Thursday, August 1, 2019

*Book Tour & Giveaway* Animal Kingdoms by Oliver Paglia-GUEST POST

The Merewyrm's Tooth
Animal Kingdoms Book 1
by Oliver Paglia
Genre: Epic Fantasy 

Faharen was a contented enough young lad, living a simple farming life with his adopted kin the Manxii, on the North Western Plain of the Animal Kingdoms.

After a mysterious blight begins to ravage the pastures of his homeland, he must embark on a perilous quest only he can complete; to cross the Great Forest, entering the Realms of Men to retrieve a piece of ivory with healing properties from a legendary monster, the Merewyrm; a creature so ancient it predates both man and animal kind.

Not long into his journey, it dawns on Faharen that he is part of a much larger, darker world than he thought existed and must mine hidden depths he wasn’t aware he possessed to survive. 

Created by the gods to divide fallen men from the faithful animals and forsaken by them long ago, traversing the Great Forest will not be easy, for it hides many malevolent creatures such as the Satyrs to name but one; a half man, half cloven hooved beast that knows only spite and treachery! 

With the body of a man and the heart of a Manxii, Faharen must do what is deemed impossible; cross the worlds to save his people.

Gauntlet of Wrath
Animal Kingdoms Book 2

Residing in a monastery far to the east of the North Western Plain, troubling nightmares stalk Faharen’s sleep as he seeks inner peace and answers to profound questions, stirred up by his quest for the Merewyrm’s tooth.

But in the Realms of Men, all is not well.

Out of the deserts to the south, like a sandstorm on an ill wind, a force of occultists, led by an armoured giant calling himself the Ferra Demiurge, or Forged Lord, wielding the strongest ever blades made of a mysterious metal, have taken the Achaean lands by coup and sorcery. Their ambition and greed is insatiable and the Demiurge will not be satisfied until the entire known world is his, including what lies beyond the Great Forest.

With the worlds of the Animal Kingdoms and men alike set in flux by recent events, the ancient prophecy of the wild men seems to be unravelling.

Now, all those standing against the Achaeans will be tested in their defence of the sacred. Some will conquer, some will die, but all will struggle to survive.

Oliver Paglia is a writer/filmmaker and was born and bred in Hampshire, south England, where he grew up on a small farm in the picturesque Test valley countryside. He now lives in Reykjavik, Iceland with his veterinary nurse partner, Snæfriður Stefanssdottír. For many years Oliver has worked as a videographer in England and has a substantial portfolio of commercial and artistic film work spanning a broad variety of subjects.
Oliver’s artistic preoccupation is with the mythic; it is his view that it is one of the highest forms of artistic expression. It can be vague, yet illuminating, without a contemporary context yet insightful as to the human condition, absurd yet wise and dark yet moral. The legends of old are the stories that resonate with us on all levels.
As the late Professor Joseph Campbell put it, “The myth is the public domain and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn’t, you’ve got a long adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.” Also, “Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another.”
And that is what Oliver hopes to do, to keep myth alive in his own modest way.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was watching a documentary about the hidden code Michael Ward had found in the Narnia books, and the entire world came into my head in a flash. Scared the hell out of me!

What can we expect from you in the future?
I currently have three books in the works, the most important being of course the third and final part of the Animal Kingdoms trilogy, and have an independent short film in post production as well, based loosely on the original Mad Max: Road Warrior films.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Many! I just haven’t written them down yet.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in the books?
In the Merewrym’s Tooth: Animal Kingdoms Book 1, the story centres almost entirely on the adventure of the central character Faharen, as he crosses the sacred divide of the Great Forest between the worlds of men and civilised animals, to find the Merewyrm’s tooth; a magical object that can cure a mysterious blight that has tainted the soil of his homeland. He is an unassuming enough young man, but is well aware that he is fundamentally different to his adopted kin, the Manxii; a race of creatures that stand upright, but have horns, wool and hoof-like extremities.

In Book 2, ‘Gauntlet of Wrath’, the breadth of characters increases quite considerably, good and bad alike.
The central bad guy, the Ferra Demiurge, or Forged Lord; a giant of a man sporting a suit of armour and a sword the length of a man made of a mysterious dark metal. Above all, he desires power, which he pursues relentlessly with an entourage of black robed sorcerers behind him.

I think one of the most interesting characters for me, is the tribal shaman Aquppak. Think of him as a Native American meets Obi Wan Kenobi. HE is wise, compassionate and a great mentor to the younger men around him.

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
Wyrm is an old English term for serpent or dragon, and mere relates to water; so the mythical beast of the first book literally means a ‘Water-Dragon/Serpent’.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed the development of the characters and the world they inhabit.

Who designed your book covers?
My book covers are drawn by the wonderful Icelandic conceptual artist, Börkur Eiríksson.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not as it stands, no.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I´m constantly learning, it never stops. Mostly, how to be a better writer.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
An unknown young actor

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Your imagination is one of the most important things you have.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The intensity of the action and battles, and how the character overcome adversity.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Aquppak the shaman; it would be great to get in touch with nature through a man like that.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Entirely from my imagination, believe it or not!

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story? Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Oh, I CERTAINLY feel I have the reigns on my stories. My book is mythic and myth, in my opinion, is the highest form of art., that’s why books like mine should be read. Whether its a good myth or not, I leave up to you to decide.

Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, but they aren’t quite finished yet.

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Earth, water, air and fire!

What did you edit out of this book?
I don’t do much editing. I first cut my teeth writing screenplays, which require you to be very efficient as a writer, so there isn’t much fat on my stories.

Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

I’d love to get some writing tips from Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan the Barbarian. His style was best described as ‘electric’ with ‘sparks flying off the page’. Some of his opening paragraphs are just sublime.
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