages of Beowulf keeping much of the same tone and language of the original tale.
Grimsdalr is another excellent name by the way….Just read this and the ending was very striking and totally wasn’t what I was expecting. Stellar writing that reminded me of Beowulf. LOVE BEOWULF. That’s my boy!
*Who are your favorite characters and what do you appreciate about them?
I have answered this question often, and I think my answer continues to strike folks as strange. But my favorite character in my series is the antagonist, Falmagon. I appreciate his commitment to his beliefs and his intent to make the world a better place, regardless of whether others support his cause. Of course, I also have a special place in my heart for my cliche’d, all-knowing, often-drunk wizard, Dorofej. Many have called him the Gandalf of the Kaelandur Series.
I can totally relate to this. I love my antagonists and evil henchmen! BROUHAHAHA! In Transformers, Megatron was my favorite. In Star Wars, it was Darth Vader. In my WIP there’s several antagonists that are my FAVS. Here are a few:
Lord Gracious, twin brother of Brynn Talegan.
Barag, Lord of the Dark Vein of Evil
Pronvis, General in the Dark Vein of Evil
Grand Morticus, High Priest of the Dark Vein of Evil
Grane, the Unmerciful Death Lord
*What are your top 3 favorite weapons?
I am a simple man. Give me a quarterstaff, a good set of throwing knives, and a longbow.
*What top 5 books would you recommend?
The Crown of Stone Trilogy by C.L. Schneider
Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler
Wolves of the Dawn by William Sarabande
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Thanks for the references!
*What else do you have coming down the pike?
I am currently finishing up Blood and Bile with my co-writer, J.C. Boyd. This dark fantasy tale will be introducing his ancient world, beginning with giants walking with mammoths in the northern lands battling dark spirits.In addition, I should be finishing Maharia, the third and final installment of the Kaelandur Series, and ready for release by April 2017.
Thanks so much for having me for an interview! These questions were excellently crafted.
Awesome! Thanks for coming on the train.