Introducing a gifted teen in
The Merchant of Alyss
Life for Hyam is bittersweet. Admired by the citizens of Falmouth for his heroic rescue mission, he cherishes these peaceful days with Joelle by his side. Yet grief over the loss of his magical skills during the great Battle of Emporis threatens to engulf him. Sometimes he even wishes he had never known magic at all.
When Hyam comes into possession of an ancient Milantian scroll, he is thrilled to feel the surge of power that courses through him whenever he touches it. But what he discerns in the text could mean war. He embarks upon another journey to determine its true meaning and forestall any attack. But as Hyam is seeking answers, he is unaware that the merchant of Alyss is seeking him . . .
Brief physical description
Hyam is a young man in search of his own identity. In his case, this just happens to be tied up with wizardry.
Hyam is currently being cast by the film producers, and Zayn Malick – formerly of One Direction – is one of their three prime choices. This is one of the recent photos I most like, and why I am increasingly comfortable with the idea of them casting someone whose only acting credits so far are in music videos.
And here, for the first time anywhere, is the producer’s first choice to play Joelle:
Her name is Mia Wasikowska, and her most recent starring roles have included Stoker, with Nicole Kidman, and Alice, with Johnny Depp.
Your inspiration for the characters
Normally I have a lot to say about this. But with the case of Emissary and Alyss, the sequel, I really don’t know. Truly. I had this germ of an idea, and it seems like literally within the space of a day I had this visceral bond to people as real as any I have ever me.
Background to the story
I wanted to create a new kind of story for a mainstream reader – one that includes the positive aspects that come from our life walk: courage in the face of hardship. Growth. Change.
With the Legends of the Realm series, I wanted to create the classical, smooth-flowing style of The Hobbit. To me, this has the feel of a Dickens story but reads like today’s thriller. Joining lyrical prose with the speed of a modern read was my primary goal.
In Merchant of Alyss, key themes include courage in the face of fear, travel to unknown destinations, and new personal avenues of growth and development. I’ve tried to bring each of these into a story structure that’s applicable to today’s culture.
During our formative years–up until around age 30–we are reinforcing our world view when we read for entertainment. But much of the fantasy that’s being published today doesn’t offer that sense of courage and inspiration that used to be prevalent in fantasy and science fiction novels.
Of course, not all of the “classic” authors wrote uplifting work. Ray Bradbury is one example. But even Bradbury’s writing gave me a sense of mind-bending escape and the opportunity to dream and envision more than what was available in world around me.
The books I loved most offered hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for growing into someone who could have these sorts of adventures. I don’t want to give in to the temptation of creating characters who are only bitter and cynical. Instead, I want to infuse hopefulness into my characters.
Thanks Thomas (aka Davis)!