Today I’m inteviewing Brae Wyckoff, author of “The Orb of Truth”, a wonderful fantasy adventure that would make any reading group’s list of to-read books.
Some stories, like this one, seem to have a deeper intensity than just their story line. What was the inspiration behind “The Orb of Truth”?
My love for adventure and for roleplaying games brought The Orb of Truth out of me. I have been working on this book for over 20 years, but it was only 2 years ago that I became serious as a writer. My Christian faith was also a determining factor, as I have weaved throughout the book that tone, but not to the point where it distracts from the story and instead is part of the DNA of the story.
I was really pleased with the way the wording was crafted. The book seems very much like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Have you read their books?
Yes, I have. I love both of these writers dearly. They each have a special place in my heart. It is such a compliment to receive from readers a comparison with these greats. I hope to be that writer to fill the gap that we have all been missing for so many years, but at the same time I want to create my own voice for millions to enjoy for years to come.
I think you’ve come pretty close. I love those authors too; they could really tell an absorbing tale. As with Lewis, “Orb” is very much grounded in Christian spirituality, with a lot of allegories. What is the main message you want to get across to your audience?
The main message is that each of us has a purpose, has a destiny in life, and are we paying attention to that calling or is life drowning out the voice of God? When you read The Orb of Truth, you are reading my life in a lot of ways. I have transformed it of course into an epic fantasy adventure, but the root of it speaks to the foundations of our souls. There is freedom for each of us to be who God created us to be. One of my favorite parts is the encounter, Bridazak, the main character, has at the end where he thought he wasn’t good enough, but God looks past what we see in the present and overwhelms us with his goodness. I don’t want to give too much away, but it was a very profound moment of the book.
Yes, I can really relate to that. It’s a belief I hold near and dear to my heart also. Now, your spiritual life extends beyond just your writing. Tell us more about your Facebook page, “The Greater News”.
The Greater News came about September 4th, 2010, when my wife and I were watching the news and there was nothing but negativity. We believe in miracles, we have experienced the miraculous first hand, and to see nothing good on the news prompted us to take action. We kicked off our facebook page and started reporting all the miracles we could find online, through churches, our own miracles, and so on. Today we have over 2,200 members and have had over 3 million page views. There is power in the testimony and we receive prayer requests from around the world and words of encouragement from others who are blessed by the page. We post at least one new miracle each day and have not missed one single day since it started. My wife and I speak at churches about TGN and look forward to travelling around the world to report first hand miracles as they are happening. An example of a miracle is my wife being healed of Celiac disease…this is an incurable disease but after prayer it lifted and she can now eat whatever she likes. This miracle is doctor verified.
That is absolutely wonderful! I love the idea behind your FB page, and will have to make it a point to compare miracle stories with you.
Back to the book: I’m curious as to how you came up with the names of your characters. Is there a meaning behind any of them, or are they just products of your imagination?
I started gaming Dungeons and Dragons back in the 80’s and my first character was Bridazak, a Halfling thief. Dulgin, the Dwarf, was a name a friend of ours had. Those are the two originals. I introduced Spilf, the other Halfling companion, when I wrote The Orb. Names seem to pop up as needed.
I have done several name changes with El’Korr and Xan. El’Korr was formerly Raunkth but my editor suggested a change as it was hard to pronounce. Xan was originally Splix but it was too close to Spilf and we made that change easy enough.
Some names do have meaning, one being King Manasseh. In the Bible, this was the most wicked of all the Kings so I used this name on purpose.
Oh, I forgot about him. I was thinking it was because the Israelites lost faith on the plains of Manasseh. I’m going to have to go and read up.
There is a second book coming out soon, “The Dragon God”. Would you care to share any info/excerpts from that? When can we expect its release?
The Dragon God is finished and is currently in re-write phase before being handed off to my editor. I am also taking it through a critique group with other authors where they give me feedback each week as I read 5 pages to them aloud. It is quite a process but well worth it in the end.
My wife and daughter have had the privilege of reading it first hand and each of them have stated it is better than The Orb of Truth. Definitely what an author wants to hear. The critique group is also enjoying the storyline. I am extremely excited about The Dragon God and even more excited about the third book, which I started writing, called The Vampire King.
Here is a short excerpt revealing some of the 2nd book, The Dragon God. Remember, this is un-edited material you are reading.
“You’ve brought guests to Pirates Belly,” a mysterious smooth voice came from behind the adventurers. Startled, the heroes turned.
They saw an impressive pirate who wore dark blue pants, black leather boots and belt, a white billowy long sleeved shirt with frills around the cuffs and collar, and a beautiful maroon hat with a large brim. A yellow frazzled feather adorned his cap. His headwear and the downward tilt of his head concealed his face from view.
“May I introduce to you the ones who brought down King Manasseh,” said Elsbeth.
“We are honored to have such heroes among us. My name is Romann de Beaux. Welcome to my humble home.” He pulled off his hat and bowed elegantly. The swashbuckler stood back up, his face pale white with eyes that swirled red and blue like a whirlpool. His smile revealed pearly white teeth with two prominent fangs.
The group of heroes were wise enough not to insult the creature by saying aloud that he was a vampire. That is, all of them, except one.
“You’re a vampire,” Trillius chimed in awe.
“Forgive—,” Elsbeth began but Romann held up his hand to stop her.
“And what is your name?” he asked. He kneeled down as if talking to a child.
The gnome answered tremulously, “My name is Trillius.”
“Ah, yes, of course. Well little-one, since we are being candid, I will call you ‘Snack’.” Romann lifted his lip slightly to reveal one of his fangs while emphasizing his last word. Trillius back peddled away and clung to El’Korr. The dwarf was pleased as he knew this encounter would keep the gnome on board the ship.
The Dragon God will be available in 2013…still working on the exact date of release.
Like I said, “ohboyohboyohboy”—can’t wait!
How long did it take you to write “Orb”?
It takes me about 6 months to write a book from beginning to the end. Then the re-writes and editing which takes almost a year. I outline my book to work from and then write it all out before making changes. Once you start writing you don’t want to stop your creative flow with editing, just get it out!
Yes, all that picky stuff gets in the way of creativity. But if you get too far behind in the edits, it seems to take forever to catch up–personal experience.
Now, you obviously know your Bible, so I would imagine it is on your Top Ten list of favorite books. What are some of your others?
I’m a huge fan of RA Salvatore and his Drow Elf character named Drizzt. He has several series with this character. Crystal Shard, Halfling’s Gem, etc.
Of course, there is always Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
See the movie when you get the chance. It’s terrific!
There are a couple of what I consider “comic relief” characters, the lock picks Lester and Ross. Their names are so different from everyone else’s; is there a reason behind that?
Lester and Ross are my favorites. They are so fun to write about. In regards to their names, my D&D game master came up with their names and they stuck. Simplistic and easy names and just saying them brings a sense of comedy to mind. They remind me of Laurel and Hardy.
My favorite chapter of The Orb of Truth was the chapter dedicated to Lester and Ross called Inch by Inch…it was their own personal adventure within the story.
I plan on writing a short story about Lester and Ross and putting it up on Amazon as they have a fascinating backstory.
Lester and Ross are near and dear to my heart and I’m
sure will be a fan favorite.
I thought that chapter was great–gave them a different dimension and added a bit of a surprise.
Well, I’m all out of questions, Brae. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. I am so looking forward to the next book!
Where can your readers stalk you?
“It’s a cross between Lord of the Rings and the Wizard of OZ where you will be swept away into a magical land of Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings.”
Voted #1 for BEST fantasy book under the radar!
The Orb of Truth Book Synopsis:
In the hundreds of years since the Holy City disappeared, darkness has fallen over the land. Human kingdoms have seized control of the realm, scattering the other races into hiding.
Bridazak, a skilled thief, and his friends, a Dwarf and a fellow Ordakian, have dared to remain within the human communities and live relatively quiet lives, until they discover a mysterious, magical artifact. The three friends are thrust into an adventure that will challenge their faith, their purpose, and their destiny as they chase a forgotten and lost prophecy across the realm of Ruauck-El, where they hope to discover the origins of the strange item and their place in its history.
An ancient, unknown enemy threatens the completion of their journey at every turn. Bridazak is about to face the biggest adventure of his life, one that may change the known realm, and answer the questions he has carried all his life. Will they unlock the truth?
About the Author:
Brae Wyckoff was born and raised in San Diego, CA and is working toward a Psychology degree. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Jill, for 19 years, and they have three children; Tommy, Michelle, and Brittany. He has a beautiful grandson named Avery. Brae has been an avid gamer since 1985. His passion for mysterious realms and the supernatural inspired him to write The Orb of Truth, the first in a series of fantasy action adventures. Brae describes The Orb of Truth as a cross between the Lord of the Rings and the Wizard of OZ where you will be swept away into a magical land of Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings.