writers. I've got two interviews each week, so be sure to catch them all! This week I’ve invited C. Lee Brown to be my guest star. He is the author of “Cable Hornman: The Bard Begins” (Book 1 in the Tales of the Bard, with Illustrations by his daughter Traci Throgmorten) and “A Visitor to Sandahl” (A compendium of short stories set in the same world.) Thanks for coming by, Lee!
I’m glad to be invited here, Audra.
Who is your favorite fantasy character of all time and
There are so many fantastic people in the fantasy genre it’s hard to choose, but if I have to go with just one, it has to be Gandalf. To me, he personifies the fantasy hero who struggles against incredible odds to combat evil. Plus he is portrayed by Tolkien as a demi-god with wondrous magical powers. In addition to his magical skills, Gandalf is the wise sage who successfully manipulates people and events for a desired outcome. I loved his presence in the books and felt validated when he was portrayed in the movies by Ian McKellen.
What was the role of the bard in medieval times?
In actual medieval times, the Bard was a musician that brought secular music to the common folk. Most music of
that time was composed mainly for the Catholic churches, but the traveling Bard played ballads, recited poems and even acted out short plays or skits for the people. They were an integral part of society and often invited to perform at
court. Most Bards played some musical instrument. The lute was the most preferred because it was easily carried and provided a wide range of chords.
Did you alter that role for your bard character in your books?
Absolutely, the main character in my stories is Cable Hornman, and he is modeled after the Bard character one
would find in a role-playing game. In addition to playing music, reciting poems or tall tales, and passing on the news from the next town over, Cable has a complete set of other skills. He is a master swordsman and trained fighter.
Before leaving the City Guard in Smeln, he was knighted as a Cavalier and promoted to the rank of Captain. He spent time with the Thieves Guild to learn all their secrets about picking locks, hiding in shadows, climbing walls and
detecting traps. He is also (in the new book) seeking a mentor to learn how to use magic. Cable is descended from a special group of humans called the Paragon, who possess a “Power” that works much like magic, but can actually be used to “Create.” His long term goal will be to master this ability and eventually confront the people who killed his family when he was just a toddler. In the mean time, Cable is developing a reputation as something of a medieval crime
solver. (I spent seven years as a Police Captain and it just comes out in the story.)
Your fantasy world is very detailed, down to the interior layout and food specialties of each tavern. How do you keep it all straight?
My world consists of the planet Pearl which has four major continents. The story takes place on Methanasia. I
have one huge map of this continent and several smaller maps and sketches of specific realms. I keep a list based on
Etymology for names of people, places and things. These names are drawn from all languages, including Esperanto, and even a couple dead ones. I know what the name means and from which language it was derived. Another list contains two hundred names I generated for Inns and Taverns. When I use a name it goes on a
list for that story or novel and it is changed to bold on both lists. I also have documents that describe characters, places, races, how magic works, the local nobility and other noteworthy information. I’m always adding more data
to my world building. All this started in 3-ring binders with document protectors about 1984. I even cut out photos from articles for inspiration. In the past decade, I’ve moved most of it over to computer files. More recently, I
researched crows, their Etymology and all their variations because, like here on Earth, they are prolific all over the planet of Pearl, and play a key role in the story. I knew in my mind the way of magic in Methanasia, but also
had to document that recently. A lot of this is generated answering questions for other writers who are working on short stories for the Sandahl anthologies. Most of it is in my head, but I try to document anything new just
to be consistent. I worked in Military Intelligence for 21 years and I guess that molded me into something of a perfectionist with a lot of attention to details. I sometimes wonder how I ever allowed the first book to go to the
publishers; I wanted to keep getting the bugs out. But we have to learn to let go at some point.
What’s your latest fantasy novel about, in 25 words or less?
“Secret of the Druids” starts out with a drunken wizard, a blue dragon, an Elf wedding invitation, Druids, thieves, a witch, a big pink guy and a talking ferret.
THIS or THAT
Fairy tales or Greek myths?
I like both, but Greek mythology rules.
Witches or wizards?
I use both in my novels and stories. OK, Wizards!
CS Lewis or JRR Tolkien?
Tolkien is the master of fantasy.
Magic carpet or flying horse?
Give me Pegasus every time…..
Lyres or mandolins?
Mandolin or lute. (Lyres and harps are for sissies)
Where can we learn more about your books?
I don’t have a webpage (yet) so the best place is to look up Cable Hornman on Amazon or Createspace. Here’s a
link to the Amazon page:
Both of my books are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.