As part of our featured author week, Aric Carter stopped by Lytherus for an exclusive interview about his book The Reawakening. We talk about his career, both as a writer and as an actor, his love of fantasy, and his plans for The Saga of Lyn. We tried to keep it as spoiler free as possible, but we do discuss some plot points and larger themes.
Thank you so much for having me!
Since we haven’t had the chance to chat with you before, can you share a bit with us about you as a writer? What inspired your decision to write a novel? Where does your interest in fantasy come from? Do you have any quirks as writer you feel help the process for you?
The inspiration to write came from my love of reading. I was the kid at school who was always reading instead of paying attention in class. Through reading, I traveled to many other worlds and other galaxies. I have laughed, cried, despised, and cheered heroes and villains created by the vivid images from simple words. From books I learned about who I am, and I grew tremendously from them. If these wonderful authors had not shared their stories, I would not have become the man I am today.
To be honest, I never thought of myself as a very good writer. However, I felt compelled to write this story. In essence, it is my life’s journey shared in a fantasy setting that allows me to share who I really am without fear. My hope is that it makes you think while you are being entertained.
My interest in fantasy comes from my childhood of playing D&D and other role playing games. My two brothers, some friends, and I would spend hours creating characters, maps, and stories. These games allowed me to be a hero that I fantasied about being in my daydreams. I think roleplaying games developed my imagination and my desire to help those around me.
I don’t know if it is a quirk, but I do like to listen to certain types of music when I write. Music for me sets a mood. For instance If I need to write a battle scene, I set playlist of more up tempo songs. Once I start writing, the music fades away and helps me focus.
Before we jump into The Reawakening, do you have any other projects you’d like to highlight? I believe you are an actor as well?
Yes, I am an actor. I have been in a few films. The Post Human Project just released locally here in Oklahoma. It is a teen super hero movie that made entirely here in Oklahoma. I play an evil scientist. I had a wonderful time making the film. I mainly got into acting to push myself to do something that scares me. I have found when you lean into fear your life gets very interesting. It is okay to be a little afraid. I truly think it helps you grow.
I am also trying to put together a simple diet and exercise program that I use to stay fit. I have helped a few of my co-workers and friends lose weight and feel better about themselves. They encouraged me to share it by writing it all out. My hope is that it will help folks attain their goals of a healthier lifestyle.
Coming up in the next few months, I will be speaking at local schools as well. The main thrust of the talk is the power of reading to increase your intelligence through engaging your imagination.
Moving to your book, The Reawakening is definitely a fantasy novel, but you incorporate elements into it that are traditionally associated with science fiction. Where did the idea of melding the two genres come from, and did you find it difficult to work the two separate forms together?
Why did I meld science fiction and high fantasy? They are my two favorite genres! Some of my favorite authors are Tolkien, William Gibson, Robert Jordan, Orson Scott Card, R.A. Salvatore, Terry Goodkind, Piers Anthony, and Stephen King. I love magic, dragons, and I could spend hours talking about quantum physics. There are a few authors that meld these two genres. And I drew my inspiration from them. As this story unfolds in book two, we will see science and fantasy collide.
You tackle some of the more interesting questions we’re just starting to ask as a society. Does a friendship where people haven’t met “in real life” even count? Where does the line between AI and full sentience really lie? Yet instead of tackling them in the more common science fiction story, you went with fantasy. What made you choose that route?
I am glad you asked about AI and sentience. In book two, I delve more into what is attacking Krysin. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but book two will have more science fiction than book one. I have thought long and hard about Ai and what it means to be sentient. I hope to show what I think can happen if we follow that path.
To me Lyn is the main character. Tegain and Karl may seem to take center stage, but this book is actually book three of a five book series. Books one and two detail Lyn’s life and experiences before she is reawakened by Tegain. I wanted to have a strong female figure as the protagonist. My mother has always had a strong influence in my life, and I think that high fantasy is missing a strong female voice. Through the prequels, I hope to show the growth of Lyn as a strong female character.
You chose to tell your story in a very tradition high fantasy voice. Keeping any kind of narrative voice is tricky, and many authors choose to use a more modern style for that reason. What drove you to tackle this kind of challenge?
I really didn’t think about the voice of the narrative to be honest. When I write, I see a movie in my mind. I then try to turn those pictures into words. I spend hours trying to get the right wording that will recreate the vision that I see in my mind. I think the traditional fantasy voice lends itself easier to these mental visualizations.
The Reawakening is the first book of the Saga of Lyn. Do you have an idea for how many books will be in the series?
As I mentioned before, I see this as a five book series. I started with book three, because I felt books three through five made a good trilogy. Much like Star Wars, I wanted to start with an epic tale that could stand on its own. If the audience is there for the prequels, I would definitely enjoying sharing Lyn’s tale.
Do you have a rough estimate for when we might see Book Two?
I have just finished chapter 11 of book two. I hope to finish book two this year.
And my random question for everyone: what color lightsaber would you have?
Purple of course!
Thanks again, Aric, for stopping by and sharing with us!
Thank you so much for taking the time to get know me better! I hope you have a blessed day.