Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Katie Specht is talking with I.D.G. Curry, author of Shogun Of The Heavens: The Fall Of Immortals, Book One.
FQ: Can you share a bit about how you came up with the inspiration for your story, The Fall of Immortals, Shogun of the Heavens, Book One?
CURRY: You mention a dream...That is correct. It was in 2012 and I was in a dark and challenging place in my life. I was in the middle of a transition to the U.S. and I had lost my grandmother without getting the chance to see her for the last time and also a romantic relationship that was very dear to me at the time. So one night I had a dream about the dark nature of a betrayed man falling to earth in three pieces. Then a superior presence dispatched the individuals that knew him best to either bring him back alive peacefully or dead if necessary. Over the years I compounded the story from there.
The Acolytes of Dawn are the expressions of the individuals sent in the dream and their personalities are based off of the people in my life who were in the dream.
FQ: The sheer number of gods that you write about in this book is staggering. How extensive is your background on Greco-Roman gods? Was there a lot of research to do before you began writing?
CURRY: The Greco-Roman gods are what I would say was my introduction into myths and mythology. It started when I was a kid and I saw my favorite Disney cartoon, Hercules. I was fascinated with them from that point and gradually learned more about them as I was exposed to their stories and artworks. As far as the research, it is safe to say that I have done a lot, however it didn’t feel like it to me.
To me I was learning and absorbing the knowledge about characters that we, as a species, have idolized over dozens of centuries. Learning how civilizations were formed around the god they worshipped, and then seeing correlations between each pantheon’s era of power. It motivated me to get to know them personally through their art and worshippers. I did the same with each pantheon included in the story.
FQ: The title of your book suggests that this is going to be a series. What can you share about what you have planned for the future books in this series?
CURRY: Absolutely. When I laid the story out on my “War Table,” I originally planned for three books to tell the entire story. Though as I continue to watch the story unfold, it has the potential for even more. Book One is the foundation and tone setter for the series and, like a first book, each page will draw you to the next page and so on.
FQ: On your website, you have a “Gallery” page with a couple of drawings that are quite intriguing. Would you tell our readers about those (Magnus and Xara) and if we can expect to find additional artwork on your site in the future? (It’s very cool!)
CURRY: It is honestly my favorite page. I was very excited to do it because what I want to do is bring my readers into the world of Shogun of the Heavens and that is a way I can formally introduce the readers to the characters and watch them evolve as they progress through the story. Xara is Xauldin’s incarnation and left hand agent. She is a man-eating combatant character who is well equipped to achieve the tasks given to her throughout the story. She became known as The Huntress not from the battlefield but the amount of men that were rumored to be lured into her jaws. Beautiful as she is, Xara is a vicious predator and completely devoted to the War Marshall.
Magnus is a former slave and an exiled prince from another continent. His species is called Kungan. They are a humanoid race of gorillas that formed a city and society which also had an integrated human population that descended from the worshippers of the Kungan people. Magnus is the Legionaire to be recruited by the League of Pagulane and one of the few who faced Xauldin in battle and lived to talk about it. Xauldin, who is the main character, sees the potential in Magnus which the readers get to see, each time he takes the stage.
There will most certainly be more artwork to come, especially for each book that comes out. Currently I am giving the profiles for each character; I’m looking forward to the capturing of iconic moments in the story as well. Coming Soon!
FQ: When you began working on this series, did you have the entire story developed in your mind or has it come to you gradually as you have been writing it?
CURRY: Both, I would say. As I mentioned earlier, I laid the story out and first had to organize where I wanted to go, needed to start, and stop on the way there. Sewing the web of characters and plot together has been the most enjoyable part because it unveils itself as I move from point to point, like seeing a vision of the story in pieces and then I have to find my way to the next point.
FQ: In the synopsis of the book, you reference “one fallen immortal.” This is in contrast to the title which references more than one immortal. Did you have just one god, or immortal, in mind when titling the book or more than one?
CURRY: When titling the book there were more than one immortal. When I use the phrase immortal, it is to reference the Eythropians because they are not gods exactly, because gods cannot thrive without worshippers. It also allows me to distinguish immortals from gods and display the plane in between them. Now, to shine a light on the contrast: there are a total of twelve Eythropians/Immortals that fall to earth in total but the story is focused primarily on one. The others all play a role in the main character’s life as can be seen in Chapter Twelve: Days of Joy Past. This is where you will see the influence that the main character’s other self has in their lives and that has motivated each Acolyte, either as a competitor or a lover.
FQ: The name of the series, Shogun of the Heavens, is rather unique. Can you share the meaning behind it?
CURRY: That will reveal itself much later in the story. But to explain it somewhat, it corresponds to a level of ruling. In our history there are titles that symbolize that this person wields the highest authority in our land. However, how they gained it and where their authority resides also plays a part in their title. For instance if I had named him “Pharaoh,” one would think of Egypt, like how “President” is commonly associated with the U.S. government, or “Khan” to the Mongols. The title Shogun speaks not to what the main character is but what he will accomplish.
It was actually not my first choice; with the dream came the title Gods Grave, which was meant to be. Though that was already taken so I did some brainstorming and decided to give it an iconic name for an iconic story, one never brought to life in this manner before.
FQ: What is the most important thing you hope readers will take away with them after reading this book and/or the entire Shogun of the Heavens series?
CURRY: There are many characters in the story that were worshipped as creators of the world and the universe. Throughout the story you are going to see barriers between contradicting religious practices but you will also see their commonalities. Historically we have gone to war over something as simple as religion and still can. We tend to overlook what they have in common and more importantly what each religion means to the person who follows that creed.
Many of us argue over who must be right and who must be wrong when in truth, it’s only a cycle of who is on top in the current era. Some practices are older than others but just because they’re older doesn’t make them any more right than what is new.
The same with good and evil: we first look to judge who to condemn first, so that we can identify who we choose to be our hero. I aimed to make a story that does not distinguish hero and villain. Who you may think is the villain may show great charity and contribution while who you believe is the hero may act dishonorably or against your beliefs.
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