Andy Peloquin—a third culture kid to the core—has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.
When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since.
Andy’s first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has since used that experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.
Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Andy Peloquin to talk about his aspirations, his most precious possessions, and his latest novel.
Thanks for joining us, Andy. You have a really unique backstory. Tell me, where are you from?
Canadian born in Japan to American stepfather and French mother. So…yeah…all that. Heh.
Please, tell us a little about yourself: your education, family life, etc.?
I was home-schooled, but was fortunate enough to have teachers passionate about the arts. One teacher in particular passed on his love of writing, and it’s thanks largely to him that I am a writer.
I never got beyond a high-school format education, but I read A LOT. I’ve also traveled a great deal, and those travels have taught me the beauty everywhere. There’s so much to learn from cultures and customs around the world, things we’d never learn in our own little bubble of comfort.
Would you like to be famous? In what way?
I want to be known as the author who puts out great stories. I may never be the best writer with perfect grammar, but I want to be famous for having the most HEART in my stories.
What’s the greatest accomplishment of your life?
I’ve still got a lot of accomplishing to do, so I’m just at the beginning of my life. However, I think the greatest accomplishment to date is believing in myself enough to push through my self-doubt and turmoil to keep writing when all I wanted was to give up and go back to an easy life of watching TV, playing video games, and reading. It was much harder to dare to be an author, and I feel my greatest achievement has been getting over that hump!
Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
My computer. I can always make more money, recover my documents, and buy a new car, but I’ll never be able to recover the countless ideas I’ve written down and tucked away for later use. My writing is the possession I would treasure most.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book came about through a desire to tell a story like no other. Most fantasy novels follow the exploits of the hero, but the Hunter is much more “villain” than anything else. Seeing the world through the eyes of a ruthless killer is a thrill, and I love delving into the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of such a dark character.
Tell us your latest news?
I’ve just released the second book in my dark fantasy series The Last Bucelarii, titled Lament of the Fallen. This book continues exploring the worldview and perspective of the half-demon assassin, the Hunter, a man who has seen the worst the world has to offer, and who is driven to kill by voices in his head. It’s a very grim, gritty look at life, but one that is unique and fresh.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Absolutely! Here’s an excerpt that shows the Hunter’s struggles with his own innate nature and his inner voices:
The Hunter’s mind whirled.
Beggar Priests? Trained warriors, in service to the Beggar God? Surely, they can’t be—
Mocking laughter echoed in his mind. ‘Fool! You ignored my warnings, and look what happens.’
“Hardwell?” The knight’s voice pierced the Hunter’s thoughts.
“Y-Yes, my lady?”
“Is it your wound? Are you ill?” Worry painted Sir Danna’s face.
“I am fine, Sir Danna.” The Hunter tried to sound calm, though a maelstrom of fear, dread, and anxiety seethed in his mind. He scrubbed his hand across his face. “Just the heat of the day.”
The knight patted him on the shoulder and climbed to her feet. “Then rest, friend Hardwell. I will pray to the Beggar that you recover soon, for we ride in an hour.”
The Hunter gave Sir Danna a weak smile, which seemed to reassure her. Visibos stared at the Hunter, naked suspicion written in his expression.
Ignoring the apprentice’s scrutiny, the Hunter set his back against the tree and closed his eyes. He pretended to rest, but the demon in his mind denied him peace.
‘You must leave now!
If you do not, they will discover your secret.’
I cannot leave. It will look too suspicious if I ride away now.
‘Then you have no choice. You know what you must do, before they find out who you are.’
Temptation warred within him. Caution warned him to heed the demon, but the Hunter had no desire to kill the priests. Not yet.
Soulhunger remains hidden.
These featherglass lenses hide my eyes. My face is unknown to them, and they have no reason to suspect I am anything more than the simple soldier of Praamis I claim to be.
Who was to say the knights even knew of the Bucelarii? The truth of the demons and their offspring was a secret known to few. Could these warriors discover his true identity? Could he take that chance?
The demon raged. ‘They are servants of the Beggar God. They will kill you if you do not kill them first!’
A gentle throbbing in the back of his mind echoed Soulhunger’s desire. The blade, too, ached for death.
The Hunter would not give in. Not all priests of the Beggar God want my death!
‘The fool only used you to achieve his own ends!
Even if he meant you no ill will, what makes you think these priests will be so understanding? Or have you forgotten the other priests?’
The Beggar Priests in Voramis had stared at him with naked hatred in their eyes. To them, he was worse than scum.
‘What if these two try to do what the priests of Voramis would not? Even if they do not kill you, they will drive you away.’
The Hunter wanted to protest, desperate to deny it. Yet in his heart, he knew it to be true.
The demon’s snarls turned to whispers. ‘This is why you hide your eyes. This is why you hide Soulhunger and the Swordsman’s blades. Not all who serve the gods are as accepting of you as the old priest in Voramis. You are afraid they will discover the truth. The day you are recognized for what you really are, that is the day you will be forced to kill them.’
The Hunter’s eyes fell upon the sleeping form of Sir Danna. Gentle snores rose from beneath the leather cap pulled over her eyes. Visibos had lost himself in the pages of a book produced from his bag. The peace and quiet of the scene seemed a heartbeat from shattering. Only a weak disguise prevented them from seeing the true Hunter.
So be it. I will bid farewell to these knights.
A great weight settled on the Hunter’s shoulders. Just that morning, for the briefest of moments, he had shared something akin to camaraderie with his companions. Now he had to give it up, all for the sake of survival.
But not now. I must bide my time. The masquerade of Hardwell of Praamis will suffice until we can part ways.
The demon snarled, impatient.
I can’t ride away now. When I depart, it must seem natural. Better to avoid arousing the apprentice’s suspicion. Or would you have them hunting us to our journey’s end?
The demon relented, and the throbbing in his head faded to a dull ache. Rubbing his eyes, the Hunter drew the hood of his cloak over his head. He retreated into the comfortable darkness. He needed time to think, to craft a plan.
A gentle breeze wafted past, pushing back the heat of the day, though it failed to quiet the turmoil in his mind. Visibos’ quiet muttering and Sir Danna’s snores added to the peaceful calm of the shade, yet the Hunter found himself anxious to move on. The faster they traveled, the sooner he would be rid of the Beggar Priests.
He forced himself to stay awake, unwilling to relax for a moment, lest he allow his guard to slip. The morning’s ride had sapped his energy. The chill breeze cooled and calmed him, and his eyelids grew heavy.
Feed me! Soulhunger screamed in his head. Its intensity startled him, and he jolted upright.
Keeper take it! Can the accursed voices never fall silent?
Soulhunger whispered in his mind, demanding death. The demon remained silent, but the Hunter knew well its desires. A red haze tinged the edge of the Hunter’s vision, turning the world into a blood-stained blur.
He knew what they wanted. Why not give them the death they craved? It would be so easy. Sir Danna slept. Visibos’s book occupied his full attention. They would be dead before they knew what was happening. He could picture the empty eyes and pale faces of the two knights staring up at him, crimson pools of gore spreading outward.
The Hunter ached to feel Soulhunger plunging into the hearts of his traveling companions. He craved the rush of power. And if it meant he would be safe on his travels, perhaps…
I will not! He clenched his fists. He had given in to the voices far too many times in the past. No longer.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s actually a quote from one of my later novels: “There is no evil; only desire and what you will do to achieve it.” In the end, the actions we take to get what we want are what separates the heroes from the villains.
What book are you reading now?
I’m working through the Safehold series by David Weber. It’s the perfect mix of historical fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep it up! Just because the world of publishing, marketing, and writing is incredibly time-consuming, complex, and frustrating, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. If you can get even just a few people hooked on your stories, it’s a wonderful feeling!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Buy my book! Hehe, what author doesn’t want to say that?
I would tell my readers to look for the connections between the Hunter and themselves. Beneath the mask of the half-demon assassin is a completely human person, one that everyone can relate to in some way or another. I know I’ve poured a lot of myself, my weaknesses, my fears, and my humanity into the character, and I know there is that relatability between this fictional character and those who read about him.
How can we follow your career?
To find Andy Peloquin’s latest book, The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen, check out these links:
- Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen-ebook/dp/B01JJ5CKOU
- Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen/dp/1535388668/
- Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen/dp/1535388668/
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30973111-lament-of-the-fallen
And check out Andy’s Facebook Event for the Launch of The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen, where he’s sponsoring a giveaway of 2 Signed Paperbacks of Lament of the Fallen plus 1 Signed Paperback of Blade of the Destroyer! The giveaway runs now through August 18! See here for more details and to join the book launch fun: https://www.facebook.com/events/1756560507952924/
And don’t forget to support Andy’s book launch by joining his Thunderclap campaign! Sign up to donate a tweet or Facebook post to spread the word about Lament of the Fallen, coming August 19, 2016! Bring the thunder here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/44830-the-hunter-rides-again
Thanks to Andy for joining us here on the Adventures in Indie Publishing!
What about you? Any questions for Andy? Post in the comments!