Monday, December 3, 2012

Interview with debut fantasy author Ron Hartman

Today’s guest, fantasy author Ron Hartman is here to tell us a bit about his novel The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Foretold.

Ron will be awarding signed cover flats for each tour stop and a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. If you’d like to be entered to win any of the gifts, make sure to leave an e-mail address so you can be contacted. And if you’d like to increase your chances of winning, follow Ron’s tour and comment at other tour stops.

To purchase book: www.roguephoenixpress.com; www.bn.com; www.amazon.com

Bio:
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. Ron graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2000 and lives in Ottumwa, Iowa with his wife and three children.

Welcome, Ron. Please tell us about your current release.
The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Foretold is the first in a fantasy trilogy following the tale of Daniel Marten, a man from our world that gets transported to another world during a car accident. When he comes to in a country called Naphthali, the injuries he sustained during the accident have healed, but have left him disfigured with scars. The scars mark him as a prophesied savior for the people of the war-torn country, but all Daniel wants to do is get back to the family he left behind…

What inspired you to write this book?
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.

That was the initial inspiration for this book, 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.

Excerpt:
Daniel stopped behind him and just short of the hill's crest, his heart in his throat as he looked at Soren's tense form in silhouette. Afraid of what he'd see, but needing to see it anyway, he forced himself to take the last few steps on numb and shaky legs. Before them the peaks declined into a series for short foothills before reaching a rocky beach. They were surrounded on three sides by the strange green waters of the sea. The tall white-capped mountains continued along the far shore to their right-hand side. Fear and confusion welled inside him as he asked, "How--what happened?"
           
A fierce scowl marred Alaric's face as he dropped his pack and pulled out the vellum map. Soren rested a hand on the map and gently pushed it down. "We lost our bearings," he murmured. "Veered too far west."
           
Daniel's bowels turned to water at the sound of doom in Soren's voice. In a whisper he asked, "What?" Alaric raised the map and his shoulders sagged. He held it out to Daniel, pointing at the mountains and the sea. Specifically he pointed at the small peninsula that jutted into the Sea of Sorrows. "No…" Daniel murmured, realization bringing his dread to fruition.

Clem realized the danger as well. He spun around, as if expecting Imperial soldiers to appear any second. When he turned back to them, his eyes were cold, his voice dead. "We're trapped."

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve already written rough drafts of Prophecy Chronicles 2 and 3, so currently I am revising those. I’ve also started on another project that will be more of a mainstream fictional tale. It follows a group of high school friends when they come back together twenty years after graduating. The overall theme of that book will be one of forgiveness, and what happens if you do (and don’t) give or receive it. I’m only a little way into that one so far, but it has been fun fleshing out those characters, and it’s always fun to relive the glory days!!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I first considered myself a writer when I was close to finishing Prophecy Foretold, my first book. I could see the end in sight and I knew I was finally going to make it. It wasn’t until then that I finally told my family and friends that I was writing a book, and asked them to read it when I was finished. So that was when I became a writer. For me there is a definite distinction between being a “writer” and an “author,” though. To me one is a hobby, the other a profession. Once I finally got Prophecy Foretold published, I finally considered myself both a writer and author. It’s been a long road, but it has been quite educational and interesting!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Writing is my passion, so I do hope to someday be able to write full-time. Currently I wear several hats. I have a full-time job as a pharmacist, but I am also the director of a program at my local community college where I teach students that would like to enter pharmacy-related fields. I also teach junior high boys at my church, but by far my most important job is being a husband and dad to my family. They are the reason for all I do. Without them I would be a lot like Daniel Marten, a stranger lost in a strange land. Mostly I write late at night, when everyone else is fast asleep.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if this is truly a quirk or more of an obsessive-compulsive trait, but whenever I sit down to the computer to write, I always check email first. It doesn't matter if I'd already checked it ten minutes before, that is the first thing I do. It’s like my creative juices won’t start flowing unless I do that first. Does that make me crazy, or just a writer?!?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a Paleontologist. The idea of studying animals that lived eons before humans had ever even existed fascinated me, and still do to this day. By the time I was in high school my interest had faded somewhat, though. One day I was sitting in my guidance counselor’s office and he said that pharmacists were paid fairly well and they were always the good guys. With that I was intrigued, and the rest, as they say, is history…

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you so much for tuning in today! I've enjoyed sharing with you all, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as well. If you have any thoughts or questions, I’d love to hear them! Please visit my website, www.prophecychronicles.com and share anything you’d like. Thanks again, and may the Starburst Stranger set you free, if only for a few hours!

Thanks, Ron. Happy touring! 


12 comments:

Ron Hartman said...

Thanks so much for having me on today, Lisa! I'm excited to be here, and I'd love to hear what you all have to say. Any thoughts/questions? Shout them out! Don't be bashful...

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Ingeborg said...

Wow, you sure do keep busy. How do you find the time to write? The book sounds great.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Catherine Lee said...

Ron...You mention Prophecy Chronicles 2 & 3. Is that how many there will be in the series? Will they need to be read in order? I never seem to be any good at keeping up with things and reading them in order...even though I am a librarian!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

MomJane said...

Great excerpt. Love that there will be more stories.

Ron Hartman said...

Yes, there will be three in the series, at least to start...I did leave an opening at the end of Prophecy Chronicles 3 for a 4th, but that won't be for awhile. I've got a few other projects that I want to do first. It would probably be easiest to read them in sequence, as they all follow Daniel's adventures. I believe that if you didn't read them in order, you'd probably still have an enjoyable read, though.

Christine D. said...

I find it funny how barely anyone becomes what they wanted to be when they were younger. I wanted to be an entomologist once. Now bugs creep me out. Thanks for sharing!

chrysrawr@yahoo.com

Chelsea B. said...

Having a supportive family is one of the most important things in the world :-)
Also, I think it just makes you a writer ;-)

justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Shannon Ro said...

Thank you for the interview. The scars explain the dark shadowy cover that I love, perfect. Looking forward to this and the other upcoming Prophecy novels

fencingromein at hotmail dot xom

Anonymous said...

Very nice interview!

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Ron Hartman said...

Thank you all for the kind comments! Yes, having a supportive family is one of the greatest things anyone could have. I know I wouldn't be who I am without my wife and kids, not to mention my extended family. Yes, the scars on the cover do represent how Daniel looks in the books, though I wrote him a bit older than the model on the cover...

Mary Preston said...

A powerful image, especially since it inspired a story.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com