It has been so long since we’ve actually had an opportunity to speak with one of the denizens of Otherworld. Sometimes we have that portal into the place, where we see bits and pieces of the other lands that we might run across, but finding creators from those worlds is a true privilege.
Though we saw George Kramer’s work with Arcadis: Prophecy a few weeks back, I was given a chance to talk to the man himself more recently. Here’s what we discussed.
Tellest: First of all, congratulations on publishing your first novella. When did you decide you wanted to try your hand at this discipline?
George Kramer: Thank you. My desire to write stems way back in fifth grade. My teacher was reading aloud ‘Treasure Island’ with a pirate accent. I started writing in my notebook because it was hard for me to pay attention. Soon I found it to be a good release mechanism.
T: How did you come up with the idea of the colored magics? Did the story come first, or did the structure of the magic system?
GK: The structure of the magic system came first. I had just read a fantasy novel and thought to myself, “I can do that.” I let the idea stew until a few weeks later I was at my sister’s house and she was painting. She mentioned the various colors she was interested in before making a selection. It was there I decided to do research on colors. I learned about the primary colors, and an epiphany occurred which led to the structure of the story. As a writer, you never know where your inspiration will come from.
T: So how long has this particular story been in development? It sounds like it’s kind of been at your core for a very long time.
GK: One would think that the story has been in development for some time, but actually the story just came to me. I have a stream of ideas I like to write down and implement into the storyline. I write them down and incorporate them. I check to see if the ideas fit or some alteration needs to be done. It’s rare I have to alter anything in way of plot because I am intimately familiar with the plots and sub plots.
T: Your setting takes place alongside our daily lives, almost making this feel like an American Harry Potter, meant for more mature audiences. What made you decide to go with a kind of urban fantasy the way you did?
GK: People have equated it to Harry Potter, but really, I liked the concept of a small rural town where I lived. The idea that the sorcerers lived alongside us intrigued me. I was trying to convey something otherworldly in a realistic setting. As for a mature audience, I decided to tame the swearing and other scenes to broaden its appeal to the YA genre. Books two through (so far) book four reflect that.
T: Do you find it more challenging to dial it back a notch to appeal to a younger crowd? Or is it actually easier because of certain limitations you might put up for yourself?
GK: I hadn’t thought of dialing it back to appeal to a younger crowd until some of my friend’s children read it and liked it. So in the ensuing books, I have toned down the cursing and other scenes to appeal to the YA crowd.
T: In the story, one of the characters mentions the witches and the Wizards. Are they beholden to the same magical structure? Or do they have some other kind of mechanics that they abide by?
GK: Their magical structure differs. Book two goes into slightly more detail. Book three is one of the main focuses concerning the wizards and warlocks.
T: There are a lot of human elements to these factions, but you’ve got just as much magic flowing through nature, like the soul trees. Do we touch on that natural arcane energy as well?
GK: There are some human elements but you’re correct, magic comes from the environment. I explain that in the third and fourth book.
T: Your realm adheres to a lot of different rules and titles. Beyond the primary and secondary powers, you have regulators, solicitors and so forth. What made you decide to enforce the laws of magic with special officers?
GK: Because if there weren’t laws in any society, including the magical realms, anarchy and chaos would ensue. There tends to be a hierarchy in society which denotes the sorcerers, wizards and warlocks are similar in nature to humans.
T: Throughout the story, some of Arcadis’ biggest opposition is his own family. Did that have some deeper meaning than what we may have seen on the surface?
GK: One would think so, but honestly no. I come from a large family. Growing up poor, we managed to grow close. To this day, most of us have coffee every weekend together.
GK: No… but when I write the scenes and look through Arcadis’s eyes, I can see him doing all those things. Maybe there is a hint of jealously in my words?
T: This novella really packed a punch as far as action goes. Did you find it difficult to move from one event to another the way you did? It almost felt like three different stories woven into one collection.
GK: I didn’t find it difficult to weave a few storylines together because I considered them trigger points. By that I mean down the road, one of the storyline’s might become pivotal later on in another book. As a matter of fact, one of my main strategies was to put Arcadis in situations where it was impossible to get out . That forced me to think how I was going to keep him alive.
I liked the fact there was a lot of action because it makes you riveted and thinking what was going to happen next!
T: How far into the future do you see this series going?
GK: I would like to see the series go on indefinitely because I love writing them. I have written four books thus far. As of this writing, my editor has the second one. However, I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago with an almost full plot to a fifth book. I had to write it down lest I forget. It took a while to type it out, leading to very little sleep. I suffered for it at work, but I think it was well worth it! So, at this point, as long as people want to buy and read my books, I am more than willing to continue writing them!
T: Are you exploring any other mediums, such as audiobooks?
GK: I would like to explore other mediums. Audiobooks are one option. Another would be action figures, maybe some RP games and other things along similar lines. One of my ultimate goals is to make an animated movie with all of the characters in it.
T: Do you see Arcadis being the focus of most of these stories?
GK: Yes, I see Arcadis being an integral part of the stories. Should I decide to write other characters in the Arcadis series, I would still put him in somewhere, even in a mention. His persona envelops all of the novellas.
Thank you so much to George for giving us the opportunity to interview him. He was a great sport about it! You can check out more about Arcadis and his continuing adventures on George’s blog.
If you’re the creator of fantasy worlds and you would like to be interviewed for your work, contact us via the link in the menu bar.