Tag Archives: J.V. Hilliard

Author Interview: ‘The Last Keeper’ by J.V. Hilliard

About the Book:

A young boy’s prophetic visions.

Blind at birth, Daemus Alaric is blessed with the gift of prophetic Sight. Now, as a Keeper of the Forbidden, he must use his powers of the Sight to foil the plans of a fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad.

An elven Princess with a horrifying secret.

Princess Addilyn Elspeth travels from Eldwal, the magically hidden home of the Vermilion elves, to begin her life as a diplomat to the human capital of Castleshire. During her journey, she stumbles upon a mystical creature foretelling ill tidings.

A terrifying force of evil.

Daemus’ recurring nightmare vision threatens to catapult him into a terrifying struggle that will leave the fate of the Keepers—and the realm—hanging in the balance. Daemus and Princess Addilyn must set out to face the menace that threatens their very existence.

Will the entire realm fall to its knees?

The Last Keeper is the first book in The Warminster Series. With gripping, epic action and heart-pounding adventure, you’ll love this new adventure series.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

My name is J.V. Hilliard, and I am an epic fantasy novelist and author of the Warminster series and book one of the saga, The Last Keeper.

I started writing creatively at a young age, around the fourth grade to be succinct. My uncle was paralyzed in the Vietnam War and when he returned home, my mother was his nurse. I grew up by his side and he was a 2nd father to me. Of course, the type of activities he could engage in were limited because of his condition—but creative writing was something he could do. Thus, I began to watch him write short stories and serials, learning from him.

Eventually I found myself taking writing classes in high school and then again in college, but my focus was on government, so I ended up writing every day for a living. But writing legislation or grants is much different than crafting fiction. I had to go back to the days of those classes and recapture the style, pacing and dialogue skills I had abandoned for too many years.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I almost always write at night. I feel I have more creative connectivity with my characters nocturnally, so I usually get two to three hours of writing done when everyone else is asleep, including the dogs. Though in truth, they are never very far away.

I enjoy writing in my den, but there is a bookstore nearby that has a small café that I will retreat into every now and then, but I find comfort writing alone in my house with a map of the realm on the wall behind me and characters and plotlines scrawled out on the whiteboard in front of me.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Many come from past campaigns of table-top role-playing games, particularly Dungeons & Dragons. Of course, the Realm of Warminster is unique and features one-of-a-kind monsters and my version of spells and magic, but I take much inspiration from nearly two decades of gaming.

As a dungeon master, you see the stories come together and, in some cases, fall apart, depending on how the players react. But you always know when a story line is working and when players are having a good time. Those are the ideas I have adopted into my novels.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

YES! Always. I am a planner/plotter to my very core (for better or worse). And I know this likely will read strangely, but I write my stories backward. I start at the end and work my way back through my own process of “reverse engineering” to ensure I haven’t missed any aspects of the plot.

I’ve tried doing the “pantser” thing, but I feel like I am just not built that way. Sad, but true.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

My genre is a mix of epic fantasy and dark fantasy, landing in a place with plenty of “sword and sorcery” for the average fantasy adventure enthusiast. My love for the genre started when I was young and read the Hobbit, saw the movie Conan the Barbarian and then started playing Dungeons and Dragons. At that point, I was hooked.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Great question! If I had to choose, I would have Daemus Alaric played by Jaeden Martell of “It” fame.

As Princess Addilyn Elspeth, I can see Poppy Drayton (since she did an excellent job as an elf in the Shannara series) or Ashley Greene, who played Alice in the Twilight series.

For Sir Ritter of Valkeneer, I can see Liam Hemsworth making a great Longmarcher captain, or perhaps Taron Egerton, as he is practiced at playing characters with a longbow. Perhaps he can reprise his Robin Hood role from a few years back… just with pointy elven ears.

And of course, for Graytorris the Mad, I see Joaquin Phoenix. His role as “Joker” would make him perfect for the role.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I am a big fan of Margaret Weis of Dragonlance fame, R.A. Salvatore of the Dark Elf Trilogy and of Terry Brooks of the Shannara series. But the granddaddy of them all is Tolkien, for his Lord of the Rings work.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I am currently beta reading for a friend of mine that has a book being released later in the year. Beth Green’s Seeds of Power.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I would have to say Homeland, by R.A. Salvatore, as it is the “origin story” of my favorite fantasy character, the dark elf ranger, Drizzt.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Keep writing. Writing is habitual and it becomes its own muscle memory. Even if you aren’t in the “zone,” keep doing a few paragraphs a day or even start to outline the next project. I think that kicks the creative juices into gear and saves momentum for your work-in-progress. The worst idea is a stale one.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

My website is www.jvhilliard.com and my social media channels are:

Twitter: @JVHilliardBooks

TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@jvhilliardbooks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jvhilliardbooks

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JVHilliardBooks

Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/jvhilliard

About the Author:

Born of steel, fire and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the three mighty rivers that forged his realm’s wealth and power for generations.

His father, a peasant twerg, toiled away in industries of honest labor and instilled in him a work ethic that would shape his destiny. His mother, a local healer, cared for his elders and his warrior uncle, who helped to raise him during his formative years. His genius brother, whose wizardly prowess allowed him to master the art of the abacus and his own quill, trained with him for battles on fields of green and sheets of ice.

Hilliard’s earliest education took place in his warrior uncle’s tower, where he learned his first words. HIs uncle helped him to learn the basics of life—and, most importantly, creative writing.

Hilliard’s training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tale of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventure and legendary struggles. He lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two horsehounds, Thor and MacLeod, and resides there to this day.

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