Inside the Book:
Title: Enter Knight
Author: K.A. Keith
How did you come up with the title of your book?
Succinct is good in titles. The book classic Giant that became the 1956 film is the best example that comes to mind. In the duology Enter, Knight and Hel’s Storm, I love the literal introduction of the protagonist, Apieron Farsinger, and perhaps his nemesis-the dark knight Adestes Malgrim.
What is your writing environment like?
This lengthy epic spanned over twenty years in genesis from bar naps in New Orleans to most recently Times Square hotel rooms.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers?
The old tools are best. A well rounded curiosity in the natural world is best. Given a near equality in writing facility, one can always detect the difference in a descriptive passage from an expert or direct witness, versus one who is not. Ever just sit and try to describe a cloud without using cliché words? It is difficult. How about ice? For that see Jack London or Barry Lopez.
I recently attended a read-in by an aspiring Sci-Fi writer. While her ideas where great, her lack of a science background became glaring as she attempted to describe the mechanics of a new technology in a background paragraph. No wonder the old greats Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury and L. Ron Hubbard were scientists and engineers first.
What inspires you to write?
Luckily the story within Enter, Knight and Hel’s Storm comprise an epic fantasy. Such a broad palate gave me the range to speak to many themes while the adventure travels across a variety of terrains, encountering classic cultural archetypes, both fantasy and real-world. Thus inspiration can come from travel, time in nature, relationships, real world experience such as my time as a deployment Flight Surgeon and a quarter century in high volume ERs. That’s a lot of human pathos I’ve been privileged to witness. Each person who ever lived has seen turmoil and trial, and can relate if they wish to many of the themes depicted in these novels.
Did you learn anything while writing this book?
Yes, I learned some wisdom. Not enough, not nearly enough.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I try to be just. Sephard Brighthelm and Apieron Farsinger are better than I, and so I try to live up to them.
In this scene, the young troubadour, Rudolph Mellor (nickname Jamello), confronts the paladin Xephard on the eve before the party’s descent into the Hel plain:
Jamello regarded the holy warrior. “Xephard the Fearless. How does one accomplish this?
The paladin’s deep voice was slow and serene. “I have thought on your question. It is one I have answered before, but never well. I will make amends now.
“Simply this …it is easier to be brave than not. The ugly part of fear is that it immobilizes one to action.” The paladin paused, gathering his thoughts. “The rabbit runs, not because he is afraid, but because that is his nature. If fear covers him, he freezes in the face of danger and is taken. The secret of courage is then to do a positive action despite one’s fear.”
“And you?” asked Jamello softly.
“I have no mantle of courage to slip on, having no need of such virtue. From my northern fathers, I know that the thread length of my life was wound by the Norns at the time of my birth. When it plays out, I will die. This knowledge is a mighty gift.”
“Is that all?”
Xephard smiled warmly. “No. Long ago, I gave our goddess of wisdom and war, the soldier’s friend, every breath and shout and fiber of my being. I have no hidden self to fear or hurt. I have been shriven.”
“Nothing left to lose?” said Jamello wryly.
“Exactly!” beamed Xephard. He lapsed into silence. Jamello thought him done, until the temple peer lifted his head once more. “The holy mistress of Lampus says that how one lives out his days is what is important. If one’s deeds in this life are found worthy, Spear Goddess will gather you to Her circle of champions to live again as a chosen of her court, to be a hero most excellent.
Do you this thing, Rudolph Mellor.” The paladin’s cloud-blue eyes gleamed in the dark as he spoke.
That said, Xephard lay back and fell apparently into untroubled sleep. Jamello groaned inwardly. He always knew that Cynthia would lure him into an inescapable fix. At last he reclined, troubled by shivering nightmares and dire, waking images such that he was surprised to find Henlee’s booted toe nudging him awake after the others had apparently risen with the dawn, such as it was in this bleak and blasted place.
He sat up and blinked.