I’m hosting an interview today with Joel D. Babbit, author of fantasy novels “The Trials of Caste” and “Into the Heart of Evil”. My questions are bolded, Joel’s responses are in regular font.
1) What’s the hardest part of being an author?
Being a fiction author is all about throwing your characters into horrible, intense situations that make the reader wonder ‘How is he/she ever going to get out of that?!’ I think the hardest part of being a writer is figuring out how to get them out of those type of situations… in style!
2) Can you give us a short synopsis of your books?
The Paladin of a Hidden God Series is about a group of young creatures called kobolds who come of age in a primitive tribe at a time of destiny for their race. The Trials of Caste is all about the coming of age ritual that their race conducts, which was handed down to them through the ages from a god-like being called The Sorcerer. In this competition all the young male kobolds compete for their place among the social castes of their tribe. At the end of the Trials of Caste, these new warriors are sent on a quest! This particular year, the leader of their tribe feels the call of some higher power directing him to send these new warriors to find a lost artifact of great power. And so, these new warriors are unknowingly sent Into the Heart of Evil…
3) Is this part of a series, or stand-alone?
The series is called the Paladin of a Hidden God Series, and it’s currently five books long (I’ve been writing these over the past twelve years), the first two of which are recently published. It’s an intense, redeeming series that starts small and grows in scope from just a handful of new warriors competing for their place in their tribe to the survival of their entire race.
4) How many hours per day do you spend writing?
Ah, well, most days it’s an hour before work. I’m a Lt Colonel and battalion commander in the US Army right now, and my wife and I have four children, so it’s always hard to fit writing in. I have found, however, that there’s always a bit of downtime here and there to slip in a thousand words or so. Holidays while my teenagers are thoroughly engaged with their friends is often the best time. I wrote episodes 1 and 2 of the Life Sticks Serial over two different Christmases.
5) What is your favorite book in the same genre as yours?
Now that’s the hardest question you’ve asked me! I read voraciously. Whether on a plane traveling somewhere, in whatever waiting room, before bed, or waiting for one or more of my children to finish some lesson I’ve taken them to, I can often be found reading! I read a lot of military history (This Kind of War is the latest I’ve read), way too much science fiction (I just finished B.V. Larson’s Star Force Series), but in fantasy I usually revert to the classics (how many times have I read the Lord of the Rings… ). I did recently read books 1 and 2 of the Kinshield Saga by K.C. May and thought they were an exceptionally well crafted fantasy series.
6) What are you working on now?
I have a stunningly alien series called Life Sticks about a primordial clan on the edge of a universe under invasion by a ruthlessly effective star-traveling bug race. The first short episode, called Clan Lord, introduces the main character Razz and sets up an exceptionally original scenario. Here’s what one reviewer wrote:
“The story was amazing, creative and endearing. With quite a few unexpected plot turns. I wish it wasn’t a serial, because now I want to know what happens next. I got a taste of a wonderful new world, presented in a wonderful new and refreshing light… Finally a new story, with new creatures, and a new stage.”
I’m currently working on readying episode two (Hunt Master) for publication in June and finishing up writing episode three (Puppet Master). I love writing about Razz! He’s just plain awesome! At 99 cents, it’s a steal! And you can get it here right now on Amazon.
About the Books
Author: Joel D. Babbitt
A Game of Destiny, a Throne, a Paladin, a Prophecy… and Kobolds
In this explosive first novel in the Paladin of a Hidden God Series, the ancient game of destiny known as the Trials of Caste shows the Will of the Gods and reveals the Hand of the Fates.
A fresh voice in the Fantasy genre, Joel Babbitt’s story of Durik the kobold and his companions is genuine, triumphant, and absorbing. In two days and two square miles of caverns, Joel takes the reader deep into the heart of a tribe in turmoil. Looming insurrection, insurgent pacts, ancient powers, noble designs, and young aspirations combine to make the unforgettable coming-of-age tale of Durik the kobold and his companions.
With their year of training now past, Durik and six other young warriors are about to undergo the Trials of Caste where all of them will strive for the coveted position of elite warrior and the prestige and power that comes with it, though only one will win. Simultaneously, a deadly conspiracy threatens to destroy their tribal leaders and seize the throne for its own evil purposes. Durik and his six companions must each chose sides as the actions of an insurgent pact bring a day of decision for all the children of Kale. Yet through it all, as if from beyond where the ancestors go, an ancient power calls to Durik, strengthening him as he and his closest companions risk everything to fight against this encroaching evil.
Author: Joel D. Babbitt
In this second novel of the Paladin of a Hidden God series Joel masterfully weaves an explosive tale that puts Durik and his companions in a desperate fight for their lives, one they will only survive if they are true to themselves and to each other.
It was supposed to be an easy journey… a simple first step for a band of new warriors. But evil has an agenda of its own, and relentless conquest strikes when it chooses. And what can so few do against so many? Yet evil is not the only power that stirs in the southern valley; from deep in their prophetic past an ancient power also has returned, nurturing, watching, and helping its paladin. On the anvils of danger and sacrifice Durik and his small group of companions will be forged by the hammer of their mutual hardships into an able band of heroes, but only if they can survive the journey into the heart of evil…
Joel Babbitt is an officer in the U.S. Army and a bishop in his church. He has spent his entire adult life living and teaching principles of leadership and team building in a warrior environment. Joel and his family live in Maryland, USA.
(Joel and his interior illustrator Anna Cate in 2006)
Follow the author at:
@AuthorJoel on Twitter