An ancient bloodline. A powerful enemy. A hidden sword with the power to save or destroy the Earth.
Storytellers On Tour has given me the opportunity to meet and work with so many incredible authors from the indie SFF community, and today is no exception! It’s an absolute honor to welcome author Sean R. Bell to the blog for the official Kickoff of The Secret of the Sword Book Tour. So, what makes The Grandfather Chronicles Trilogy so special? Take cherished personal memories and combine them with flavors of Arthurian legend, and you have the makings of a unique story ready to branch out into the world. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE tales of King Arthur and his knights, retellings, twists, all of it! What are some of your favorite legends? Let me know in the comments.
Sean stopped by to have a chat about this beautiful book of his, what sparked its creation, his journey in publishing, what lies ahead and more! Keep scrolling to learn more about The Secret of the Sword and its author, check out the awesome interview, and enter to win yourself a copy!
We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature The Secret of the Sword. 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.
DECEMBER 12TH – THE KICKOFF
Whispers & Wonder (IG: @whispersandwonder)
The Momma Spot
Beneath A Thousand Skies
In My Opinion: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Weird (IG: @teowarden)
Book and Nature Professor (IG: @bookandnatureprof)
DECEMBER 18TH – THE ENCORE
Queen’s Book Asylum
For more info, visit the official tour page at Storytellers On Tour.
About the Book
An ancient bloodline. A powerful enemy. A hidden sword with the power to save or destroy the Earth.
Ian Dekker is a twenty-five-year-old filmmaker and hockey fanatic living a happy life in Toronto, but little does he know his destiny is about to change forever. The arrival of a mysterious letter from his deceased grandfather draws him back to his home city of Montreal, to his grandfather’s old house, where he follows clues that lead him to an astonishing truth. Ian is a descendant of the Pendragons: the family who, in the Middle Ages, established a vast empire in Western Europe, giving rising to legendary figures such as the High King Uther, whose mentor was none other than the great wizard Merlin. However, as Ian learns, King Uther had a jealous sibling named Morgana, who, after living in her brother’s shadow, turned to darkness in order to gain power and exact her revenge. Merlin and Uther managed to trap Morgana inside the sword Excalibur—but now, centuries later, she is on the brink of escaping her magical prison with the help of loyal followers.
This is where Ian comes in. Just like his grandfather before him, Ian must harness his magic and inner strength in order to keep evil at bay. Armed with only his grandfather’s journal, myth comes to life, and Ian is swept into an adventure that takes him across the world and between realms—from light into shadow—as he accepts his destiny. By his side is his childhood friend, Kate, as well as his mother, Lynn, who both help him navigate the mysterious waters of his family history. Ian’s courage and strength are tested as he searches for answers, meeting cruel enemies along the way who use trickery and possession in order to pursue Ian in his quest. In this story, good and evil have the same destination, and only the legacy of a grandson—fuelled by his grandfather’s love and trust—can save the world from complete destruction.
The Secret of the Sword by Sean R. Bell
SERIES: The Grandfather Chronicles Trilogy (#1)
PUBLISHED: August 19, 2021 by Friesen Press
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Supernatural
Meet the Author
Sean Bell is a Canadian author. Growing up, his creativity and interests were encouraged by the loving relationship he shared with his grandfather. An avid reader, he has long been fascinated by epic narratives, fantasy literature, Arthurian legends, and powerful villains. Combined, these influences led to the writing of his first book, The Secret of the Sword, which is part of his forthcoming series, The Grandfather Chronicles. His imagination and dedication to nurturing family values has helped Sean in creating a world filled with magic that readers of all ages will relate to. He currently resides in St. Catharines, Ontario, with his dog Rocky.
Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat, Sean. Since we already have your official bio, can we have the MC(s) from The Secret of the Sword introduce you in one sentence?
Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity today and it’s an honor to be a part of Storytellers on Tour. I’m very excited to be here☺
…”Sean is incredibly determined and extremely passionate in his craft and his ability to capture heartfelt storytelling moments makes him an authentic genuine storyteller”…
(Ian Dekker, the grandson – The Grandfather Chronicles)
Speaking of, would you and your MC(s) get along?
What a very interesting question. Ian is without a doubt a reflection of me and the moments and wonderful memories I shared with my Grandfather growing up. Creating an MC form such genuine real-life experiences helped me continually stay connected to Ian throughout his journey of self-discovery. Ian will always represent a part of who I am and I believe we would get along as he will always be a reflection of myself.
Give us an idea of how The Secret of the Sword came to fruition.
The Secret of the Sword is the first installment of my Grandfather Chronicles Fantasy Trilogy Book series. It follows the story of the grandson, Ian, who uncovers secrets from his Grandfather’s past that link his family bloodline to that of the Pendragons; the family who, is the cornerstone for the Arthurian legend of The Sword in the Stone, Excalibur.
The original story itself started as bedtime story. My imagination seems to always be active at night and I would think back to the wonderful moments that are now memories with my dear Grandfather. As a youngster, Christmases and Summers were always a special time to me as it meant a trip to Montreal to see my grandparents. My relationship with my grandparents on my Mom’s side was something special, but I shared an even deeper bond with my Grandfather. Impressions made upon me at this time stuck with me over the years and it’s from these moments, these memories, that my imagination took over. Using these incredible memories from my childhood, I started creating an epic adventure of Fantasy based off one of my favourite legends, The Sword in the Stone. I had always had this vision in my mind for a different story behind the legend of Excalibur; a darker, more sinister approach. The idea of mixing real-life elements from my childhood and using them as the foundation for this story was something I thought could help the genuine authenticity of The Grandfather Chronicles. Using my Grandfather at the center of the story, our special relationship crated memorable characters for the book based on real-life family experiences. I do like to think there is a little of me in every character.
Can you share with us something about The Secret of the Sword that isn’t in the blurb?
Absolutely, The childhood interactions between Ian and his grandfather throughout the book are based on real-life memories and moments I shared with my grandfather.
Was there any specific research you’ve done or inspiration you’ve pulled from for this story of yours? If so, did you learn anything fun or interesting?
I have always been fascinated with legends and myths. There are so many different ways to interpret them. I think the legend of King Arthur is filled with so much symbolism and lore. From the knights of the round table, to the magical spells of Merlin, to the sword Excalibur that united a fallen kingdom, Arthurian legend captures multiple elements of storytelling and leaves much to the imagination. The legend itself also has a sense of mystery surrounding it as there have been discoveries of relics and landmarks suggesting that King Arthur and his knights may have actually walked the earth. The lore of Arthurian legend makes for wonderful storytelling as many renditions have been told. This is where, my book, The Secret of the Sword comes in. I wanted to tell a very different version of the story. My ultimate goal was to seamlessly blend reality with fantasy. Furthermore, my wonderful bond with my Grandfather and our great memories together, mixed with a legend that is redefined through this wonderful relationship.
Can you give us an example of something you edited out of the book?
I did create a very detailed and EPIC prologue that setup the backstory of this book. It actually was the first real section of the book I wrote and it was really the introduction to my fresh new spin on the Arthurian Legend of Excalibur. It set the story up almost like a movie but as numerous edits took place, we decided that instead of revealing everything at the beginning, we would reveal elements throughout the book as Ian discovered them.
What do you hope your readers take away from The Secret of the Sword?
I hope readers can take away an appreciation for the art of storytelling. I am very proud of this story and how it seamlessly blends fantasy with reality. I also hope readers will enjoy and appreciate the authentic backstory of the Secret of the Sword as it’s based off of my real life childhood relationship with my grandfather.
What do you think makes a good story?
This is a fantastic question. From my personal experiences, what makes a great story is being able to connect with an audience that can relate to what’s happening. Creating memorable characters that interact well with each other and drive the plot forward. I have always enjoyed creating exciting character ARCs and seeing how they all interact with the plot. Great characters make great stories.
If you could go back and change how you approached writing your debut novel, what’s the one thing you’d do differently?
This is a great question. As this is my debut novel in the Grandfather Chronicles fantasy books series, looking back, there are a lot of things I would do differently. One particular thing that comes to mind was that I wish I has taken more time at the Copy Edit Stage. We did such an extensive Developmental Edit I was so excited about publishing, I tended to rush the Copy Edit stage. Moving forward with future books of the series, I will be spending a lot of time with Copy Editors making sure everything is grammatically correct. I love storytelling and I don’t want to jeopardize the incredible story I have to tell by not taking the time to properly examine and meticulously fine tune Copy edit.
What made you decide to write a book in the first place? Has it always been one of your aspirations? Please tell us about your journey from unpublished writer to Self-Published Author?
It’s hard to believe it’s been over two years now since I made the decision to share my imagination with the world. In the midst of a real world Global Pandemic that has altered the reality in which we live, Fantasy literature allows us to, if only for a brief amount of time, escape to worlds where our imaginations roam free. Introducing the world to my Fantasy adventure was a decision that was not made lightly. Creating a world and inviting people to visit and experience it is a big leap of faith. What makes a reader want to invest their money and time in your Fantasy world? For me, as a Self Published Fantasy Author, the answer was, seamlessly mix Fantasy with elements of reality based on my personal experiences and wonderful memories I shared with my family growing up.
The decision to share heartfelt family memories as part of my Grandfather Chronicles world of story was a very difficult one. These were treasured memories PL that I kept close to my heart and the idea of including them as storytelling elements was a big decision for me. However, including realistic moments that were a part of who I am and where I came from would add a uniqueness to the story itself and always keep a certain aspect of The Grandfather Chronicles real. As a guy who loves storytelling, this was a story I wanted to share with the world.
Using real life memories and impressions made upon me as a child, and young man growing up, was now going to be the backstory of The Grandfather Chronicles trilogy. Furthermore, using real relationships to inspire characters that would play prominent roles in the story to come. Forever having that special connection to so many special memories I experienced would be the cornerstone of this Fantasy trilogy. Once the decision was made to include these real-life moments, my imagination took over creating a powerful Fantasy with characters and events based on real life experiences.
One of the many questions I am asked about the entire process of creating a book through Self Publishing and then Marketing that finished product is, “Sean, how do you continually drive forward not knowing what the ending outcome will be?” The simplest answer I can provide is, You need to have a Unique Vision of what YOU want to the outcome to be. You need to tailor your interviews, marketing strategies, personal image as an Author, as well as your brand identity to your Unique Vision. I define this term as, your ultimate goal for your book. I myself set small goals, small steps to achieve that will contribute to my main goal, which is, creating an audience for my Grandfather Chronicles Fantasy world. Furthermore, inviting people from all around the world to be a part of this Fantasy world I have created and share in my magical family adventure is the cornerstone of my Unique Vision. Patience is a virtue. This is something my Granddad believed in. It takes time to build something and see it through. Although creating the book was a long process in itself, you must continually ask yourself how far will you go? It takes a tremendous amount of dedication as a Self Published Author because although creating a professional product is of the up-most importance, the overall success you experience will be based on how far you will go with the Marketing aspects of your book. Building a Fantasy world takes time, however, building an audience for that world can take a tremendous amount of invested time.
As I sit here at my desk continuing to work through Marketing promotions, planning up-coming personal appearances that follow COVID 19 protocol, reaching out to influencers and planning the outline for book #2 in the trilogy series, I find myself now more determined than ever to continually work towards my Unique Vision. Having a completed product that I believe in and have invested so much in makes me want to pursue the very best possibilities. Has the road been a long and rough one so far? Yes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Great things take time and I know my Granddad would be proud of the patience and dedication I have taken as I continue down the road, equipped with the tools I need to one day reach my destination.
Have you read anything awesome lately?
Yes absolutely☺ As a Fantasy author and avid storyteller, I love reading great stories and interacting with the Fantasy community, both authors and readers. I really enjoyed Father of Contention by Lanie Mores and I am in the process of purchasing the rest of the series. The last book in the series was just released – Gatekeepers of Eden. Lanie has such a great imagination and she is able to capture that in her writing. I also loved “A Drowned Kingdom” by P.L. Stuart. What an incredibly well written book and I really enjoyed the different spin on Atlantis. I also particularly enjoyed the character Othrun. He’s a complex character with a great back-story and I would argue that he is the Protagonist and Antagonist in one.
Thank you again for taking the time have a chat, Sean. Tell us what lies ahead for you!
I always had the vision for a Grandfather Chronicles Trilogy of books. The idea being, Book #1 – The Secret of the Sword would be a story that would introduce the world to the sinister plot behind Excalibur, and, the memorable characters I have created. The story of book #1 is a stand-alone story but opens up the possibility of a deeper story to come. The journey to the truth of Excalibur may come to an end, but there is still a lot more to the story I would like to tell. Book #2 and Book #3 are connected, the story is split into two books. This was always my vision. I am excited to announce that I am currently working on the manuscript for Book #2, titled – The Legend of the Black Seal. Book #1 was just an introduction of what is to come as I can promise you this, the story to come is like something you have never experienced.
Enter to win a print copy of The Secret of the Sword by Sean R. Bell
Grand Prize: Signed Hardcover
Runner-Up: Signed Paperback
International • Ends 12/19