Welcome to Andrew Q. Gordon, who has stopped by on The Eye and the Arm blog tour today. Andrew answered a few questions for me about the series and is also offering the chance for THREE readers to each win an e-copy of The Last Grand Master, Book One in the Champion of the Gods series. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
TNA: Andrew, tell us, if you will, a little bit about the world you’ve built in the Champion of the Gods series. What are some of the things that make it complex, unique, and magical?
Andrew: Geez, the history of the world in three sentences? Nendor is the world where the story takes place. There are seven gods who worked together to create the world. Things were going fine until one—Neldin, the God of the Dead—decided he wanted to be God of everything. There are unicorns, giant falcons, called Peregrines—who communicate mentally with everyone. One of the main characters—Miceral— is a Muchari, a race that look perfectly human but they’re immortal and have greater strength, speed, endurance, etc. There are dwarves, wizards, a race I can’t name without spoiling things, and other creatures.
The title of the series refers to the two sides in the war. The gods can’t fight each other directly or else they’d destroy the thing they’re fighting over. Instead the fight is conducted through champions. Farrell is the Champion of the Six—the six gods who don’t want Neldin to take over. Nelidin’s champion is Meglar, who we learn early in Book One, is Farrell’s father.
Same sex pairings are seen as no different than opposite sex pairings.
TNA: Because epic fantasy translates so well into epic cinema, if The Last Grand Master and The Eye and the Arm were optioned for film, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Andrew: You know I’m so bad at this. I don’t know that I have a specific person in mind. Andrew Garfield—the actor who played/plays Spiderman now would be a good Farrell. Miceral is bigger, so I’d go with Chris Hemsworth. (Sorry for the superhero theme working here, but I promise not to cast Robert Downey, Patrick Stewart or Ian Mckellen.)
Kel is not in the movie, but he’s referred to and we do get ‘see’ his image, and since I love him, I going to cast him as well. I think Victor Garber would be perfect for Kel.
Last I suppose we need to cast the bad guy—Meglar. I don’t see him as an ugly, evil emperor ala Star Wars. He was handsome and charming when he courted Farrell’s mother. Gerald Butler or Eric Bana would be the type to play him.
TNA: As you’ve written and pictured scenes and settings in your mind’s eye, where would your dream filming location be?
Andrew: For The Last Grand Master – the Rocky Mountains. I think that would be similar to the Trellham Mountains where the story starts. For Book 2 The Eye and the Arm that’s a bit harder as a lot of it takes place at sea, but for the land setting Rome comes to mind – some place old, warm most of the time, a country surrounded by water (that’s mostly true for Italy). Dumbarten is an ancient kingdom that has used its geography—it’s an Island nation off the coast of Lourdria, one of the three main continents of Endor—to prosper and become a military power.
TNA: What are some of the scenes you’d most love to see come to life on film? What makes them special?
Andrew: Each book has some that I’d really like to see, but since we’re celebrating the release of The Eye and the Arm, I’ll pick some from there. (Thought I’ll keep to things that are in the blurb so as to not give away too much.) The first would be the fight scene—everyone seems to love battle scenes—where Miceral uses his enhanced strength and speed in the fight against the pirates. He does a few things in the fight that would play well on the big screen.
The second would be when Miceral and Rothdin—Farrell’s adoptive father who looks like a giant falcon—have to enter Farrell’s mind to free him from the trap he’s in. The scene would play well to special effects, but it’s also one of the emotional daggers of the book.
The last scene would be when Farrell finds an image of Kel—the ancient wizard who was the Champion of the Gods before Farrell. It’s not Kel himself, but a magical image. I love Kel, he might be my favorite character in the book, even though he’s not really in the book. He’s thousands of years old, powerful, been a king, gave it up, and now answers to no one but the gods. He’s got a personality to match.
TNA: As both a reader and author of heroic adventures, what do you feel makes a hero heroic?
Andrew: This is a tough one. There are many types of heroes. Frodo was a normal hobbit with no powers, yet he took down the mighty Sauron. Or Ripley in Aliens. Those are certainly heroes. Then there is Obi Wan, someone who has great power, but sacrifices himself for the greater good. And there are the Vanyel’s who use their power to protect.
For me, I prefer those heroes who have great power that use it for the greater good. They might or might not make survive, but they fight on anyway.
TNA: Whom do you credit for your love of fantasy? Are there certain books and/or movies that are, and will always be, favorites?
Andrew: J.R.R. Tolkein was my first ‘favorite’ author. I think I started reading him not too long after he’d died. After him there was Stephen Donalson and the Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, David Eddings, Mercedes Lackey and many others. Lackey is the one who taught me that you could have gay main characters in fantasy—which after the homophobic crap from Robert Adams I read when I was coming to terms with myself, that was something I needed to read.
TNA: What are you working on currently? Will you share with us a bit about WIPs and upcoming releases?
Andrew: So, what’s next? Oh, how I wish I didn’t have to work full time, the things I would write. For now I have four things in various stages of being done;Kings of Lore and Legend—which is Book 3 of Champion of the Gods. KOLAL should be out in March of ’16. DSP Publications is going to re-release Purpose in October and I’m working on a follow up novella that will answer some questions raised and not answered in Purpose. Purpose is an urban fantasy novel set in Washington DC. Its main character is the spirit of vengeance. The novella is scheduled for release in February of ’16. The other two things are contemporary MM Romance. Although this is something of a departure for me, it’s actually the genre where I started writing. I’ve got two stores in various stages of done. Not sure of a timeline for those two.
TNA: Thanks so much for being here with us today, Andrew. It’s been a pleasure. :)
Andrew: No, thank you for having me. I appreciate all the support you give me and the other authors.
Blurb – The Eye and the Arm: After defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.
Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.
Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’sspellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.
Blurb – The Last Grand Master: In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.
But then Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.
Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.
Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost he and Miceral their lives.
The Eye and the Arm Trailer:
About the Author: Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of twenty years, their daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.