I recently spoke with fellow author Charles Wellington II about his new fantasy book The Phalanx Syndicate. Born in San Diego, California, Charles moved around for many years until eventually settling down in Nevada. After going to school and acquiring degrees in Fine Arts, Art, and General Studies, he finally succumbed to the wishes of his family and friends to put his stories and world into a novel for everyone to enjoy. With his dream becoming a reality, Charles hopes to bring the power of myths alive through his tales. With Corsana―The Phalanx Syndicate now published, he continues the series with plans for at least four books (if not more), which he plans on putting yearly until finished. He currently resides in the city of Reno, Nevada.
Hi Charles, thanks for stopping by today. Please tell us about your book(s): Corsana is an epic fantasy tale of mythical proportions. It’s the coming of age story about Christopher Knight, known to his friends as CK, and his evolution to find himself and his place in the world. Along the way, he is joined by a motley crew of adventurers. As they venture forth, trying to find out why ships are capsizing off the coast of Corsana, they soon realize there’s a greater plot of darkness at work where no one is safe. And in a world full of goblins, orcs, giants and dragons, and danger lurking around every corner, CK and his crew are just hoping to make it home alive.
What inspired you to write your book? Well, there were a handful of things that inspired me. I love creating characters, and world-building. Not to mention, the stories that I’ve told to my family and friends; they’ve all been pushing me to put them down on paper. But also, all of the movies that I’ve come to love. I realized that I not only wanted to share my stories with the world, but that, through the power of myth, I could take my readers on a journey through another world. Allowing them to experience that which exists in my head, and heart.
How would you describe your “Voice” or Style of writing? My style of writing will definitely be unique to the fantasy realm. While most books, even fantasy adventure novels with groups, most of them focus the story from one character’s point of view. Mine do not. You’ll be seeing this story from many points of view and I believe that will make it a much more interesting read.
What genre do you prefer to write or are you truly eclectic? Corsana is the first book I’ve ever written. And I say that laughingly because I assume for most writers, their first book is usually a standalone. Turns out mine is a saga that will encompass four to six books. But as genera’s go, while I love fantasy, and it will probably always be my favorite, I am already looking towards the future where I might write some mystery/thriller or romance books.
Do you painstakingly plot out your story; are you a discovery writer or a bit of both? Why? I definitely am a writer who painstakingly plots out the story. I know exactly where the story is supposed to go, so as long as I reach the next checkpoint, I really don’t worry about how many side trips my characters decided to take along the way.
What do you feel is your best advice to share with other aspiring authors? If you are writing and you get writer’s block, it’s not that you’ve lost your creative spark, or that you don’t know where the book, or your story is going, it’s that, you’ve gone and done something against what the character would actually do. This happened to me once.
One time I wanted to go straight from “A” to “D” and I immediately got writer’s block. I didn’t know why. Obviously, I stopped writing for a moment. And after that moment, I went back to the story and looked back at what I was writing previous to getting writer’s block. It was then that the realization hit me like lightning. I had wanted so badly to get to D, that I didn’t pay attention to the fact that my characters had a couple of other things they wanted to do before we got there. It was me going against their personality profile that caused the writer’s block.
Once I stepped back and took the route they wanted me to, doing “B” and “C” first, not only was the story better and more compelling, but we still reached “D” and my writer’s block was gone.
Would you like to share an excerpt from the book or a poem or two to give readers an idea of what you offer?
Just ahead, the hall forked. If the map was correct, to the left were supposed to be stairs leading up, and to the right were unexplored natural caverns, yet to be mined. As they neared the stairs, Drendel began to move a little faster; more assured that the orcs wouldn’t trap their own walkways.
“We’re doing good,” Drendel said.
Rory shook her head. “What have I told you about saying stuff like that?”
They turned the corner to climb the stairs and came face to face with a group of orcs. The second it took both groups to acknowledge the presence of an enemy seemed to span an eternity. And then all hell broke loose!
As Rannstein bellowed a war cry and charged into battle ―Chloe at his side―, Drendel somersaulted back through his group. Metal rang as weapons clashed, or found armor and shield. Rannstein bashed an orc’s falchion away and cleaved into his skull.
“Ha!” he cheered, as blood splattered across the metal of his ax. Chloe ducked, an orc’s sword missing her head by inches. Bolts flew over their shoulders from Drendel, accompanied by Rory’s magic missiles, into the orcs. Dodging and weaving, Rannstein and Chloe created a flowing wall of armor and shields that the orcs could not pass.
Christopher was about to swap out a bow for a bastardsword when he heard it—the sound grew louder, like the roar of a wave. From around the corner of the adjacent hall, they had passed, charged the group of orcs who’d once been laughing and cajoling.
“Behind us!” Christopher bellowed.
Christopher and Drendel engaged this new force of orcs in combat. They were now facing a battle on two fronts. Drendel bobbed and weaved, barely escaping slashes. Lucky for him, his rapier was quicker than his wit. Rays of fire flew left and right from Rory’s hands. As one orc would die, another would move in quickly to take his place.
“And this is why you clear out everything as you go!” Rannstein said as he fell another foe. Chloe scowled at the comment, her sword chopping into an orc’s neck.
Drendel rotated, avoiding another hit as he put his rapier away. Drawing a couple of daggers, he stepped forward toward the orc who threatened his life. His hands moved deftly, as they swirled and twisted back and forth across his body. The light glistening off the blades, created a weaving infinity sign across his torso. For a moment the orc looked dumbfounded until Drendel lost hold of his own dagger, and the blade went spinning through the air, nearly striking Rory.
“Hey!” she yelled.
“Sorry,” Drendel replied with a shrug.
It was then that Drendel was hit hard over the head. Christopher watched, as his helmet deflected the blow enough for him to avoid death, but he was clearly stunned from the impact. The orc reared back his arm, ready to plunge his sword through Drendel’s chest.
“No!” Christopher shouted, as he thrust out his arm, palm out to the enemy. The orcs in front were blasted back, cartwheeling over their allies, slammed by a force of telekinetic energy.
The moment’s reprieve from fighting was enough for Rannstein to kill the last orc on his side, and move to form a wall with Christopher. As the orcs charged in again, Chloe was able to summon a healing blast that pulsed through all of her allies, and into the front enemy orcs. Christopher felt one of his wounds heal, and as he did, he witnessed one of the orcs being healed by Chloe’s spell as well.
“You just healed them!” CK yelled back to Chloe.
Chloe grimaced. “I forgot. Sorry!”
The two forces slammed into each other with a thundering collision. Swords clashed, blood squirted, and the blades of Rannstein’s and Christopher’s weapons met in the middle of an orc’s head, sending another to the great beyond.
The orcs, whether braver than any ballad had ever stated, or mad as hatters, fought until their last breath. However, moments later, Drendel finished off the last orc with a bolt to the head.
The silence after a battle was always deafening.
“We better be moving,” Rory said. “That group,” motioning to the one that came from the adjacent hall, “came from, what I would surmise is the mess hall. But the other is probably a patrol.”
Christopher nodded. “Meaning they will be expected back soon…”
“…or their replacements.” Rory finished.
“Then let’s get moving!” Rannstein said, having enjoyed the battle. He was in his element when it came to killing orcs and was eager to lead the way up the stairs.
Christopher laughed inwardly, thinking back to how this―adventuring, training, and working as an effective group, accepting dangerous missions―all started only a few months ago…
Sounds fantastic! OK, now the harder part…Let’s talk about YOU:
What “Charity” or “Cause” do you feel passionately about & Why? I’m just getting started working with charities, but the first one I plan on supporting is 826 Valencia, over in San Francisco. They are a non-profit organization that helps children from ages 6 to 18, teaching them how to write, be creative, and publish their own works. I think that is amazing! And who knows; maybe one day, a kid from there will write the next epic fantasy tale for all of us to love and enjoy.
And that’s all I could get out of Charles about himself, proving once again that authors really HATE talking about themselves. BUT Im so glad he shared his story with me/us and I hope you will take a moment to discover more about him through his social media.