Today I’m welcoming Rival Gates, author of Quest for the Red Sapphire. Thank you for stopping by, Rival!
All about Rival . . .
I was born in Port Huron, MI and was the youngest of four surviving children. At the age of five my Father took a position as a magazine editor in Toronto, Ontario Canada. We moved to a large city just outside Toronto called Mississauga. The different cultures and demographics to which I was exposed formed many of the ideas for my story.
When I was thirteen, my Father’s declining health forced him out of work and our family struggled. It was at that time that I decided to channel my negative energy into a constructive purpose. I set out to write a short story about a magical gem called the Red Sapphire. My brothers teased me that such a stone was simply a ruby. That irony was part of the attraction for me. After all, who would be writing about a Red Sapphire? Years went by and we moved down to my Father’s home town of Harrow, Ontario on the shores of Lake Erie. It was a drastic change from city life and I found myself retreating more and more into my ever growing story. By age fifteen I had a two-hundred page hand written manuscript.
Advancing from high school to college at Michigan State University there was little time for writing and the project sat in a drawer in my parent’s home. In spite of my lack of attention to writing, every night I would fall asleep working out details of the book and the series to follow.
I met a wonderful woman at Michigan State who agreed after graduation to become my wife. As we started our family I began a career in retail management and sales. For over twenty years I excelled in the field and even incorporated some of my knowledge into the book. I hold my position in the greatest esteem.
While I rewrote the story several times on my computer, I did not attempt to publish it until the longest supporter of my writing, my Mother, became terminally ill. She told me the last time I saw her how proud she was of the story I had created and made me promise to publish it and share it with the world. With the loving support of my wife, our three children and the help of the good people at Alpha Wolf Publishing, I am fulfilling that promise.
When my Father (ever the editor) read the book, he told me how proud he was and that somewhere he knew my Mother was equally proud. I present to you the first part of the saga which is my life’s work, Quest for the Red Sapphire. May it bring you as much joy to read as it has brought me to write.
1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?
Seat of your pants is fun and works great when I write something short like one of my blogs. When I work on a book, however, I lay out the order of events and then choose dialog and action in a sequence to take me from point A to B and then C etc. It is time consuming but I don’t miss details that way.
2. What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
I love the second goblin fight. Linvin (The protagonist) must use his skill at strategy to win the battle. The entire party contributes to the win rather than just one individual shouldering the burden.
3. What is the highest goal that you desire to meet as an author?
I want my books to be in print, read and enjoyed long after I have passed from this earth. Such a feet brings a form of immortality few will ever have.
4. What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Pick a topic or genre that you have a great interest in that will never fade. Writing is very demanding of your time and attention. If you don’t absolutely love what you are doing, you will grow tired of it and be unsuccessful.
5. Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Sometime before I die I would like to see my books made into movies.
6. Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
I am a former chess champion. I could get a sunburn inside on a cloudy day. Rain and snow make me want to write.
7. What do you have in store next for your readers?
The sequel to Quest for the Red Sapphire called Sapphire Crucible will be out in 2014. After reading the first book, everyone I have spoken with is yearning to find out what happens next.
Quest for the Red Sapphire
At a young age Linvin Grithinshield was sent to the far away Kingdom of Valia to be trained as a warrior, leader and general. In his mid-twenties Linvin has reached the rank of Supreme Commander of all Valian Forces. The rank is still new when he receives word that his father is missing and he must return to his home in the Kingdom of Sartan to run the family business. The joy of his homecoming is short-lived as Linvin’s mother is murdered and Linvin’s true destiny is revealed. He has been chosen to be the next Master of the Red Sapphire. The gem is said to give world-altering magic to its master. Now it seems someone else of great power wants the gem and is willing to kill anyone in order to attain it. Linvin must flee for his life and search for the stone. His wise uncle Anvar who has more secrets than hairs in his beard comes along but knows they need more help. With assassins and mercenaries everywhere they turn to Linvin’s antagonistic fraternal twin cousins Bander and Rander. Friction within the party rears its head frequently and Linvin discovers he must learn to control himself in all situations if he hopes to win the Red Sapphire. Battles rage with giant wolves, bandits, goblins and even a dragon but somehow the small band must persevere and succeed before their murderous competitor finds the Red Sapphire and claims it for their own.
Linvin was still. He closed his eyes and tried to put aside the events of the day. At last he spoke, “My life makes no sense to me. There I was, growing up with my parents and then out of nowhere my father tells me, ‘I must send you away, son. You are destined for something greater than the life I can provide. The greatness in your future lies down a separate road than I must travel. To prepare for that, I must send you to the greatest teacher you could have, Sedemihcra.’”
“‘You will be trained to be a soldier, a commander and a leader of men. He will also train you to use your mind to solve problems that force alone cannot solve. He will set you on the right path. When the time is right and your training is complete, I will send for you to return home.’”
“I asked him what was at the end of my path. He had such passion in his voice as he told me, ‘One day you will make an unrivaled difference in the lives of others. The weak, the helpless, the oppressed; all will one-day look to you as their champion. They will be counting on you. I will be counting on you.’”
“‘To send you away is the hardest thing I have ever done. Your mother is against this but the time has come for you to begin your training. There is so much at stake, son. You will have the chance to stand up to tyranny, oppression and all the evils of the world. That task will fall to you alone. You can rise to the challenge or turn your back. If you do turn away though, millions of people will suffer. Terrible storms are on the horizon. You are the only shelter the people will have. So you see my son, that is why you must go.’”
Anvar sat his stein on the rail and began to pace. “Your parents agonized over the decision and your mother was indeed set against the entire idea, but in the end, your father would not defer. He sent you away because he knew that you needed training.”
Linvin finished his ale and refilled the great vessel. “I had many years to ponder those words as I grew up in Valia. It never made sense to me but I had to trust my father’s judgment.”
“So here I am at last, summoned home to fulfill my destiny. As it turns out, I am destined to be a merchant or politician and marry some cold, greedy woman who comes from the right family. I will settle down, make more money and be a proper member of society.” Linvin’s tone had been sarcastic and his movements, grandiose.
He approached Anvar in a combination of frustration and anger. “So, dear uncle, best friend of Dirk Grithinshield, is this the life for which my father sent me to be trained?”
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