Why are you using the Thomas Locke pseudonym for your upcoming fantasy novel, Emissary?
Emissary is book 1 in a three-book series called Legends of the Realm. This series and an upcoming techno-thriller series for the mainstream market will carry the Thomas Locke pen name.
When you pick up a Thomas Locke book, do not expect an evangelical story. Instead, these stories harken back to what J.R.R. Tolkien did with The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien was a survivor of the trenches in World War I. When war returned with World War II, the darkness he saw was difficult for him, personally. He felt as if the world had not healed.
In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he offered a new concept of lore that acknowledged the grip of war, the darkness people faced that had to be combatted, and the courage that was required.
That is precisely what I am trying to do in the Legends of the Realm series. I’m not putting forth a Christian message for believers. I’m creating a new kind of story that includes the positive aspects that come from our life walk: courage in the face of hardship. Growth. Change. The story is intended to draw in a mainstream audience. I would love for my current readers to be fascinated by this new direction I’m taking. But Emissary is not intended to be another Davis Bunn book.
What is the significance of Thomas Locke?
Thomas is my legal first name, and Thomas Locke was the first of my ancestors to immigrate from Wales to the United States. He was a cabinet maker – a skilled laborer who took a gamble by starting a new life in a distant place.
Thomas Locke’s grandson was Francis Marion, a military officer in the Revolutionary War known as “Swamp Fox.” In the movie, The Patriot, Mel Gibson plays a character loosely based on Francis Marion.
I have always admired the adventuresome spirit of my ancestors, and I hope these new adventure stories will honor the Thomas Locke name.
Many of you are aware that January 2015 marks an exciting new direction in my writing career. My upcoming novel, Emissary, is an epic fantasy story for a mainstream audience, and will be published under my pen name, Thomas Locke.
In my next few posts, I’ll answer your questions about why I’m publishing Emissary and the other two books in the Legends of the Realm series, plus another three-book series, as Thomas Locke.
I will also continue to publish many new faith-based novels as Davis Bunn.
Other than this introductory post, I’ll be blogging about entirely different topics at TLocke.com, so I hope you’ll subscribe to “News of the Realm” so you can receive my e-newsletter and my latest blog posts.
Click this link to sign up now: http://eepurl.com/5cnH5 (be sure to click “Receive Blog Posts” in the Subscription Options.
I’m also active (as Thomas Locke) on several social networks. Hope you’ll join me!
Why did you choose to write epic fantasy and technological thrillers for the mainstream market, when many of your recent books have been contemporary suspense for the inspirational market?
For the past several years I have grown increasingly concerned over the all-pervading darkness that nowadays forms the core of both character development and story within the fantasy and science fiction genres.
Last autumn, Publishers Weekly held a global forum on where science fiction and fantasy were headed. A panel that included some of the largest New York publishers and editors in these fields brought several key elements to light. Here are the four points I found of crucial importance.
First, in this last publishing cycle—from January to June 2014—not one book has been released in either fantasy or science fiction that hearkens back to the classical heroic structure of by-gone days.
Second, both of these genres have become redefined by the electronic game industry, which is soon expected to top Hollywood films in terms of both profit and revenue.
Third, the key impact of e-games on both character and story theme was described as “grey-scaling.” This means there is no longer room for either heroes or villains. This is important in e-games because the player is offered the chance to take on every role. None are deemed wrong, or bad. All are equally valid.
Fourth, the classical story structure has been deemed passé. This structure formed the basis for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and for C.S. Lewis and the Narnia series, and has its roots in the ancient Greek heroic structure, many of which were told as fantasies.
Do all readers want dark, hopeless stories?
Long before this conference confirmed my growing suspicions, I felt the question these NY publishers overlooked was, “What has happened to the readers of classical fantasy and science fiction? Are readers satisfied with the direction that these publishers have chosen to take?”
I do not disagree with the new direction as a concept. But I fundamentally dispute this mind-set of exclusively focusing on the new, the dark, and the hopeless.
Twenty months ago, I began working on a new project so far removed from anything I had ever done before, I feared there would be no chance of finding a publisher. But the idea ignited me to the point where I needed to follow this creative passion.
Epic fantasy for modern readers
Emissary (book 1 in the Legends of the Realm series) follows the original Greek concept of ‘epic.’ Nowadays the term has been redefined to basically mean nothing more than, long. Originally, an epic tale was one where the principal character sought to achieve a quest. The hero’s journey, both externally and the hero’s need to conquer inner demons, formed vital life-lessons for the audience.
My aim with this fantasy was to fashion an epic that would suit modern tastes. I threw out what has become the standard format for fantasy novels, with their long-winded descriptions and elaborate settings. Instead, I used the sentence structure and pacing of a mystery. It is tight, with what I hope will be seen as a smooth and seamless action-flow that leads to a satisfying crescendo.
This project adheres to the original Greek structure of inherent value, what Hollywood refers to as ‘leave-behind.” In Emissary, the principal character rises from nothing to forge an alliance that has profound and far-reaching impact, simply by accepting the challenge of his own self-worth.
Free eBook Short
Get a taste of the Legends of the Realm series with The Captive, a free short story excerpted from Emissary. Visit http://tlocke.com/ for handy links your favorite online bookseller.
I’m anticipating the release of The Patmos Deception, the first book in a new contemporary suspense series, on November 1, 2014. I’m teaming up with my publisher, Bethany House Publishers, to give away copies of the book, starting this coming Monday, October 20.
Next week’s giveaway will take place on my Facebook page:
Here’s some behind-the-scenes information about The Patmos Deception that I thought you’d enjoy:
Why I write
I came to faith at age twenty-eight, and started writing two weeks later. Up to that point, I had never written anything longer than a business report. I studied international economics and finance at university, and had assumed my life would be focused on business.
But the day I started writing was a turning point on many levels. At that time, I had no idea what the spiritual meaning of ‘gift’ might be. Since then, I have experienced a myriad of lessons through the creative process, and through the sense of spiritual responsibility that has come with it.
I remain so very, very grateful for the chance to write. It was an invitation, on one level. There was no divine command. And yet by recognizing this as an open door, and then walking through it, I allowed the divine plan to unfold in my life.
I wrote for nine years and finished seven books before my first was accepted for publication. During that time, I doubted my abilities and my future on numerous occasions. But I remained utterly certain, then and now, that this was a true divine gift.
The character in The Patmos Deception with whom I identify most
With every book there is one character in particular with whom I identify.
In The Patmos Deception, Carey was by far the easiest to write. But Dimitri was the one who called to me most deeply. I think partly it was due to the life course I was on prior to coming to faith at age 28. I drove a sports car and traveled extensively, skiid in Switzerland and surfed in the Indian Ocean.
There were all sorts of opportunities and darker temptations, and the world would have certainly considered me a success. But deep down, just as with Dimitri, the lonely aching void gnawed at me. I knew there had to be something more.
I’m thrilled by the review Romantic Times (RT Book Reviews) gave The Sign Painter:
Reviewer Sarah Eisenbraun writes:
“In The Sign Painter, Bunn brings readers into the heart of humanity — helping those who cannot help themselves. Amy and her daughter are believable characters. This novel moves quickly with twists and turns along the way that keep readers excited and engaged.”
Click here for a synopsis of the story, reviews, and online purchasing links.
For two days, from Tuesday, Sept. 16-Thursday, September 18, 2014, the ebook version of All Through the Night will be on sale for $1.99 at online booksellers. That’s 72% off the retail price.
Broken relationships and unfulfilled promises scatter themselves across Wayne’s past like burned-out craters. His background in military special-ops is something he’s trying to forget. But when he gets himself sweet-talked into helping a quirky group of seniors who’ve been scammed, he discovers it will take a lot more than muscle and nerve.
Breach a con man’s high-security estate to recover stolen money? No problem.
Become part of community? Love again? Not on your life.
A lawyer with her own painful past is intrigued by Wayne and asks him to take on another unusual case–Tatanya’s wealthy employer believes he’s been visited by an angel?
Did a messenger from God in a pinstripe suit truly bring a divine warning, or is this merely another cruel hoax? Tatanya is willing to trust Wayne with her boss’s life, but she’s not sure she’s ready to trust him with her own wounded heart.
With a financial analyst’s skills and a warrior’s tenacity, Wayne races to unmask dangerous forces hiding behind a corporate veil. But he will need all his resources–and then some–against an unseen enemy bent on destroying his fragile bid for a second chance at life–and love.