The epic adventure stories of our time each have something that no others do, memorable characters, dastardly villains, grand treasure, dashing heroes, and/or epic storytelling; however, as great an adventure as he was, Ulysses, my friends, did not have a tail, and Captain Ahab did not have a giant bird who owed him a powerful debt. Otter Captain Marshall is the ultimate hero of a new generation and the secrets that await you in The Son's of Masguard and the Mosque Hill Fortune will challenge your perception of the meaning of the word epic as all those elements mentioned before are contained here, in one place.
I love nature, but bees give me the hebegeebies and make me do the sissy dance. (no I can't spell that word, and my spell checker cares little for it as well.)
All the brilliant people are, or were as the case may be. Being normal is so boring. Who would want that?
He absolutely is my world. Probably because he takes after his father so much! He's been the inspiration for a slew of children's stories, although, I actually wrote the first draft of "The Sons of Masguard" in my late teens, years before he was born. It is definitely fair to say that he was inspirational in the rewrites, however.
He has grown so much since I've last seen him.
Yeah, he won’t stop doing that, for some reason.
Canned question from me to you, what in the world makes you so good and where do these amazing ideas come from? dreams? Little birds? Or bees, perhaps?
Okay, we have to stop for a second because I need to give you an e-hug for saying that. *MASSIVE SQUEEZE!*
It's silly, but the initial inspiration for "The Sons of Masguard" came from an ostrich. My mother was teaching preschool children from a book with no pictures, so she asked me to illustrate the alphabet characters for her class. I was happy to do it -- I LOVE drawing cartoons. The book merged the letters "o" and "p" into a painting ostrich. I thought, "How lame is that? Couldn't they have done something clever... like an octopus pianist? Or an otter pirate?" It bugged me until late into the night, when I got out of bed to draw the first images of Captain Marshall and McKinley the Marauder.
That's partially what makes you so amazing. I love how your mind works.
Baha! Talent? What on earth is that? Would I know if I had it? I'm pretty sure I'd know if I had it. No, I dabble in a lot of things (paint, guitar, piano, voice), but I don't do any of them well. I do make a mean soufflé! That counts for something, right? ... I'm kidding. I actually have no idea how to make a soufflé. At all.
Ugh, I'm a terrible student! I've tried, honestly. But a person could drive themselves mad trying to consume all of the tips and techniques and dos and don'ts on writing these days. For me, noveling (Is that a verb? It should totally be a verb.) is about the characters. Telling their story through their eyes. If I concentrate on how I'm writing, I completely lose sight of what I'm writing -- and the result is a big pile of beautifully structured words that don't lead anywhere. I tell the story first, work on the form second (and sometimes third, and fourth...), and rely on the beta readers to tell me whether I've gotten it wrong. It's amazing how much you can learn from the words, "This scene didn't really work for me."
Your "unnecessary crap" is another writer's golden egg. It's an innate ability that lies within you to craft such realistic images with your words, words that remind me of classic storytelling. Your writing, to me, is not unlike the mastery of artists such as Algernon Blackwood, Washington Irving and, one of your favorites, Richard Adams; how do you craft prose with such precise word choice and imagery?
Yes, but you write about them as if they are the classic characters themselves.
Why, thank you! Maybe it's just that Masguard is every bit as wordy as I am... *Grin.*
An interesting thing stood out to me as I began reading; the notion of the clock face in the prologue is such a notable symbol, what is the significance of symbolism throughout the book and your writing?
Thank you so much! I try not to go overboard with the symbolism in this series -- readers tend to find that obnoxious. Luckily for me, Masguard is a bit of an over-educated chatty Kathy, so he can get away with saying things I'd otherwise have to leave out. In the opening scene, he's reflecting on his life, writing one last letter before he goes out to face *spoilers*, and he wants to make his words count for something.
Characterization is one of your many strong points, all of your characters are so well crafted it's difficult to choose a favorite.
You? Evil? Not sure I have reason to believe that. However, I do have reason to believe that the word hoary causes you to break down into uncontrollable, maniacal laughter .... where might you have heard that word before? Could it have been in reference to some hoary marmots? You know, hoary marmots would make excellent villains in the sequel.
The secrets of The Sons of Masguard and the Mosque Hill Fortune are well kept, as well kept as your art. Your art should be in a shrine, my friend. Your writing is complex, powerful, concise, and hauntingly beautiful. It's a wondrous mix between classic styles and storytelling, and modern notions and imagery. It is an honor above all others, to consider you one of my best friends and more so, my muse. You are the reason I strive for greatness as a writer. The world is a better, more beautiful place with your art in it and very soon the world will know what I know. With all heartfelt sincerity, you my friend, are the world's best kept secret.
Synopsis: The Sons of Masguard and the Mosque Hill Fortune
The first installment in a new series from Vivienne Mathews, this anthropomorphic tale is sure to strike a chord with fans of “Redwall,” “Watership Down,” and “Warriors.” Centered on a rivalry between two otter captains and the ancient threat that brings them together, it is an adventure-fantasy on the open sea, described by the author as “’Wind in the Willows’ with pirates.”
A haunting mist has settled on the harbor beneath Secora Tor. Tasked with unlocking its mysteries is the stoic otter Captain Marshall, an accomplished military figure and heir to the greatest explorer in the kingdom’s history. As he sifts through myth and reality, his dangerous journey grows ever more complicated when he learns that McKinley the Marauder – pirate, nemesis, and general miscreant – has ambitions that could put his mission at risk.
Now, accompanied by a gypsy mercenary, a dishonored knight, and a family of thieves – and tailed by the evil wolf Baron Von Ulric, who has ambitions of his own – their paths converge in an uneasy alliance, becoming a race against time as they travel to the legendary island of Mosque Hill, each of them hoping to reach an ancient artifact before it is too late. Each of them desperate to stay ahead of the secrets that they keep.
What will they lose along the way?
And where will they turn when they realize that nothing is as it seems?
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