Today marks the official kickoff of the Rising Shadows Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour, and we’re beyond excited to welcome Phillip Blackwater for his first Storytellers event. Throughout the upcoming week we’ve got a great lineup helping us feature Phillip’s Epic Fantasy novel, Rising Shadows, the first book in his The Pillar of Creation series. I can’t wait to hear what our hosts have to say in the coming days, so stay tuned for some incredible content!
Phillip also stopped by for a quick chat where we discuss how Rising Shadows came into fruition, what he believes makes for a great story, and the many exciting things that lie ahead. So, keep scrolling for the tour schedule, more info about the book, the interview, and the giveaway to snag yourself an ebook copy of this beautiful book of his!
We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature Rising Shadows. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.
FEBRUARY 14TH – THE WELCOMING
Whispers & Wonder
Jorie Loves A Story
Sadie’s Spotlight (@sadiesspotlight)
Beneath a Thousand Skies
Westveil Publishing (@thewestveilarchives)
FEBRUARY 20TH – THE ENCORE
Queen’s Book Asylum
For more about this tour visit Storytellers On Tour.
The BlurbAs tension rises between the southern and northern nations of the small continent of Exitium in the world of Anteris, the Elves turn to their eastern neighbors, the Humans, for help. They wish to learn the ways of combat, which they are not accustomed to, for they have always wielded a power far greater than forged steel. The Shards of Creation, mystical artifacts of great and virtually infinite power, have always been their prized weapon, but times have changed. They now face the same threat as the Humans: the southern nation known as the Ethula.
Wariel Ritch, general of the Human army, will take upon his shoulders this burden. But when a shadow of a past long forgotten threatens what little stability is left in the world, he will have to leave everything behind to stop it. Medregal Tergrast, an Ethulan king, dead for a thousand years, plans his return to the world of the living to gain back his former glory and finally fulfill his destiny by gaining control of the Shards of Creation. But is he really the threat people make him out to be?
In the meantime, in the bowels of the Human Kingdom, the reign of Dana Crystaloak is put into jeopardy when people around her start questioning her decisions. If she falls, war could break out across all lands.
Meet the Author
I am a fan of fiction, mostly fantasy, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic (amongst others), and in all its forms, whether it is books, video games, movies, or tv-shows.
The first time I truly realized how much I loved fiction, was through The Lord of the Rings’ movies (like probably a lot of people). Since then, I traveled to so many different worlds: Halo, Mass Effect, Warcraft, Elder Scrolls, Witcher, and Fallout (to only name a few). It made me want to explore my own imagination and see what worlds I could create. This is what led me to writing.
What can you expect from my books? I don’t bother myself trying to be a flowery writer. What I want when people read my books, is for them to have good time and some fun. This is what truly matters to me.
When I’m not writing, I am: A husband. A father of three cats. Reading, gaming, or watching movies and tv shows. A big hockey fan. And when I’m done with all of that, I’m a big geek and collect a lot of stuff (No, I’m not a hoarder, I swear!).
Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat, Phillip. Since we already have your official bio, care to tell us about yourself in ten words or less?
Simple, shy, and logical guy, with a small OCD.
Give us an idea of how Rising Shadows came to fruition.
That’s a long story! I started writing it 5 to 10 years ago when my brother told me he wanted to be a writer. I decided to create a story of my own to encourage him and share this passion he had. Little did I know I would fall in love with writing, and that after all these years, I would be the one with a completed novel and not him. Since it took me so long to write, I had ample time to think of every single aspect of my world. To explain how this exact story came to be would be a daunting task. Maybe watch out for my worldbuilding prompt to know how I created this world.
Can you share with us something about Rising Shadows that isn’t in the blurb?
It might not appear as so in the blurb, but this is a multiple POV story, though I limit myself to a very small number. Six to be precise.
What do you hope your readers take away from Rising Shadows?
Mostly, I want people to have fun when they read my book. There are underlying themes in there, but I just hope people have a good time.
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
I think it’s a mix of both. You need the basic idea for your main plot and a few side plots, but then you need to let your characters navigate and let them make the decisions of where the story goes.
Do you have a favorite character you’ve written? If so, who? What about them sets them apart from all the others?
I think it would be Medregal Tergrast. He’s sort of my Thanos, but much more humane. Instead of wanting to wipe out half of all life, he asks the question: should we force people with vast resources to share them? He also has morals he tries to keep hold of, whatever is thrown at him. He seems to be on a higher level of understanding than any other character in my world.
What do you think makes a good story?
It might be a weird answer, but I’ll go with consistency and logic. Even if you have a great world, great prose, a great plot, and great characters, if you don’t have consistency and logic, I’ll be taken out of the story in a heartbeat. If you have characters that are presented in a certain way and go against who they are just for the sake of forcing the story in a direction, or if you have major plot holes that make the story and plot incoherent, or if you have a clear magic system with rules and break them, I’m out. Maybe it’s because I’m way too much of a logical person.
I think the best example of that is probably Game of Thrones season 8 (I know, it’s already been talked about a lot). But season 8 was still the same world as all previous seasons, the same characters, same plot, etc. But characters started acting against their nature, there were flagrant plot holes, set-ups that never led to payoffs, and it led to the show’s downfall. They’re not the only things that caused it to crash, but they were a few of the main reasons. To think that this show was so big and has fallen into oblivion almost immediately after ending is quite telling.
If you could go back and change how you approached writing your debut novel, what’s the one thing you’d do differently?
I don’t think I could do anything differently. I started writing to share with my brother, and then for fun. I knew nothing really of writing and storytelling. I self-taught myself by reading hundreds of articles and watching hundreds of videos from other writers, editors, etc., on how to write and do proper storytelling (Brandon Sanderson’s BYU class is a must, look it up on YouTube). It took me a while to finish my first book, but I don’t think I could have done it differently. It was necessary that it took me this long. The next books will all take me way less time to write with all this acquired knowledge.
Writing can be a stressful pursuit. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
The one thing I’d say is that your book doesn’t need to be perfect on the first draft. And it can’t be. You don’t need to put that pressure on yourself. Write the story from A to Z, and then fill in the missing letters. If you’re missing a name for a place or a character, don’t stop writing the story until you find it. Leave a blank, take a note, and come back to it later. The end product is what matters, and you will have ample time to fix the things you don’t like, or that are missing, before you publish it. After my first draft I think I added two point of views, changed the point of view of whole chapters and a whole lot of other things. I even changed when and how some characters enter the story for the first time. Don’t be pressured to be perfect on the first try.
Ok, let’s see what kind of person you truly are.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee. Cream and sugar.
Winter or Summer?
Summer. Especially at the lake.
Physical books or Ebooks?
Physical. I need to hold it and see it on the shelves!
Mountains or Oceans?
Oceans. Love the sand and sun.
Beer or Wine?
Neither. I have the taste buds of a child and hate both.
Books or Movies?
Looks away ashamed. Movies.
Cowboys or Aliens?
Aliens all day. Give me fiction!
Pie or Cake?
Both. Food is my addiction.
Rural or Urban?
Rural. Love the calm of nature.
Work hard or Play hard?
Work hard, then play hard. My brain doesn’t let me play if I haven’t earned it before.
Thank you again for taking the time have a chat, Phillip. Tell us what lies ahead for you!
More books! I want to write a series in almost all categories of fiction possible. I’m already at work on my post-apocalyptic series, a new-adult story, a sort of Fallout mixed with Pokemon (yes, I know, strange, but it works, I promise!). I would like to release the first book at the end of 2021, and then the second book of The Pillar of Creation at the end of 2022. I have ideas for a space opera as well and more. I hope I will have the time to write everything I want! And if I can write them all, why not a shared universe with all these strange stories and very different genres all mixed together? Seems to be the go-to these days to have a shared universe.
Enter to win yourself an ebook copy of Rising Shadows by Phillip Blackwater! Five copies are ready to find their forever homes!
(Ends February 21st, International!)
That’s all I got for ya! Be sure to keep an eye on the official Rising Shadows tour page over at Storytellers On Tour (https://www.storytellersontour.online/2021/01/20/tour-schedule-rising-shadows-by-phillip-blackwater/) to see what the other bloggers and Bookstagrammers have to say!