Today I am welcoming fantasy author P.L. Stuart into the Spotlight.
Hi everyone! I’m P.L. Stuart! Nice to meet you! I’m a Canadian high fantasy author, of Ghanaian and Barbadian descent. I live in Chatham, Ontario, with my wife Debbie. “A Drowned Kingdom” is the first novel in “The Drowned Kingdom Saga.”
I’m an experienced writer, in that I’ve been writing stories all my life, yet never thought to publish them. I’ve written informally – short stories – to entertain friends and family, for community newspapers, volunteer organization magazines, and of course formal papers for University. Now, later in life, I’ve published what I believe is a great fantasy novel, and definitely worth reading, called “A Drowned Kingdom”.
My target audience is those who enjoy “high fantasy”. “A Drowned Kingdom” is not “dark fantasy”. It’s written in a more idealized and grandiose style that I hope isn’t too preachy, and not too grim.Still, I’m hoping my book has appeal to those who don’t typically read this type of work – those who don’t read fantasy of any kind – because of the “every-person” themes permeating the novel: dysfunctional familial relationships, extramarital temptation, racism, misogyny, catastrophic loss, religion, crisis of faith, elitism, self-confidence, PTSD, and more.
Many of these themes I have either personal experience with, or have friends or family who have dealt with such issues. I’ve had a long professional law enforcement career, undergone traumatic events, yet been buoyed by family, faith, and positivity. I’m a racialized middle-aged man. I’ve seen a lot of life.
Ultimately I want the planned series, of which “A Drowned Kingdom” will be the introduction, to be one of hope, and overcoming obstacles to succeed, which I believe is my story as well.
My protagonist, Othrun, will undergo a journey where he’ll evolve, change, and shape a continent. He’s not always likeable. He’s a snob, bigot, is vain, yet struggles with confidence. He’s patriarchal. Overall, he’s flawed. But even ordinary flawed people can change. We’re all redeemable. Ordinary people can make a difference, not just fictional Princes. I want that message to shine through my work.
I love to engage with readers and the Writing Community! Feel free to message me here on Goodreads if you wish to ask any questions about my writing, or to simply chat fantasy!
I am also active on Twitter! You can speak to me there @plstuartwrites! Take care, and have a wonderful day!
Visit P.L. Stuart at www.plstuart.com and follow @plstuartwrites on Twitter and Facebook.
Welcome, to my blog, P.L.
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
I think impatience made me want to self-publish. I am normally a patient person, I think, but I started my writing journey late in life. After doing my research, I learned that traditional publishing timelines are NOT expedient. It takes time, substantial effort, and lots of luck, to query, trying to find a literary agent who loves your pitch enough, and believes in your work, so they will take you on as a client. Then, that agent has to search for a publisher who is equally convinced in the viability of your work to sell. That process can take MANY years, and might not happen at all! Securing either an agent or a book-deal is not a sure thing. I was not willing to wait an indefinite amount of time to be published, when the availability to publish essentially right away was out there. I had at least twenty books I wanted to publish, and at fifty plus years old I needed to get started! I also worried about the lack of creative control. With traditional publishing some measure of license to write what you want, how you want, is relinquished. I was not sure I was ready to do that with The Drowned Kingdom Saga in particular. Because that series is about a flawed and unlikeable protagonist, who I wanted to keep exactly as I wrote him. A lot of trad houses will not take on that kind of book, because as one trad industry executive put it, to paraphrase,”No one wants to read about an unlikeable main character.” With self-publishing, I could write my books exactly as I intended them to be. That’s how I ended up, at least for now, self-published, as opposed to traditionally published.
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
I write fantasy because it is my first love in terms of reading preference. It was the first genre I read as a child, and I love the complete immersion and ability to lose oneself in a different world that typically mimics our own real world. So I think it’s the escapism that keeps drawing me back to fantasy. I think I am notoriously non-talented in terms of writing ability in any other genre. Since I feel I am very limited that way, I’ve never attempted to write any other kind of book besides fantasy. Fantasy is my favourite genre, and also the only genre I think I have the range to write in. However, if I was not writing fantasy, I would love to write either historical fiction or romance, which are my next two favourite genres. I also think sci-fi, another genre that I enjoy reading, would be fascinating to write.
Do you only read the genre that you write?
I will read just about any genre. There was a long period of my adult life where all I read was thrillers, police procedurals, and mystery-type fare. As I discussed in the previous question, I also truly enjoy a good hist fic or romance, especially if there is a fantasy element in those sorts of books. I enjoyreading sci-fi too, but with so little time these days I tend to stick to fantasy over all those aforementioned genres, which is my true passion.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
I am currently reading Dark Oak, a self-published best-seller, by the wonderful author Jacob Sannox. Jacob is a fantastic gent and phenomenal writer. He is a two-time Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) semi-finalist, and Dark Oak was one of those books that won a semi-finals berth. Fascinating book, with a great premise, and nice take on the fantasy trope about the omnipotent baddie “dark lord”: what happens AFTER the “dark lord” falls? With respect to TV, I am trying to catch up on the most recent season of The Crown on Netflix, one of my favourite shows. For writing inspiration, soundtracks to movies or TV shows are my jam. I like listening to soundtracks, to suit the mood of the scenes I write. For example, for a big battle scene, I might listen to the Gladiator movie soundtrack. For a fireside chat with some scheming and political intrigue, it would probably be a soundtrack from a season of Game of Thrones.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
There are a lot of incredible books who don’t sell well. Marketing is the key if you want commercial success. And marketing is something that must start LONG before your book is released. Start early with your marketing campaign, at least six months before your debut. Let people get to know you, and your writing. Build momentum, and excitement for your work. Starting to market AFTER your book has debuted, means you are starting a deficit. It’s very difficult, especially as a self-published author, to be heard amongst all the other amazing self-published and traditionally-published writers. If you don’t start early, it will only make your climb to writing glory steeper.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
A Drowned Kingdom is the first book in a seven-book series, called The Drowned Kingdom Saga. After The Drowned Kingdom Saga, there will be a first, then a second prequel trilogy. I am already working simultaneously on both these prequel trilogies as I write The Drowned Kingdom Saga! . Each trilogy will be based on ancestors of Othrun, and their unique exploits and historical importance to the universe of The Drowned Kingdom Saga. Following those six books, a final seven-book series, picking up where The Drowned Kingdom Saga left off, will be written. Yes, ambitious I know, but time waits for no one, and I started writing late in life, so I have a lot of writing to catch up on! I am currentlyfinishing up Book Two of The Drowned Kingdom Saga, called The Last of the Atalanteans. This book is in the editing and cover design phase, and it should be released in the spring of 2022. I’ve already started writing Book Three of The Drowned Kingdom Saga.
Thank you so much for joining me on my blog today, P. L. I’m looking forward to the next instalment in the Drowned Kingdom Saga – as you know I thoroughly enjoyed Book 1. My review can be read here.
A Drowned Kingdom (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Bk #1)
Once Second Prince of the mightiest kingdom in the known world, Othrun now leads the last survivors of his exiled people into an uncertain future far across the Shimmering Sea from their ancestral home, now lost beneath the waves. With his Single God binding his knights to chivalric oaths, intent on wiping out idolatry and pagan worship, they will have to carve out a new kingdom on this mysterious continent―a continent that has for centuries been ravaged by warlords competing for supremacy and mages channeling the mystic powers of the elements―and unite the continent under godly rule.
With a troubled past, a cursed sword, and a mysterious spirit guiding him, Othrun means to be that ruler, and conquer all. But with kingdoms fated on the edge of spears, alliances and pagan magic, betrayal, doubt, and dangers await him at every turn. Othrun will be forced to confront the truths of all he believes in on his journey to become a king, and a legend.
When one kingdom drowns, a new one must rise in its place. So begins the saga of that kingdom, and the man who would rule it all.
The Last of The Atalanteans (The Drowned Kingdom Saga Bk #2)
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