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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Cover Reveal Q&A: The Darkest Dawn (Rings of War #1) by Marc Mulero

 


Official Author Website

Order The Darkest Dawn over HERE

 

Q] Welcome to Fantasy Book Critic Marc. For starters, could you please introduce yourself, tell us what inspired you to write in the first place, and describe your journey to becoming a self-published author.

MM: It’s an absolute pleasure to be invited here! I’m Marc Mulero, a creator at heart since I was very young. My inspiration comes from a mix of having a strong passion for books, movies, games, all of the fun stuff that I could never let go of, as well as being pushed by some darker elements of life (that I’ll touch upon below).

As I went through college and even deep into my career as a CPA, I could never let go of what I loved. And why should I? It was this question that led me further down the path of deviation from the norm. I thought to myself: “I’m fortunate enough to work under world-class attorneys (who helped polish my writing) and I’ve read a thousand books. Hey, what the hell? Maybe I should give my own story a shot.” I’d also be lying if I said that working fourteen hours a day early on in my tax career didn’t push me to a proverbial edge. It happened one lonely Monday night on the subway in Manhattan, at a time where everyone should’ve been home… it was then I said to myself that there has to be another way. This isn’t living.

So, it was on that ride home that I pulled out my Blackberry, and began typing out my first book. From that point on, I never looked back.

 

Q] Please elaborate how the genesis of Rings Of War occurred. How long have you been working on it? Has it evolved from its original idea (if any)?

MM: Oh boy, that’s a loaded one. Okay… without giving away too much:

I’m fascinated by certain philosophical ideas, namely that the mind transcends what we perceive as reality. For example, a triangle exists as an object with three sides independently of us being able to locate one using our sight or touch. We can just think it, and it appears in our thoughts. Using this idea, I wanted to build a world that has access to that plane which transcends reality as we perceive it. What would such a world be like? How would one access it? What are the benefits of being able to exist in such a dimension? How would it affect thought, religion, belief systems? All of this birthed the idea of an “esper” – a ring which leads into the other world.

From there, I had to develop the characters. What kind of person would be able to guide the reader through such an intricate journey? A curious one, that’s who. Therein came the birth of Eres Way, the protagonist.

I’ll leave it there, because I can go on forever. I’ve been working on this massive book for over a year, and I can’t wait to share it.

 

Q] For someone who has not read any of your books, how would you describe the type of stories that you write? What would be your elevator pitch for the Rings Of War?

MM: I would say that depth, mystery, drama, and action are all key parts to a well-rounded story. Originality and uniqueness, too. I want every one of my books to be a carefully crafted concoction of the abovementioned elements, all while I pay very close attention to any “slow” points that could creep up. Why? Because I loathe being bored, and would hate for one of my readers to suffer monotony at my hand. So, kind person that shares this elevator with me, if you want to enjoy a good book, read Rings of War!

Q] Let’s talk about the stunning cover for The Darkest Dawn. Please tell us how you and your cover designing team worked together to create it?

MM: I had a vision for the cover since chapter 1, and I must say, it was realized on such a high level that it surpassed my imagination. Billy Christian and Shawn T. King are dangerously good at what they do, both of who are awesome people to boot.

We started with my vision for the cover, the characters I wanted to be included, the tone, the communication through art, and from there drafts were drawn up by Billy and his team. It was a collaborative effort the whole way. “His hat is too tall, his nose is too big, the armor is too bulky.” You name it, we worked on it. Shawn gave opinions, I gave opinions, Billy offered suggestions. Back and forth, back and forth, until finally - boom. This beautiful cover was complete.

It was an honor to work with them.

 

Q] What was your first reaction when you saw it? How does it hold up (in your opinion) to what the main story is about?

MM: I was presented two drafts after giving my proposed direction, and while they were both stellar concepts, my eyes gravitated toward one in particular, mostly because of how the antagonist was portrayed. Seren is without a doubt a menacing figure with a great amount of power. To see him come to life in this fashion is nothing short of awesome.

Regarding how well the cover plays into the story, well, Eres (the bottom character) is looking out into the distance, which to me gives a good sense of his eagerness to chase his future. On the other hand, Seren is this overarching figure obsessed with his goals and always seems to be one step ahead of everyone else. The forest background is also extremely relevant to the story.

 

Q] What was the inspiration for Rings of War series? Where did the idea come from and what compelled you to see it through to the end?

MM: No particular inspiration that I can think of, but some of the beta readers said it reminded them of Harry Potter a bit, Lord of the Rings in some instances, and one even said there are similarities to Avatar (the anime, not the movie).

 

Q] How many books are planned for this series? Can you tell us anything about the sequel?

MM: I can tell you that the sequel is fully mapped out in my head, and I plan on writing it if I find success with The Darkest Dawn. Other than that, no details :X!

Q] Can you tell us more about the world that The Darkest Dawn is set in and some of the story’s major characters? What are the curiosities of this world?

MM: The world of Ingora is made up of two conjoined spheres (think of it as two planets joined together like a Venn diagram). The Osa Sphere is inhabited and is broken out into many territories (as can be seen on the map), while the Verglas Sphere is a large desolate sheet of ice. The protagonist, Eres, lives in the Dolseir forest within the Osa Sphere, which is very close to the school that he is set to attend. There he meets his first friend and crush, Windel, as well as his instant rival, Crow. There are great and terrible Proctors along the way too that help Eres (and the reader) through the introductions of the world.

Some curiosities include obscure tech that is used in war, such as:

·       Glite: Armor impervious to all projectiles, which was created to keep combat hand-to-hand.

·       Crule: A chemical that douses weaponry in a fire-like substance, which can be used in limited spurts to pierce the impervious Glite armor.

·       Impellers: Wind generators that can burst the user into the air for faster travel and amplified movements in battle.

Also, there is a magic system called Reach, which can pull elements from a person’s surroundings for various purposes. A shield made of tree bark, a vine sharp enough to impale, fire from friction, a guided tidal wave from calm waters, anything if the user has the right affinity.

 

Q] Please tell us about the books and authors who have captured your imagination and inspired you to become a wordsmith in your own right. Similarly, are there any current authors you would like to give a shout out to?

MM: Brandon Sanderson, George R.R. Martin, and J.K. Rowling are some of my favorites. Shout outs to them would be lost in the wind, unfortunately!

 

Q] Thank you for your time and for the answers. Any parting thoughts/words that you'd like to share with your fans & readers?

MM: Thank you for having me, Mihir. My parting words to readers are:  I am nothing without you. I’m grateful for every single reader that has enjoyed my work, and am always eager to hear your thoughts. Thank you for your most precious commodity – time – and I hope you enjoy this story as I’ve poured everything into it.

Stay Awesome!

Marc

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Order The Darkest Dawn over HERE

Official Blurb: Eres is a Dawn. A sexless barren. A freak. And because of it, he’s spent most of his short life stuck in a shack in the middle of nowhere, hiding amidst the forest for no one to find. Society would strike him from existence if they could, and it’s for this reason that they can never know.

Now, all there is to do is to wait, to dream that one day maybe he could become a powerful Skrol like his father before him. He wants nothing more than to wield an esper – a crafted ring that possesses an eye into another world - and fight against the infamous assassin, Seren Night, who seeks to reveal the secret that the Skrols have been tasked to protect for thousands of years.

But as time drifts by, all of these dreams slowly fade away with it.

Until one day, his father finally returns from his endless travels bearing the greatest gift of all: to disguise Eres’ true identity so he can attend the local academy, Kor Vinsánce, and find his purpose in all of this.

It’s here, within the overcast shadow of his legendary father, where his journey begins.

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