We’re so pleased to have author L. Rockwood joining us today to chat a bit about his debut novel, Defiant Revival.
When I first wrote Defiant Revival, it was actually twice as long. I had nearly finished it by the time I finally looked into getting it published. I quickly discovered typical word lengths and found I was over double the usual word count of fantasy books (which is about 100,000 words and the highest count genre). I panicked at first, but once I cut it in half, I was proud to have completed two novels in my first writing venture as opposed to one. (The sequel, Imperfect Uprising, is still getting some tweaking, but I will be sending it off to DSP soon, I promise!)
While I was stringing together the 215,000 words that make up the two novels, I at no time came up with anything to call it. It was always just ‘my book’ or ‘my story’. I thought it would come to me at some point; there would be an ‘aha’ moment and the title would float off the page and into my mind. It didn’t. I couldn’t think of anything. It was ridiculously frustrating to think I could put all those words together but not decide on a few to throw on the front.
I tried asking friends and family that had read it for help. No one could really come up with anything, nor did they seem to try very hard. That is, until my wife’s mother came out to California to visit from Pennsylvania.
During the week and a half we had her at our apartment, she would spout out a new title nearly once an hour. This was amazing initiative and way more help and excitement than I had gotten from anyone else. The only problem was that she hadn’t actually read my book. It was more like she was exuberantly trying to answer a trivia question and would shout them out after learning a new piece of information about the story.
I didn’t end up using any of her titles. I picked The Soulstitch as my series name, based on a key aspect of the storyline. I didn’t even choose the novel names until a good six months later. Despite that, I still love the crazy names she picked for me and think they should get some use. I picked my two favorites and am giving a short spin on what the novel would be like had it received that name, instead.
- The Dead Gay Prince: At first read, this one just sounds kind of silly and ridiculous. After giving it more thought, I realized it’s actually not. It’s simply factual. My novel really is about a deceased and homosexual prince. His ressurection is the key problem and its solution means hope for the entire planet of Corseca. I think that if it were narrated by the character Malcolm, a grumpy, callous and humorless knight, he might’ve been uncomplicated enough to name it as such. I am going to translate my first paragraph from Leke’s speech to his as an example of how the whole record of their toils might’ve turned out.
- It was mercilessly hot the day they met, as it had been every day for months. I was surprised to hear that Billiam actually saw a puffy cloud float by. In these years of endless war and seasonless days, they had evolved into a sign of good luck. Like luck, they were fleeting, rare, and ultimately disappointing. The vegetation had been withered from the drought and continually burnt by attack. It seemed no one alerted the air to all the dryness beneath it, for the sticky humidity hung all about. Was the moisture of the earth simply waiting above it until the earth was once again a suitable place to reside? Or was it the corpses piling in the valley that required the company of thick, stinking air? Whatever the reason was, it had been like that.
- Acting Captain of the Order of Logos, Billiam Grimhart, escaped City Drummond on May the 5th to acquire target, Shemmy DuBois. Mission was successful, with a prompt return the same evening. (This would actually be his entire first chapter.)
2.) My Pussy Go: I honestly have no idea where my mother-in-law got this from, or what she really meant by it, but it’s amazing. I think she was referring to Micah as the pussy? And Billiam was requesting that he be let go? But why? It doesn’t matter, to me it sounds fabulous. I imagine Prince Micah isn’t a dead prince at all. He is a 70’s go-go crossdresser, dripping in glitter, with huge gold hoop earrings and a hand on his hip. He is trapping unwitting suitors as he performs while singing about how he can make his “pussy” go in ways they would thoroughly enjoy. I don’t think Billiam even has a place in this universe. Sorry buddy.
So it’s probably for the best that I didn’t choose one of her titles. I still really appreciate all your effort though, Mel. I will make sure to keep The Prince is not Sensitive in mind for the following books.
About the Book
To free the kingdom from the depravity of Cardinal Aldrious, Prince Micah Helvendeere must take his rightful place as ruler.
Unfortunately, the prince has been dead for a year.
Billiam Grimhart, former page to the prince, knows Micah’s assumption of the throne is the last chance to purge Casperland of the cardinal’s corruption. And for that to happen, the prince must be revived. Only one person stands a chance of achieving the nearly impossible: exiled enchantress Shemmy DuBois, a raunchy bog witch with an affinity for corpses and a heart of gold. Billiam sets out to coax Shemmy to their cause, despite what wading through piles of bodies will do to his favorite shoes.
If he can accomplish it, Billiam might finally get to consummate his love for the prince—something Shemmy is keen to witness. But first, they’ll need to steal Micah’s body, brave a land inhabited by vicious faeries, and accept the help of accomplices as vile and perverse as their enemies. They might be far from typical heroes, but sometimes those are the only people who can get the job done.
If you like dark and edgy high-concept fantasy that’s not for those with delicate sensibilities, join Billiam, Shemmy, and their Faelock allies as they stage their revolution.
About the Author
L. Rockwood is survived by his artist wife, Rae, and their three adorable but stupid cats. He is also quite alive however terribly morbid. It is thanks to this macabre fascination (and likely his Scorpio moon) that death and rebirth is the central focus of all his works. L. definitely has a lighter side, usually manifesting in hot pink or glitter, as he is just as obsessed with all things kawaii.
L. is an out and proud pansexual, transgender man. He draws from his own experiences, striving to celebrate the various and beautiful ways love and sexuality can manifest through his characters. His time is split between the Central and Lost Coasts of California. He has yet to spot his favorite animal, the unicorn, in his travels, but he will never give up hope.