JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Aaron-Michael Hall, author of The Rise of Nazil
It was the 75th year of Alberoth when the AsZar summoned the Guardians. There was an imbalance in the lands of Faélondul. The Zaxson, Draizeyn Vereux, conspired to exterminate the infestation in Nazil. He planned to eradicate the humans.
Led by the priestly cast called the Cha, the Xenophobic Nazilians dominating Faélondul justified their brutalities against the humans. But when the First Chosen of the elite guard discovers Brahanu Ravenot lost near the gates of the city, not only his life but also his entire system of beliefs is forever changed. With the darkness covering the lands, can love–forbidden, yet eternal–save both humans and Nazilians?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write The Rise of Nazil?
Aaron-Michael Hall: A favorite quote: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” -Toni Morrison
That is exactly how The Rise of Nazil trilogy, The Shifter trilogy, and the Rites of Heirdron duology, were born. The Rise of Nazil was a book that I wanted to read and could not find. Most of the Epic/High fantasy was cookie cutter, featuring elves, dwarves, wolves, orcs, etc. There is nothing wrong with that, and I have enjoyed it immensely over the years. However, I wanted to read about diverse characters, new creatures, species, and worlds. I wanted more “realism” in my epic and science fantasy.
When I thought of fantasy worlds or future Sci-fi, I saw more than what I read in books or saw at the movies and on television. Most of the protagonist’s appearance was similar, as was that of the antagonists. My series does not follow this trope and delves deeper into the humanity, tribulation, and perseverance of all of us. I refuse to shy away from some of the atrocities committed in our world, past and present. Even though Faélondul is a mythical land, most of its inhabitants are human. As such, their humanity shows throughout as does the truths that accompany it.
JP: What sets The Rise of Nazil apart from other books in the same genre?
AMH: The Rise of Nazil trilogy is not for the faint of heart or the casual reader. The plot is multifaceted and engrossing. Some brutalities that are committed will make your heart ache. Albeit, through the triumphs of many characters, you feel a sense of balance and completion.
My characters are not your typical Epic Fantasy tropes either. My trilogies and Sci-fan have a diverse cast and even the “heroes” are extremely fallible and human.
Magical elements are integral for Epic/High fantasy. Albeit, I grew tired of the overuse of magic in place of plot or characterization. Naturally, you expect magic as well as brilliant new technology (for sci-fan). Nevertheless, I do not allow the use of it to overshadow the characterization and plot. They should be aspects of these fantastical worlds, but not dominate them.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to The Rise of Nazil getting out to the public?
AMH: I continue to write and meet as many new people in the author community as I can. I reach out to authors, illustrators, readers etc. Over the past two years, I have learned a lot just by truly engaging in this community. There are some wonderful people out there, and I can learn from each of them.
When someone leaves me an email or a review, it warms my heart. Knowing that there is one person that appreciates what I do helps to keep me going.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish The Rise of Nazil?
AMH: It differs. My first novel, The Rise of Nazil, was written over a decade. It was not because I could not finish; I was just not rushing the novel. It was intended as a novel just for me.
With my other works, I have written a 90K novel in just under a month. But that is quite rare. The muse was there and I wrote every second that I could. With the second trilogy and the second and third novels in the Nazil trilogy, I completed those books in less than four months. However, the editing added another two (at least).
JP: What’s next for Aaron-Michael Hall?
AMH: I released my Science Fantasy novel Rites of Heirdron in January 2017 release while the first novel Blood of Oisin in my Epic Fantasy trilogy is being edited. If everything stays on schedule, I will have the Rites of Heirdron duology and the first two books in my Shifter trilogy released in 2017. It all depends on my editor.
Other than that, praying and trying to find a few hours to sleep each night.