Today I welcome author Essel Pratt to my blog where he discusses his first book, Final Reverie, a fantasy adventure.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Mishawaka, Indiana (North Central part by the University of Notre Dame). I am married to the woman of my dreams and have 2 daughters and a step-son. We have two huskies, a Chihuahua/rat terrier, and two cats. I work at a community college during the day and am also working toward my Bachelors in Psychology. By night, I am acquisitions at J. Ellington Ashton Press and also an editor.
What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
The best advice I have received is simply to just write. It doesn’t matter what I write, if it is good, or if it genius. Writing, even if the content is bad, will spawn new ideas and coerce more imaginative thought. There are many short stories that I have ditched and tossed aside into a folder on my hard drive, only to go back to them later and include them in another story or to simply see if I can make it better.
The worst advice I’ve received is to write what the readers want to read. I feel that if I only wrote for the readers, and not myself, then the fun would fade away. When the fun fades, I don’t see a reason to write anymore. That doesn’t mean I don’t want the writers to enjoy it, quite the opposite actually. I feel that if I am enjoying the story while I write, it will translate to the readers.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
When I write short stories, I tend to just go with the flow and write what comes to mind. However, when I write novels, I do outline. I think I outline novels because there is so much going on that it is best to have a clear goal from beginning to end. It also helps to keep the story straight. My first novel, Final Reverie, started as a short story that would not leave my head. So, I started outlining and realized what the story was meant to be.
Please tell us about your current release.
My first novel, Final Reverie, is a fantasy adventure about a young adult boy named Franklyn and his brother, a wolf named Chij. The core of the story takes place years after our technological world was destroyed and Mother Nature’s magic remerged onto the planet. An evil being, named Nafets, is threatening to awaken and reclaim his place at the top of the world. Guided by heroes of the past, Franklyn and Chij are tasked to complete the journey to defeat Nafets. Along the way, they encounter magical beings, both good and evil, as they attempt to add balance to the magical world they live in.
How did you come up with the title?
As a child and young adult, video games became my escape. Whenever life stressed me out, school became difficult, or life just didn’t go as I hoped it would, I would find myself immersing my imagination into video games. All of my frustrations placed me into the character behind the controller. However, I never used that frustration to channel anger. Instead, I used it to become the character and become something greater than I ever thought I was – a hero. One of those games, Final Fantasy, took being a hero to a more interactive level. Watching the character grow, as I hoped to do, and achieve greatness, even after failure, was inspiring. So, the name Final Reverie is an homage to the early Final Fantasy games.
Did you base any of your characters on real people?
I always told myself that I would not use real people as characters in my books. However, in Final Reverie, I just could not help it. Nearly every character is based on someone I know. Some only by name. Others by personality and name. It is strange, I found that it allowed the characters to come alive on the page and naturally evolve as I wrote.
If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?
I never intended Final Reverie to be a part of a series. However, as with the short story it is based on, it has not left my head. Weirdly, the past is what haunts me about the story. So, I decided that I would write the trilogy in reverse. Final Reverie is the first, and I guess you could say last, book in the series. The second book takes place before the events and explores the heroes that guided Franklyn and Chij on their adventure. It will be called Abiding Reverie. The third book will explore the time when technology ended and magic emerged.
If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?
I have thought of this question many times in the past. There are so many fantastic books out there, but I would have to say the Magician’s Nephew would be the book. To witness the birth of Narnia and experience the majestic world within.
If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?
My two all-time favorite authors are C.S. Lewis and Clive Barker. When I was thinking if a pseudonym, I nearly chose Clive Lewis, as a tribute to both, but went with Essel instead (A combination of my first and middle name initials “S” and “L”). Although C.S. Lewis writes fantastic fantasy and Clive Barker writes horror, the combined imagination of both would be simply amazing. Having the opportunity to sit in a room with them would be euphoric.
Many years after the downfall of technology, magic has reclaimed its position within Earth’s ecosystem. Over time, the delicate balance of between good and evil has weighed heavily toward the malevolent side, despite attempts at stabilizing the equilibrium. Two heroes, Franklyn – an adolescent boy, and Chij – his wolf brother, travel the land with a sole purpose of helping those that cannot defend themselves from the creatures that lurk and feed upon the weak. Their carefree travels are unexpectedly given a larger purpose when they are tasked to search for, and destroy, the nefarious being known as Nafets – who was imprisoned many years prior but teeters on the edge of reemergence. Throughout their journey, Franklyn and Chij encounter heroes of the past that guide them toward the final battle, as well as Atrin – an aspiring adversary that wishes to overthrow Nafets and claim his seat upon the throne of malevolence. Franklyn and Chij endure an emotional journey filled with blood, tears, and self-discovery as they encounter the unexpected and become entangled in a expedition that will test their abilities and emotions.
About the Author
Essel Pratt is from Mishawka, Indiana, a North Central town near the Michigan Border. His prolific writings have graced the pages of multiple anthologies, a couple self-published works, as well as his own creations.
As a husband, a father, and a pet owner, Essel’s responsibilities never end. Other than a family man, he works a full time job an hour from his home, he is a writer for the Inquisitr, a full time student on his journey to a degree, Event Calendar Coordinator for the Horror Writers Association, and is also the Chief of Acquisitions and Executive Assistant for J. Ellington Ashton Press. His means of relieving stress and relaxing equate to sitting in front of his dual screens and writing the tales within the recesses of his mind.
Inspired by C.S. Lewis, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Harper Lee, William Golding, and many more, Essel doesn’t restrain his writings to straight horror. His first Novel, Final Reverie is more Fantasy/Adventure, but does include elements of Horror. His first zombie book, The ABC’s of Zombie Friendship, attacks the zombie genre from an alternate perspective. Future books, that are in progress and yet to be imagined, will explore the blurred boundaries of horror within its competing genres, mixing the elements into a literary stew.
You can find out more about Essel on his website or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.
You can buy Final Reverie on Amazon.