Interview with Theophilus Monroe | NewInBooks
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Fomorian Wyrmriders?
I originally created Joni while writing Druid’s Dance. She was supposed to be a competing love interest. A transfer student with a background in Druidry that would compete for Elijah’s heart. As I created her backstory, though, and eventually packaged it into a book (which I now give away for free to members of my Legacy Club—pick it up at theophilusmonroe.com) her unique background and spunky personality really won readers over. She might be one of my most popular characters. After she leaves Elijah and their son, Merlin (yes, that Merlin) in the second book of Bard’s Tale to seek her Fomorian ancestors there was a whole story, there, begging to be told. The Fomorian Wyrmriders is that story! But no worries. If you haven’t read the previous series this is fresh—you’ll get enough backstory sprinkled in to follow her journey without a problem. This is Joni’s story. Her adventure.
I’ve also loved dragon rider stories for a while. I read Anne McAffery’s The Dragonriders of Pern years ago and also loved Christopher Paolini’s Eragon. I’ve been eager to write a dragon rider story for some time. At the same time, I wanted to do something different. A mermaid dragon rider? So far as I know it hasn’t been done before. The idea was unique and intriguing enough—combining the mystique of an underwater magical world with the thrill of a dragon rider adventure—that as I wrote these books the stories just told themselves!
If The Fomorian Wyrmriders is turned into a movie, who would you pick to play Joni?
I think Chloe Grace Moretz might make a great Joni. She’s spunky. She’s great at playing characters with attitude. She also has a knack for action but has good comedic timing. I think she’d make a great Joni!
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I like to read as many Indie authors as possible. A friend of mine, Nazri Noor, recently released a M/M romance called A Touch of Fever that I’m eager to devour. In terms of trad-pub authors, I’m still eager to pick up the latest addition to Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive and the most recent addition to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.
What book should be required reading for all humans?
I’m a big fan of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. If you enjoy vampire stories, so far as I’m concerned, her books are the gold standard. I’m also a big fan of T.H. White’s Once and Future King. If you can imagine combining vampires with Arthurian legend you might have an idea of what the “universe” that my books are set in is like.
What’s your favorite thing about writing? What’s your least favorite thing about it?
I love getting to know my characters. I know this sounds a little strange to people who might not write, but I really get to know my characters as I tell their stories. The stories, then, are really born from character development. Joni wasn’t a heroine I originally envisioned as little more than a supporting-cast member. As I wrote her story though and got to know her better, I couldn’t help but write more books featuring her unique, Southern, attitude and unwavering determination.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Believe in yourself and your abilities. Pursue your passion. Ignore the haters. These things all go hand-in-hand. It’s why I’m able to write as many books as I do as quickly as I do. There will always be critics. But I focus on the readers who love my books and give them more of what they enjoy.