Author Interview with R.M. Garino
By R.M. Garino
Through trial and terror are our heroes forged. Fire fuels their souls; their blood, the quench that hardens the blades.
The Pride. The 3rd and 12th squads:
Join this misfit squad of angels as they fight for rank and renown in the martial school; the Areth’kon.
They go through harrowing trials and face deadly beasts to prove their worth. But one Master at the Gates wants their blood. Will they all be able to survive his wrath?
If this rowdy bunch can get their act together, they might actually have a shot at ranking up. Each dreams of becoming a Yearling, the first step on the path to being a Blademaster. But trouble follows them like it’s their lost pet and boy is it hungry.
Angus and Arielle:
Angelic relationships can be complicated; especially when others are messing with the cosmos.
Angus and Arielle were prophesized by the meddling seers long ago. As children they shared a divine bond; one never before seen by the likes of their people.
For fear of what their union meant, they were torn away from each other. Now, decades later, they reunite in a most embarrassing way.
Will their reunion be a thing of wonder, or were their elders right to be fearful?
Publish date: February 1st, 2017
Publisher: R.M. Garino
Genre: Epic Fantasy
What makes your writing unique compared to others in the genre?
I think there is a trifecta that makes our books unique. First, our characters really drive the series. They, and their relationships will work their way into your heart. They may be involved in an epic fantasy, but they are still young and their personal concerns are not overshadowed by the epic events. Second, we have a 'show don't tell' mantra we recite while writing. It helps keep us focused. Why bother explaining something to you when we can let the characters show you? Lastly, the world itself. The Chaos of Souls series is set in a world that has depth and dimension. The magical systems, the history, and the philosophies that underpin the novels are unique and inform the action, as well as the plot.
What’s the basic plot of your book or series?
Here's the prologue to the novel: it explains things pretty well:
In the beginning, a faction of angels spurned the will of Heaven and sundered the Veil into creation. As punishment, their souls were shattered into millions of fragments, called si'ru. The moment they crossed over, their si’ru mixed with corporeal matter and they were reformed into physical bodies. No longer were they Aesari. They became the E'ine, the First Ones. In time, these beings gave birth to children of their own, born from the flesh of their prisons. These were the Lethen'al, the Fallen.
Another faction tried to stop the exodus with malicious force. These were the Lo'ademn, and they too were punished, cast out into the Chora, the space between the spaces. By the grace of the Creator, they still retained their angelic abilities, but were condemned to wander until their brethren returned home.
The portion of creation where the Veil was breached was set aside and moved into the Chora, lest any of the Lethen'al attempted to return. This otherworld was named the Sur, for it is a place of isolation and loneliness.
An angel of tremendous power, an Aesari named Tarek was positioned there, a lone guardian protecting the paths to Heaven. It is believed he held his post for millennia, but grew weary of his role. It is said he learned to hate the E'ine and the Lethen'al, and blamed them for his exile instead of his own impulsive actions. Soon, he took a new name; The Apostate, and he vowed to destroy his fallen brethren.
His malice infected the Sur, and it became a place of darkness.
The E'ine forgot their past and who they once were. Gone was the purpose that led them through the Veil of Heaven, and the reason why they were here. They found clues to their truth, but answers eluded them. In the interim, they raised the humans to consciousness. But in time, the Lo'ademn learned that humans were easily corrupted, and their bodies effortless to steal. The Apostate walked creation in his borrowed skin, and with the monstrous hordes of his creation, the shrulks, he hunted the Lethen'al to near extinction. He was banished with the powerful magics of Thenaria Tu'renthien, the Matriarch, and the Lethen'al fled through the Gates of Golorath back to the Patresilen.
They locked the Gates behind them, and have not returned.
Seven thousand years have passed since the Apostate's exile. The E'ine are all but gone. The Lethen'al are still ignorant to their true past. But they have evolved behind the Gates, so that they will never be victims again. They have mastered the arts of magic and of war. Every Lethen'al must pass through the Areth'kon, their martial school, and become a Blade. At the completion of their training, they must serve a tour at The Gates of Golorath complex, where their fate will be decided.
Which scene from your book do you like best and why?
There are so many to choose from with books of this size, but there are a few that stand out. From Gates of Golorath, I'm really fond of the chapter "Boots in the Blood." Here, the two squads work together for the first time as a single unit. Everything that comes before it informs the events, and it is just a romping good fight scene.
Which is your favourite character and why?
Come on! That's like asking me which of my kids I like best. Actually, it's not, but its close. I think Brocco, the Magi consort of the Matriarch is my favourite. He is extremely intelligent and has a quirky sense of humour, but he is able to put things in perspective in his own unique way. Besides, the consort to the Matriarch and father to her royal line, he titled himself the "Lord Procreator." What's not to love about that?
How do you develop your characters?
I’ll tell you, but you have to promise not to say anything to the guys in the white coats. I hear the characters. They talk to me, and I’m able to slip inside the stream, the cascade of their thoughts. The longer I’m there listening, the more I come to understand them. This helps us (my wife and I), craft a story that is built upon the character’s motivations and not driven purely by the plot.
Which one of your characters would you like to be?
Rastef De’Veldrin, the son of the Apostate; the Forever Man. He has lived for thousands of years and has collected a vast array of knowledge. He cannot die, so you know, that’s a plus too.
Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?
I think my brain is like a blender. Everything goes in, gets chopped up and reformed into something else. Some things remain intact, though. For instance, in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda tells Luke: “Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.” That one stuck with me. Beings of light, trapped in matter. Sounds like a Lethen’al or a Lo’ademn to me (my equivalent of an angel or a demon).
What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book?
Write it. Finish what you started. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Don’t walk away from it and start another project. Finish it. Mistakes can be fixed. Books do not come from the author’s mind fully formed. They are shaped and reworked, polished until the words shine on the page.
What song would you choose as the theme song of your book?
What stands out the most is the song “Soldiers” from Otherwise. The interaction between the characters, who are mainly soldiers, is what ties the novel together. This song encapsulates that bond that is forged between them. And, it’s great to write fighting scenes to.
What music do you listen to when writing?
This is all depends on the scene I’m writing at the time. I mostly listen to metal or rock, but I can really get into a good instrumental as well (classical more than techno). Words sometimes get in the way.
What are you working on now?
We are working on the third book to the Chaos of Souls main series, The Gathering of the Blades.
Describe your road to publishing your book:
This was heart breaking, literally. So, in 2016 I was attacking my overgrown garden and later on that night I had a heart attack. I wound up having a quadruple bypass. I have asthma and apparently asthma symptoms can mask the symptoms of heart disease, I found that out the hard way.
My wife and I always talked about the story and she looked at me one day and told me I should just publish the book already. I almost died, and instead of wasting my second chance we decided to just go for it. Of course, we didn’t know much about the process; we had to learn as we went along. Essentially, we’ve been building the road while we travelled it.
How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
We try to take a scene, or the zeitgeist of the story, and translate it as best we can into images. We work with an amazing cover artist who is able to take our ideas and produce amazing, original covers.
What is your experience of the Fantasy Sci-Fi Readers’ Lounge?
We love it. We find it to be a great resource as well as a fun place to be.
Favourite thing to cook: I love to cook lasagna; just call me Garfield.
Silliest saying: “Tut tut, looks like rain.” (I love all things Winnie-the-Pooh).
Best holiday spot: Yellowstone.
Most played song: Right now it’s When Legends Rise by Godsmack, but of all-time, it’s gotta be Bad Company by Bad Company.
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? I’m a hybrid. I plot out the story with my wife, but then it just laughs at me and takes me in whatever direction it wants.
Do you prefer to read SciFi or fantasy: Ooh, that’s tough. SciFi if you’re seriously making me choose.
Best superpower: Here’s where I demonstrate how maniacal I am: Insta Kill / Revive.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Hike the Appalachian Trail with my wife.
Just a little more about the series and myself:
How now folks. I'm R.M. Garino, the author of the Chaos of Souls Series. Ever wish you could bring your D&D characters to life? Well, that’s exactly what we did. Although the overarching story of angels and demons is much older, our two main characters were fleshed out from a D&D game my wife and I played with friends ages ago. They're introduced, along with their misfit squads, in The Gates of Golorath, and their adventures continue throughout the series. We've also released a standalone series, the Chaos of Souls Novellas, which capture separate side stories that enrich the main series. Requiem's Reach is the first volume, and we continue from there. If you're looking for a thoughtful, somewhat irreverent fantasy that puts the stories and character first, then come on over and give us a read.
We just put out a free short story called, Initiating Angels, if you want to get a feel for the series without any commitment.
About the Author:
R.M. Garino has been writing for most of his life. Since childhood, he has been fascinated with what The Story is, how it functions, its hidden depths, and the different masks it wears.
He is known for writing crisp, character driven fiction that reads like viewing a film. His world creation is vast and far reaching, yet his prose is organic and devoid of informational dumps. The characters are real, believable, and inspire both affection and compassion in the reader.
Garino has a Master's in Literature and lives in the mountains of the east coast with his wife, three children, and all the characters still waiting their turn to speak. He is an avid brewer of beer and strong coffee, a voracious reader, an aficionado of fine cigars and single malt scotch, and is not nearly as obsessed with video games as his wife believes him to be.
Youtube book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVxM1Sp86c0&frags=pl%2Cwn