Ron will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter and a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn host during this tour and the Review Tour.
1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. I’d say the character trait that has served me best in my adventures to getting published would be a drive to never give up. Prophecy Revealed is actually the second book I’ve gotten published, the first being Prophecy Foretold, which started the trilogy. With Prophecy Foretold I would say it probably took about four years to finally get published from the time I finished writing it. I initially tried to get a literary agent, but to my great surprise most wouldn’t accept you unless you’d been published, but for large publishing houses they won’t accept your work without agent representation! Quite a conundrum… If I didn’t have a strong determination to see this through, I’m sure I would have given up long before The Prophecy Chronicles ever saw the light of day. Finally found a publishing house that was just the right size, Rogue Phoenix Press, and it has been smooth sailing since!
2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? I’ve always loved the fantasy genre. The first true novel I ever read was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. For as long as I can remember I wanted to write a fantasy novel, so I guess you could say the genre chose me, but I knew from the start that Prophecy Revealed would be a fantasy novel, part of a fantasy series.
3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? My writing is mostly of the plotter variety. I start with an outline, but even that is only written after carefully considering the story arc and working out the major points ahead of time in my mind. Occasionally, though, a sequence will just come to me while I’m writing. Those are really exciting! I’ve no idea where these tangents come from, but they are some of the most enjoyable portions to write. I love it when I sit down without any idea what I’ll write and when I’m finished say, “Wow! Where did that come from?” An example are some of the characters that inhabited a chapter that was essentially a flash-back scene. I knew what the action was going to be in that scene, but all of the lively characters that came to mind when I sat down were quite a refreshing surprise! They really lit up the chapter, bringing it to life.
4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? One of my biggest fears is getting lost, followed closely by losing my family. That is the central theme in the Prophecy Chronicles series, so yes, I guess you could say I have written them into the story. Some of the scenes are difficult to write, and I have teared up more than once, both while writing the rough drafts and in revisions…some of those fears are just too close to home to not be moved by!
5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? I’m not sure that I’ve completely conquered the juggling, but hey, who has? I have a wife and three children, as well as two other jobs that fill my time when I’m not writing. Consequently most of my writing time comes between 10pm and 2am, when everyone else is asleep and the other jobs haven’t started. Wait, look back two sentences…I guess just saying that I have three kids probably has any parents out there thinking, “when are the balls not dropping?!?” But seriously, usually I have to focus on the most imminent deadline and go from there, otherwise it wouldn’t be balls falling, it would be flaming chainsaws!
6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? I’d say in just about any scene the result would initially be utter mayhem, followed by disaster. In some parts of the Prophecy Chronicles I share how Daniel Marten, the protagonist, is a modern man, lost in a medieval world. That would definitely be me! I’m not much of a camper, hunter, scavenger, survivor, so I could see things going bad in a big way in a hurry.
7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. My writing sanctum is in my office at home. It is always very cluttered. Sometimes I just look at it all and think, “Now, where did I put that outline?” It is where things are usually quiet enough that “the magic happens”, and the story appears on the page. Now, if only I could find that outline… My favorite comfort food depends on the season. Since its summer, right now that would easily be a blueberry milkshake. In the fall it would be a corn and noodle casserole (secret family recipe, so don’t ask!) my wife makes. In the dead of winter it’d be gigantic chocolate chip cookies with a big glass of milk. In the spring I can’t live without a fruit pie, usually either cherry, blueberry, or mixed berry. Is your mouth watering yet? I know mine is!
8. Writing inspirations? This book grew from a kernel that was planted in my mind long ago. When I was sixteen or seventeen I was driving home from a job at night during a snowstorm. I came around a series of s-curves and saw a frozen pond sitting not far from the highway. My mind’s eye saw a car sliding across the road, breaking through a fence, and crashing through the ice of that pond. That image stayed with me for years, until it finally became the opening sequence in Prophecy Foretold, the first book in the Prophecy Chronicles Series.
That was the initial inspiration for this series, but by far the greatest inspiration was my family. Their love and support has carried me through many dark days when I would’ve given up if not for them. It shouldn’t be surprising that Daniel’s wife Ashley is closely patterned after my own wife Leslie.
9. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? Kind of like my favorite comfort food, my favorite author is subject to change as well…Right now I’m on a historical fiction kick, so I’d say my current favorite author is Conn Iggulden, masterful writer of series of books on both Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan. He’s just now starting a series on the War of the Roses that looks very interesting as well. I think it was his series on Genghis Khan that I found the most riveting. You don’t really see it in Prophecy Revealed, but in the third book of the series, tentatively titled Prophecy Fulfilled, there are some strong influences from Mr. Iggulden. I guess the one question I’d ask him is, “When will you go back and write more about Genghis Khan and his grandson, Kublai Khan? I can’t wait!
10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. I’m actually not too quirky…who has time?!? My wife is my best friend, so I guess you could say the thing I do that gets to her the most is when I lock myself away, for hours at a time every night, plucking away at the keys and not letting her see the book until at least the first draft is finished.
By Ron Hartman
Daniel Marten crossed the Burning Sea and convinced himself that he is the Prophesied One. But what does that mean? In this second installment of the Prophecy Chronicles trilogy, Daniel forges new alliances in his bid to save Naphthali from the Emperor. He meets the Tene’breon, a magical race that has evolved to use the Weave as effortlessly as he breathes air. The leaders of this race recognize him for what he is…but they also see something more.
Naphthali has been dramatically altered by the rule of a new governor, a man whose power is tied to Daniel in a horrifying way. How far will Daniel go to save Naphthali? And what is the secret that binds his destiny with his new allies? Only time will tell in The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Revealed.
Rage started to build inside Daniel. He closed his right hand into a tight fist and felt a dull ache that quickly gave way to burning pain. Of course that was alright too, because that was as it should be. He looked back to his desk and there, on the now cluttered surface was—Ah! His solace. The ones he turned to at his darkest moments. Ashley and the kids beamed at him from photos.
He turned to the thing doing a poor job of mimicking one of his closest friends. Her eyes flashed orange and she gave off a series of clicks as realization struck. She may be orchestrating this, but it’s my mind, and I can control what happens. He looked at the pictures of his beloved family and considered his office, his refuge. She’d perverted it, desecrated it. Rage continued to build, and Daniel knew soon he would be powerless to stop it. Let it. He didn’t want to stop. Still looking at the photos, he started to speak, his voice shaking with fury. “These are my family, my friends. I give them my time, and my care.” He turned to not-Meg. “You are not one of them, and you will have no more.” The last came out in a roar as he closed the distance between himself and his tormentor.
He opened his right fist and clamped it around not-Meg’s throat, slamming her to the wall. The burning grew to encase his entire arm when he tightened his grip, but he refused to let go. He pulled his face to within inches of hers, and glared with suddenly steely eyes. “Who are you?” he growled.
Ron Hartman has had a life-long passion for the written word and is an avid reader. The Prophecy Chronicles are his first written works. The first in the series, Prophecy Foretold, was released in October of 2012. Prophecy Revealed is the second in the trilogy. Ron graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2000 and lives in Ottumwa, Iowa with his wife and three children.
Website link: www.prophecychronicles.com
Purchase link at Rogue Phoenix Press: http://shop.roguephoenixpress.ieasysite.com/category_v3.aspx?categoryid=96