Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
I asked Charles a few questions about his novel Legends of Windemere:Beginning of a Hero He very graciously answered them for me.
Thank you to Adele for helping me promote the fact that my first book, Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero, is going to be offered for free. This fantasy book was published back in 2013 and I’ve put out 8 more of the series with more to come.
How did the hero first become a hero.
Looking back, the first of my main characters has come a long way since his early days.Luke Callindor began as a young warrior who was determined to prove he could be a hero like his ancestors. Naturally, he followed this dream into the path of a demon and spent a good chunk of his first adventure stumbling around. Another chunk involved him receiving beatings either from an enemy or during one of his classes at the Hamilton Military Academy. Needless to say, Luke possessed a lot of flaws that you would find in an inexperienced hero with more ego than common sense.
Three years of writing, 8 published books, and 4 yet to published books later, Luke is more mature and is fitting into his role. The thing is that early on, a lot of people complained about him being immature and unheroic at times. Now in a long series, you need to give your characters room to grow. If you start off with a hero who is mature and confident due to experience then there aren’t many places for him to go. Most times, these characters are either knocked down or pushed to the point of irritating arrogance. Some even have both evolutions happen.
On the other hand, starting with a very flawed hero means you can have them work through their issues. Some aspects of these will remain because that’s more realistic. Luke isn’t as immature as he once was, but he still acts recklessly when his adrenaline is pumping and occasionally sticks his foot in his mouth when talking. You can see pieces of the original Luke mixed within the older one, which is how many people grow up. Think about yourself as a teenager and try to spot a few things that remain even a little.
This method of evolution is one of the reasons I like writing long series. I can take a character and run them through adventures to make them rise, fall, rise again, stabilize, and then do loops until they reach the end.
What is one of the most difficult things about writing fantasy that has a hero as the main character.
Working within fantasy, my heroes are facing dangerous obstacles and that has to have an effect. So starting at ‘badass, experienced, and arrogant’ kind of sets them up to fail while one who is ‘inexperienced, cocky, and determined’ has a better chance of evolving into something more.
Now I’ll admit that this is just my opinion. I’ve met some authors who prefer to work with a seasoned veteran character instead of a green one. They focus on the fall of a hero while I focus on the rise of one. Both stories are viable and set the tone of the adventures. Legends of Windemere is definitely one about hope and fighting to the end no matter how dark the world gets or how many scars you earn. Luke has definitely earned a few memorable scars and he still has a few more adventures to get through before the end. Though I still haven’t decided on if I’m going to have him fall at some point. It does seem to be the common fate for any who choose to be a hero.