It’s no secret that the characters in my books are based off my friends from high school. Of those characters, none have been through the wringer like John Stromgald. First he was a John Connor character, a cyborg general in a futuristic war against the War Master, an all-powerful tyrant. But soon I realized that, like the book itself, was too much of a child’s fantasy. You think like a child, you get treated as a child. I needed characters that were men. And so I re-designed the whole story.
Stroimgald and his team of rangers was in part inspired by Dungeons and Dragons and partly from the characters Geddoe and his mercenary team from Suikoden III. Geddoe and his team were a close-knit group, but something about them seemed cold. There was the constant professionalism that kept them from being a real family. I decided to soften them up a bit to be more humane.
And of course there was the fact that Mykel met John in his own timeline a decade before he was John Stromgald. In Mykel’s own timeline, John Stromgald was John Jekai, an angry, zealotic mage-hunter who for some unknown reason targeted Mykel on a persona vendetta. I had to be careful spacing out the plot details of how John Stromgald became John Jekai. In fact I didn’t really know how John would change until I got to the very end of the book. One of the story’s most important characters, and I was flying off the seat of my pants until the very last second.
And I’m still not done with John Stromgald. My inspiration for future versions allows me to come full circle with the earliest incarnation of the character. I’m sorry if this sounds vague, but I have to get you to pre-order the book somehow. Thanks for reading.