Tag Archives: gnomes

Ichabod Brooks, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Don’t touch that dial, you’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show on the airwaves that interviews the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and this interview is one I’ve looked forward to for a long time. He’s my favorite character from the land of Windemere, and I’ve interviewed a few of them. “Give a warm welcome to Ichabod Brooks.”

“Thanks. Happy to be here and . . . talk. I have to admit that I’m not really sure how this set up works. I didn’t bring anything to help if one of these things explode.”

“Ichabod, your story inspires me. It’s encouraging to find an adventurer with a family. So many adventurers seem to wander from place to place, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I mean, you even have a pet… well, some kind of snort-pig thing. Can you tell our listeners how you make all that work?”

“To be honest, I did the wandering adventurer thing when I was younger. Just followed either the money, the rumors, or whatever caught my attention. Things became more stable when I began taking jobs and issuing contracts to my employers. Guess that’s what helped me make the transition more than most people in my career. Although, I never went for the glory and save the world type of adventures, so I may have been working toward this in the first place without knowing it. Just had to find the right woman and reach an age where I was more interested in putting food on the table than fighting monsters. Not that the latter doesn’t have some appeal.

“How do I make it work? Well, that depends on who you ask. My friends will say that I’m whipped and make it work by letting my wife call the shots. Bards would tell you that there’s nothing I can’t do, which is a blatant lie. My own opinion is that I make sure my wife and I discuss everything. She’s kind of an adventurer too, so we have to plan our jobs in a way that means one of us is always home with our son. There are no secrets between us unless the job involves sensitive material and we can’t legally share. That happens more with her than me since I avoid those headaches on principle. That principle is that I don’t want to deal with those types of messes.

“Only other piece of advice I can give is to make every minute of family time count. Romantic time with my wife and play time with my son are very important to me. Never know when my luck will run out or if I’ll ever reach retirement. This is one of the reasons I bring home trophies for my son and spend time telling him the stories. The real ones and not those abominations that the bards sing about me. Nobody could possibly defeat fifty trolls with a single shot of their longbow. Not unless they used fireball arrows and led the monsters into an enclosed area that’s been doused in oil. Fine, I guess it is possible.”

“There is a clause in your contract that warms my circuits. Before you take any job, they have to agree that you can claim a souvenir for your son. I’ve read your stories, and he must have quite a collection by now.”

“Funny how that started. My son hadn’t been born yet and an employer gave me a souvenir to bring home. This was a pinecone from a tree that had grown to take over an entire castle and I managed to revert it back to its normal state. That gave me the idea of adding the clause because it will help my son remember and learn about my real adventures. Last thing I want is for him to think the bard songs are all true. As far as size, the collection is in one room of the house and he can only get in there with me or my wife. I’ll admit to having a few dangerous items in there, but a friend specializes in display cases and he gives me a good deal for bulk products.

“Bards? Let me tell you about the bards! Do you have any idea how many of them wanted to sponsor today’s show? I was bombarded with CDs and demo tapes. I finally had to run one off at gunpoint because he staked out the studio. I mean, I’ve had to deal with paparazzi a time or two, but these guys are crazy.”

“Guess they caught wind of you having a big audience. Must be newcomers to the trade because the veterans are a lot more discreet and respectful. They still lie because they claim it’s good for business. There was one adventure where I traveled with a bard to handle some rogue barbarians. His name was Rebec and he latched onto me at a tavern. Couldn’t shake the man and he was trouble from the start. He nearly got us killed a few times and then made it sound like I took out an entire tribe when it was just a handful of warriors in a very narrow mountain pass. This is why I prefer traveling with friends who have no financial interest in lying about my exploits. Can’t get very far in this job without friends.”

“Oh yeah, Dex, Morgan, and Meg. They say no man is an island, and you have some pretty good help when you need it. Dex seems like a handy guy, tell our listeners about him.”

“Where to even start with a piece of work like Dex? As far as dwarves go, he’s fairly cuddly once you get to know him. Feels far too clinical to call him a good example of a great friend, but he’s there for me both on and off the job. We try to get together once a month to have a few drinks and get the families together. Dex doesn’t have kids, so he enjoys spoiling my son whenever he’s over. That and telling exaggerated tales of our adventures in order to get under my skin.

“Hard to remember when we first met too. Dex says it was when we were assigned to the same job, but I swear we got into a barfight two months prior to that. You can’t really forget a beard that red and elegantly braided. At my age, the memory doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to.

“We don’t get to adventure together as often as we used to. Dex’s specialty is mountaineering, so I go to him whenever I have a job that requires a lot of climbing. My knee and lower back make those jobs more difficult. Hate to depend on him more than he depends on me, which is why he’s trying to help me get the kinks out. Now he has Meg helping him with this self-proclaimed quest because she wants me to stay in shape in case she needs me. Her expertise is the ocean and I recently worked with them to retrieve an artifact called Zaria’s Kiss. Kind of wish they were still squabbling instead of getting along because having a dwarf and a gnome teaming up on you is no picnic. Better to have them on my side.”

“I loved that one. It not only provided a great adventure underwater, it also hinted at the larger pantheon of Windemere. Would you like to offer some closing remarks to our listeners today? Then I have one more question, more of a request actually.”

“Not really sure what you mean by closing remarks, but I guess I’m just hoping people enjoy my real story. I’ve had plenty of adventures and this chat has left me more nervous than all of those combined. As you can tell, I’m not much of a talker. That definitely helps in the adventurer trade because you need to listen for danger and to your employer. Guess it’s nice to end with some advice like that.”

“Can I have your autograph?”

“I don’t see why not. Mostly because you asked politely. Good to see a youngster show some manners.”

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton. Don’t forget to tell your social circles about The Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks. You do that by using the sharing buttons on the website. I’ll also include purchase links, and you don’t want to miss this one”

***

Enter the world of Windemere with 11 action adventure short stories featuring a man who is out to make an honest living.

Some heroes seek fame. Some seek fortune. Others simply want to save the world. Ichabod Brooks only wants to put food on the table for his family.

Known and respected as the man who can get any job done, Ichabod has seen his share of adventure. Most of which have been highly exaggerated by bards. Still, the man has his famous reputation for a reason. Whether it be climbing a temperamental mountain for eggs or escorting orphans to their new homes, Ichabod takes every job seriously and makes sure he is as prepared as he can be. Not that it helps since things always take a turn for the worse.

Pick up a copy of The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks right here.

 

 

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.legendsofwindemere.com

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Advice about writing a series

A big thanks to Craig for hosting a guest post to celebrate the release of the newest volume in the Legends of Windemere saga. The topic he tossed my way is a real head-scratcher too. Being the author of a long series, I have to keep the final book in mind when I write. Everything needs to be tied up and continuity has to be retained for the end to make sense. If you’re ending with a giant battle then you have to at least consider killing characters off. Not only the villains, but the heroes too. In fact this topic stems from J.K. Rowling’s teasing of character deaths and closure before the release of Deathly Hallows. The real trick here is to tackle this topic without revealing a bunch of spoilers. Fingers crossed there.

Going by how popular series have ended, I would say that the first thing to accept is that some people won’t be happy. Yet this is probably a sign that you did a good job. If you wrote every character with depth and relatability then each one will have fans who want them to get a happy ending. There are also those who think certain couples should be created by the end and those who believe some of the survivors should be dead. In other words, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone or you’ll end up in a padded room eating tapioca pudding without a spoon. Follow where you want the story to go and make sure that the finale makes sense from your perspective. That’s really the only one you can trust without fail.


Now for myself, I have a 15 book series, which means I have to put a lot of ups and downs in there. With an ensemble cast that has a 7 protagonist core and several high profile supporting characters, I can actually do multiple ending types. Some of my heroes will get happy endings while others won’t be walking out of the final battle. There’s more variety than live and die if you think about it. Those are the basic categories, but what condition the character is in determines part of what I do. For example, a hero who survives to find that they have nothing left doesn’t really get happiness. They claimed victory at such a cost that they having become broken and isolated. Will I be doing this? Not sure yet, but it’s a possibility.


One of the ‘complaints’ I get is that my fantasy series lacks a high body count, but I do enjoy battering my characters and having them grow through the hardship. Once they’re dead then that’s the end of their evolution even if they appear as a ghost. Yet I did add a piece into the story that has been gnawing on the heroes and might be a slight spoiler. Destiny and free will get brought up a lot. The champions are chosen to face a great evil, but their actions determine how they get there and in what condition. Also if they win, which is where the little wrinkle came up due to the God of Destiny being a jerk.


Since Legends of Windemere: The Compass Key, my heroes have known that at least one of them will die in the final battle. It could be all of them and the Baron wins or one who simply has terrible luck. They don’t know and the worry comes up from time to time. Some characters are worried that they will die, but they carry on because leaving would mean abandoning their friends. Others are determined to use their free will to prevent this from happening or sacrifice themselves to save the others. The point of this revelation is to show that these heroes all know that they could be walking to their demise. From my own reading experience, most heroes are told they will survive the final battle or never have any doubt that they will. So it’s fun to keep this needle of fear in all of them.


Returning to the original topic, I do think a final battle requires at least one death and for there to be some scars. Especially when you put the world at stake, it’s rather unbelievable for the good guys to win unscathed. It doesn’t even have to be death, but there needs to be a sense that the heroes lost something to make the final hurdle. Just so happens that offing a character in a violent battle is the easiest and most expected path. Even wiping the memory of everyone involved so that they don’t realize they’re the champions wouldn’t sit well with some people because that can be undone. You do need some level of permanency in your finale because that’s what closure is about. Leaving a few openings for future stories or appearances is fine and recommended if you plan on continuing to write in the same world. Yet you need a limit and have to bring home the fact that the heroes’ journey is complete. That’s really the central part of finishing off a long series. Alive, dead, or whatever, you need to make sure the readers know that this is the end. Hopefully I can pull that off when the time comes.


Then again, maybe I’ve already done it for a character or two in the latest volume. Mwahaha!

Check out my newest book

LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE: THE MERCENARY PRINCE



And visit me at

LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE

@cyallowitz

 

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The Mercenary Prince

My friend Charles has a new addition to his Windemere series. This time the focus is on a different character, and he’s dropped off some promotional material to tell us all about it. I’ve also got to say, this is the best Windemere cover so far.

 

Now on Amazon for $2.99!
LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE:
THE MERCENARY PRINCE

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Delvin Cunningham has left the champions.

Lost to his tribe in the Yagervan Plains, fear and shame have kept the former Mercenary Prince away from his homeland. With his confidence crumbling, he has decided to return and bring closure to his past. Reuniting with his old friends, Delvin’s timing could not be worse as a deadly campaign is brewing within Yagervan’s borders. Dawn Fangs are on the march and these powerful vampires are determined to turn the entire region into a graveyard.

To protect his family, friends, and two homelands, Delvin will have to push his doubt away and become the cunning Mercenary Prince once again.

Art by Jason Pedersen

Art by Jason Pedersen

Please feel free to put this on your ‘To Read’ list on Goodreads by clicking below:

The Mercenary Prince on Goodreads!

Excerpt from The Mercenary Prince

With the hint of a smirk, Selenia quickens her pace and unleashes a barrage of blows on her former student. Each strike and stab is deflected by the sweat-covered champion, his speed increasing to match her every time. At one point, the half-elf leaps forward and is struck in her stomach by his shield, which forces her to flip over his head. The headmistress lands in a crouch and whirls around to block the counterattack, the point of Delvin’s sword gently running along the leather patch over her stomach. Realizing that he is still holding back, Selenia bats his next attack away and delivers a painful kick to his exposed side. The blow knocks him against the fountain and he comes dangerously close to falling into the water.

While rubbing his bruised side, Delvin circles the headmistress who turns to continue facing him. He makes a few feints that she refuses to acknowledge because they are clumsy and pathetically amateurish. The gathered students and teachers shout for more action, all of them believing the brown-haired warrior to be afraid of the legendary woman. None of them realize that his circles have been getting tighter and his fake attacks have caused Selenia to misjudge his distance. It is something she realizes when Delvin makes a quick swing for her hip and their weapons strike closer to their hilts than she expects. The moment the half-elf steps back to gain some space, her former student pushes forward with precise strikes that mirror the onslaught she previously unleashed. Without a shield, the headmistress finds it more difficult to block every attack and has to twist her body away from several attacks. The movements prevent her from throwing a kick or punch, which would probably hit the shield that he has yet to include in his advance.

Selenia eventually catches Delvin’s blade and slides her weapon along its edge to step within his swinging range. The pair push against each other, their muscles straining to gain the upper hand. Every time one of them is about to gain ground, their opponent shifts enough to continue the frustrating stalemate. With a grunt of exertion, Delvin moves his shield in front of the headmistress’s face and blocks her view. Knowing she is expecting him to push forward, the warrior falls onto his back and lets the surprised half-elf’s momentum slam her face into the wooden disc. The back of his head bounces off the ground as he flicks his wrist to deliver an extra shot to Selenia’s chin. She rolls away from him to recover her senses, but Delvin scrambles to keep her in reach and continue his attack as they stand.

“You actually hit me,” Selenia states when she notices that her nose is bleeding. She ducks under her opponent’s swing and aims her hilt for his stomach, the blow only grazing his shirt. “I think you’ve achieved two firsts for this academy, Delvin. Nobody has ever drawn my blood or made me dizzy during a match.”

Want to Dive into the Adventure from the Beginning?

Find all of these exciting adventures by visiting the Amazon Author Page of Charles E. Yallowitz

So charge up your Kindle and end 2015 with an adventure full of action, humor, old friends, new enemies, grudge matches, tears, ale, and vampires.

author-photoAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

***

Charles is coming back next week to tell us a bit about writing an ongoing series. Check out The Mercenary Prince, and come back next week for some insight into writing such an epic series.

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