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Author Interview with J. V. Hilliard

I'm really enjoying giving new authors a chance to shine and to get their work out there and in front of new readers. I especially love reading books from new authors as writing changes all the time. Let's get to know one of these new authors right now.






A young boy’s prophetic visions. Blind at birth, Daemus Alaric is blessed with the gift of prophetic Sight. Now, as a Keeper of the Forbidden, he must use his powers of the Sight to foil the plans of a fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad. An elven Princess with a horrifying secret. Princess Addilyn Elspeth travels from Eldwal, the magically hidden home of the Vermilion elves, to begin her life as a diplomat to the human capital of Castleshire. During her journey, she stumbles upon a mystical creature foretelling ill tidings. A terrifying force of evil. Daemus’ recurring nightmare vision threatens to catapult him into a terrifying struggle that will leave the fate of the Keepers—and the realm—hanging in the balance. Daemus and Princess Addilyn must set out to face the menace that threatens their very existence. Will the entire realm fall to its knees? The Last Keeper is the first book in The Warminster Series. With gripping, epic action and heart-pounding adventure, you’ll love this new adventure series.



 

PRESS RELEASE


Author J.V. Hilliard Releases First in New Fantasy Adventure Series: The Last Keeper


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11th, 2022


J.V. Hilliard is an imaginative voice arriving on the fantasy adventure scene with The Last Keeper, the first in his epic Warminster series.


Daemus Alaric, a young boy with the gift of prophetic Sight is plagued by nightmarish visions that threaten his sect, the enigmatic Keepers of the Forbidden. When Graytorris the Mad, a fallen Keeper, returns to Warminster, the other Keepers begin to lose their Sight, but Daemus’ powers remain. It’s up to him to foil Graytorris’ plans.


Daemus’ quest joins his destiny with Princess Addilyn Elspeth of the Vermilion elves, who received an ominous message during her journey to the human capital of Castleshire. So begins J.V. Hilliard’s epic new series with book one, The Last Keeper. Hilliard’s gripping fantasy winds through the mystical land of Warminster and beyond, with magic, dragons, and heart-pounding adventure that are sure to grip the attention of readers.


The depth of Hilliard’s characters and the vividness of his world-building began when he was young, playing role-playing games and immersing himself in the worlds of his favorite fantasy adventure novels.


The Last Keeper represents the memorialization of shared storytelling, reaped from decades of table-top roleplaying,” Hilliard said. “I brought heroes and villains from many campaigns with friends and family to life, offering a fresh spin on the plots and the characters themselves that will surely shock even them.”


“As a first-time author, I can’t be prouder of The Last Keeper. Book two is in editing and book three is being written as The Last Keeper goes live,” Hilliard commented. The only question is, will it be fast enough for readers after they find themselves absorbed by the incredible, mystical world of Warminster and Daemus’ journey to save it and himself?


The Last Keeper is available through most major distributors including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books. It’s published by Dragon Moon Press.


For more information be sure to visit https://www.jvhilliard.com/ and to follow Hilliard’s social media accounts: Twitter and Instagram (@jvhilliardbooks) and Facebook (J.V. Hilliard).


 

Author Name: J.V. Hilliard


Author Website: www.jvhilliard.com


Author Email: joe@jvhilliard.com


Author’s social media links (Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter etc.)

Twitter: @jvhilliardbooks

Instagram: @jvhilliardbooks

TikTok: @jvhilliardbooks

Facebook: J.V. Hilliard

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jvhilliardcom


Authors Series and list of books.

The Warminster series, but only book one, The Last Keeper has been released. Book two, Vorodin’s Lair is due for launch in late summer 2022 and the third, The Trillias Gambit, is due to be released around the holidays, 2022. The series is published by Dragon Moon Press (www.dragonmoonpress.com).

I also have a serial I publish through Altered Reality Magazine (online) called The Element of Time, which is published monthly.


Tell me a little about yourself, where do you live, family, hobbies!

ABOUT J. V. HILLIARD

Born of steel, fire and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the three mighty rivers that forged his realm’s wealth and power for generations.

His father, a peasant twerg, toiled away in industries of honest labor and instilled in him a work ethic that would shape his destiny. His mother, a local healer, cared for his elders and his warrior uncle, who helped to raise him during his formative years. His genius brother, whose wizardly prowess allowed him to master the art of the abacus and his own quill, trained with him for battles on fields of green and sheets of ice.

Hilliard’s earliest education took place in his warrior uncle’s tower, where he learned his first words. HIs uncle helped him to learn the basics of life—and, most importantly, creative writing.

Hilliard’s training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tale of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventure and legendary struggles. He lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two horse hounds, Thor and MacLeod, and resides there to this day.


What got you into writing?

It’s been a passion since I was a child. In elementary school I was read The Hobbit by Tolkien in one of my English classes and the story opened my eyes to the fantasy world (and genre) in general.

That Christmas I received my own copy of The Hobbit from my uncle—and the basic box set of TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons game. My family started playing the game and from that time on, my love of all things sword and sorcery grew.

Over the years, I started to memorialize certain characters, campaigns, and unforgettable moments from my time as a player character and as a dungeon master in small, campaign-specific diaries. This collection of adventures and stories became the basis for many of the protagonists and villains in The Last Keeper—and make up various parts of the realm of Warminster.


What’s the main thing you love and hate about writing?

I love the creative outlet. I tease my wife when she asked where these ideas come from and I tell her that many have been “voices in my head” for years, just looking to be given a true voice in this world. The Warminster series is that voice.

What I hate most is “killing my darlings.” I can’t tell you how many scenes are cut or revised in editing that hurt, even if their absence makes for a better story. Or in some cases, characters are removed entirely or marginalized, and it hurts me to know this as their “chronicler.”


How do you select the names of your characters?

Most of the names I’ve used in my novels are repurposed from my years of playing Dungeons and Dragons. Even the characters they embody are relatively the same to the characters I played our or “dungeon mastered” through the games for years. I even got the permission from my friends and family to use their old character names in the novels. It’s fun to see them jump to life again but in a new form, immortalized in the Warminster series.


What is next on your list to write/publish?

Vorodin’s Lair is the second book in the Warminster series, a continuation of the story of Daemus Alaric, the low Keeper from the Cathedral of the Watchful Eye. It is due out in July or August of 2022, with the third book in the series due out around the holidays of 2022 or quarter one of 2023.

What is your favorite childhood book?

It’s a cheat but I need to say The Lord of the Rings series by Tolkien. I cannot choose between them, and the story opened my eyes to the fantasy world (and genre) in general. As a 10-year-old, they were the perfect stories… heroes and villains, mysticism and magic, and legends with rich histories that really sparked my imagination. If I had my wish, it would be standard reading in all schools. Just a fantastic story with life lessons for all ages.


Who is your favourite author, and why?

Even though I am a huge Tolkien fan, I’d have to say in contemporary literature it is R.A. Salvatore. We share a passion and personal history for Dungeons & Dragons, and his style of writing is one I could only aspire to be compared to. I enjoy his battle scenes and the depth of his characters. They feel “real.”


Who encouraged you the most to write?

I started writing when I was very young. My uncle was paralyzed in the Vietnam War and when he returned home, my mother was his nurse. I practically grew up by his side and the kind of activities he could engage in were limited. But writing was something he could do, and so I started into creative writing and playing Dungeons & Dragons with him as a form of escapism from real life.


Are you as avid a reader as a writer?

Of course! I finish a book a week or so but must cheat from time to time with audio books as I travel frequently. But I think the two go hand-in-glove. I learn so much about my writing by learning from others—how the describe scenes, how they world build or how they make me feel for their characters. It’s like a classroom with each new author I read.


What’s your favorite genre?

By far, it’s epic fantasy. I love the richness of the realms that the authors create, and I can immerse myself in them, learning about the new races, new realms and new villains. Fantasy and Sci-Fi authors tend to be creative minds and I find inspiration for my work in theirs.

However, I do have to admit, I am a sucker for a good vampire or gothic novel. Just a guilty pleasure of yours truly…


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what type? Or can’t you stand background noise when writing?

I use music all the time to motivate my writing. In fact, many of my scenes or characters were born from the music that inspires me. For battle scenes, I play some Metallica or Five Finger Death Punch (among others); for sentimental scenes, it’s usually some classical or a variety of slow songs. But to get the creative juices flowing, I throw on Anvil of Crom from Conan the Barbarian or the Imperial March from Star Wars. Try that and tell me that it doesn’t motivate?


What is your writing Kryptonite?

Great question. It’s without a doubt my dogs. I have a red fox Labrador retriever (MacLeod) and a Siberian husky (Thor) and when they want walks, attention or get into scuffles, they throw me out of my writing zone. I try to hide in my den, but the always find me and scratch at the door until I concede. Nap times and bed times are the easiest times for me to escape them.


Tell me a secret that none of your fans know! Do you like to cook or perhaps only wear a certain colour sock!

A secret none of my readers know? That’s hard, but here’s a nugget they may enjoy. The idea for the main character’s oneiromancy (he has visions imparted by his god when he sleeps, like an Edgar Cayce) came to me when I was in high school. I had a set of recurring nightmares that I used to form the terrifying link between Daemus Alaric and Graytorris the Mad.


Tell me what your main character would say about you!

He would say I am not the author of his tale, but a chronicler of the characters of Warminster. That their tales have always been, and I am the vessel through which they are told.


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None really, save for the ones I mentioned before. However, I do have a great idea for an out of genre book on vampires that has an Exorcist vibe to it that I’ve dubbed as The Requiem of Sorrow. I hope to tackle that once the Warminster series wraps up in 2023.


What is your motto in life?

“Suffer no guilt, ye who wield this in the name of Crom.”

It’s a quote from Conan the Barbarian and is the motto carved into his father’s sword. The Riddle of Steel is an important part of Conan’s life, one as a child that was filled with suffering. He seeks the answer to the riddle and discovers that while steel becomes brittle and the flesh ages, it is will and conviction that prevail.

The sword’s motto teaches him that by finding the will, the flesh is used to wield the sword but that he must use it justly—and not against the unfortunate.


Does your family support your career as a writer?

Yes! My wife has been great and frankly, if it were not for her urging to use the downtime of the pandemic to write, The Last Keeper would still be an idea, and not a series.


Finally, any words of advice?

Keep writing!

Even if it's just an outline for a chapter or ideas that you're memorializing in your notes. Making writing habitual by setting goals—no matter how small or large. You don't want to fall off of pace and in this day and age of the marketplace, readers expect quicker turnarounds and more releases than ever.

Also, remember this is supposed to be fun! People read for entertainment purposes and as a writer it shouldn't be much different for you. Writing should be an outlet to funnel your creative spirit and ideas in the right direction, but you must have fun with it. When you do, the product is so much better.



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