Words with Kevin Villegas, author of "The Sunwright Chronicles"

Can you tell us a little bit about "The Sunwright Chronicles – Empire at War?"

Of course, The Sunwright Chronicles – Empire at War starts at a dire time in the History of Kirmar. The past three Emperors of Kirmar have been weak, corrupted, or just psychotic. The story picks up after the death of Theodore II, an invasion from the East by a barbarian supertribe known as the Nords has been more than successful. The armies of Kirmar are floundering as the Nords pour into central Kirmar. To make matters worse Paris and Suadela Sunwright mages of incredible power have suddenly vanished, leaving their children Tobias, Calia and Pershing to face the immediate crisis alone.

The Invasion is not the only crisis Kirmar faces. Agents from the nation of Wuttenburg a bitter rival of Kirmar have flooded the land trying to destabilize the government further. The Southern Empire of Imaldris (Once a part of Kirmar) faces the powerful nation of Nazzir as it builds its army in preparation of an invasion. The Elven nation of Garion is in debate as to whether they should aide Kirmar in its time of need, and the next heir of throne of Kirmar ponders if he has the strength to bring together an Empire that is falling apart.

While there is a good amount of action in my book, I balance it with strong character development. I like to show all my characters at their highs and lows. Even in the dark times in which Empire at War takes place, love and relationships blossom as people come together. The end of the book will remind a nation that while war is often considered glorious it is at its core horrible and ugly.

What's your background with writing?

I have been writing stories pertaining to the world of Tera (the world in which my series takes place) for well over fifteen years. These stories have sharpened the world, created the nations and characters in which I plan to use for many novels in the future. I have enjoyed creative writing from a young age and plan to keep on writing as time permits.

Who are your inspirations/influences?

First and foremost would be J.R.R. Tolkien. Not for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, or the Hobbit. The book I most enjoyed from Tolkien was the Simarillion. What I enjoyed the most about the Simarillion is the reality of the book, The Elven Kings of the Noldor while powerful and immortal fell in battle just as often as their soldiers. While the Kings of the Noldor fell in battle their people still rallied together and in dark times there was always hope. The tone of the Simarrilion always reflected heavily with me, and inspires me to this day.

Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series was also a major influence. Though I’ve only read it through to book five, I read the first four books of the series over and over again. The rich characterization of the series and the mystery of the world of Roland the Gunslinger has always intrigued me.

Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories are gripping to say the least. The brutal action and gore has influenced me when it comes to writing my action sequences. Thanks to R.E. Howard I’ve learned not to hold anything back when writing battle sequences.

What was it like working with "Outskirts Press"

Working with Outskirts press was great. The whole publishing process including editing of the book took a little under three months. Their customer service was prompt and helpful when I had a question. I will go with Outskirts Press when my second novel is complete.

Who was responsible for the cover/book design?

My book cover was actually a picture I had in mind to start with, Outskirts press offered a custom cover option and they worked with my picture to create what I think is a great cover.

What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?

Right now I’m concentrating on social networking. I have a virtual book tour in the works; I am advertising my blog, networking in communities such as the Amazon Fantasy community. My wife is my publicist/agent; she is currently working on setting up book signings at local bookstores, interviews with local newspapers. We are starting with a local campaign of awareness for my book.

What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?

My blog is the Sunwright Chronicles.

Readers can expect to find interesting tid-bits and back stories about the world of Tera. Information you would not find in the current novel. I also update on the progress of the second book, and post about my views on the various parts of writing. I update my blog on a daily basis.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

The second novel in my series “The Sunwright Chronicles” looms large in the future. Empire at War was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is happening in the world of Tera. The second novel will expand on other nations that have been mentioned in the first novel such as Wuttenburg. It will also delve into the structure of the Nords and the other tribes that make up that particular super tribe, internal strife in the Imperial Capital of Kirmar, and the continuing espionage war.

Is there anything else about you we should know?

I like to play computer games most notably: Age of Empires III

I also enjoy hanging out with my family, enjoying time with my wife and kids.

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