Liefdom is the story of Gentry Mandrake. Born with natural weapons in a race known for pacifism, he is cast out and hated for his differences. He hunts for a place among his people, while fighting to defend the human child bound to him. His violent nature makes him wonder at the purity of his soul, while the dark creatures he must face seem too great to defeat. Can he overcome such terrible foes to defend those he loves? We have conducted an interview with the author.
Since when did you realise you cannot stop writing?
In September of 2010, I started writing a book called ‘Eastgate.’ I didn’t know how long the book was going to be, but I figured it would be an epic length, 800-900 pages. I started writing and 60 pages in, the story kind of took over. I didn’t miss a writing day after that. I got 600 pages in and the story wouldn’t let go. I wrote the last 200 pages in 14 days. Writing became a way of coping with the stresses of life. Now when I write, it’s not exactly an escape. But it serves as a vacation, a place to go to see things and do things that are impossible.
When did you discover this passion to write?
The passion isn’t really for writing. Writing is the delivery system. It’s a syringe for the medicine. The passion is for storytelling, for hammering out a tale that carries the reader away. There’s magic in stories. I have a nurse friend who reads all my work as I write it. After I’m done writing for the day, I send it to her. One night, she was having such a horrible night at work that she was at her end. She was walking out of the hospital to never come back, and instead she went to the break room and read the words I had written that day. It provided just enough of an escape that she was able to go back to work. Stories did that. I’m addicted to storytelling.
What is this book 'Liefdom' about? Who is the main character and what inspired you to craft him?
‘Liefdom’ is about a fairy named Gentry Mandrake. He finds out that a boy he loves is being killed slowly. He breaks all laws, and struggles against utter evil, to save that boy’s life. Mandrake is a warrior living amongst peaceful people. This is very much like what was happening in my life at the time. My childhood was very checkered, filled with abuse and violence. I grew up in a very poor section of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and fought almost every day of my life. When I was writing ‘Liefdom,’ I had just married my wife and entered her family that had experienced none of that. Her people had lived their lives in peace and love. Gentry Mandrake helped me adjust to that lifestyle.
Hope vs despair, what is your definition of these themes in life?
I grew up in an abusive childhood. Despair was a thing I knew intimately. I was diagnosed bipolar when I was 16, and depression took hold of me. I didn’t truly find hope until I met my wife. She changed my entire life, changed my entire way of looking at things. She introduced me to the idea of a future filled with dreams and harmony. I’ve lived both sides of hope and despair. It’s what I’ve made my work about.
Why in particular are you passionate about protecting children?
I was horribly abused as a child. It took 15 years of therapy to pull me out of that, to help me clean myself up and straighten myself out. When I think about some of the things done to me and done to children, I feel a calling to strive against it. Protecting a child is a no-brainer. It’s the most fundamental of goals. It’s something we can all agree on, something all decent people can agree on.
What is the KindleScout campaign on 'Liefdom' about? How can our readers participate?
KindleScout is an opportunity for a writer to be published digitally by Kindle Press. The first 5,000 words of a book are posted on their website for 30 days. People can go to this site and nominate the book, expressing to Kindle Press that they’d like to see it published. Anyone can create an account or use an existing Amazon account to nominate the book for publishing. If it is chosen, voters receive a free copy of the e-book.
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