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32 Author Scavenger Hunt - Rob Treskillard Interview
Hey Rob, welcome to lbgraham.com. I’m glad that you’re the author I get to interview for the scavenger hunt! Why don’t we start by telling the readers a bit about how we met. Do you want to do the honor? I think you tend to remember the details better.
Well, it all started back in late 2007 when I was browsing fiction on Amazon and ran across your Binding Of The Blade series and thought they looked really cool. Then I read your bio and found out you were from St. Louis, and so I contacted you. After much correspondence, we found out that both of us attended the same, large church ... small world!
Well, we began meeting every few months to share our travails, and now, after six years, we both have new series out ... you with THE WANDERING, and me with THE MERLIN SPIRAL trilogy. It's been quite a journey together!
When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
For me, wanting to become a writer, and realizing that I enjoyed writing were two different things. When I was about 10 I started writing and drawing my own comic books, and learned to love creating these kinds of stories. One Christmas Day, I distinctly remember talking my older cousin’s ear off for two hours going over all of my complicated plots!
Then, around fifteen I began to write poetry and short stories, and this opened up a whole new world for me. One morning I wrote two Haikus for class, and was promptly accused by my English teacher of plagiarizing them! (That mention’s for you, Chip Macgregor!)
But then, sadly, other interests caused my writing to go mostly dormant for the next twenty-five years. And so it wasn’t until 2006 that I finally picked up the pen of a novelist.
What was the most formative event of your writing career that led to the publication of your first books?
There were many events, among them discovering Randy Ingermanson’s excellent Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, but I would probably say that the 2008 ACFW conference would have to take the cake. There, as well as getting advice from other authors, I found out four things:
1. My novel was too big (Oh no!)
So it was back to the drawing board … I had to cut over 50,000 words, including a lot of poetry, rework the opening of the novel, and spiff up my writing.
So, fourteen drafts and four years later, I was very pleased to find out that #4 was indeed true, because BLINK YA Books / Zondervan picked up MERLIN’S BLADE and the two follow on novels.
Tell me a little about your books.
Well, the novels are a completely new take on the Arthurian legends, all stemming from the question “Why would you jab a sword into a stone?” My answer was “What if the stone was the enemy?”
Everything flowed from that! So the concept is that a meteorite crashes to Britain and brings a stone. Everyone who sees it becomes enchanted by it. Merlin, who was partially blinded by wolves years before the book begins, is the only one who is immune, and he has to find a way to save his family, his village, a young Arthur, and eventually all of Britain from the plots of the druids who are using the stone to take their power back.
How do you write? What’s a normal writing day like for you?
When I’m working on a novel, I try to write between 400 and 600 words a day. This involves writing first thing in the morning, and then a little before bed.
I’ll write just about anywhere, and can ignore distractions, but my favorite place is in the corner of our living room on a chair that my father bought when I was little. It has nice, thick, cushions with wide, solid oak arms. The thing is almost an antique now, and reminds me a bit of the chair Robert Frost wrote in. And most importantly, it sits between our wood stove and a big picture window looking out over our front acreage.
And to complete the picture, my little white Bichon Fríse, Snowflake, sits on my right, and I have a steaming cup of fenugreek tea to my left.
But … because we live out in the country, I sometimes have long drives and I often use these to plot my novels while listening to Celtic mood music like Lifescapes Scottish Moors.
Who are your books aimed at? If applicable: What are some of the challenges of writing for your audience?
I wrote them for my teenagers, having experienced first hand how hard it is to keep good books in their hands when they read so impossibly fast!
So, with Merlin being eighteen and on the cusp of manhood, he’s at the perfect age for teens to look up to him, yet old enough, I think, for adults to enjoy the read as well.
But I also have Garth as one of the central characters, and he’s thirteen or so, and the younger readers might identify with him.
And for the girl readers, I have Natalenya, who is Merlin’s love interest. And though she is less critical to the action in books 1 and 2, she takes on her greatest role in book 3, so it will be interesting what readers think of that.
The hardest thing for me to write, however, was writing book 1 from Merlin’s perspective, since he’s partially blind. Quite a challenge!
What’s your view on e-books and the new publishing revolution?
Let me just say that I’m glad I entered publishing prior to the day when 99% of books will be e-published only. I know some think the current state of affairs with a mix of both print and digital will continue, but I worry about that a tipping point may happen where the economics don’t make sense any more to make paperbacks and hardbacks. That will be a sad day.
We’re near the end of an era, and the bridge is shaking!
What was your favorite book as a teen?
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion … thus I am super-excited to have the next Hobbit movie coming out!
What can you tell us about any future releases you have planned?
The trilogy comes to an end in the spring with the release of MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE. But that is *not* the end because I have two more trilogies planned. We’ll see what happens!
Coke or Pepsi?
I liked Classic Coke better growing up, but now … neither … Virgil’s Root Beer!
Soft shell or Hard Shell tacos?
Both, but I like enchiladas even more!
What is the favorite thing you have ever written?
Probably the scene in the middle of book two where Merlin fights his younger sister. In the middle of the fight, Merlin is given a vision that changes the perspective he has about his sister, and this changes the outcome of the fight. I don’t want to give anything away, but it was touching.
Well, Rob, as someone who knew you before you were famous ☺, it’s been a pleasure to watch you persevere until you broke through into print, and I’m excited for what comes next. Any final words?
Sure, first I want to thank you, L.B., for providing a forum in which I could share some of my story. But I know, all you amazing readers on the hunt are probably looking for your next clue, well here it is: "gift of all"
Now that you have your clue you can continue on to Rob’s blog for your next interview and your next clue, just go to http://www.kingarthur.org.uk/feastinghall/32author/
Comment from: Debora Wilder [Visitor]
I'm really enjoying the scavenger hunt. Robert's books sound fabulous.
Permalink 12/02/13 @ 21:00
Comment from: L.B. Graham [Member] · http://www.lbgraham.com
I'm glad you're enjoying the hunt. If you don't win a copy of one of Rob's books, you should definitely pick the first one up and see what you think!
Permalink 12/02/13 @ 22:23
I already picked up Merlin's Blade as a Christmas gift for my husband - he's a huge Authurian legend fan. The Darker Road just got added to the list. (Of course, I'll read them, too, but I love finding books I know he will enjoy!)
Permalink 12/04/13 @ 15:18
Comment from: L.B. Graham [Member] · http://www.lbgraham.com
Hope you & he enjoy "The Darker Road!" And, if you enjoy the epic fantasy genre in general, you might want to check out my "Binding of the Blade" series which was published between '04 and '08.
Permalink 12/04/13 @ 18:44
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