The discovery of a lost treasure sends Maddock and Bones on a perilous quest where danger lurks around every corner and legends come to life! The roads are paved with danger, the waters brew with evil, and far more than mere mortals stand in the way of the Herald!
Interview with Ashley Knight, co-author of Herald.
Tell us a bit about Herald.
I was honored when David invited me to add to his Dane Maddock series and jumped at the chance to write with and learn from an author I very much liked and admired.
Herald is an interesting combination of contemporary fiction and Grecian Mythology. We join Maddock as he relaxes at home, free from any adventures or maladies when he happens upon a strange staff that propels him into an adventure unlike any he’s had before. With Bones and a mysterious woman who refuses to leave his side, he sets off to Greece to reunite the staff with its owner. However, the roads are paved with danger, the waters brew with evil and there are far more than mere mortals who seek the special staff.
You’re primarily known as a young adult fantasy author, though you’ve written in some other genres. How was the process of writing this story different from most of your other books?
There was more research involved in this story than there was with the Fins trilogy or Falwyn. As this was set in real time and in real places, it was important to make sure that the facts of the story were plausible because the fiction part is most certainly not! You have a responsibility to get things right when it comes to this genre. A lot of research went in to making sure the Greek Mythology was correct, looking up the cities and hotels, the waterways, shipping and airline routes, etc. Not that there is not a lot of research needed for YA stories – especially on lore already established with creatures such as mermaids and fairies – but I find that you can get away with a lot more in YA (especially fantasy fiction) than you can with contemporary fiction tales, so in that way, it was a bit different. Also, we only had a month to write this book and usually I have a year, so that was a huge change.
Herald deals heavily with Greek mythology. Do you have a favorite figure or story from Greek myths?
I adored Greek and Norse Mythology as a child! Tales of Zeus, Aphrodite, Perseus, Hercules, and the Titans fascinated me. I recall thoroughly enjoying the tale of Icarus, the son of Daedalus who flew too close to the sun, Theseus and the Minotaur, as well as the story of Persephone and Hades. And of course, I adored anything having to do with mermaids!
If a Maddock reader hasn’t tried your novels, which one would you suggest they start with and why?
I would encourage Maddock readers to pick up Five when it is published later this year because most Maddock readers are most likely not used to reading young adult and typically that’s what I have written in the past.
Jack Brody is a broken man. A former SEAL returning from duty in Afghanistan, he attempts to settle in a small town as far away from the triggers of big city life as possible. Plagued with horrific memories of his unit’s capture and torture, he is unable to function normally until he runs into a pair of unlikely friends – a brother and sister intent on teaching him the reasons behind his nightmares. However, the constant unease of feeling as if he has somehow experienced all this before plagues him and in conjunction with things repeating, always in fives, confuses him to the point of insanity. Unable to distinguish between real life and his visions, can Jack survive long enough to understand the full meaning of his existence, or will the horror succeed in dragging him into hell?