Welcome everyone to another great week of the Writer's Revolution. I am your host, the author of The Phoenix Blade, Andrew Hess. I'd like to introduce our guest this week, the author of Maldene, Mark Tierno
Tell me a little about yourself.
Well, I have a MS in Physics and another degree in Math, so there’s a lot of that part of my brain going, but I’ve also nurtured the creative side of my mind as well and have quite the imagination.
For a number of years the bulk of my life seemed to be in caregiving. My Dad got Parkinson’s Disease back when I was in High School and it was 25 years of that misery before he finally passed away; I was there the entire time helping out my Mom with him, a job that evolved from lifting him up from a tumble on occasion to 24/7 assistance. Then after that I had to look after my Mom, and when in time she became really sick, I was the one that had to change her diapers and teach her how to walk again. It was all pretty miserable, but even so I kept at formulating my book in my head until I finally had a chance to start it. It was about 1994 when the Eaton Canyon fire took out my grandpa’s old house; he’d been dead a number of years but my Mom had never sold the place. The insurance money eased things a bit. About a year later I began working on my first novel. S a side effect, it brought quite a bit of pleasure into my parents’ lives to watch me go at it, and that was good for all concerned.
I’m sorry you had to go through all of that, but I’m sure your parents were glad that you stuck by them and took care of them leaving it to someone else.
What inspired you to write? What type of genre do you write?
I guess I always had a story in my heart, just a matter of finding the right mould to poor it into. Back when I was about 12 or 13 I remember taking mental notes about a book I liked, what elements of style or plot that I’d include for the future book I knew I would some day right. Even before that, my imagination was always looking for an outlet.
The genre I write in is a mix of fantasy and SF. The first Maldene book begins as High epic Fantasy, but later books will see certain Sci-Fi elements blended in as well. I also have another as yet unpublished series that goes the other way around; it begins as mainly SF cyberpunk stuff but with elements of fantasy tossed in. I’ll leave the straight stuff for everyone else, me I enjoy mixing up some rare combinations.
I think the literary and even movie world could use someone to mix things up a bit.
Tell me about your book Maldene.
Maldene is a world far far away, a world of magic, mystery, and many secrets and surprises. A world of three moons with mysteriously precise orbits, a world many times bigger than Earth (and in no way connected to it at all), and a world under the shadow of a dark wizard named Miro (pronounced “My-Ro”). The legend of his evil goes back as far as anyone knows, to the very beginning of recorded History, and it is said that even the gods fear him; exactly why that is, no one is saying. It is quite evident that he has grand designs for power and conquest, and has the ability, cunning, and greed to have long-since conquered the world, yet he has not. What holds him back is but one of the mysteries that our adventurers will begin to discover in this first book of Maldene, as they begin a journey that will take them across three continents in search of answers.
Sounds interesting and very intricate. Tell us more about Maldene and the main character, what makes them unique and what makes them tick.
There are several characters even in just this first book, but for the “main” ones (at least at first glance) there are three. Sabu is a wizard whose intellect often gets distracted in too-deep an analysis of his surroundings, while his elven friend Eldar lives for adventure and whimsy. Completing their triad is a psychic-wizard named Sindar, whose own intelligence is so nearly an echo of Sabu’s that their discussions can leave Eldar screaming, “There’s TWO of them?!”
At first glance, they are on a voyage for treasure to be found at an old abandoned lab of Miro’s. They encounter some friends and companions, and a troop of hired mercenaries. But there is far more to their journey. Each of them saw a blind old gypsy fortune teller with golden eyes that foretold of their meeting, and of the destiny that they would find on this journey. Their reason for this trip is not the treasure people hear about, but something far more insubstantial.
Of course, as it turns out, they aren’t the only ones in their group with ulterior motives.
Sounds like this has the making of a fun book series. What inspired you to write this book?
I’d been accumulating elements of this story in my head over a period of about 15 years before I sat down to write it. Starting in college, gleaning inspiration from friends, books I’ve read, movies I’d seen, and just adding to the details as they came to me. Before I knew it I had a world map, alphabet, dictionary and language, heck even weather patterns noted down. I also had amassed one heck of a plot.
Wow, that’s a lot of creativity poured into your book. What other books or blogs have you written?
“Maldene”, currently published in two volumes (It’s kinda large and I was told that unknown writers should not put out 800-page paperbacks), but this 2-book novel is just the first of thirteen. Yes, you heard me right. There are 13 novels in the Maldene series for a total of 5.2 million words, 250 characters, and a plot that stretches across the stars and back through time.
Of course, since I’m a bit of a fast writer, I also had time for a few other things. As yet unpublished is a 5-book cyberpunk-conspiracy-fantasy series entitled Cyberdawn, a series of 6 stories and novels about a guy named Inspector Flaatphut (the first in this series, a short story entitled “Project Looking Glass” is available as an ebook on Amazon), and I managed to squeeze in a 2-book prequel for Maldene.
I also have my little blog over at www.maldene.com, but I mainly talk there about my book and a few writing tips.
Were your other books self-published or traditionally published?
The first two volumes of Maldene were originally traditionally published, but the publisher’s (Publish America) ideas of marketing involved getting the author to pay more fees and keep buying copies of their own books, rather than actually taking the effort to do something themselves. So, I left them and started my own independent label and now publish under Vault of Knowledge.
I can’t believe they would make you pay extra fees and force you to buy multiple copies of your own book. I think writers have been finding more success opening their own independent label and go through the self-publishing routes.
Who is your greatest writing inspiration?
I couldn’t narrow it down to just one. Growing up I pretty much read everybody and everything I could get my hands on. If it was SF or Fantasy, I read it. Heinlein, Asimov, Andre Norton, Tolkein, the works.