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Character Interview: Arkas from K. Madill’s YA Fantasy Novel ‘The Stolen Herd’ – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

We’re thrilled to be talking to Arkas from Green Forest, Deep Forest, The Silver City, Harshlands, Azure Caves, Elphinstone Mountains…hey, he has wings – he gets around.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]Thank you so much for this interview, Arkas.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Arkas: It was moderately accurate. She (the author) missed how utterly terrified Mandamus and Luco were when we first met. It was their own fault. They blundered into my territory, so I attacked them. It was written a little more comically than it actually was. Those two were scared out of their minds.  I thought that human, Luco, was going to cry and Mandamus may look like a big, tough horse but he was shaking in his hooves.  

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

Arkas: My strength, agility, wingspan, and fighting skills.  Not to mention …I can breathe fire!

Worse trait?

Arkas: Well, I have been called short tempered. But I don’t see that as a bad thing at all.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Arkas: Probably… Christian Bale. He was a pretty darn good Batman…and seeing as I’m an actual bat, I feel the transition would go smoothly.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out? 

Arkas: I must admit, I did get a little worried when we were attached by Aicha, that dirty slug of a water imp. I wasn’t sure I could take him by myself, he’s pretty quick.  Just in the nick of time, Gideon showed up and helped me out, thank goodness.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Arkas: I definitely would not want to be Luco.  Alright, granted, for a human he’s not that bad…but he has only two legs and can’t fly.  He also doesn’t have the nerve to tell that naiad, Lethe, that he likes her. Even after he built her that glass room at the Gates to the Underworld!  He just hangs around mooning over her until Mandamus’ hoof heals, then we leave. Pathetic, if you ask me. I might have to do a little matchmaking there.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Arkas: Hey, Luco may be complaining because he’s afraid of getting eaten, but I’m full on ready to journey to the Azure Caves to see King Farzad and the rest of the Snowbreth tribe.  They’re supposedly man-eating monsters, but Gideon wouldn’t have sent us there if that was the case. I will tell you this though – if they do try anything, they’ll be sorry!

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Arkas: If? I’m one of the three main characters of this story so she’d BETTER have me in it.  Hmm…words of wisdom….well, I would like to get back to Luco’s village for more cherry stars and fire whiskey though that’s more of a suggestion, I guess.

Thank you for this interview, Arkas. Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

Arkas: Of course. Those two (Mandamus and Luco) couldn’t last a day without me. Why, you should see what those dunderheads got themselves into just last week. Only, you’ll have to wait for the 2nd book to find out – ha!

Purchase on AMAZON

Karai MadillA chronic “head in the cloudser” K. Madill lives in a rickety house on a well treed street in British Columbia, Canada.  When she’s not hanging out with her best equine friend in the woods she can be found trying to stay upright on her roller skates or mediating the affairs of her various furred and feathered friends that rule the aforementioned rickety house. 

K. Madill’s website:




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a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Beyond the Books with Larry Sweitzer, author of The Ghost, The Eggheads and Babe Ruth’s Piano

Larry Sweitzer is a writer, musician, and avid baseball fan. He was born and raised in western Maryland and now lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters. The Ghost, the Eggheads, and Babe Ruth’s Piano is his first novel.  Visit him at


Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Larry.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: My recent release is my first novel.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: None. I never submitted my book to any mainstream publishers. I decided to self-publish it from the start. That doesn’t mean I would never go the mainstream publishing route, but at that moment in time, I felt it was the right decision.


Q: When your book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: I decided on iUniverse for a number of reasons, but a big part of it was for the opportunity to get into their recognition programs. Fortunately, I did! My book received their Editor’s Choice designation and then became one of their Rising Star titles.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: I felt a great sense of pride just finishing the first draft of the book, so you can imagine how I felt when it was released and I held an actual copy in my hands!

The Ghost, the Eggheads, and Babe Ruth's Piano by Larry Sweitzer (click on cover to order online)

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: I set up a website to serve as a base for my online marketing and promotion. Everything branches out from there: my blog, a list of my events, links to various online bookstores to purchase my book … everything. Having a website is a basic and essential part of being an author these days, so that was the first thing I did.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: I don’t think so. Everything has worked out well. In the short time my book has been out, feedback has been positive and sales have exceeded my expectations. iUniverse has been a good fit and they have done all that they said they would do. I’m very pleased with them.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: I am just starting to work on my next manuscript. Yes, I feel I’ve grown as a writer, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning or trying to improve on my writing.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: My book has only been out for about a week, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I can say I hope the book is one that teen boys will enjoy and get into—especially if they aren’t ‘big’ readers yet. If it’s something they enjoy reading and it entertains them until the end, then I would consider that an accomplishment on both of our parts.


Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: Wow, there are so many fields that interest me—maybe a scientist or something to do with outer space.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A: Even if I could have any non-writing profession, I would always write, tell stories, and pursue publication. I could never give those things up.


Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: I hope to have written many more books by then. I have a number of story ideas and works-in-progress that I hope to publish in the future.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Work hard, never stop working on your craft, never give up on your dreams, and never forget those that helped you along the way.

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