Monday, January 18, 2010

Interview with Terry W. Ervin II

Terry W. Ervin II, the author of Flank Hawk, was nice enough to allow me to interview him. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

What was the idea germ that developed into Flank Hawk? What was your first thought that led you toward this story?

The initial thought that sparked the novel occurred while I was driving home from work in my 1990 Ford Ranger (which has been retired and replaced with a 2007 Chevy Colorado). I was thinking about a few of the books I’d recently reread, Zelazny’s Guns of Avalon and Harry Turtledove’s World War: In the Balance. One of the main turning points in Guns of Avalon occurs when Prince Corwin finds a way to get gunpowder to function in the magical city of Amber. In the Balance is an alternate history SF novel about an alien invasion during the height of World War II. The disparity in technology between the invaders and humanity is a major element in the novel’s plotline. I began to ponder, what would happen if a dragon encountered a World War II aircraft? Okay, maybe one can see how the line of thought formed. From there I began to devise a world where such an encounter could take place.

Then, I created the people and creatures that would inhabit the world, how it came to be, and the long-running, multilayered power struggle that would come to influence events in the plot that I was devising. Finally Krish and Lilly, Roos and Road Toad emerged—the main characters in the novel.

Are there plans for more adventures of Krish? If so, when can the readers expect to be able to continue the journey?

Yes, there is a second First Civilization’s Legacy novel in the works. I have the basics of the plot--where the story will start and how it should end, and most of the major events along the way. Right now I am working out a few minor hitches with the creatures (wyverns, centaurs, and a type of lycanthrope—at least for my world). Although I have the files set up and ready to go, the actual writing, I suspect, will begin by the end of January.

Krish will be back, still serving as Grand Wizard Seelain’s bodyguard, and the Colonel of the West was correct—they’re gonna want that malevolent Blood-Sword back. You might be able to guess who’s asked to go and fetch it. As for the reason—well, that will have to wait to be learned when the next novel comes out, hopefully before 2010 ends.

Who would you say inspired you the most to become a writer?

Honestly, I don’t think there is anyone who inspired me to become a writer. Back, I think it was in 1998 or 1999, I figured I’d better get started on a promise I’d made to myself, to write a novel.

There are a couple folks who kind of blazed a trail for me. Bill Justice was a guy I met in college. He was far more outgoing and a chance taker than me. We were pretty close, even serving as best man in each other’s wedding. Cancer took him less than two years after he served as best man in my wedding. Another individual was a fellow English teacher, Darla Boram. Ever undaunted, in her own way she modeled for me when and where to take a chance and see what happens. She was one of my 'readers' and was working on a novel herself when a heart attack took her all too soon.

Writers who have influenced me the most would be Steven Brust, Stephen R. Donaldson, Michael Moorcock, Roger Zelazny, Elizabeth Boyer, Fred Saberhagen and C. Dean Andersson.

Now a really cool thing is that C. Dean Andersson blurbed my novel, Flank Hawk. On the advice of a fellow writer (Sandra Kring) I contacted as many of my favorite fantasy authors as I could (not as easy as it immediately sounds), and asked them if they’d be willing to read an ARC (advanced review copy) of Flank Hawk and provide a blurb if they liked it enough. Most replied, and most of them, usually through their agent, indicated they were quite busy and simply didn’t have the time. Obviously, C. Dean Andersson wasn’t one of them. If readers are interested, he briefly discusses it in a review for Flank Hawk on

I could go into the way each author influenced my writing, but that’d take quite a bit of space. Anyone wanting to know the details can contact me and I’d be most happy to share the information.

Is there an inspirational quote that you tend to call upon during times of doubt?

No, not really.

But I will give you a quote, part of a song from The Wounded Land, by Stephen R. Donaldson. Bear with me, because it ties into my answer for your last question. They’re words, like a poem, that I actually remember:

“Oh, Andelain! forgive! For I am doomed to fail this war.
I cannot bear to see you die—and live,
Foredoomed to bitterness and all the gray Despiser’s lore.
But while I can I heed the call
Of green and tree; and for their worth,
I hold the glaive of Law against the Earth.” –Caer-Caverall, the Forestal of Andelain

Is there anything you'd like to say to aspiring writers out there?

What I’d like to say is: While the road to completing a novel-length manuscript is long—months often stretching into years of writing and research and editing and revising—even before the submission process begins. And while the odds of finding success (publication) at the end of that road are long, maybe even seeming impossible, you need to persevere. For, if you do not complete a project and submit it, you absolutely cannot succeed. And while that first project is out on submission, begin the writing process again, learning from the first effort and improving both storytelling ability and the skill at putting it to paper.

Think on that while re-reading the section of Caer-Caverall’s song above. One of the themes prominent in Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series is to resist despair. Hopefully, the parallel is apparent.

Terry W. Ervin II is an English teacher who enjoys writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is an editor for the speculative fiction magazine MindFlights and a guest contributor to Fiction Factor, an ezine for writers. His short fiction has appeared in a number of places including Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, The Sword Review, and Fear and Trembling. Gryphonwood Press released his debut novel FLANK HAWK in October 2009.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors visit his website at:
Purchase your copy of Flank Hawk at: Amazon


Aubrie said...

This is a great interview and great advice for upcoming writers! I love Mindflights magazine, my story, Song of the Bard, will appear in Mindflights sometime in 2010.

Dragons and World War II! Very original and very interesting!

SandyDaley said...

Great interview! I especially like how the answers went into great details.

Anonymous said...

Aubrie - It is a very interesting story. I enjoyed it.

Sandy - Terry did a great job with his answering the questions. I enjoyed this experience very much.

Tara McClendon said...

Fun interview. Thanks for sharing.

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Cher, the questions were interesting to answer.

Sandy, glad enjoyed the interview and appreciated the detailed answers.

Aubrie, I don't think there's anything out there quite like Flank Hawk. I believe the MindFlight readers will enjoy your upcoming work.

Tara, thanks for reading the interview and commenting.


Anonymous said...

Tara, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Terry, thanks for stopping by and commenting to everyone.

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