Title: The Last Grand Master (Champion of the Gods #1)
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
In a war that shook the earth, the Six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For the three thousand years since, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity.
But then a new wizard unleashes the power of Neldin. Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, uses dark magic to create an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will.
One by one, the sovereign realms fall. Soon the only wizard who can stop Meglar is Grand Master Farrell, the Prince of Haven, the hidden home of refugees. An untried wizard, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar-or it could destroy the world.
While helping Nerti, queen of the unicorns, Farrell saves Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen to be Farrell’s mate. But Farrell approaches love with caution, and before he can decide how to proceed, Meglar invades a neighboring kingdom. Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Farrell pushes himself to the limit as he and Miceral fight not only to stop Meglar but for their very survival.
1. How did you come up with the title of your book?
Choosing the title for The Last Grand Master took proved more difficult than the other titles in the series. I ended up changing it several time on the advice of editors and staff at Dreamspinner Press. We wanted something that was easy to understand (no odd character names from the story), but also reflected the story itself. Farrell was the last grand master wizard standing between the enemy and the rest of the kingdoms, so it fit both criteria.
2. What is your writing environment like?
Does chaotic count? Being serious, it varies. My husband and I had a three year old so I have to write in between work and family. Sometimes I write at the kitchen table while I’m making dinner (I’m the cook). On those rare times I’m alone, I like to go to the coffee shop to write. Most of the time I write in my office upstairs which is next to my daughter’s room. I got in the habit of writing there when she was little so I could hear her if she cried. Now that she’s three that rarely happens, but it’s become my comfortable space.
3. What is your favorite quote? Why?
“Be excellent to each other.” It’s from “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” I think that sums up how things should be. If we all tried a bit harder to live by that motto (and I know I need to work on that more myself) I think it would be a better world.
4. How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I think there are elements of my life in my writing, though, sadly not the wizards and unicorns. My parents stressed doing things as a family. We ate dinner later than almost anyone I knew growing up because my father worked in New York City and didn’t get home until 7:30. I think that family closeness is reflected in my writing—even if we don’t get to meet the family.
5. What inspires you to write?
The flip answer (which probably has more than a whiff of truth inside it) is that I think everyone is clamoring to read my books. Being serious, much like reading, writing helps me relax—not the editing, marketing etc. that comes after the writing mind you. I find watching an idea move from a stray thought or image to a complete story very calming, especially when I’m finished.
6. What do you consider the most challenging part about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Finding and keeping a voice—my voice as well as the characters—and not losing my personal ‘style.’ There is a fine line between following the ‘rules’ and keeping my style. For me the two are somewhat related. Do my characters have a sense of humor? Is it mine, or do they have their own? Do I follow the rules, like, not having impossible simultaneous actions, or do I write it in a more easygoing, comfortable style? Do I avoid all perspective changes to avoid head hopping or do I use multiple character voices in a story in a controlled manner? Being a slave to the rules isn’t any better than thinking I don’t need to follow them because they don’t fit my style. That is where a good editor helps. I’ve been lucky to have worked with some very good ones, Lorraine Fico at Magnifico Manuscripts and Anne Reagan, the senior editor for The Last Grand Master, were very good at helping me decide when it was okay to deviate while still insisting when my desire to do it my way detracted from the book.
7. Did you learn anything while writing this book? If so, what was it?
World building is hard. Much like Bruce learned in ‘Bruce Almighty’, it’s not easy being God. Every action has consequences. It gave me a new appreciation for just how incredible it is that everything ‘works’ in the world.
8. What have you done to promote this book?
Aside from the blog tour, I wrote a free prequel—First Love that DSP Publications released on January 27, 2015—to give a bit of background to the story. I did a short blog tour for that story where my posted attempted to flesh out some secondary characters and places to help give depth to the world. DSP Publications is also offering a Kindle Voyage as a prize for the tour to help generate interest.
9. What are some of the best tools available today for writers?
Other authors. Author forums are a great source of information and inspiration. There is also a vast universe of websites that offer free information. (Even if those that are also trying to sell something offer some things of value as an enticement to buying their more in depth lessons.)
10. Is there anything else you would like to share?
The second book in the Champion of the Gods series—The Eye and the Arm—is due to be released on April 14, 2015. I envision 5 books total and the last three will come out about 9-10 months apart.
Thanks for having me, today!
Meet 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 to the times, he now writes with a shiny new MacBook that he sets on the same desk as his manual typewriter and vintage adding machine.
Long a fan of super heroes, wizards and sports, Andrew’s works include high fantasy, paranormal spirits, magic as well as contemporary fiction. He is still trying to find the perfect story that will include all his favorites under one cover.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his husband, their young 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 occasionally sleeping.