Back in May of 2014, we met Stuart Thaman, author of Vatican Massacre, a work of religious fiction that topped Amazon’s bestseller lists, and The Goblin Wars Part One: Siege of Talonrend, a fantasy novel that explored the classic conflict of man versus beast from a unique perspective. A graduate of Hillsdale College and a resident of Cincinnati, where he teaches German for the Diocese of Covington, Thaman has been writing for as long as he can remember.
In August of 2014, he released the dark psychological thriller For We Are Many, and in March of 2015, he released the second installment in the Goblin Wars series, Death of a King, in which the citizens of Talonrend take to the road in search of their ancestral home as the threat of war bears down upon them.
To learn more about Thaman and his books, visit him online at www.stuartthamanbooks.com.
What have you been up to since we last spoke?
My live appearance schedule has increased pretty dramatically over the last year or so. Aside from attending Indianapolis Comi-Con in February, I have book signings coming up every month. I’m also writing three books concurrently, two of which I hope to finish this year. Needless to say, I’ll be busy.
How is the process of writing a sequel such as Death of a King different than writing the first installment?
My writing has certainly improved since book one. When I meet fans, I like to ask them what their favorite part of Siege of Talonrend was. With that in mind, it helps me map out the sequel and third book of the series to please fans just as much as book one. I know which characters are fan favorites and then can put them in dangerous situations they might not live through. Overall, Death of a King is packed with dire battles and character deaths a lot of fans don’t see coming.
How have you evolved as a writer since Vatican Massacre and Siege of Talonrend?
With any skill, you get better over time. It has also helped to work with my editors and beta readers several times. I know the kinds of mistakes I frequently make in my writing and I can improve on those areas before I send manuscripts out to professionals. That helps a lot.
Who creates your book covers, and what role do you have in the cover design process?
I currently have two wonderful artists who help bring my books to life. Will Olthouse (www.unsilentwill.com) has done all of my fantasy covers. I give him the manuscript and a basic outline of what I envision, and he does the rest. With my fantasy series, the colors of the books have a great deal to do with the plot. The green of Siege of Talonrend represents the city of Talonrend and their eagle-god, Vrysinoch. The holy symbol of Vrysinoch is an emerald — therefore a green cover. Death of a King is red to represent the death of the aforementioned king and the carnage/chaos of battle.
What’s the best concert you’ve attended recently?
Without a doubt, seeing Butcher Babies live has been the best concert I’ve attended. They were slated to open for In This Moment, but the headlining band cancelled which allowed Butcher Babies to play the entire show. The crowd was great, the band was incredibly energetic, and whoever mixed their sound deserves an award.
What do the Cincinnati Reds need to do to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish? In your opinion, do they have the pieces in place to potentially make the playoffs?
The start the Reds are currently putting together is certainly magnificent, but I doubt it will last. Only five games into the season, a few issues from last year seem to be lingering. The starting pitching is great, very well above average, but the bullpen can’t finish the job. On top of that, the pitching management has always been questionable in Cincinnati and that hasn’t improved yet. Thankfully, the anemic hitting of last year has improved dramatically. If that continues, I foresee the Reds making a strong effort at second place in the division. Of course, that assumes the Cardinals are as good as they were last year.
What motivates you in life?
Right now, the prospect of starting a family is my biggest motivator. I just bought my first house, I’m getting married on Halloween this year, and the various pieces of my life seem to be falling into place. Putting out more books and growing my author business certainly helps to solidify my future. As for inspiration, my fans and writer friends keep me going. I typically experience a huge boost to my writing productivity after every book signing I attend. Fans asking for book three in my fantasy series helps me find the time and motivation to get typing.
Do you believe in fate, or are we all free to choose and shape our own destinies?
From a theological standpoint, I believe in the Lutheran interpretation that goes a bit like this: when it comes to faith, we have no free will. If everything is part of God’s plan, we are powerless to go against that plan since we are not stronger than God. When it comes to mundane activities like writing books and going to work, we pretty much just do whatever we want. We can deviate slightly within the plan, but we can’t change it.
What are you working on next?
I haven’t yet decided which novel I want to focus on, but I have three projects currently in the works. I’m writing The Goblin Wars Part Three: Rebirth of a God, the sequel to my horror novel currently entitled I Am Only One, and a standalone historical fiction about Hero von Borcke, The Giant in Gray. All three are intriguing projects, but I think the conclusion of my fantasy series will end up taking top priority.