A Cast of Stones
An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love
In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.
Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.
Author Patrick W. Carr
- Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.
The Author on writing A Cast of Stones
When I sat down to write A Cast of Stones, and by that I mean sweating the details so that I had a fantasy that was believable as well as fun, I had to pick a time frame. This might seem strange for a fantasy, after all, many authors have written great fantasy without a discernible time frame or even mixing time frames.
For example, if you were to read “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” by Stephen R. Donaldson, you would be hard pressed to identify a matching period in history. There simply isn’t one. There’s one castle in the story, but it’s called a keep and it was carved, not built, out of solid rock by giants.
On the other hand, if you read “The Belgariad” by David Eddings, he seems intent on mixing as many time periods as possible. There are equivalents to knights in armor, roman legions, Vikings, English longbows, and others. Yet he manages to blend them all into a ripping good story.
I placed my story in the medieval time period, not because it fit the military aspects I needed, but because it lent itself to the religious aspects. I needed to depict a church that worked mechanistically, ergo, I needed to place my story sometime before the reformation. Once I had done that I chose a more exact time frame. My story had war in it, in both naval and land battles, but I didn’t want to deal with the complications posed by cannon. I wasn’t opposed to cannon, but with the recent popularity of “Pirates of the Caribbean” I wanted to ensure I avoided comparison.
So I chose the 13th – 14th century. It fit the bill and didn’t pose the plotting problems of later time frames. It’s important, I think, to keep from ascribing too much weight to this choice. After all, I was writing a fantasy. The purpose of the time period was to serve more as a receptacle for ideas of magic and setting and character. It would have been a mistake to allow the historical reality of 14th century Europe to dictate the book.
I think the most important thing for a fantasy writer to remember is consistency within the story. Eddings and Donaldson taught me that almost anything would work, but I had to stay internally consistent. I’ve read stories where the author disobeys his own rules. The temptation is there for all of us, especially when we write ourselves into a corner, but fantasy readers are at once a forgiving and demanding bunch. We can handle dragons in New York City and time travel to King Arthur’s Court, but we won’t tolerate the author making up the rules on the fly.
Patrick W. Carr
Blog Tour Giveaway
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Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author.