Hello. Today, I would like to welcome author Ivan Amberlake to Dean’s Den. Ivan is the author of “The Beholder,” an urban fantasy novel that I recently enjoyed. Ivan’s latest novella, “Diary of the Gone,” was released September 23, 2013, and he’s here to discuss this new release as well as his first novel and future projects.
Ivan, welcome to Dean’s Den. First, tell us about yourself.
I’m from Belarus, and to my deepest regret I’ve never been to an English-speaking country. I fell in love with English and with the way it sounds about the time I was finishing school. Since then I’ve been learning it and also writing in it.
My wife and I are both teachers of English at a university where we met in 2004. I’m lucky to have her by my side. She’s a very active person who always supports me in my endeavors. I enjoy putting some of her traits into my female characters, like the kind of perfume she uses, or the color of her eyes, and it’s fun when she finds these parts in my books and keeps asking me questions about these traits.
“The Beholder” is a classic good versus evil tale with the theme of sacrifice running through it. What was your inspiration for the novel?
I can’t say there’s one thing that inspired me. While writing “The Beholder” I was greatly influenced by the music I listened to, and it varied from really heavy stuff like The Crown and In Flames (not recommended for the faint-hearted) to enchanting romantic melodies of a Swiss band Eluveitie. In the end, the book turned out an unexpected mixture of fantasy, thriller and romance. Movies like The Matrix and books like Harry Potter also had a great impact on me at that time, which a lot of readers mention in their reviews.
As for “Diary of the Gone,” I must say I finished it thanks to my wife’s encouragement. She believed in me and in this book, and I’m really grateful to her for her support.
In what ways is “Diary of the Gone” similar to “The Beholder” and in which ways it is a departure?
I’d say these two books are different in many ways. “Diary of the Gone” is a paranormal suspense novella about fifteen-year-old Callum Blackwell who sees people before and after they die. It’s aimed mostly at young adults (13+), but it also appeals to adult readers.
“The Beholder” is an urban fantasy with a more pronounced romantic thread than in Diary. “The Beholder” is a new take on the Light vs. Dark theme, involving a new kind of reality that only a chosen few are able to see and control.
One obvious thing in common for me is the protagonists. Both Callum Blackwell and Jason Walker are thrown into turmoil of dark events happening around them, and their task is to survive and save those who are dear to them, which is not always easy to accomplish.
Is this new one through the same author consortium, Breakwater Harbor Books? Tell us about BHB.
BHB is a group of self-published writers who support each other with feedback and promotion through various websites like Facebook, Twitter and so on. Some of our members are bestselling authors in various genres from sci-fi to zombie novels. A few of our members haven’t yet published their books but we anticipate they will in the near future. For more information on the group, you can go to http://www.breakwaterharborbooks.com/
Any favorite hobbies, movies or books you’d like to mention?
I have two hobbies right now, reading and writing, although I don’t have as much time to devote to them as I wish. I also enjoy watching sitcoms, but often real life is in the way so I can’t spend much time doing the things I enjoy.
What’s next for Ivan Amberlake?
I have a few projects in mind, but I’d better share them with you when I finish these books. I can only say that after a long period of procrastination, I’ve started writing Book #2 of The Beholder Series called “Path of the Heretic.” There are lots of ideas in my head right now, and the only thing is to put them in the right place so the story is both coherent and believable. I can say that there are things happening in the book that I couldn’t even think would happen, and I hope the readers will be as surprised as me.
Thanks for being on The Den.
Thanks for the great questions, Dean!
Note: Ivan mentioned he is currently enjoying a sci-fi novel called “Synthetic Illusions” by New Jersey author Mary Fan. By coincidence, Mary is scheduled to be the next guest on The Den. For more about Ivan, see below.
THE BEHOLDER page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Beholder/152577228229536?bookmark_t=page