Archive for May 17th, 2012

Congratulations Lauren M. You are the winner of my giveaway!!

Thank you to everyone that left comments and signed up to follow my blog.

I did get the chance to ask Eric Patten a couple questions about himself and Return to Exile. I love his humor!

Could you please tell me more about yourself?
Well, the “Yourself”—also known as the “North American Meself”–is a large five-thumbed mammal that’s prone to hyperbole and easily distracted, a state that leads to distracted hyperbole. He likes breakfast cereal, burritos, and burrito-flavored breakfast cereals, which don’t exist, but should.
His enemy is the badger.
What inspired you to write this story?
I’m not sure I can point to any particular source of inspiration. Years ago, I had the beginnings of an idea: a group of kids get the powers of their Halloween costumes and go on an adventure to save Halloween. To be clear, this Halloween story is NOT Return to Exile, nor does it bear the remotest resemblance to Return to Exile. The only thing that remains from that Halloween idea, which died a slow and agonizing death, is the name “Sky Weathers.”
I left writing behind for a time in favor of survival, but the idea stuck with me. When I returned to writing years later, I realized that I wanted to write something grander and richer–more heroic and epic–than a simple story about Halloween. I changed the way I wrote, and that changed my focus and made the story better. Many times, inspiration is just hard work in disguise. Return to Exile is full of this type of inspiration.

Where did you get all the creatures from?
Originally, I was planning to use familiar creatures: vampires, werewolves, dragons—those sorts of things. But there were so many vampire/werewolf/dragon books out there, and so many authors writing about these creatures, that I decided I wanted to do something different. I searched through different mythologies and bestiaries looking for creatures, but it seemed like no matter where I turned, someone was already writing about them. So I abandoned the effort. I started thinking about creating my own mythology, like H.P. Lovecraft did with his Cthulhu Mythos. What would it take? What makes a mythology long-lasting? Why do people gravitate toward some creatures in a mythology and not others? As I began experimenting with creatures in my basement (insert mad-scientist laugh here) I realized that what makes most creatures so memorable isn’t what they can do, but what they can’t do. A vampire, for example, is cool mostly because of his limitations—no sunlight, must drink blood, etc—and not necessarily because a vampire can become a bat, which is sort of lame. The same is true when you think of a werewolf. Sure, it’s big and strong, but lots of things are big and strong. What makes a werewolf unique is that it’s affected by the full moon and can be killed with a silver bullet. And dragons? Well, dragons are just cool, limits or not. But by examining these creatures, I was able to build some of my own. The question I then asked was, “in a world where creatures are defined by their limits, who would be king?” That’s when I came up with the Arkhon.
Are there going to be many books in this series?
My goal is six books. The second book, The Legend Thief, comes out on December 4. It. Is. Awesome.
What can we expect from future books?
In the first book, Sky only catches the smallest glimpse of the Hunters of Legend. Future books will continue to explore these mysterious hunters and the terrible role they played in the events leading up to the beginning of Return to Exile. Additionally, Sky will get a broader look at the world at large and the monsters within it as he strives to find both the creatures and the answers that time forgot. All of this is leading up to…well, to something really cool.
What genre do you prefer when reading books?
I read a lot of middle grade books. Of course, the only book on my nightstand right now is The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco. It’s about as far from middle grade as you can get.
I’m an admitted Crazy Cat Lady so I have to ask, Cat or Dog?
I’m allergic to cats. I (or my wife, really, since I’m not much of a “pet person”) own a dog—a black lab/golden retriever mix named Phineas.
And most important, how are you feeling?

Much better. Thank you for asking. I have bad days on occasion—the nerve that got wrapped around the bone spur in my neck is still irritated—but I’ve found some weird stretches that help. Not to mention that the cadaver parts the doctor put in me haven’t taken over my brain yet, so that’s a big plus. All in all, I’m doing much…DESTROY ALL HUMANS…better. Whoa. That was weird.

Thank you so much Eric!

If you are interested in purchasing the book, here are the links.

Amazon    Barnes and Noble   Book Depository

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