Merchant Of Alyss
Legends Of The Realm book 2
by Thomas Locke
When Hyam comes into possession of an ancient Milantian scroll, he is thrilled to feel the surge of power that courses through him whenever he touches it. But what he discerns in the text could mean war. He embarks upon another journey to determine its true meaning and forestall any attack. But as Hyam is seeking answers, he is unaware that the merchant of Alyss is seeking him . . .
Merchant Of Alyss
Thomas Locke: I began work on MERCHANT OF ALYSS before EMISSARY (book 1 in the series) had been accepted for publication. I had no idea anyone would accept these stories, since they were so utterly different from what I had been writing up to that point. But I was so captivated by the concepts and the emotions that I had to write it.
Thomas Locke: My wife was speaking at a conference in San Francisco, and I had come along to play spouse. I rented a bike and was cycling around the city when I was struck by the image of a guard standing on the parapet in a fierce winter storm, watching a new crimson mage. Who then turns away from the city, walks down to the magic grove protecting Hyam’s home, and attacks.
By the time we returned home, I had the first quarter of MERCHANT OF ALYSS mapped out.
Thomas Locke: The issue of using magic was something I grappled with for some time. I found immense guidance from the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Four thousand years ago, when the concept of “epic” fiction originated, there was a specific purpose behind stories where magic and mythical beasts played major roles.
The authors sought to portray through story that a normal human being can grow beyond the impossible challenges of life. They wanted to show normal people, with flaws and weaknesses as great as those we all carry today, can in fact rise up. They can triumph.
That is what I seek to do with the Legends of the Realm series. I want to return to the original aims of fantasy fiction. I want to re-insert the concept of heroic struggle, and challenges greater than life, and triumphs over evil and darkness.
Thomas Locke: Increasingly, the younger generations within the faith community are moving away from the mind-set of their parents. I am not suggesting that they are abandoning their faith. What I mean is, they are abandoning their parents’ concept of church.
Many younger believers are trending towards a faith that dwells inside the larger mainstream world. Their lives no longer center upon a church so large it contains its own sense of community. They worship in home churches, or smaller centers focused on outreach. They accept a multi-cultural and multi-racial lifestyle, and seek a church that reflects this.
And their entertainment is being drawn from this wider arena.
At the same time, they are not comfortable with much of the darkness that dominates current television and movie trends. With this Thomas Locke brand, I seek to join a small but growing number of believers who are doing this with books and film.
The preliminary response, both from within the younger generations in our faith community, and from the mainstream, has been more than wonderful. It has been a gift.
Thomas Locke: For MERCHANT, I wish someone would ask, “How did you develop such a sense of natural flow out of a realm that doesn’t exist? How did you manage to structure a fantasy where the logic and surprise fit together powerfully?”
I feel this is a crucial element of both EMISSARY and MERCHANT. And with these two books, the answer is extremely different.
With MERCHANT OF ALYSS, it was the exact opposite. I burned with this story. I had to write it. The passion and the joy were immense. But it was still such a struggle. And the first draft reflected this.
So I completed the work. Then I set it aside. Six weeks later I did a full-bore redraft. Then I set it aside again.
Six weeks later I did another total redraft. Then I sent it to the editors, who said, “Don’t change a thing.”
Then I did the entire process a third time. It went into line edits. And I did it a fourth and final time. A lot, lot, lot of work to make it as smooth and simple as EMISSARY was at first draft.
Thomas Locke: You’ll find me at these online outlets:
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Thomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.
His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.
Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College at The University of Oxford.