When someone says the name J.R.R. Tolkien to me the first thing that pops into my head is Middle Earth, Orc’s, Dwarf’s and Elves
Like wise when I hear J.K. Rowling I think of Magic, Mythical Creatures and the Impossible.
If these two “worlds” collided it would create Novogard, A land that has been shattered from racial division. Where a powerful government has begun its encroachment onto unwilling societies. Where the magical and the technological collide.
What am I talking about I hear you ask?! I’m talking about the all NEW and exciting book, Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric by Tommy Meyers of course!
The book is based around 15 year old Eric Elmoor who has always felt like an outcast; ceaselessly teased about his unusual purple eyes, never fitting into any particular group at school, raised only by his mother since his father died inexplicably when he was only a small child. But when three warlocks simultaneously attack the three biggest cities in all of Novogard, Eric is taken on a journey to the elf homeland where the secrets of his mysterious origins will be revealed and the power within him unleashed…and a forbidden relationship with the chieftain’s goddaughter begins.
With the warlocks and their hellish horde now threatening the borders of the elvish lands, Eric must find the courage to make a stand and face the one who murdered his father in the vain hope of saving all of Novogard from utter ruin.
Has that wet your apatite for more? Of course it has. Well first lets delve into the life of the author who wrote it, Tommy Meyers. Tommy lives in Tyler, Texas, with his wife, Danessa, and his two beautiful children. When Tommy’s not working or writing he likes nothing better than a BBQ (we have seen many a picture) and to conquer those monkey bars that got the better of him last week! (Sorry but I HAD to get that in)
We stuck to book related questions, we don’t want to frighten him off…….yet 😉
1. What’s a typical day like?
– Well, the day starts off at 5:20 am when I wake up, get my coffee and go into work as a nurse until 2:00. When I come home I may be able to get out a few rounds of Battlefield 3 (video games are another favorite pass time of mine that’s horribly distracting) to de-stress from the day job. After that it’s play with the kids and the make supper (love grilling) and then send them off to bed. Once they’re both asleep I get maybe 2-3 hours to write uninterrupted. But throughout the whole day I’m constantly thinking about the next step in the story or some new or cool plot twist that comes to me and I steal a moment to jot it down before it leaves my head. Chaotic, I know, but it’s what has to be done to get the story out there.
2. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
– I can’t think about what actually triggered it but I always loved stories and wanted to tell my own. My mother recently found a story I wrote when I was six that featured me and my best friend breaking into Hell to go get some rare artifact. I guess I was a somewhat demented kid.
3. Are there any authors or books that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
– Tolkien was a big influence for obvious reasons. But, honestly, I wasn’t much of a regular reader until mid-way through high school and then when I got out I read even more. There’s something about me that when people tell me to do something I tend to rebel. Now, in my more “mature” days, I’m consuming everything I can when I get the time. I loved books 1-3 of the Harry Potter series, the latter ones were too cumbersome for my tastes. I love George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (when I have time to read those epic tomes). Also, there’s Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series that is just too cool for words. Nineteenth century battles but with dragons?! Sign me up!
4. What do you do to prepare yourself before writing? Do you listen to music? Do you look at visual aids?
– I don’t prepare. I just do. Music helps during the writing process to get me into that world as long as it doesn’t have lyrics. Sometimes the words can find their way onto the page. In terms of visuals, I love fantasy and sci-fi, so whether it be a video game, television show, or a movie, it inspires me on some level.
5. What motivated you to write Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric?
– I had been writing screenplays for a while before diving into prose and I had always begged my wife to try to read them. If you’ve never read a screenplay before it can be a very jarring experience. There’s so much white on the page and there’s technical terminology to learn to fully grasp what you’re supposed to be “seeing in your head.” So, after a few tries my wife gave up and simply said, “I’ll read your book when you decide to do one.” Prose was daunting at first simply because it was a writing style you have to pay more attention to than screenwriting. You can have grammar issues galore and not explain your environment as much in a screenplay. Also, there’s the inward dialogue as well as the outward dialogue to worry about. So I thought it was too difficult a task for me. After a few years of trying to break into the movie world I got numerous rejections simply because I write too big and the budget would be too high to intrust it to an unknown screenwriter. Then in 2010, we took a trip to Universal Studios in Florida and went to Islands of Adventure the very day the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened (that was a riot, let me tell you). So, as we’re sitting in the 8 hour long line (I kid you not), an epiphany hit me. If I wrote a book, I could have an unlimited budget and be only restrained by the depths of my imagination. Not only that, with the advent of eBooks and the boom of self-publishing, if I couldn’t get an agent to accept my manuscript, I can just put it out there myself. Screenwriting came with this frustration that not very many people read them, let alone pay for them, and I was tired of not having an audience that could see what I had to offer. Also, there was a point in that 8 hour line where I said, “Rowling has her own world, Tolkien had his. Heck, even George Lucas and James Cameron have there’s. I want MY own world!” I promptly left the line, bought a leather-bound Hogwarts journal for entirely too much money and the Eric Elmoor saga slowly, but surely, came to life.
6. Give us the 140 character TWEET description of Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric.
– Welcome to Novogard. Eric Elmoor’s journey begins innocently enough, but he is soon immersed into a world of magic, adventure…and murder.
7. What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting, or editing?
– Rewriting simply because there’s a Butterfly Effect that comes into play sometimes. If you change one thing, there’s probably something else that needs to be changed in order to fit with the rest of the plot. There’s the possibility of a domino effect that rewriting has that I’m just not a fan of. I wish I could nail the book in the first draft and just publish it from there.
8. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
– I loved the first few chapters simply because it’s where Eric and I both embarked on this journey together in a cool new world.
9. Tell us something we don’t know about you?
– I had a son at a young age which forced me to mature quicker than most of my friends at the time. I don’t regret it, but, like Eric, I faced a hard reality earlier than most.
10. Will you write other books after the Eric series is finished?
– Yes, the world of Abeodor is ripe for the picking. There’s 5 continents in total and the Eric Elmoor Saga only takes place in one – Novogard. So there will be more, definitely. Plus, I would love to explore the further advancement of technology on this world as it continues to progress. In the Eric Elmoor Saga it’s just really starting to take hold.
11. Is Eric’s character based on a real person?
– I would say Spider-Man (fictional, I know) but my mother says Eric reminded her a lot of me simply because Eric is a smartass…just like me. 🙂
12. Do you enjoy the mythical/fantasy genre?
– Yes. It is a great place to be in because anything is possible.
13. How did you think up the names of the different places in the story?
– Some are taken from real life places, others are inspired by fictional places. I conceived of this world by thinking, “What if Middle-earth evolved technologically?” So you can see where a lot of it comes from.
14. There is an obvious link to racism in the story- is this a subject close to your heart?
– Yes. There was a time where another writer friend of mine (DeCarlton Wooten) were talking about our various projects and we’re both avid Star Wars fans. He’s an African-American who likes to write about the South in the early twentieth century and the racial implications of that period. I had suggested to him that maybe he should write a big sci-fi story that revolves around racial tensions and in that way he can say anything about race that he wants to. He never did get to do that story so I suppose it was left up to me. I decided to show racism for what I think it truly is – a distraction. It’s a distraction used by various groups to keep us at each other’s throats instead of seeing the “bigger picture.” Granted, there are a lot of people out there that will hate another race no matter what simply through ignorance, but in the grand scheme of things, I see it as a “divide and conquer” tactic that’s used to score political points when “they” see fit.
15. Did it take you long to write?
– Well, I fleshed out all 5 books over the period of two years while still continuing to work on screenplays off and on. But the actually nitty-gritty took me about 9 months from start to finish on the manuscript. That’s first draft, editing, etc.
16. When can we expect the next installment of Eric Elmoor?
– I’m hoping by winter 2013/2014. I, like many readers, don’t like to wait years and years for the next installment of a series to come out.
17. What are your hopes for the Eric Elmoor series? Could you see it being more than just a book?
– If it were to become the next fantasy film franchise that would be AWESOME! But it would have to be true to the books and the themes could not be dampened. The themes in the books are so close to my heart that I feel that if any studio wanted to water them down, I don’t think I could commit to it. Yes, changes will be made and that’s inherit to the process of adaptation but the themes should remain fully intact. And, as I’ve explained, I’m an avid video game player so I have something in mind for an MMO like World of Warcraft somewhere out there in the distant future if everything pans out.
I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to anyone and everyone – I am anxiously awaiting the next instalment…thank goodness there are another four to come!
The story transports you into a mythical, fantasy world filled with magic, mythical creatures and evil beings, all trying to be ruled by the rising of the technological world.
The characters are well described and are all very believable. I found myself feeling what Eric was feeling, and felt passionate for him to overcome the obstacles put in his way and for him to strive to be the best he could be…I was also very desperate for him to “get the girl”! 🙂
The plot is very well thought out, and the story is pieced together by giving the three characters viewpoints at simultaneous times – Eric, Derex and Ben. The reader is able to see the struggles, the pains and the anxieties each character is going through, and can then bring these different views into the experiences of the others, giving a fuller, wider understanding of what was happening and why…brilliant! Particularly brilliant I felt, when it came to understanding Derex. Yes, Derex is the “villain”, but by having his views explored first hand, you are able to understand that he isn’t simply being evil for evils sake – he has his own personal justification for needing to do the things he does. However devastating they may be.
The concept of racism is a huge part of the story, and is developed very well. Eric is viewed as “different” by most people he encounters throughout his life, whether that be the people within the city he has lived all of his life, or the elves he is very newly acquainted with. Eric is labelled “a half-blood” and this story illustrates his inner struggles and torments at dealing with the set backs such a label can bring. It also helps to show that regardless of how different the people all over Novogard think they are from each other, they are all actually fairly similar. Whether they be an Elf living in the highest treetops of Fairwood, or a rich human living in luxury within the city of Gondlair, they are all united in their alienation of people viewed as “different”. Personally for me, this really brought home how this concept is mirrored in much of society today, and I really liked how the story explored this point.
Once again – I absolutely loved this book and it comes highly recommended!!
I would give “Eric Elmoor and The Gauntlet of Godric” ten golden apples if I could – but a mighty high five it will have to be! 🙂
One final word……….. Tolkien and Rowling’s will be family favourites for years to come and if book one of Tommy’s book, Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric, is anything to go by he will be joining these great authors!
We would like to thank Tommy for letting us review his book and for his interview 🙂 we look forward to the other parts of this series.
You can get Tommy’s book at the following places;
Connect with Tommy on
Twitter – https://mobile.twitter.com/tommythescribe
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6696172.Thomas_A_Meyers
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EricElmoor?ref=ts&fref=ts
~Nicola & Simone~