Interview with Ethan Rappaport
The Legacy of Ogma: Book One in the Weapons Trilogy
Reader Views welcomes E. A. Rappaport, author of the fantasy novel “The Legacy of Ogma.” Ethan is being interviewed by Juanita Watson, Assistant Editor of Reader Views.
Juanita: Thanks for talking with us today Ethan. We are excited to hear more about your debut fantasy novel, “The Legacy of Ogma”? Would you start by telling us what your story is about?
Ethan: “The Legacy of Ogma” is a high fantasy about a group of adventurers seeking the answers behind a mysterious set of crystal spheres. They eventually uncover a treasure that has been hidden for centuries, but quickly realize some things are better left undiscovered. As with most fantasy/adventures, there is an underlying theme of good versus evil, but “The Legacy of Ogma” also contains some elements of a mystery.
Juanita: This is your first novel Ethan. What inspired this story?
Ethan: I don’t remember the inspiration for this story in particular, but I do remember why I began writing. I wanted to do something constructive with my three hours of train rides to and from work each day. Sometimes, writing was so fun, I actually looked forward to the trip, and this is from someone who found English to be an extremely difficult subject in school.
Juanita: Would you tell us more about your lead characters in the story?
Ethan: Halia is a young woman who was forced into a life of thievery as a child. She is very observant and distrusting of others. Xarun and Arwold are both powerful warriors, each with their own set of motivations for taking up the blade. Ahriman and Minaras are wizards, a Sorcerer and an Elementalist respectively, who find themselves at odds with each other.
Juanita: Does “The Legacy of Ogma” ring true with the archetypes/roles indicative to the genre?
Ethan: Both Swords and Sorcery are covered quite well in “The Legacy of Ogma” without becoming unbalanced. Although the wizards in the story have many spells at their disposal, they’re unable to cast more than a few at any one time before tiring out. The warriors are strong and skilled at hand-to-hand combat with their weapons of choice. Finally, the heroes face an array of monsters from re-animated corpses to snake-headed goats to nebulous dragon-like mist creatures.
Juanita: This fantastic group of characters is determined to uncover the secret behind a quintet of glowing crystal spheres. What can you tell us about the spheres?
Ethan: The spheres are seemingly indestructible and occasionally contain glowing lights within. Thulin, an apprentice to Minaras, theorizes that the spheres act as compasses, guiding people to other spheres. Some of the adventurers know more about the spheres than they lead the others to believe, using them as a tool to spy on the unsuspecting owners.
Juanita: Where is Ogma? Would you describe this world for us?
Ethan: Ogma is a character in the second book of the series, Forging Paradise, and comes up by name only a couple times in the first story. “The Legacy of Ogma” takes place in a medieval setting with a climate that ranges from temperate in the north to tropical in the south. The adventurers travel through light forest, dense jungle, and mountainous terrain as well as some more exotic locations such as beneath the sea and inside a glass wand.
Juanita: How did you come up with this storyline, and the highly imaginative characters and settings?
Ethan: I don’t remember the inspiration for the storyline, but the characters have grown over time. The more I write about them, the more real they become. I have a great deal of fun bringing them to life.
Juanita: “The Legacy of Ogma” is book one of “The Weapons Trilogy.” Where are you going with the series?
Ethan: As the title of the trilogy suggests, the stories as a whole focus more on the weapons than on the characters. The weapons themselves are “The Legacy of Ogma”. The second book, “Forging Paradise,” answers the questions “Why were the weapons created?” and “Why were they hidden for centuries?”
Juanita: Does the second book in “The Weapons Trilogy” begin where the first ends? Is there a break in time between the books?
Ethan: Actually, the second book takes place six hundred years before the events of the first book, and the third book takes place six hundred years after the first. Despite the long time spans, a couple characters appear in multiple stories. By following the first two books closely, one can discover an open issue to be resolved in the final story.
Juanita: Ethan, what draws you to the fantasy genre? Have you always been a fan?
Ethan: I have been a fan of the fantasy and science fiction genres for as long as I can remember. I love reading about strange and different worlds, but of course it’s the characters that really make the story. Who can forget the adventures of Elric or Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser?
Juanita: What is the writing process like for you in the genre of fantasy where you have the liberty to create worlds of your own?
Ethan: It’s almost like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, but without knowing what the end result will look like beforehand. I also try to bring the characters to life by making them multi-dimensional. For example, Halia is a thief and distrusting of others, but she’s also generous, loyal, and somewhat lonely.
Juanita: Who have been your literary influences? Who’s books do you enjoy reading?
Ethan: After getting my fill of classical reading throughout school, I quickly gravitated to fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Some of my favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Frank Herbert.
Juanita: Who is your intended audience?
Ethan: “The Legacy of Ogma” is intended for young adult readers, just above the Harry Potter reading level.
Juanita: Eventually your story takes the reader to a magical world under the sea, where the truth is set to be revealed. This is an interesting finale, is there a metaphoric message regarding the water?
Ethan: I didn’t intentionally add any metaphoric messages regarding the setting under the ocean. I have always found the undersea world to be fascinating and thought it would be interesting to add such a location to the story. It simultaneously adds both an element of reality and an element of fantasy.
Juanita: What are your thoughts on the comparison of your novel, and the images your story creates, to role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons?
Ethan: Role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons have had a strong influence on my stories. This is not surprising, since many of these games have been influenced by stories such as “Lord of the Rings.”
Juanita: Ethan, what is the underlying message of “The Legacy of Ogma”?
Ethan: One of the major themes in “The Legacy of Ogma” is: To be good, one must value life above all else.
Juanita: How can readers find out more about you and your endeavors?
Ethan: They can visit my web site at http://www.weaponstrilogy.com
Juanita: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today Ethan. Your book “The Legacy of Ogma” and The Weapons Trilogy sound fascinating and we encourage readers to look for it at local and online bookstores. Do you have any last thoughts for your readers?
Ethan: I have finished the first draft of book two and hope to have a final version ready by the end of the year. Readers are welcome to purchase “The Legacy of Ogma”