I am pleased to present author, Charles Yallowitz to my blog. He will be sharing about the final book of his 15 volume series. Please show him your support with comments and/or questions.
Thank you to Karen Ingalls for letting me write a post for her blog and helping to promote, Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. This is the final book of my fantasy adventure series and it has been a long, 15 volume road. Over that time, I created many characters, which include the main villain, Baron Arthuru Kernaghan. He is an immortal warlord who threatened the gods and goddesses of Windemere, so he was sealed away and erased from history and all mortal memory. Due to his curse, he can only travel to a pocket dimension and part of a continent that nobody visits. Yet, he needs to have some influence over events because he’s the main villain and not some mindless monster. So, what are some ways that I helped him make an impact on the series?
1. Prior his debut, the other villains that worked for the Baron talked about him a few times. Mostly mentioning their dark master and how powerful he was, but there was also a sense of fear among them. You could get an idea of what was coming by how people responded to the thought of him. This continued after he debuted and led to scenes that explained the reactions.
2. I know there’s a big push to eliminate prologues and never speak of them again, but they really helped me with this issue. The Baron could never show up during an adventure to cause trouble, but he needed scenes. An opener that showed what he was up and foreshadowing the coming events solidified him as the one manipulating events. It also showed that he was aware of what was going on and wasn’t simply sitting on his throne daydreaming about all the desserts that were invented after he was imprisoned.
3. Another benefit of the prologue is that you could see how he reacted to the events of previous books by punishing or rewarding his minions. Characters develop through their interactions and this is where the Baron had most of his. My prologues had 2-3 scenes that were split between him and the gods, but he dominated these chapters to lock down his status as the main villain.
4. Even though the Baron isn’t very active now, he was an influential figure when he was free. Yes, he was erased from historical records and mortal memory, which means people here ‘ancient evil’, ‘eternal shadow’, and other things in place of his name. It makes it tough to reveal his past actions to the heroes, but there are ways. Some information sources would have to remain for the champions to know what they’re up against and curses can weaken over time. So, I had them stumble onto hidden clues and people who weren’t under the ancient spell. This added to the Baron without him having to do anything or show up.
5. A similar trick is to establish that he has found a way to influence things. The heroes have to fight someone, so giving the Baron a group of agents gave him some reach without having to appear. A few of them have been active for centuries, so they have done a lot in his name and left more recent clues. Others just do what he asks of them to help him escape, attack the champions, or get them into a position where they end up unwittingly aiding his cause.
6. Finding reasons for the agents to return to their headquarters became easier as the story progressed. The Baron could summon them back for a report or give them help after watching them have trouble. As he loses agents, he has to become a little more hands on with the planning and manipulating. I found that a face-to-face worked better because spells for distant contact brought up the question of why the Baron didn’t do it more often. His curse stopped him from doing that, which is good because you get a better picture of him when he can demonstrate body language and physically interact with his agents.
7. Make every scene count. This kind of wraps up everything previously said into one package, but it’s the truest. If you have any character with limited page time then you need to make an impact with every appearance. For the Baron, this meant showing both his malevolence and kindness in each scene. I needed to show that he may be an immortal, but he still has some humanity. The hope is that this makes him a more interesting villain instead of a standard world dominator. Hard to accomplish when you only have 1-3 scenes per book.
Again, thank you to Karen Ingalls for being a great host and giving me this time. For anyone interested, please feel free to check out Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age or simply spread the word. Enjoy the adventure.
Author Bio & Social Media
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.
All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN