I began writing fantasy as an escape after my wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, and it took off after she was declared in full remission in early 2017. By the end of 2017, I had written four full-length novels, a novella and a short story in the award-winning epic fantasy series, "The Gewellyn Chronicles."
Eyru's Heirsby Hans and Ellen ErdmanPublish: Nov 30, 2018Series: The Gewellyn ChroniclesAction & Adventure Christian Fiction Fantasy
An Bhanrion (The High Queen): The Adventures of Fiona Clark, Book 2by Hans ErdmanPublish: May 19, 2018Action & Adventure Christian Fiction Fantasy
Truthbearer: The Journeys of Connor Clark (The Gewellyn Chronicles Book 1)by Hans ErdmanPublish: Apr 02, 2017Series: The Gewellyn ChroniclesChristian Fiction Fantasy
Trinity of the Truthbearer: The Journeys of Connor Clark (The Gewellyn Chronicles Book 2)by Hans ErdmanPublish: Jun 05, 2017Series: The Gewellyn ChroniclesChristian Fiction Fantasy
White Owl: The Adventures of Fiona Clark, Book 1 (The Gewellyn Chronicles 5)by Hans ErdmanPublish: Dec 25, 2017Series: The Gewellyn ChroniclesChristian Fiction Fantasy
Truthbearer's Daughters: The Journeys of Connor Clark (The Gewellyn Chronicles Book 3)by Hans ErdmanPublish: Aug 13, 2017Series: The Gewellyn ChroniclesChristian Fiction Fantasy
Song of the Truthbearer: The Journeys of Connor Clark, Book 4 (The Gewellyn Chronicles)by Hans ErdmanPublish: Mar 28, 2018Series: The Gewellyn ChroniclesAction & Adventure Christian Fiction Fantasy
I was born in Elmira, NY, the final resting place of Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain), and grew up in Ithaca, NY, home of Cornell University and Ithaca College. My dad was a broadcaster and was the voice of the New York Football Giants in the 1960s and early ‘70s. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been all over the US with him. One night, flying home from a Mets game in NYC on a crowded airliner, I sat next to one of Dad’s friends who would have a tremendous effect on my powers of imagination. His name was Rod Serling, of “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery” fame. He would remember me when we would encounter each other, years later.Who is your favorite writer and which of his/her book inspires you the most?
Probably either Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or more contemporary, Clive Cussler and his various co- writers, not so much as any particular book as his continued creativity at 87 years of age.Where did you go to college? What was your major?
Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY and Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK. Environmental Conservation and EnglishYou used to work as a park ranger before you finally retired. What was your favorite part about that job?
Helping visitors get the most out of their visit, enjoying and learning about the park and the forest. I still volunteer on the National Forests in our area.You were also formerly a paramedic. How challenging was that job?
It could be gratifying and gut-wrenching, sometimes on the same run. I will never forget my first loss, or my first save. A lot has changed since I was a medic, and I don’t know if I would want the job, particularly in an urban area, today. That being said, I encourage young people to look at the career field, ride along with the local service and pursue it. It’s a great field for them to get into. I am still a volunteer EMT, event coordinator and medical trainer, so I keep my fingers in it.In what ways did your wife’s illness transform you and your view of the world?
I created the Nine Worlds, starting with Gewellyn and the Aerielands, as places where evil as I understand it, and I’m including cancer in that, could be defeated by a person bearing the Truth; The Truthbearer. My main characters, whether it was Connor, Iolena, Menta Kai or Fiona would and do go through real crises. They can be injured both physically and emotionally, they have doubts and fears, but in the end Creator, Lordabove, the Holy Trinity (three of the names of God in the worlds that they visit) brings them through their trials to a better place. I believe in that as well.How has writing provided you an escape from the grief that you went through?
I don’t think grief was quite the right term. I think it was more fear. Ellen and I have been married for just over 40 years; got married right out of college. We have weathered a lot together, had our struggles and our victories. We have two wonderful daughters and six amazing grandchildren. Then, in three words, all of that was threatened; “You have lymphoma.” That’s when Iolena was invented. A beautiful, immortal elf queen. I could channel into Iolena what I couldn’t do for Ellen. When she was declared in full remission and started to thrive again, so did Iolena, after the battle with the Dark Lord at Polana in “Truthbearer’s Daughters.”While it is clear what inspired you to write altogether, we would like to know what inspired your story for the Gewellyn Chronicles Series?
My keen interest in history, particularly Celtic (Irish, my wife’s background, and Welsh, my mother’s roots.) history and legends, and the stories of the great explorers, Lewis and Clark, Saint Brendan the Navigator, Alexander Mackenzie. That, and a strong belief that in an age of growing darkness around the globe, someone needs to have the courage, to tell the Truth about the Light of the World.Did you plan to make the Gewellyn Chronicles a series from the beginning?
The series consists of two parts, “The Journeys of Connor Clark,” and “The Adventures of Fiona Clark,” plus there are several stand-alone short stories like “Aerielands Christmas” that are forthcoming. Honestly, I didn’t know that I was setting out to write a series until the characters started developing lives of their own. The Gewellyn Chronicles is the story of one amazing family, and their quest to bring the Truth to the Nine Worlds. In "Truthbearer," Connor Clark is from our world, First Earth, forced to flee after witnessing the execution of his wife for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, he is drawn through a portal into a parallel world of Elves, wizards and Deep Magic. His Guardian, the beautiful Elf Queen, Iolena Yaleria, becomes first his friend and confidant, and ultimately his wife. They adopt an elf daughter, Menta Kai, (our daughters are both adopted), and together they become the "Trinity of the Truthbearer.” You will meet the rest of the family in "Truthbearer's Daughters;" Alenia, Iolena's daughter by her late husband, Shannon, Connor's daughter by his late wife, and Fiona Bridget, their daughter together. Born in the future, raised in the past in 6th century Ireland by Mother Bridget of Kildare, and reunited with her family in the present, Fiona is the "White Owl," Guardian of her sister, Menta Kai, the Great High Queen of all the Elves and Kai's daughter, Lona. But Fiona is destined for more, and in "An Bhanrion (The High Queen)" Fiona, her BFF and fellow shapeshifter, Alistronia, with her own daughter, Abilynn, fight for the Truth in the Aerielands and Ireland across three centuries.‘The While Owl’ which is the first installment of the (second) Gewellyn Chronicles series is an exploit filled with real life and legendary characters from Ireland’s history. Which character from history do you look up to the most? Why?
The first one is easy. Captain William Clark, Meriwether Lewis’ co-commander of the Corps of Discovery, (Connor Clark’s ancestor in the story. I have a shelf and a half of Lewis and Clark books, including the complete journals.). The second would be Saint Brendan the Navigator (who makes a brief appearance In “Eyru’s Heirs,” the third book in the Fiona series), probably both for the same reasons. Calm leadership in the face of severe adversity, and the ability to see beyond the horizon. To believe in and explore the possibilities that are out there. That, and William Clark was an expert cartographer, which I’ve always thought was a very cool occupation. There will be a young mapmaker, Tessa Chart, who will be joining both series from time to time in the future, and also have a story, maybe a series of her own.What is it about the genre of fantasy that feels so attractive to you that you found your solace in it?
Probably the most straight forward answer to that would be that you get to create worlds. You can make them idyllic, all sweetness and light, or you can make them dark and dreadful, or you can make them realistic. The challenges that exist, and the courage and determination of the main characters to work it through. To a certain extent, we are all main characters in an epic fantasy, and we have to see it through.You make your teenage granddaughters read your stories to test them. How do they like your books? How does their review help you write better?
“Make” is a little harsh. I asked them to read the books. My wife, who is also an ordained pastor, constantly reminds me that I am writing for a thirteen-year-old and a sixteen-year-old, so I probably write more to the Young Adult audience than the adult audience. There is also, unintentionally, an element of what my wife calls “chic-lit” in my stories. Other than Connor, Berian, Lochlain, Richard and Padraigh, most of the main characters are strong women, who have close friendships with the other women in the stories. I want those characters to inspire my granddaughters and other readers. I would love for the “White Owl/Fiona” series to become the fantasy “go to” series for teen girls, who can’t wait for the next tale to be weaved. The “Truthbearer” series is going to take a more adult direction, not in terms of sex or language, but regarding the issues that Connor, Iolena and Menta Kai have to deal with as they take the Truth to the Nine Worlds.What is the one advice you would like to give to the readers to stay positive even in times of struggle and trials?
There is a God out there, and He is in control of all things, even when it seems otherwise. Creator has blessed each of us with the abilities and giftings to face life’s challenges. Just like the Deep Magic that exists in each of my characters, we just have to discover and develop the gifts we have.Which is the next book you are writing? When is it due for release?
I am already writing books 7 and 8 in the Gewellyn Chronicles, with seemingly no end in sight. Initially, “Truthbearer’s Great Journey” was supposed to come out in early fall, and the third Fiona book, “Eyru’s Heirs” was scheduled for Thanksgiving (US) release. But, due to the reactions of my proofreader, editor, and pre-readers to the cliffhanger ending of “An Bhanrion,” I have had to move up “Heirs” to, hopefully, August. I would like to have most of it with the editor by the time the Realm Makers conference takes place in late July.
The other reason is that “Great Journey” wasn’t going where I wanted it to, no pun intended. I wanted to deal with storylines such as Menta Kai’s relationship with her former lover, Sage Kriskas, and her strong attraction to Connor’s best friend, Joseph Spotted Eagle, in a way that shows the right and wrong choices adults can make in relationships. Also how the birth of the Richard and Kitlaen Skystormer’s twins effects their lives in relation to the quest. I also will be introducing Tessa Chart. This wasn’t coming together the way I wanted, so I moved it to the back burner for a few weeks.
I had seriously planned on taking the summer semi-off, with more fishing than writing, but then I fell and broke both legs, followed by abdominal surgery a week ago. So I guess I will be doing more writing after all.
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by:Free with KU