Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
To learn more about Eric K. Barnum and the world of the Forsaken Isles, visit his blog at forsakenisles.com or erickbarnum.com
An avid fan of the fantasy genre, Eric K. Barnum finally released his first book, Dar Tania, in September 2016. Set in a novel fantasy world pulled between magical and divine powers, Eric presents the Forsaken Isles, a world not too unlike our own. As the druid Brook said in Dar Tania II: Set’s Dream, ‘forsaken’ because the people of the isles fled from their devastated homes, never to go back.
Eric writes from Virginia when not otherwise engaged in his career as an analyst, hiking with his three daughters, or reading. With a deep love of fantasy works, and inspired by modern fantasy authors like Raymond E. Feist, David Eddings, and Brent Weeks, Eric hopes to take the familiar and present new ideas about how and why, in a world with magic, gods still matter. The paladin is a particular favorite in all Eric’s stories. Their relationship with priests, dragons, avatars, and necromancy in particular fill the pages of the Forsaken Isles.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Khalla’s Play: Merakor I was released on January 1, 2018. It tells the story of thieves guilds trying to control the black market for a dead god’s body. Set against that backdrop, one of the guild’s leaders, an elf lady named Khalla, is seeking adventurers for an epic adventure.
While this book follows the story told in Bomoki’s Gate (I have 5 books published), Khalla’s Play answers the question: if a god is slain in a world of magic, what happens next?
The correct answer is massive war.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I tend to write and write and then delete the first 100 pages/30k words of anything I write.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love Tolkien, but really cut my teeth on David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist, and sci-fi authors like Frank Herbert’s Dune. I’d have to say that hands down Dune has influenced me. The sheer scope of that story, its impact, and the moving parts inspire me anytime I feel stuck.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing two projects at this time. The first is a serialized collection of short stories for my newsletter. It will be published as an anthology on Amazon later this year.
The next big project is the sequel to Khalla’s Play, to be titled as Merakor 2. It follows Khalla’s group as they arrive on a continent controlled by dark elves for over 3,000 years. They’re seeking a long lost Tower of Sorcery. Their group includes a dark elf, a doppleganger, a minotaur emperor seeking glorious death, and a gallery of rogues.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I love connecting with other authors in the genre, writing groups on Facebook and social media, and review sites like Awesome Gang. Thanks for hosting me.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
What are you passionate about? Find it. Write about it. Don’t write about anything except what you’re passionate about. Be open to criticism. Obviously you want perfection, but unless you’re writing today, you’re never going to find perfection in this art.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
There is no such thing as writer’s block; that’s an excuse. Write. If you don’t know what to write, write anything at all until you re-find your passion.
What are you reading now?
I just finished re-reading The Last Unicorn by Peter S.B. It’s such a classic. I’m thinking I’d like to read something scary this next time around. I’m on the look out for fantasy recommendations that are frightening.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More and more stories.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Dune, The Way Things Worked in 1700, something philosophical, and a blank book to sketch in