The Son Of Dark
Tales Of The Darksome Thorn Book 1
By Jeremy Higley
Interview with Jeremy Higley :
Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Jeremy Higley . Welcome Jeremy! I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Jeremy: Sure! I'm a graduate student at Northern Arizona University, studying English Literature. Reading is nearly as important to me as breathing. My favorite fruit is the apple. I'm the oldest of eight children. Last of all, the times I feel the most alive are the times I'm teaching, helping, and being of service. That's true for a lot of people, many of them much better at it than I, but I'm happy to be a part of that number.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Jeremy: In The Son of Dark my favorite scene would have to be the climax. Everything is going wrong, an infant's life is on the line, but in the middle of it all the villain decides that now would be a good time to lecture on the limitations of magical power. Chaos is fun to keep track of as a writer, especially when it all comes loose at once.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for your latest release?
Jeremy: The Son of Dark started as a bit of world-building. I wanted a fantasy realm where the rules are just a bit different. Where elves have modern technology, or at least they did until they went extinct. Where dragons can possess entire armies of humans and use them as pawns. Where magic itself encourages wizards to be evil or good, because the goddess of magic is insane. Where the fairies are as powerful as the gods themselves, and the world had to be created twice because the first time everyone killed each other. It's a dark world, where heroes' agendas are as likely to conflict as they are to align. I came up with it during a darker part of my life, when my marriage was failing and my dreams were falling apart. Writing this novel was a way of working my way out of a hole to somewhere I could see some light again.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Jeremy: The sequel! The second book in Tales of the Darksome Thorn is titled Dead Forsworn, which refers to a portion of the riddle-like prophecy that drives the series. It ties right into the climax of the book, when one way or another, a curse is going to be broken, and so is a promise. I'm about a third of the way done.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Jeremy: I'm working on one where I write for an hour before bed every night. It's a tough schedule to keep to during school though, so it needs some work. I think the important thing is to keep trying to make a consistent schedule until you find the one that works for you, then don't be afraid to adjust it as life changes and new needs arise.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Jeremy: The must important research you can do as a fantasy author is to read what else is out there. That helps you know whether an idea is fresh or not, and just where your work fits in the larger world of fiction. Writing The Son of Dark, though, did involve a couple of moments of more technical research. I spent a few minutes Googling uses for bone powder, which I don't think ever made it into the final product. I spent quite a while trying to find firsthand accounts of what elephant meat tastes like, but in the end I didn't need that either. My research into European castle design did make it into the book, at least in that it helped me visualize the Wyvern's keep as my characters were running around in it.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Jeremy: Lady Rowling, of course, and Papa Tolkien. C. S. Lewis would have to be an uncle then, along with T. H. White. I'm a big fan of Orson Scott Card, Brandon Sanderson, and Brandon Mull as well, but for fun I often delve into classic science fiction, such as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne, Robert A. Heinlein, and H. G. Wells.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Jeremy: I've been planning a science fiction story since I was fourteen that I am still eager to write. I suppose it will be more of a space opera than anything, probably geared toward middle schoolers. It revolves around the adventures of a troop of Boy Scouts who are kidnapped by aliens.
I would also love to write a story about the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. The necessary research is daunting, but he is a favorite of mine.
Blurb for Son of Dark:
A thousand years ago, the wizards of the Nynsa failed to follow the prophecy of the Darksome Thorn, and now the greatest evil of their time has survived into the next age.
Now, the Darksome Thorn has revealed a new prophecy, and the very evil they failed to kill is working to use that prophecy to his advantage.
Forces of evil run rampant in the land of Duskain. Ancient powers are stirring. A greater darkness is imminent...
...and Skel, the foster son of an elephant herder, finds himself caught in the middle of everything. Will Skel's newly developing powers be a help or a hindrance...
EXCERPT from The Son of Dark:
A chorus of pounding footsteps interrupted their conversation. Wherever the Wyvern’s soldiers had been hiding, they were obviously not far away. Zar was about to explain what he was hearing to Morkin, but the Dracinfec was already on his way to the fireplace. As he walked, Morkin emptied a vial of jelly-like fluid into his gloves and then slipped them back on. Zar realized what Morkin had in mind when he saw him plunging his gloved hands into the burning fire. He quickly grabbed Marga’s chair and pulled her to the side of the room just before the soldiers began to enter.
They entered the room two-by-two, cantering in a strange, inhuman fashion as the Wyvern drove them onwards. They were a mismatched group. Different ages and races, though mostly Mra, and both sexes seemed to be equally represented. Despite these differences, they were all well-muscled from years of forced drilling, wore ill-fitting woolen tunics and slippers, and shared a look of frustration and rage that was not their own. The pikes they carried were long and had dull, rusty blades, but Zar didn’t doubt they’d be lethal.
As he drew his sword to get their attention, Morkin threw an armful of burning logs and cinders into the foremost rank’s faces. Another cloud of hot coals followed the first as Morkin finished emptying the fireplace, then began to climb up the hot stone sides of the wide chimney.
The troop of Wyvern-Held coughed, but there were no shouts of pain or confusion as the hot smoke billowed around them and filled the room with darkness. Though he could hear them moving around and searching, Zar couldn’t see the soldiers anymore. He struggled to stifle his own coughs as he picked up Marga and ran to the fireplace.
With the practiced speed of a sailor, he wrapped the rope three times around his wife’s body, securing her around her waist, back, and under her shoulders. He ended the lashing in a knot a couple of feet above her.
Now Morkin could pull her safely up the chimney shaft.Thankfully she wasn’t a particularly tall woman, as otherwise Zar wasn’t sure she would have fit this way. He tugged twice on the rope to signal Morkin to start pulling, then held her above the still hot coals of the fireplace. The rope began to pull, drawing her up and out of his arms. Just as he let go he heard, amidst the scuffle and commotion of the Wyvern-Held stumbling through the smoke and ash, the sound of one heading toward him.
Before he could draw his sword, a glassy-eyed woman with bulging biceps came upon him, nearly tripping over him in her haste. He knocked her down with a quick blow from his gauntleted hand, then grabbed her pike and held it lengthwise as he rushed the length of the room.
Two Wyvern-Held near him started to rise again. Since their wills were not their own, any pain and injury he inflicted would quickly be swallowed by the Wyvern.
Zar got up and headed to the chimney. He was running out of time. Hopefully Marga was safely out of the shaft and he could begin his ascent. He saw the end of the rope hanging into the fireplace and dove for it, only to be drawn back by the woman whose pike he had stolen. Somewhat stronger than he, she grappled him and held him to the floor.
Zar caught her off her guard with a head butt, followed by a knee to the stomach.
He pushed her off him with as much strength as he could muster, only to have her stumble after him. He clambered into the fireplace and began to climb the rope hand-overhand. She grabbed his foot. He made a desperate kick, cracking her hand against the hot stone wall of the shaft.
She released her hold.
A second Wyvern-Held pulled her aside. He entered the fireplace to stick his pike into Zar’s retreating rear. Zar was just far enough to avoid being impaled on the rusty blade.
The close confines and the darkness made a proper throw impossible. Finding handholds using the dim starlight in the shaft, Zar was soon on the rooftop and well out of reach.
About the Author:
Jeremy Higley was born in California but now lives in Arizona. As of 2016 he’s a graduate student working on a master’s degree in English. He’s also an instructional aide at a local elementary school, a novelist, and a contributing editor for a nonprofit student success company called LifeBound.
Find out more about Jeremy at: