Today I’m interviewing the author of “Dragonsoul”, Kayl Karadjian. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for my author spotlight, Kayl.
Leigh: Tell us a little about yourself.
First and foremost I am a philosopher, an aspect of myself that is deeply ingrained in anything I write. Ever since a young age I deigned to think of questions to reality and challenge our perception. I would consider myself a natural skeptic, a characteristic that spills into any endeavor. I am a very competitive person, but also a calm soul. A little bit of fire and ice packed into one form.
I’m a fitness enthusiast, but also a huge nerd, which throws many people off. I enjoy the outdoors and nature, yet I also love to stay home. I guess one could say that I am a well-balanced person, but I’m trying not to toot my own horn.
Leigh: What influences shaped your attraction to the Fantasy genre?
Ever since I was young I got into videogames and reading, particularly RPGs and anything sci-fi/fantasy. I started with things like Harry Potter, but also grew into a lot of sword and sorcery. As a teen I also got into a lot of anime/manga. All my tastes culminated into the fantasy writer I am today.
Leigh: What was your favorite book growing up and why?
Although my tastes have changed since, the War of the Ancients trilogy by Richard Knaak was my favorite. The trilogy overall was solid, with a compelling storyline, characters, and setting. For a younger reader, it was an immersive incursion into fantasy. On top of that, I was a big fan of Warcraft, which of course was a driving force into reading the novels. Having an intimate connection with the characters through the games made reading about them that much more enjoyable.
Leigh: Were there any authors whose work you disliked at first but grew into liking?
I have yet to change my mind from disliking to liking on any author so far, though I have more than a handful that I did the opposite with. Works that I initially dislike tend to stay that way with me.
Leigh: What are you currently writing and can you tell us anything about it?
I just finished the third entry in my Tales of Ashkar series, though we won’t see it out until later this year because I like to take my time editing this particular series. Now, I am starting on a sci-fi romance that has a bit of erotica in it. A strange deviation from my normal stuff, but as a fan of Nic Pizzolatto (the guy behind True Detective), I wanted to jump into a more noir-themed novel.
To summarize it without giving it away, imagine a dark romance centered around a giant monster attacking San Francisco.
Leigh: Zero is a villain who thinks himself a hero, making his earlier actions seem more tragic to me. Can you give us more insight into Zero’s character?
When I started Dragonsoul, I approached Zero as a villain who had more to him, but at the same time I never intended for him to be such a tragic character nor have his arc end the way that it did. In the prologue, my intent was to establish Zero as an antagonist not bent on evil, but rather capture the root of the meaning antagonist.
The dictionary definition of antagonist is a character or force opposing the protagonist. Now, in most stories that comes down to the protagonist being the good guy and the antagonist being the bad or evil guy. With Zero, the intent was to have him be an obstacle to Denyth and Littlehorn, but not because he is evil.
Zero is both a product of his upbringing and the world around him. With the four main characters: Denyth, Littlehorn, Zero, and Nelai, I drew parallels between them all. The most prominent parallel is that between Denyth and Zero, and Littlehorn and Nelai.
In Zero’s case, he was a farmer just like Denyth. However, their upbringing was completely different. As a result, Zero grew to become the man that readers see in the first half of the novel. To be a part of The Deprived means shedding away everything that makes someone human. Zero is the incarnation of deprivation, which mirrors that of the Gloom and the region of Orin.
As the story unravels, Zero is forced to confront both his past and the part of himself that he locked away as a child. And in the end, the person who Zero hid the most from happened to be himself. By the time I was finished writing Dragonsoul, Zero, and just about every other character, became so much more than I could have foreseen.
Leigh: What other books have you written?
So far I’ve written five books. The first one is called Broken Blades Don’t Sing, the first entry in my Tales of Ashkar series, which is epic fantasy. Then came Halcyon’s Dream, the second installment. Following that I wrote Dragonsoul. After Dragonsoul, I set out to write the third book in the Tales of Ashkar series, while also writing a nonfiction memoir about my great grandfather titled Remembering Avedik: The True Story of a Genocide Survivor.
Leigh: Who designed the book cover for “Dragonsoul”?
The wonderful artist behind the cover is Radovan Zivkovic. I gave him a rough sketch of what I wanted, and he made the magic happen. You can see his stuff here: Radovan Zivkovic.
Leigh: If you could spend the day with a character from a fantasy novel, who would it be?
That’s a hard question to answer, but I would say Professor Snape. Setting aside my thoughts of Harry Potter, a Pandora’s Box best left unopened, Snape is one of my alltime favorite characters. On a superficial level I find his personality and character hilarious, and to go deeper, his character is one of the most tragic ones I’ve ever read. Spending a day with him, whether being scolded or not, would be a blast.
Leigh: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Website: Tales of Ashkar
Blog: Tales of Ashkar Blog
Facebook: Facebook Tales of Ashkar
Amazon Author Page: Amazon Page for Kayl Karadjian
Book Links: Dragonsoul on Amazon
Goodreads: Kayl Karadjian at Goodreads
Thank you, Kayl, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.