Warwick Gleeson’s new fantasy novel takes one of America’s favorite tales and transforms it into a dark and epic landscape. Imagine Potter meets Avengers in Emerald city and you’re getting close.
We caught up with the author to ask him a number of questions about his new novel.
Not everyone is able to become an international bestselling author, what is the key to your success?
I judge success by whether or not my readers are able to experience epiphany, or at least a meaningful cognizance, in the context of the novel’s theme. Pure entertainment is perfectly fine, but I want to give them something that will linger in their thoughts for a long time to come. What is the true nature of power? Will humanity as it presents itself now ever achieve a functional utopia? And what dark arts will some practice in order to enslave others to their narcissistic worldview?
I find writing in the fantasy genre to be not only fun and a single best way to roam wild with imagination, but also a practical and flexible means to explore the important types of ethical and philosophical issues that face us all.
Every book has a story about its creation, what’s the story behind Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker?
I’d add too that every book is a synergy of origins, of varied stimuli that play in the author’s mind and seek expression. First of all, the novel evolved from my own love of fantasy, as well as my fascination with Oz as a metaphor not yet fully realized, and finally, from my desire to create a utopian world and watch it compromised by the hubris and hypocrisy that infects much of American culture.
What are you hoping that the fans take away from your book?
Precisely that American civilization, though brave and struggling to stand upright, is near to becoming a tyrannical military state; and that hope for a true human utopia can never be realized unless and until we learn to identify and remedy those corrosive aspects of human nature that will certainly arise to corrupt it—namely narcissism and sociopathic behavior for starters.
What is one of the keys to developing the characters in your stories?
One of the keys involves assigning roles to the characters, i.e., as regards their part in driving the plot forward; and the more dynamic and suspenseful the plot points, the greater the presence of the character on the page, and too, the more we love them, or hate them.