All about Rival . . .
Rival Gates has lived extensively in both Canada and the United States. He currently resides in Nebraska, USA. The son of an editor and English teacher, he began planning his series during his teen years. The Sapphire Chronicles took shape in his mind and manifested themselves into the first book in the series, Quest for the Red Sapphire. It was released in 2013 and caught the attention of readers. The following year, The Sapphire Crucible was published feeding the appetite of the growing number of fans of the series. “Crucible” answered many questions and raised others. Now the newest installment of the chronicles is out in Mandrean Revenge where Gates takes us once again back into the fray.
1. How did your life as a writer begin?
I began by entering essay contests in grammar school and writing the scripts for all the class plays. Writing was something I always enjoyed doing.
2. What makes you feel inspired to write?
Reading inspires me as does absolute silence when I can just let my imagination wander.
3. How did you come with the idea for your current story?
After making the first two books I decided to have Lord Mandrean live through his fight with Linvin. Then I thought, If I was Lord Mandrean I would want some payback. How could I hurt Linvin the most? The story just came together from there.
4. Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?
I definitely outline and storyboard my book before I write it. Then all the details are worked out and I don’t have to worry about leaving a part out of the story.
My favorite scene is the part where Necromancer visits Mandrean in the bath. Necromancer can’t refuse his orders but he can insult him. For Mandrean’s part, he can order Necromancer around but cannot do anything about his attitude. It makes for a hilarious scene. You have two evil people who hate one another trying to belittle the other.
6. What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I can’t have any sound around me at all when I’m writing. There can be no distractions or I will lose the flow.
7. What is your usual writing routine?
I sit down and read over the last few pages I wrote. That gets me in the writing mood. Then I check the outline to see what I need to touch on. Everything lines up in my head and I start writing.
8. What is the highest goal that you desire to meet as an author?
I want to reach the best seller’s list.
9. Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?
J. K. Rowling. She turned her dream into something amazing that the whole world could appreciate.
10. What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Find yourself a good beta-reader. This is a person who will read your work and look for inconsistencies in the story and other errors. They have to be hard on you or they won’t catch mistakes your readers might. It makes all the difference in the world.
11. What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
I would really like to read the entire series by David Eddings. I read “Pawn of Prophecy” about a year ago and have wanted to read the rest of the series. He was a great writer and I love his style.
12. How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Writing is how I spend my free time. I have an office dedicated to my writing and I closeout the outside world so I can create an imaginary one of my own.
13. Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Meet Jonathon Rhys-Davies in person.
14. Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
I still like some cartoons. I believe Doritos should be a food group. I yell at the T.V. during football games as though they can hear me and will do what I say.
15. What do you have in store next for your readers?
I don’t want to give anything away but the next book is called “Repercussions Abound” and basically that whole mega-happy ending thing doesn’t happen for anyone. Everyone loses in some way. It’s a brutal climax to this part of the story but a necessary one.
16. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I purposely wrote a shorter book this time out to see what the response would be. We will wait and see if people prefer the long ones or the shorter one.
It has been more than 2 years since Linvin Grithinshield returned from his life altering quest with the Red Sapphire as his prize. Apart from surviving the regular assassination attempts he thought life had returned to normal. Far to the north in the Mandrean Empire, however, trouble was festering. In spite of Linvin’s best efforts, Lord Mandrean the 13th survived their confrontation and has been plotting his reprisal. With his empire on the verge of revolt he needs a show of force to display his dominance. Dispatching Linvin in front of his subjects would fill that role most handsomely. With the help of his evil Necromancer, Mandrean kidnaps Linvin’s Uncle Anvar. The elderly elf is the closest family Linvin has remaining and has been a father figure to him for much of his life. The emperor promises to release Anvar only after Linvin has surrendered himself for execution. Though Mandrean’s word has slight credibility, Linvin is given a terrible decision to make. With little choice Linvin sees no other option but to set out for the empire. He cannot delay as Anvar’s life will expire at the first frost of fall. That will become more troubling by the obstacles he faces along the way. Can Linvin reach the empire in time to sacrifice himself in Anvar’s place? Will Lord Mandrean kill them both? Or maybe, just maybe, Linvin can pull another miracle and save them both. One way or another, blood will be shed.
A scribe sat in the alcove to record the events of the meeting.
“The first order of business,” he recited, “is the Lord of
A well-dressed gentleman came forward from the crowd. “My
liege,” he stated with a bow, “there is disturbing news about the
Unclaimed Territory. With neither Sartan nor the empire legally
permitted to introduce combat units into the disputed region, a
potentially volatile trend has emerged. Settlers from the Kingdoms
of Romadon, Rador, Valia and even the empire have begun settling
in the fertile region with little to be done about it. Now that you
have withdrawn our forces from the region, we have no leverage in
“How is that a concern to the empire?” Mandrean inquired
while accepting a drink from a servant.
“Sire,” stated the lord, “our informants tell us that Valia for
certain and perhaps each of the others has secretly promised
protection to the settlers as an enticement to move there.”
Mandrean had heard every word but was, after all, a man of
slow wit. Realizing that the significance of the information was
indeed lost on his master, the lord elaborated.
“Do you not see the implications for us, Sire? If that prairie is
settled and these nations provide protection, it is an underhanded
method of claiming the territory. Once the farmers are in place,
these kings need but only claim that there is a danger to their
people and send armies to protect them. They would appear to the
world to be innocent lambs but are in fact preying wolves. We
would be forced to either accept their annexation of the region or
fight three powers. The issue must be scrutinized.”
Mandrean grew agitated when the issue was brought into
perspective. “That land should have been ours years ago,” he
insisted. “Are you sure of your facts?”
The lord shuffled his papers and looked away. “We are certain
that the settlers are squatting and that they are doing so in
increasing numbers. As for the support guaranteed by the other
factions, we have one spy’s report from Valia and no others.”
“So this threat is little more than speculation at this time, is it
The lord became less at ease. “Sire, I truly believe that my
concerns are valid on this matter.”
“Fine. Then find out how correct they are, and report back to
me with something more definite. I am not inclined to mobilize our
forces without good reason.”
Snickering was heard from the gallery after the statement. The
sound set the emperor into a tizzy.
“Who laughed?” he yelled. No one spoke. The hall was silent.
“If I find that fool, he will be dead.” Still, no one spoke.
Seeing that his point was made, Mandrean returned his attention
to is Lord of Diplomacy. “What else have you?”
“Your regional commanders have been briefed on the other
matters, and they will address them in their reports.”
“Then waste no more of my time talking,” Mandrean told him.
The lord returned to his seat.
Book Buy Links
Purchase “Quest for the Red Sapphire”
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1mSIAkT
Purchase “The Sapphire Crucible”
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1n8o0yN
Purchase “Mandrean Revenge”
Barnes & Noble : http://bit.ly/1QYOL2y
Connect with Rival
Web Site: http://www.rivalgates.com/