Saturday, June 1, 2024

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Return Of The Shadowlord by John Gorman @Wonderboy33 @RABTBookTours


Orb Of Zorn, Book #2


Date Published: 04-19-2024


When the Shadowlord steals part of the orb of eternity, his power surges. He has unleashed a mighty host of orcs and trolls and acquires an invaluable new henchman in Borg Bearslayer. Young Elcon goes through a battery of new trials and tribulations and is tested by powers he never imagined. Only by forging an alliance with the gray elf, Rowena Ravenwill, the brash dwarf Brom, and the last of the great swordsmen of the western realms does he stand a chance against the Shadowlord.

In this sequel to The Heir Apparent, a gloomier dawn emerges, and stakes are much higher for the young mage. The boundaries are blurred even further when the Walszman encounters the witch-like Lef Sagori. Will he succumb to the dark side of magic or will Elcon add great new deeds to his Van Zorn legacy?

Interview with John Gorman

    Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

    Yes. Three books that have stuck with me are: A Wizard of Earthsea, Going Postal, and The Crystal Shard.

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    I employ different methods when creating my character names. Sometimes I use variations of place names. Elcon Van Zorn comes from a winery I’ve visited named Elk Cove. The kobold, Y’kem, is a variation on the famous estate in Bordeaux, Chateau d’Yquem. As you might have guessed, I have a predilection for wine.

    Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    Not so much, although once or twice I’ve been told by a friend that they recognized something. For example, in Book One of the series, Elcon rode a horse named Piper named after my cat. A close friend shared this discovery with me, and I bought him a growler of his favorite microbrew.

    What was your hardest scene to write?

    In Chapter Nineteen of my new book, Return Of The Shadowlord, Guldrake has failed to sway Elcon, but still is determined to gain part of the orb. He connects with the orc, Borg Bearslayer, and pulls him from his party. Flipping Borg’s allegiance didn’t seem so far-fetched, but I had to figure out how he would steal the moonstone from Rowena. That posed a challenge. It took a while to build out this scene because this became an important plot twist and its ramifications would change the dynamics of the quest.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    My new series Orb Of Zorn is a trilogy. The books are contiguous and connected. Each one builds off the previous book. I don’t see them as standing fully on their own. The endings have resolutions within the scope of their respective book, but they are not complete.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goal in this book was to tip the scales in favor of the burgeoning Orc/Troll army, but to make sure that Guldrake was responsible for bringing about that shift. Generally speaking, I am satisfied with where I have left my story threads. I intended to leave some leeway in the knot so that there would be room for speculation in Book 3, but also reasonable anticipation of where the buildup is heading.

    What inspired you to write Return Of The Shadowlord?

    I came out of the gate writing Return Of The Shadowlord not long after completing The Heir Apparent since I had planned to write a trilogy. While I did not have it all plotted out, I had the main arc of my story established and was busy fleshing out Guldrake, the Shadowlord. If there was an impetus behind Book 2, it was to bring Guldrake into fruition as he had not appeared yet in Book One.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in Return Of The Shadowlord or what you have planned for the future?

    In the final book of my Orb Of Zorn trilogy, I plan to tie up all the loose ends. I have a few surprises lined up that I am not willing to share just yet.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Return Of The Shadowlord?

    There are a few new characters in Return Of The Shadowlord. Halobir is a sage elf who has been enlisted in the quest. He knew Rowena Ravenwill’s mother and has helped to redefine her view of her people. As one of the elder elves from Darjania, he plays an important role maintaining the peace of their land, but as the burgeoning orc/troll army has grown, Halobir has a critical buffer between his nephew, King Jaromir, and the rogue elf Rowena Ravenwill.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    Finally introducing Guldrake, who, until this book, was only known as the Shadowlord and had not been in any scenes. I enjoyed expanding upon the relationships of my main characters. The fight scenes were fun to write especially the conflict arising from the venerable knight Sir Drabek and the hardscrabble Vyas Cragg. Their backgrounds are totally different, yet they share a similar loyalty to their respective men. Both are great blademasters, but one is a distinguished knight from Gol while the other is a notch away from being a barroom-brawler from a pebble speck of a village. As the burden of battle weighed on the two commanders, I got more and more into their personal stories. I also enjoyed connecting my key parties, so that Rowena Ravenwill finally joins Elcon Van Zorn on the great quest.      

About the Author

Before his words found their way into print, John snapped the Eyesore of the Week for the Queens Ledger. His stories, essays, and articles have appeared in over 50 journals worldwide. His newest book Return Of The Shadowlord (Orb Of Zorn #2) is AVAILABLE for PRE-ORDER. John is also the author of the novels, The Heir Apparent (Orb Of Zorn #1), The Acolyte And The Amulet (Nebilon #1), Quest For The Hope Box (Nebilon #2), Beyond The Vicious Vortex, Shades of Luz, Disposable Heroes, and From Here To Burmidia.


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Instagram: @johngorman12


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Paper Cut said...

Thanks for sharing! This was a really fun interview.