Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beltamar's War by C.G.Ayling: Interview & Excerpt




Envision a world ruled by six Divine Laws, immutable and absolute.

Liaju longs to receive her twelfth marks - arcane symbols etched within her flesh, by Divine Decree.  Mystic marks, which grant access to her first matching Convocation.  Liaju is plagued by troubling dreams, visions revealing the precipice her people, the Seizen, unknowingly approach - along with a possible path of escape. An obscure path, hidden and locked.  Only Liaju holds escape's elusive key, a key as incomprehensible as it is frightening.  Self-sacrifice.  Must Liaju relinquish all to secure the Seizen's survival?

Eden, a mischievous child, succumbs to temptation and leads her cousin astray.  Their path leads through terror and death, to ultimate understanding. Trickery reveals treachery - for Edenâ's misdeed unveils a monstrous murder.

Thrown into a perpetual, remorseless conflict you soon discover Malmaxa is more about the Seizen than place.  Sorely troubled, barbaric, complex, and intriguing as Malmaxa is, it remains merely the setting for the true tale - the characters, their motivations, and the choices which shape and define them.

Envision Malmaxa, then step inside and experience a world at once astonishingly different, and disturbingly familiar.  Experience Malmaxa - experience, enlightenment?


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Welcome! Thanks for this chance to let us find out a bit more about you. Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

Yes, in fact two people – my Godfather, and my mother’s elder sister.  “Beltamar’s War” is dedicated to them – two incredible people who embody the highest traits of male and female character.  As an illustration of that character, my Aunt Fran pled with me to use my mother as opposed to her – I declined since no one doubts my love for my mother, while almost no one knows of my respect for my Aunt.

Who is your favorite author?

Another double-barreled answer to a single barreled question!  Three people posing as two hold that position.  The first is Omar Khayyam, a Persian philosopher from the eleventh century, as translated by Edward FitzGerald.  The second is Professor J.R.R. Tolkien.  Incidentally, my Godfather introduced me to both.  Since imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I hope elements of their work can be found in my own – which I am delighted to say has been described as “lyrical”.

Do you use a pen name?  If so, how did you come up with it?

Indeed I do.  It is the initials and surname of my Godfather, whose first name of Charles I share.  He passed away in 1990 leaving no surviving heirs and thus no legacy – my wish to honor him provoked the choice of his name.

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I’m glad you asked that!  “Beltamar’s War” just happens to be the first novel in the Malmaxa series.  Malmaxa is about character, choice, design and destiny.  The series poses a number of questions about character and motivation.  Since I love the Fantasy genre, I used it as the crucible in which the essential elements of human nature can be broken down into their fundamental truths.  Sounds really boring doesn’t it?  Though I sincerely hope Malmaxa isn’t boring, I’m not going to claim it’s an easy read.  I am confident it will touch the hearts of its readers – many of whom will never notice the deeper side of the story.  So, back to the second question – Malmaxa might be described as “Philosophy couched as Fantasy”.  You be the judge.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

They are critically important.  Every name in the cast, and it is quite a large cast, is carefully chosen – most for either design, or deception.  Obviously, names must be true to the Fantasy genre, while giving readers a hint about… something.  As an example, the villain’s name is the Germanic, Adelmar.  (No, I’m not hinting Germans are evil!)  The meaning of Adelmar is, “famous for his noble character”, which begets the question of why a person of noble character would be a villain?  In contrast, look at the name of one of the principle heroines – Eden.  Might this be in reference to paradise lost?  In Malmaxa, everything has purpose and little is as it first appears…

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

Again, that would have to be my Godfather.  In 1990, some six years after I last saw him, he died of throat cancer attributed to lifelong smoking.  His death came as a complete shock to me, and I’m ashamed to admit I was very angry with him for nearly ten years after his death.  I saw his death, without a word of warning, as having denied me the chance to bid him farewell.

It took me a decade to realize that his never mentioning he had cancer was completely consistent with his character – it was his way of preventing pain he would have been unable to alleviate.  “Beltamar’s War” addresses some of my feelings about that – perhaps in tacit apology to an honorable man for my dishonorable thoughts toward him.  The character Jalgar, who my family are adamant is based on myself, is actually based on my Godfather.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Releasing them – I don’t think I’m different from any other author in this.  Books, are words wrested from the hearts of their writers.  Exposing yourself to public criticism, by baring your soul through words, is not a trivial task.  Of course, there are tons of light, fun, and excellent novels that are written in a lighthearted manner.  Frankly, I admire those authors – maybe one day I’ll be able to write like that.  Don’t get me wrong – I try to keep my novels easy to read, hopefully I succeed.

Talking about other authors, what book are you reading now?

I’m glad you asked that.  After a slew of horrible, nameless novels, I’ve just finished a book entitled “Tongues of Serpents” by Naomi Novik.  I picked it up purely on impulse and am absolutely delighted with it – so much so that I will be seeking out the preceding five novels in the series.  Ms. Novik has a wonderful tongue-in-cheek way of expressing emotions that seem much shallower than they truly are.  She tackles social issues with humility, astounding honesty, and amazing clarity.  For example, the question of how an obviously decent and honorable man can be castigated for doing the right thing – when his actions don’t toe to the party line.

Most impressive to me – as this is something I am trying to achieve in my own work – is how Ms. Novik accomplishes this within a Fantasy setting.

Most disheartening, is how this wonderful, thought provoking, yet humorous novel has only garnered a 3 star rating on Amazon.  Unlike many of those reviews I don’t think there is anything in “Tongues of Serpents” that requires you to read the other novels first.  Having experienced it, I am more inclined to seek them out than less so – I want to know what led up to the clear injustice experienced by the protagonists.  If you haven’t read it, I cannot recommend “Tongues of Serpents” highly enough.
 
That wraps it up for me. :)  Thanks so much for being here!



With children African, English and American, and himself born and raised in a country of five names then moving to another for ten years, only to settle in Ohio where he resided in Athens for nearly twenty years before switching to Dublin the author considers himself … a citizen of the world.
His wife and four children think of him simply as a thorny old man.

Links to websites related to ”Beltamar’s War”

Personal website :- http://cgayling.com/malmaxa/


Amazon Author Page:- http://amazon.com/author/cgayling

Paperback Copies of the novel:- http://www.createspace.com/3582903

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/cgayling



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