Beginning of Arrogance
Beginning of Arrogance
by Bryan Cole
Paladins are nothing but trouble. Stories about paladins are everywhere, noble warriors riding magic steeds into battle against terrible foes. Champions of their gods. Heroes to everyone, except those who already have everything. Paladins are notorious for upsetting the balance of power, to the detriment of any who don't worship their deity.
So when Krell is called to service by the capricious god of the seas and skies, ReckNor, those with wealth and power can't help but be concerned. ReckNor hasn't called a paladin in years, and his nature is ever-changing and erratic. The fact that Krell is also an uneducated nobody with a stubborn streak as wide as the sea turns their concerns into fear.
All of which matters less than the threat clawing its way from the waves, ready to turn the ocean red with spilled blood...
“Shortly after the tower collapsed, there was a surge of undead. Some priests came in and did something to contain it, and let it be. Or possibly not, since the story has been retold so many times. However, there is an old royal proclamation that anyone who rebuilds and takes residence there will get possession free and clear of all past obligations, though taxes and other fees would need to be paid going forward should you gain the title to the property.”
She paused, looking at them all.
“Thinking of making a grab for it?”
Kraven shrugged. “No ships in harbor to take me anywhere
else, and nothing else to do tomorrow, so yeah, probably. Have others tried?”
Daylan laughed. “Oh yes, many, and hordes of children as well. You’re welcome to walk up there, survey the ruined tower and get scared by the ghost, just like everyone else has been for the last two hundred years. It’s pointless. Much like this conversation. If we could move back to meaningful town business?” Daylan and Amra began discussing the missing fishing vessels again, and what they could do to replace them. Aldrik interrupted, raising a concern about the Black Theocracy and whether Watford would be blamed if one of their trade ships vanished.
Captain Gijwolf walked up to the group of them, gesturing for them to step outside. Aldrik gave an enthusiastic wave as they departed. The evening air was clean now that the rain had stopped, and Krell breathed in deeply, savoring the smell of the sea.
“Well, gentlemen, your work was done and done well. However, more warriors arrived today looking to join the charter. I sent all but one away and was wondering if you’d like to meet him or not. He’s at the Netminder’s Friend, so he is likely at your destination, anyway. What say you?”
About the Author
Bryan Cole is the author of the Paladin’s Journey series. New to the writing world, he spent years working in the enterprise software space, focused on quality assurance and delivery of software applications. Which is weird, because that has nothing to do with writing fiction.
For that, we need to go back – way back – to his first experience with Dungeons & Dragons. His friend Chris brought over the box set for Myth Drannor, eager to play. Together, they realized they had no idea what they were doing, because neither of them owned a copy of the Players Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, or the Monster Manual.
From those incredibly awkward beginnings, a lifelong passion for epic science fiction and high fantasy adventure was born. Everything from his grade 4 teacher letting him stay after school to play a video game where you were the wizard on a quest, defeating monsters by answering math problems, to some truly memorable movies like Willow that showed him a world bigger and more exciting than the real one.
Of course, Star Wars and Star Trek have had a major influence on him. Want to get in good with Bryan? Lead with a Star Wars meme. From one of the good movies. Otherwise, your plan will backfire.
Bryan is also an avid gamer, and enjoys video games, board games, and tabletop roleplaying games.
These days, he lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter, and his adorable cat.
Q&A With the Author
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
For me, the editing process was by far the most enjoyable aspect of the book. I loved making the initial draft, but after the main elements were down, I spent a lot of time reviewing and editing. I must have done twenty full edits start to finish before I sent it to an editor and had beta readers take a look at it. Then getting that feedback really helped me tie disparate elements together. The writing process gave me a good story, but editing turned it into a great one!
Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?
I am working on book two of the series, tentatively titled Foolishness of Love, where the survivors from book one deal with the consequences of their actions there, and uncover more of what is actually going on. I’m also batting around the idea of writing other works, notably a children’s storybook, though that idea is on the back burner at the moment.
Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?
In a perfect world, retire from the corporate job I have and write full time. I enjoy tremendously the creative freedom to come up with ideas and commit them to paper… digitally, of course. This isn’t the twentieth century any longer! After working on book two, it would be onward to book three!
How long have you been writing?
Two answers to this question. In my corporate job, I’ve been writing to one degree or another for decades – training manuals, PowerPoint presentations, whitepapers, and so on. And email. So, so many emails! As a writer of fantasy novels, I really started writing Beginning of Arrogance in July of 2021.
Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?
That first moment I held my book in my hand was an amazing feeling. I think everyone has a story within them to be told, and I hope anyone and everyone finds the time and desire to create something to share with others. I encourage you to write and share what you write! I also encourage you – strongly – to hire a professional editor, as I did. I can’t recommend this enough! Tell your story, and if even one person likes it, then that can be enough! Though if I sell a million copies, I’ll be totally okay with that also!
What does literary success look like to you?
I imagine every writer has their own definition of success, and it is important for me to realize that I have a number of advantages. I can afford to write, as a hobby or part time activity, without worrying about my mortgage or car payments or anything else. That definitely shifts the bar for me, and I define success as holding the finished copy of my book in my hands. It was such a spectacular feeling of joy and happiness that I have a hard time describing it – possibly the fifth or sixth most enjoyable moment of my life! Bearing in mind that list includes things like getting married, the birth of my child, and other notable events.
How often you read?
Constantly. I cannot imagine there is an author anywhere who is not a voracious reader. I’m also extremely eclectic in my reading material, ranging widely between politics, history, technology, science, current events, climate change, pop culture, youtube influencers, fashion trends… anything I can get my hands on. I have that personality that allows me to spend hours and hours on the Wikipedia chain of linked articles, letting me learn a little bit about a lot of different things. But notably, the two loves I always come back to are science fiction and, of course, fantasy.
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PURCHASE LINKS BEGINNING OF ARROGANCE
Bryan Cole will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.