Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blog Tour (Interview & Giveaway): A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr

Blog Tour Schedule

Welcome to my stop on the A Cast of Stones blog tour. Thank you so much for stopping by and thank you to Patrick W. Carr for answering my questions and to Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for putting this tour together.

An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

1. How you were able to meld epic fantasy and Christian fiction?

In a certain sense, I believe it’s nearly impossible to keep them apart. Consider what makes all of our most powerful stories resonate. In Star Wars: A New Hope, Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guiness) sacrifices himself in order that Luke Skywalker may escape and live. This in itself would point us to the sacrifice of Christ, but the symbolism doesn’t end there. Once Obi Wan has entered a different plane of existence (recall that his body disappeared), he becomes, if I may use the wording, the still quiet voice that guides Luke from that moment on.

In that same vein, Luke willingly enters captivity in Return of the Jedi. What happens then? He becomes a type of Christ by descending into death (star) to redeem Annakin, his father, who has succumbed to the dark side.

So, in answer to the original question, I could hardly help melding them. It would have been much harder to keep them apart. What I did do was concentrate on the Christian themes that mattered most to me for the book. One of these was the sacrifice of the innocent to save the guilty. I also wanted to emphasize the worth of each man, no matter how beat up or unattractive they may be at the time.

2. What was your favorite or most surprising “Aha!” moment while writing A Cast of Stones?

There were several actually, but they all came from an idea that I married myself to when I was trying to create my cast of characters. That idea was this: Everyone has secrets. As I was putting together the character sketches, I would sit back and think of this person and ask “What are they desperate to hide?” Once I’d established that, the characters surprised me probably more often than they surprised the reader.

One of my favorite moments comes early on when Errol’s talent is discovered. By everything logical, Martin, the priest, should be happy about it. After all it provides the church and the kingdom with another weapon for the inevitable war to come. But for some reason, he’s not happy at all. In fact, once Errol’s ability is confirmed, he utters one of my favorite lines of the book.

“I’m sorry, Errol. You belong to the church now.”

I love his choice of words. That line didn’t come from me, so much as it came from Martin because of his past and his secrets.

3. What book or author influenced you the most as a writer, and why did it/they affect you so strongly.?

The earliest writings of Stephen R. Donaldson hit me as if someone had put a keg of dynamite in my brain and lit the fuse. It was 1979 and I was in my first quarter of my freshman year at Georgia Tech. Every class was a huge struggle. In an attempt to provide myself with a temporary escape from the stress, I bought a boxed set of his trilogy, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Up until that time, I’d been an avid reader of political/spy thrillers. I feasted on Robert Ludlum and Fletcher Knebel.

Donaldson’s writing captivated me in a way that broadened me as a reader. I still urge people to read that first trilogy. His mastery of language and description is uniquely powerful and he used it to describe a land of magic, giants, and an anti-hero that we desperately want to reject, if only we didn’t see so much of ourselves in him.

Buy A Cast of Stones Today!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

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Tour-Wide Giveaway

$10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author.


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You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!