H.P. Stephenson and Kathryn Tedrick are the authors of War of the Staffs: Quest for the Staff of Adaman. In this interview, they discuss why they use blogging and social media – and why they advise against using a marketing firm.
1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
A powerful vampire wizard named Taza is brought through the void by Adois, a vengeful goddess who lends him her staff so that he can take over the planet, Muira, and turn it from good to evil. He convinces a race of dark elves to take on the cloak of vampirism, but his careful planning is jeopardized when Prince Tarquin is born to fulfill a prophecy. Tarquin, however, cannot succeed alone, and when Morganna, an Illanni noble woman, threatens Taza’s plans, she prevents her cousin from destroying the prophecy.
Tarquin is sent to the dwarvan militia to learn combat and survival skills by joining an elite group of soldiers known as the Borderers. He is championed by the wizard, Celedant, who begins his search for the Staff of Adaman – the only object capable of defeating the Staff of Adois.
Book one of the trilogy, The Quest for the Staff of Adaman, begins with the search for the first of two pieces of the ancient staff as Taza’s assassins hunt the prince to thwart the prophecy. Tarquin, however, is not the only target. Celedant must confront not only assassins, but powerful and dangerous creatures that Taza brings through the void to destroy him and the growing resistance among the dwarves, wood elves, and high elves. But first, Celedant must take the final test to become a Master Wizard. If he passes, he will be able to battle the Staff of Adois and the monster that wields it. If he fails, not only will the world be overrun by evil, but Celedant will be lost in the Dragon’s Tear for all eternity.
[We] both love epic fantasy and have always wanted to develop our own series.
2. You’ve not worked with a traditional publisher. Why?
We tried to go the traditional route, but although several seemed interested, they didn’t want to take a risk, or else did not handle epic fantasy. So with so many people self-publishing e-books, etc., we decided to give it a try.