P. H. Solomon writes fantasy where the elements may sound familiar but the story doesn’t follow well-trod paths. The first book of his debut series, The Bow of Destiny, is currently available. He has two speculative fiction anthologies upcoming. The next two books in the series, An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow, due out in September of 2016 and late 2016 or early 2017 (tentatively).
OK – HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
This depends on what it is and the situation. We’ve all seen something like this in movies and TV shows but that’s Hollywood. That being said, I once knew a fellow whose wife suffered an aneurysm. He ran several red lights in his car and left the scene of an accident to get his wife to a nearby hospital just to try and save her. I don’t think it’s beyond reason to do what it takes to help someone you love if in an emergency.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Just being alive is merely going through the motions and keeping your head down probably due to natural risk aversion. Truly living is being willing to take risks though risk tolerance is different for everyone. Publishing a book is risky and not just because it probably won’t sell well but also because it’s available for public consumption and criticism. At the end of it the question is like the difference between staying home when you have the chance to travel and see different places.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
At this point, it’s continuing to grow as a writer, the desire to improve at the craft. I assume this will never end but it’s not a fruitless endeavor either. I get to create something that I hope other people will enjoy and share with others while growing as a writer – and a person.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
When I was younger I didn’t think to much about children. But when my daughter came along it struck me that the house had been much too empty before she was born. But it’s much more than filling your life with parenting. I’ve been privileged to see my daughter grow and she’s now entering college. There’s a lot of investment in time and energy but to have raised her to this point and see her accomplish many things on her own with what wisdom I’ve been able to share is truly a treasure. I think wanting children is bigger than propagating the species and more about nurturing someone into adulthood.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book “The Bow of Destiny”?
Since it literally took decades to get this first book published, I would say it’s perseverance. Most of the time you’re told to move on from an idea to the next if the first one doesn’t work. But I think if you learn more about the writing craft you can mold an idea into something that works. Sometimes it just takes longer, I suppose. When I really committed to the project a few years ago, I found I needed to split the original manuscript into two books. It also was dated according to current style and tastes for the fantasy genre. So I had to roll up my sleeves and learn a few things during the re-write.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
That I know far less than I assumed when I was much younger. When I was young, life was simpler in many ways. However, in spite of the simplicities of youth, living is much more complex due to a strange concept we call the passage of time. It’s in the living that we discover that the simplicities are far more complex than they appear.
No.7 How did you come up with the title “The Bow of Destiny”?
The original title was actually An Arrow Against the Wind which is now the second book. Along the way of writing the first book I split it into two books and needed a title for the first book. Since the book is about a character caught up in whether his destiny is with a mythic bow, the title became self-evident.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
It depends on the day, I guess, or what it is. If the criticism is constructive and accurate then I take it very well. If the criticism seems unwarranted, self-serving or malicious then it can be bothersome. When it comes to writing, I’ve learned not to dwell on the good or bad too much but consider helpful observations. That being said, you just won’t be understood all the time, especially when you break the writing rules on purpose – but doing so needs purpose and that gets back to risk (truly living) and the motivation to write.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Reading is about seeing how a character is portrayed through challenges and failures as well as the good (after all, some people can’t handle success). I believe that fantasy readers will find that I’ve portrayed characters with real challenges and failures all within an entertaining fantasy setting. Likewise, I think readers will find that it has a subtle balance between the familiar in fantasy versus unexpected twists.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
That’s an age-old, well-debated question. I’ve always remembered a song line from “The Sound of Music” that sums up one part: “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever will.” On the side of “something”, I once read an article about scientists who believe in some sort of biogenesis versus the more commonly held thought of abiogenesis. I don’t remember his name but one physicist said something like, “energy comes from somewhere and goes somewhere”. If that’s the case then it’s why there is something and we should consider that our understanding of said something may be but a tiny piece in the scheme of things. Indeed, I think that for all we think we know, our knowledge is actually very limited.
Thank you 🙂
For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
Haunted by his past.
Hunted in the present.
Uncertain what is real.
Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he’s not sure it’s real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what’s worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.