Eric R. Asher, author of the Vesik series has recently released the second book installment, Wolves and the River of Stone.
Philip, Zola’s boyfriend from one hundred and fifty years ago, is not nearly as dead as we thought. I really wish he was. Not only has he kidnapped Zola, but he’s raising an army to scour humanity from the earth. Hopefully the local werewolf pack will help. What could possibly go wrong?
A blonde met my gaze. "I am Agnes Smythe. I am your death." Her voice was almost peppy and it threw me off for a moment. A small laugh made me glance at Philip. The smirk on his face lit fantasies of eviscerating him and feeding him whatever fell out.
I was about to fire off a witty retort, but Agnes elbowed Zola in the mouth with a vicious strike. Zola's head snapped back and I could hear the crack of bone from fifteen feet away. She crumpled to the ground in a heap. Through the rage in my gut I still felt a hint of relief as her hands moved to cover her face when Agnes put her foot back on Zola's neck.
With that, Foster had seen enough. The seven-foot fairy dropped silently out of the tree behind them, swinging my staff on a downward angle. He connected with Agnes's head. The crack was sickening. She jerked violently to one side and her foot fell away from Zola. Agnes staggered forward before flailing to the ground.
RMWTPC – You have taken paranormal creatures from a variety cultures and integrated them into your stories. Your first book was filled with Cu siths from the Scottish Highlands, Camazots from mayan folklore, Gwynn ap Nudd, from Welsh mythology, a liberal sprinking of latin incantations, and if my memory serves me correctly a mention of a Norse god or creature. Your second book introduces us to a pack of werewolves, a demon owing a favor and an undine with a penchant for tuna. How did you decide how to combine what with what in your stories?
Eric R. Asher – I have a huge dartboard setup with photos of every kind of creature you can imagine. I toss a few darts and ... yeah, I'm totally making that up. ;) I don't particularly know how I decide what creatures to use. I usually have an idea for a character, and try to think of a background or ability that would add something interesting into the mix for the character. I do take liberties with the traditional creatures because I feel some changes help them integrate better into Damian's world. I've found that many mythologies and religions have shared themes. In that spirit, I tend to borrow from multiple mythologies to form a "new" catalog of creatures for the Vesik books.
Most of the incantations have Latin roots, but lets call it pseudo-Latin. While the prefixes and suffixes around the incantations do have meaning in Damian's world, they're certainly not Latin.
RMWTPC – In Days Gone Bad, Damian is an affable character. His easygoing manner coupled with his strong loyalties to family and friends made him quite endearing. In Wolves and the River of Stone, we see a much different side to Damian. Damian becomes even more relatable when he pursues a love interest in Nixie. Tell us about undines and how you created the character of this lovely water witch?
Eric R. Asher – I thought Nixie would be an interesting match for Damian because they both have an unconventional perspective on death. Undines are most commonly thought of as water elementals. I've seen them tied to sirens and selkies, but Nixie is more closely related to her German namesake, the Nix, with some additional ties to the Greek sirens. Nixie represents change in many ways, and you may have noticed change is one of the stronger themes in WATROS. I can't go into too much detail, because I really don't enjoy accidentally spoiling things, but there is quite a bit more to Nixie's story.
RMWTPC – When I read Days Gone Bad, so much of the terminology was new to me and the book took a bit longer to read because I kept looking up definitions to the terms I wasn’t familiar with. Wolves and the River of Stone incorporated much from the first book with a smattering of new creatures. Is there a reference book for newbies like me to this genre to learn more about the mythical and paranormal beings you write about?
Eric R. Asher – I'm sure there are, but I'm not familiar with one all-encompassing reference book. Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by W.B. Yeats is an excellent read, but one of my favorites is Visions & Beliefs in the West of Ireland by Lady Gregory. It's a fantastic collection of local tales. One thing I didn't know, but actually learned from the blurb on Lady Gregory's book, was that she was often accompanied by Yeats on her many trips. Visions & Beliefs in the West of Ireland contains two essays by Yeats.
RMWTPC – Do your eating habits resemble those of Damian’s? Between the crispy rice treats, fudge, pizza brats, and 22 mentions of bacon it came as no surprise that when Damian had the choice between fresh fruit and veggies and Oreos, he immediately went for the milk.
Eric R. Asher – I. Wish. Wouldn't everyone like to eat like that? Well, outside of our vegetarian friends? I'm not sure anyone could survive very long if they ate like that all the time. Writing about Damian's food proclivities has had an interesting side effect. Every time I eat some of his favorite foods (like pretzels or chimichangas) I immediately picture Zola and Foster digging in right beside Damian. This happens most often when I visit their favorite restaurants.
RMWTPC - Will there be more installments to the Vesik series?
Eric R. Asher - Oh yes. In fact we're getting ready to start editing the third installment. I'm hoping to release book three at the end of this winter, or in early spring.
Thank you very much for having me on your blog again! It's always fun. :)