Episode 45A – Josh & Rose Foreman – The Scarred King

Rose and Josh are a mother/son co-writing team. They are working on a universe, not just a book. There are plans for multiple books within this universe.

Josh works on video games and uses that knowledge to help build his world AND design other items – like the sculpture used in the picture below.

If you’d like a sample of their first chapter, you can read it here:

https://www.worldanvil.com/w/talifar-joshforeman/a/the-scarred-king-i3A-exile-7E-chapter-one-article

To find out more about their books, visit their website and YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/scrybe

Transcript:

1:53
Well, welcome to another episode of discovered wordsmith. And today I have Josh and Rose. How are you guys doing today? Very good. Oh, how am I doing? Except for allergies? I’m doing fine. Well, that’s bad enough. Believe me, I know that I have had allergies my whole life. This is interesting for me, because you guys are not only the first Co Op writing partners that I’ve interviewed, but you’re also family. So I get dinner review a mother and son team. I think that’s pretty cool. And we’ll probably talk a little bit about that. It takes a lot of patience. I’m trashes that part.

3:25
Oh, he’s not saying anything. So we’ll just leave that there.

3:29
Alright, so Josh, and rose, tell me a little bit about each one of you a little bit about what you like to do when you’re not writing. How about you go first month, I garden a lot. Time.

3:45
Got it.

3:47
And she has always transformed any landscape that we lived in into a giant garden with the most variety of plants that the biome can possibly support. I think that’s a way to describe our name. Well, Rosie, I don’t go to public gardens much anymore because my Plexus kit is there’s rose, you would probably get along with my father growing up. He turned most of our yard and we’ve got couple acres, but he turned most of it into garden. So there was gardens everywhere. So you’d probably get along with him very well. So what about you, Josh, where do you live? What do you like to do? Well, we both live in the Pacific Northwest. I’m near Seattle and she’s in Vancouver just north of Portland.

4:33
And so we have a lot of dark rainy winters. I’m mostly a homebody I do a lot of video games and TV and movies. When I’m usually I’m multitasking I’m watching those in the background while I’m developing on our tails from telephone series, or recording our YouTube videos or updating one of

5:00
The 12 different social media platforms we’re on. So I keep very, very busy. My my day job is I work on video games, currently working on a game called blancos Block Party, which is a big sort of party game where everyone gets together with

5:17
what appear to be collectible vinyl figures and run around and play games together. Oh, nice. And do you have a company you work for? You just do this on your own? Yeah, that’s, that’s sort of my day job that pays the bills. I’ve been doing video games for 26 years now. mostly focused on art and level design. my current role is that I’m designing the level building tools and props that players get to build their own levels with so I’m kind of propagating what I’ve learned over the years and putting that out for players to be able to use so it’s really fun kind of high point of my career. Nice. So besides the one you’re working on now, cuz I know a lot of my friends and my family do a lot of video games. So what other games have you worked on? games people may have heard of our guild wars, I’ve worked on all of the Guild Wars games, I was at arenanet for 15 and a half years.

6:16
Recently, I worked on Ori and the will of the wisps, which is a pretty kind of side of the game.

6:23
And before that, I’ve I’ve worked on the descent series descent three, where you play fly a space, ship through through tunnels and fight robots. Um, I got to work a little bit on the Red Faction series, you know, the beginning. Oh, and before that, it was mostly kids stuff. I worked at humungus, which is famous for pet pet the car and Freddy Fox. Not Friday, Fox, spy Fox. It’s been a while.

6:58
Nice, wow, it well, I tell you, if you’d come over here, you’d be a major celebrity. Because everybody in our house plays games in several of them, you’ve mentioned that I’ve seen on our TVs. So that’s cool. I feel like I’m talking to royalty. Thank you.

7:15
Okay, so besides all the great video game stuff, and the gardening, you guys wrote a book together. And we’re gonna talk a little bit about working with family and working cooperative Lee in a little bit. But before that, tell me about the book of the series. And what they’re about, give me give everybody who’s listening, some idea of what they would be reading? Well, the initial trilogy introduces you to the world, and to the protagonist, who is named Bo mark. He is in all the rest of the standalone novels, there’s a or close to it, some of the references might be vague, maybe they just pass him in the street. Or maybe they will have a ride with him or whatever. So there’s lots and lots of stories. This is the place they can have infinite stories. But we do try to link them all back to Bo Mark presently. Yeah, I would I’m just a bigger picture here is that we weren’t trying to develop a serious set of stories about a character. From the very beginning, I’m trying to launch a franchise like a star wars or Lord of the Rings. And so it’s one of the things that I think is a mistake in a franchise is when its focus is on one character or one family, I think that leads to a kind of ingrown, stale conclusions. So the whole idea is to create a fantastic playground, that all sorts of stories. Personally, I you know, I grew up with Star Wars, and I love it dearly. And I’m most excited by the Star Wars stories that have nothing to do with the Skywalkers or jet Iser, I just, I just want to be in that world experiencing the robots and the ships and the planets and the aliens. And so I that’s what I’m trying to create is is that playground that other authors and artists can get in and play with, with me. And, and so my mom just happened to be an amazing author on her in her own right, and volunteered to kind of be the guinea pig to help me through the process of collaborating and building our sand castles in this sandbox that I’ve been working on. And now she’s contributed so much to it as well. She’s part of the world building in her own right. Nice. Yeah, I’m on I have finished book 11 and a number of short stories in this universe. He’s really slow behind me.

10:00
Yeah, I do a lot of visual development. So it takes much longer than a typical novel to get out. My memory, which Josh contends is a false memory. And it could be because I remember it being held at a place that we were living in at the time. So he told, you know, he was talking to me about how you wanted to make this huge empire. And he’d been talking about it for years. He’s, you know, his brother’s a programmer, and he wanted to work with him. And so one day as he was talking about it, I said, you know, what, why don’t I go provide some of your first content? Let me write the first book.

10:44
And then sometime later, you know, we were like, Okay, what will the book be about? Josh says, it will be about this character who travels the world traumatized because he has killed his best friend. Okay. And how did he do that? And well, there was this contest, you know, and he had to kill him in this contest. And I’m like,

11:10
and Josh says, what, you’re the writer.

11:16
And so I came up with a why, and he accepted it. And we went on from there. So the the book behind you, Josh, is that? What is that the book that this is about that? Yeah. So this is the first this is the one that we have published so far. scard, Cava, scard e. Book One exile. And the idea is that the first trilogy that we’ve written is in production. The second one is actually coming out in about a month. It should be out April 20. Don’t know when this is podcast is watching.

11:50
Oh, happy birthday. It’ll probably be around that time.

11:54
Excellent. Excellent. Yeah, so um, that is the the whole initial trilogy that I hope to kick off the franchise with, um, it was important to me that it be kind of a globe trotting adventure, I didn’t want to just focus on one little culture in one corner of the universe, I wanted to get a, in video games, we call this a vertical slice, where it’s sort of a flavor of everything, so you get a sense of the Gestalt of the world. And so yeah, that that was really, you know, more so than he killed his friend, and he’s traumatized. What the big challenge that I gave to the author, slash my mom was, I need him traveling across the world collecting, and I just can’t, you know, 10 things, he needs to get 10 things for some reason, and bring them back home. And so at first I was thinking, why is he a thief is he you know, I wasn’t sure how to how to put this, um, conceptually, and she really well, I’d say, we bounced ideas back and forth, until we came up with an interesting culture that he comes from, that had these certain demands that required that he do this, this big quest,

13:07
the rest of the books and again, going back to franchise management, I’m, I want there to be room for every kind of sub genre within the kind of sigh fantasy setting that this is in I would like there to be capers, and romances, and political intrigues, and as the day in the life.

13:26
So yeah, I want to make sure that as we’re releasing, you know, so far, we have 11 in the backlog. It’s going to be a good variety of these kinds of stories. So this first one, the scarred King, what genre would you classify that as? I would call it, um, science fantasy adventure? Yeah, I would say maybe,

13:49
maybe action adventure. Although there, there’s plenty of action, but it’s not.

13:56
I would still say that it’s character focused. So my mom came up with this character, as a sort of a sidekick. You could call him but not in the traditional sense of a Disney sidekick or, or a Star Wars sidekick. Because he sees Bo mark as his sidekick. And they have competing interests and goals, but with the same mechanism for achieving them. So there’s a very interesting tension and they have very different personalities and cultures that they come from. One of the one of the brilliant gifts that my mom has is the ability to write from an alien perspective and to really embody how alien physiology and culture would impact a personality and and they’re just how they act and work in the world. So she’s setting a precedent that I think it’s going to be challenging for other authors to live up to in California but I want it to be one of the core pillars of

15:00
talent or storytelling is how do diverse alien psychologies and voices get along together, which actually goes back to one of our fundamental goals for creating Tales from tele far, which is to make our world more loving with stories. And I think going through the process of seeing how these different conflicting voices can possibly work together is kind of one step towards that goal. Nice. So I’m unable to remember, I

15:33
don’t know how I got to the conclusion. But there you go.

15:37
No, no, I would like to know, word epistemology is never used in any of the books.

15:45
Don’t be scared because Josh said the word.

15:52
I do love epistemology and all philosophy. But um, but yeah, we, we keep our the surface story, exciting and engaging. When we started out. I was trying to sell people on the idea of our stories by saying they’re scientifically plausible fantasy. And boy that did not fly. And people were not excited by that concept. It’s a design constraint that we use, as we’re developing the world in our stories, but it is never brought to the surface. It’s never said, Hey, this is a thing we’re doing.

16:32
To me, it just makes our work more creative, because we’re forced to think outside of the box of the typical fantasy tropes and cliches. Yeah, so that’s an exciting part of it. But that Yeah, the the all the the reasons and the whys in the house, I hope to keep back and focus on the reader’s experience of just having a rollicking, fun fantasy adventure. And I love your insights into that, because you mentioned Star Wars. And I also love Star Wars grew up with Star Wars. But the it’s a basic fairy tale is what George Lucas tried to do. But it’s a lot of good and evil, light and dark, and inner soul growth, you know, with Luke’s Ark. And so there’s a lot there, but they put it in the capsule of a modern fairy tale. So I think what you just said about yours is extremely exciting. You know, it’s the same type of thing. We’ve got some deep issues that we can talk about, but we’re gonna put it into a fun adventure, or a romance or something along those lines. So several questions. Josh, you keep showing some little figures, you have a T shirt on? So are you offering or do you have merchandise to go with this that you’re going to offer? Or are these just things you made for yourself? They started out as things that I make for myself, we are developing a store, I recently invested in a buddy who’s setting up shop to produce things like busts of our characters, and other various paraphernalia. We do have a merch site where you can buy, you know, shirts like this through one of those, you know, print on demand type of services, if you go to our website, there’s a you know, stuff to buy category. And so while I’m working to fill those out,

18:27
it’s, uh, you know, I grew up as a kid in Japan as a little kid when Star Wars came out, and my parents would buy me the Star Wars, the original, you know, 1970 Star Wars figures, and that just like, I think that implanted something deep psychologically in me that merchandise, toys, figures, all that stuff. Makes a franchise. So, so compelling and full and rich, and, you know, so, um, yeah, I’m very excited to get into that stuff. Since I’m a sculptor myself, um, you know, I to make this book cover, I did the stupidest process you can imagine, which was, I sculpted this guy on the computer. I got him printed out in 3d. After the print was printed, I made a mold and cast him in resin, you know, so that I could have multiple busts to sell eventually. And then I painted that, photographed it, put it back into Photoshop did all the effects around it, and that’s how we got the book cover. So that explains why it takes us years to finish our books right now.

19:41
Okay, and every time you’re talking, I have like 1000 other questions. So let me back up the site. So you grew up in Japan? rose What was that? Why? Why were you in Japan.

19:56
We were in Japan at Yokota Air Force.

20:00
space outside the city of whose sheet and my husband is a pediatric dentist. And so we’ve been stationed in Japan and Portland, Oregon, and

20:17
Texas, San Antonio, Texas, and North Pole, Alaska. Then we retired from the Air Force moved to battleground, which is named for where battle did not take place. And now we’re in Vancouver, Washington, and we were here first before they went in candidate.

20:39
So, yeah, your husband was in the Air Force? Is that why you started writing something to do as you’re moving around?

20:49
Oh, no, I’ve been trying to write to the third grade. Okay. Well, it sounds like you’re doing a good job of it. You said you’ve written some other books yourself under your name? I have. But I don’t think there’s much crossover in audience. And so that’s why I’m using rose foreman for the books in Joshua’s universe. And that makes sense. But you’ve sounds like you’ve got years of experience you’re bringing into it. So you guys have a really unique relationship, one with more experienced writing and one with the idea, I guess, you could say, and some of the other concepts. All right, yeah. Everyone’s well, he’ll, we’ll talk about what we’re going to do. I’ll go home, I’ll write it up, I’ll send it to, and he’ll write back and say, You forgot the most important part.

21:41
And then we, then we have to redo things in to both of us are happy. Nice. And yeah, I think an interesting part of our process is that because I come from a video game background, which is a very team based thing, everything needs to be planned from the beginning. Now things change constantly. There’s iteration that happens. But I’m very oriented towards kind of coming up with the theme first, and like mechanics, and logistics, and all these kind of things. And my mom is very much a pantser. Author. And so she just wants to just go off and write. And, and often Yeah, I’ll say, you know, the whole point of writing this particular book was to hit on this theme, or, you know, sometimes it will be a scenario that I think will make just the most epic, you know, eventually this will be a TV series or a movie, and I’m imagining in my mind, the poster or what the scene is gonna be like, but she went on some other direction, and that will never happen, because, you know,

22:43
so we work together to sort that kind of stuff out well, and it’s it’s fun collaborating, in that he does allow me to inject things that he had not thought

22:55
he might the character Scola. I’m actually very proud of that character. I’ve not met a character like him in any, you know, I’ve been reading science fiction for, you know, 55 years. And I haven’t met a character like him yet. And that’s why he became the mascot for telephone. He’s, he’s iconic in the sense that he hits certain tropes that are would be familiar to people. But he’s such a twist on them that I think it really speaks to the unique voice of the writing. And yeah, so yeah, he had to be our kind of logo character. Yeah. And I love that when I saw your shirt, he looked like a kind of like an evil stitch. Yeah. So there’s, there’s a very interesting thing in visual development where there are proportional archetypes for characters. And I, when I first started developing the carrot, you know, my mom wrote him, made him up out of whole cloth, and I adored him. And so when I was, you know, doing the visual development on him, I kept running into this problem where I would show him to people and they’d say, Oh, what a neat Gremlin. Oh, what a neat Yoda.

24:13
Right, right. Well, what I what I did to to finally get over it, because I would keep redesigning the redesigning furiously, but I was still trying to match I was still trying to hit this archetype, right? What I finally did was I took all of the characters and I think there’s eight or nine of them, it there’s also et there’s also um, I can’t remember his name from farscape, the little Muppet from farscape. And they all have the same proportion of eyes to nose to mouth, Yoda is another one. And usually big ears, not always, but usually big ears, the grim lens, right, so I superimpose them all on Photoshop, and said, aha, I am simply working within this archetype. And that’s

25:00
Okay, yes, yeah. And it’s good because people like those characters that are familiar with it. So right away, it gives your character that familiar feeling, rather than something that’s completely different off the wall. You know, it’s like like, right, try the same reason in books, you use some of the same tropes, you know, the science fiction, or romance, you know, they’ve got certain elements in the story that people want to read and like to read. So I mean, I was thinking, well, if they offer that shirt, I might go over to their store and pick me up one, because I love that it looks great. Yeah, I think that’s something that we’re we’re kind of developing our style as we write these multiple books. And as I’m developing things visually, that you know, I heard this interesting theory about novelty versus

25:51
I’ll just call it tradition. And everyone has a different sort of slider where they’re comfortable. When they read a book, they want it to be 80% tradition, familiar and 20% novelty, it’s familiarity. Okay. So familiarity versus novelty. And where we put that slider is maybe a little bit further towards the novelty side. Um, you know, but we’re still trying to consciously work within tropes that people understand so that when the novel things come up, they’re still embedded in something familiar and comfortable. So yeah, it’s, it’s finding that those those choice places to add the spice, I think that’s the most fun to me. And I think,

26:38
writing aliens, I always have, I have trouble writing fattal’s. So I’ll go ahead and write a battle scene, and then give it to Josh, and he doubles its length, and its intensity. Now, I want to caveat that

26:57
because that’s what I originally did, you know, 15 years ago. And since then, I’ve taught myself you know, through writing courses and panels and etc, about how to actually write action correctly. I was doing it incorrectly, I was doing it like a fight choreographer, originally where I would say, the right hand moved across to the left, right, right.

27:21
You know, describing every gory detail. And I since learned that no, it’s about evoking movement and using your adjectives, sparsely, but well, and you know, so I’m, I’ve developed as an author since then. And now I strive to keep those things much shorter, I saved all of my original scenes, the bloated scenes that were would be a pain to read. And I’ll keep those for the television script to give to the choreographer to take notes on.

27:55
I was just gonna say there’s two major places where I insert myself into the text, and then further iteration, my mom will go through and kind of sand off the rough edges, because obviously, she has a lot more experience writing than I do. But the two main areas are the action scenes. And the other one is logistics. Like I brought up, you know, I’m, I’m trying to make this scientifically plausible fantasy adventure, which is weird, a weird constraint to put on yourself. But like I said, I think it yields very interesting, original fruit. But by logistics, I mean, things like considering how fast is the creature, the writing go for? How long? On what road conditions? What kind of supplies would they have to bring with them? What kind of boxes and bags and backpacks and clothing? And, and, you know, I found out Oh, you can’t just have a bow that strong all the time, that’s going to wear out the bow, you know, so these kinds of things. If you put them in the text, it’s awful, it bogs everything down I, but I have little choice places to note them in through during the dialogue or during the description of something. I don’t do the thing where, you know, it describes a Victorian dinner scene and talks about every plate and dish and, and silverware, right? But all that stuff has been designed and it’s all in a giant document about the logistics and stuff. So I just get excited about that sort of thing because I’m a nerd that way.

29:32
Readers should not perceive it except to the extent that everything feels like there’s a depth to it that could be plumbed. And that and and we have a big wiki on world Advil that will be filled up with this kind of stuff for the people who care about it. Nice. I’ll have to get a link to that for sure. So and I’m glad he does that because I can never remember which is right in which is left, which is Eastern which is west, north and south.

30:00
East and West die keep confusing. So rose, you take some of the stuff he has and like, get it more story based instead of just facts and figures and long list of description and things like that. Do you use your your experience to make everything he has into a better story and working back and forth like that? Yeah, yeah, we go back and forth. Every novel, besides being professional, professionally edited, also has, you know, Josh goes through it and makes his changes and additions, I go back over it and make it sound like me, he goes through it again. And that fixes what I got wrong. The second time I went through. And we just go back and forth until we’re done.

30:51
Josh, you mentioned TV and movies and stuff. So what would you guys prefer? Would you rather make something like this into a TV series or into a set of movies, I have a love for virtually every medium. And I would. So I don’t see TV and movies as the goal. And I’ll move away from novels, I simply want to see telephone manifest in as many mediums as possible. So novels are the current like low hanging fruit they’re within my reach to create right now. I’m actually currently developing a graphic novel with a friend of mine who has worked on Marvel, he’s worked on Star Wars comics, actually.

31:35
And so we’re, we’re kind of in the very nascent stage of developing a graphic novel series for it. And that’s kind of the next step. Right. And from there, we can develop, you know, further things. So, yeah, eventually, we’ll get there, I see a trend in the creation of visual media, like TV and movies, the price is coming down and down and down as more consumer level products to do film creation are just becoming more accessible and cheaper. So I do think that there’s a couple things that are going to happen within the next decade or two, we’re going to overcome the uncanny valley. And you’re going to be able to make a you know, a visual, you know, if you have the skill, you’ll be able to make visual storytelling, like a game of thrones quality visuals on your computer with a small team. And once we hit both those milestones, I’m going to be hitting the ground running, because I’ll have all these stories that have been developed, and are ready to be processed into that medium. I agree. You’re thinking of doing a video game of your stories? Yeah, it’s funny video games are actually my the thing I’m least excited about for telephony, which is strange. Given that, that is my career. One of the reasons that I’m reticent on video games is because another wacky sort of thing that I’m trying to do with this, with this franchise, is I’m trying to do something that no other franchise has done, which is make all content canon, whatever medium it’s in, it’s canon. So this introduces some interesting challenges, because the common wisdom is that you cannot make a movie adaptation of a novel be one to one exact match, right? So if that’s the case, then I can’t make a movie out of this particular series. Um, or it’s going to have to come from a slightly different perspective. Or, you know, a comic will fill in some interstitial gaps, or, you know, so all these things raise a lot of really interesting design space problems to solve. And I’m excited to dive in and try to do that. What because all the current franchises that we have right now started as one medium, whether it was the movie was Star Wars, the novel with Lord of the Rings, the comic books with the Marvel series, right? They started in that medium, and then they grew into other mediums and, and no one was really cared about keeping a consistent canon across all of them. Disney is starting to hint that they would like to do that with Star Wars, and they made some some kind of half hearted efforts at doing so. But really, I think a franchise needs to be built from the ground up with that goal central in mind for it to happen. And so I want I want to be the first franchise that does that. But all of that to say that video has, yeah, because they’re interactive. That throws a monkey wrench in the whole bean cannon thing. So if you can imagine a game like Skyrim, but set on telephone and you’re playing as bone mark, and you’re you go on your adventure, well, how that can’t be canon because you’re making decisions that weren’t made in the novel right? So

35:00
To Me video games right now at this point, given what video games can be as a medium, and it’s still a young medium, it still has a lot of growth to go. But right now I can see, um, telephone or flavored

35:13
abstracted games like a game of chess, but with telephone figures, or a dice game that takes place in telephone or, but it’s just you know, you’re a guy on the street, playing with other street urchins playing this dice game, right? So the so it’s not interrupting or breaking any other cannon that would be taking place? Or like a trading card game. Exactly. So is this I assume traditionally pub, or independently published not traditionally published? Yes, I, I had a, I had an editor that got me, got us, a I aged, and they were all excited about it. And Josh turned them down. I was ready to strangle him. But I see his point.

36:07
He wants to own all the rights

36:12
and make the decision.

36:15
Yeah, that’s really what it’s about. For me, that’s what is key to me is to not be impeded by red tape or, you know, documents that I don’t really understand. Because I have such a

36:30
specific vision for what I want Tales from telephony as a franchise the impact I wanted to have on the world. You know, you look at the Chronicles of Narnia books, they had a very specific vision and goal and of their theme, and what they were trying to communicate, and then you look at the movies, and it well, it’s what Hollywood does two things, it’s they they strip it of the depth, and they provide only the surface elements. Um, and I’m just not interested in that whole, the whole point of why I’m doing this is, is for that depth. And so to that end, I can’t I can’t expect anyone else to make the movie or the TV show or whatever, sign those rights away and have them do that. It just won’t work. So what type of feedback have you got? If anyone offers Josh a million dollars to make a movie? I don’t care. He has to sell it.

37:25
There you go. Josh. You’ve been told.

37:28
So So um, what type of feedback have you been getting from readers of the book? They love it. Yeah, it’s it’s been very positive. If you look on our Amazon page there I think we’re well over four and a half stars still, you know, almost 10 years out so besides Amazon is a other places we can get it on your own shop or other services.

37:53
We decided to go narrow instead of wide starting out just because neither of us are particularly inclined to logistics of you know, that just the publish the whole publishing world. I can’t wait till we can afford to hire someone to to handle that part of it. So yeah, we’re doing what we can which is just Amazon you can get the physical book, which we went through Ingram sparks to to provide that for on a print on demand. And, and it’s on unlimited Kindle unlimited as well. What are getting off of your book for a second? What are some of your favorite books or stories that you’ve read, that maybe helped inspire some of this? I Well, okay, so like, like we talked about earlier, Star Wars is a huge one. Um, we, uh, you know, I grew up my parents before I could read my parents were reading me, Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. And, you know, George MacDonald. So I’m steeped in the classic fantasy

39:02
world from that. And so I fantasy has just always been resonated deeply with me, but I also love science fiction. I love science fantasy. And so I think I was drawn towards trying to pull the strengths from from all of those things and and weave it into the tapestry that is, you know, every creator is, you know, doing this essential process of taking their inputs, and filtering it through their personality and outcomes, this original thing. So that’s what I’m trying trying to do with that. The current things that really excite me are Brandon sandersons work mostly I learned a lot from him. He has so much free education out there. I’ve been listening to his podcast writing excuses for 1314 years. Yeah, you know, going back to the fight, same thing you know, I think on that podcast was where I got the epiphany. Oh, maybe I shouldn’t be

40:00
Describing every single movement

40:03
but the way he passes worlds very deliberately and and well thought out with the full arc in mind from the beginning and the logistics of the magic system and all that stuff is very inspiring to me right now.

40:16
Mom, while you were off having an allergy attack, the question was, what what are your influences and inspirations? And what books have you grown or read throughout your lifetime?

40:31
Stanley wine balm is is when Murray Meister and of course the classical greats of that time Heinlein the children’s books that the the adult

40:48
Asimov, Paul Anderson

40:52
read widely, so it’s kind of hard for me to pick one. Yeah, how many? How many books? Do you read a year? Something like it’s

41:02
somewhere between 200 to 300. Wow. Wow. I sometimes wish I can read that much anymore.

41:12
Okay, so before we’re, we get done with this first half of the podcast talking about the book. Tell everybody hard question, why they should go out and get this book to read? Oh, because it’s so much fun. There you go. I agree with that. I think, um, what a lot of people who have read it and got back to me seem to resonate with is that, um, you know, even people who, okay, well, I’ll start with this group, there’s the group of people who love fantasy and all things fantasy. And to me, that’s kind of the, the the no category, yes, they’re going to read our book. And like it. There’s the category that a flirt with fantasy, they’ll let they like fantasy, if it’s kind of within the popular culture, they like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones TV series, but they’re not really familiar with the depth and breadth that fantasy has to offer. And those people are often very surprised at how somewhat orthogonal This is to fantasy. It’s very much a fantasy story. But the fact that our protagonist comes from a kind of Polynesian flavored tropical island, and he’s a fish out of water in the more kind of European style, you know, as he travels across this continent, and the how alien The, the other species that cohabit telephone with humans, how alien they are, and original. And, and so that brings a lot of flavor. We’re not running into dwarves and elves and orcs, but we are running into scientifically plausible versions of them. And so I designed them from the ground up very much to say, okay, physiology.

42:58
What is their physiology? How it How does this affect their psychology to be built this way? For instance, if you’re digging underground, what is your body going to actually be shaped? Like, you know, and and how is that going? And how does a society that lives underground actually could operate? You know, and I look at real world corollaries. And I see you, sir, you social species, like naked mole rats and termites. And so we’re pulling inspiration from very disparate areas, all directed towards how do we feel this fantasy trope, but in our own unique way, that’s a very long winded way to say I think it’s original Hey, so let’s

43:40
go. I love that too, because I’ve talked to a couple others about fantasy. And it really seems like the way the world is now with indie publishing, that we can get some fantasy out there. That’s not, as I said, the traditional old white guy fantasy, something that’s a little different. I talked to a gentleman that was writing fantasies based on African mythology, rather than European and Norse and all that. So there’s a lot of room out there nowadays for a lot of good, interesting new books. And this sounds like it fits right into that. All right. Well, Josh, and rose, it’s been great talking to you about the book. And I hope everybody comes back. Don’t go anywhere. We’re going to talk about author stuff coming up on the second half. So thank you guys for being on the podcast. Yeah. Thank you. It’s been fun.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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