Asking a fantasy author to write 400 to 800 words about themselves and their works is a bit of a dangerous proposition! I’d like to thank Beth Tabler for the opportunity to have a spot on her blog and for hosting the #indiespotlight project to bring more exposure to independent authors.
My name is Carol A. Park, and, as you have already deduced, being the astute readers that you are, I write fantasy. To be more precise, I write secondary world epic and sword & sorcery fantasy. To be even more precise (I did say it was a dangerous proposition, didn’t I?), I write character-driven sometimes-dark epic and sword & sorcery fantasy that likely has a strong romantic subplot and definitely has a nuanced magic system tied to some sort of made-up mythology.
It’s that last bit that I’d like to go into more depth about in this post.
I’ve always loved writing, I’ve always loved fantasy, and I’ve always been fascinated by mythology. And since I read my first Brandon Sanderson books, I’ve been intrigued by what has come to be known as “hard magic.” Since I have two master’s degrees in the areas of ancient near eastern history, language, and mythology, I suppose it makes sense that it all coalesced into my absolute favorite aspect of creating secondary world fantasy: making up magic and mythology—and in particular, magic and mythology that are deeply intertwined.
My debut book, Banebringer, which released in May 2018, is the first book of The Heretic Gods trilogy, an atmospherically dark sword & sorcery. It features a detailed magic system and, as you have once again deduced, heretical gods. The magic is closely related to this pantheon, which I had great fun making up (who wouldn’t have fun making up a pantheon, after all?), since these gods are the ones who bestow a variety of powers on certain mortals based on the deities own “profiles.” Of course, that the gods doing the bestowing are heretical complicates life a little for the unfortunate recipients of these unasked-for powers, the titular Banebringers, who do not—and never have—worshipped their “patron” deities.
You might be asking, “And how does one make up a pantheon, Carol?” Well, I can’t offer definitive advice, of course, but one way to go about is to find a fun-sounding example in our own ancient mythologies and run with it. In the case of Heretic Gods, I took inspiration from the Aztec pantheon for my heretical gods. (Me being me—a scholar of a few subjects in my own right—I now feel compelled to note for the most likely non-existent scholars of the ancient Aztecs that might be reading this: this is inspiration in the same way that a moving piece of music might inspire a musician to create something similarly emotive but wholly new—not an attempt to be historically accurate in any way, shape, or form!)
I’ve had even more fun with the sequel, Cursebreaker, which releases (fingers crossed) Dec 2019, because I’ve had the opportunity to expand on both the magic and especially the mythology in some ways that were fun for me, and I hope are fun for readers looking forward to the next installment.
Obviously, I have other stories bubbling about in my brain, and by way of a teaser, the next series I’ll be working on is an epic fantasy which also features a nuanced magic system, once again intricately tied to a (different!) made-up pantheon—and is in some ways the opposite of Banebringer in how that plays a role in the plot.
I must mention before I wrap up that I also have another book available, Sweetblade, which delves into the backstory of one of the characters from Banebringer. It can be read by itself, or before or after Banebringer. Sweetblade epitomizes the character-driven aspect of my books, which I (alas!) lack space to delve into here.
I could go on, but I won’t, mostly because I want to behave myself and stick to my word limit (said no epic fantasy author ever). Once again, thanks to Beth for hosting this series and providing me the opportunity to blab about some aspects of writing near and dear to my heart.
About the Author – Carol A. Park
Carol A. Park is a fantasy author who lives in the Lancaster, PA area with her husband and two young and active boys–which is another way of saying, “adorable vampires.” She loves reading (duh), writing (double-duh), music, movies, and other perfectly normal things like parsing Hebrew verbs and teaching herself new dead languages. She has two master’s degrees in the areas of ancient near eastern studies and languages.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Carol-A.-Park/e/B07C3NM18R/
Amazon link to Banebringer: https://www.amazon.com/Banebringer-Heretic-Gods-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07C29DQH5/
Amazon link to Sweetblade: https://www.amazon.com/Sweetblade-Carol-Park-ebook/dp/B07M869WGZ/
Online excerpts of both books are available through the Amazon “Look Inside” feature on the Amazon product pages.
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17950418.Carol_A_Park
Goodreads link to Banebringer: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39866516-banebringer
Goodreads link to Sweetblade: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43082471-sweetblade
Website/Newsletter Signup: https://carolapark.com/