The Warminster SaGA
Interview With J. V. Hilliard, Fantasy Author
Last year, I had the pleasure to discuss The Last Keeper with fantasy author J. V. Hilliard. It was the first installment in his impressive epic fantasy series The Warminster Saga.
This fall, J. V. Hilliard just released Vorodin's Lair. This is the second installment in his epic series, and it looks just as beautiful and exciting as the first.
Below is my new interview with J. V. Hilliard. Once again, I am thrilled with the opportunity to pick the brain of this amazing author!
J. V. Hilliard, tell us about yourself. Where are you from and where are you based currently? What first got you into writing?
I was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and still live there today. I took creative writing classes growing up, but was more centered on finding a career in government so I became a defense and tech lobbyist in Washington, DC. But I never lost my love of writing, which has been a passion since I was a child.
In elementary school I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and later for Christmas, I received my own copy from my uncle along with the basic box set of TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons game. My family started playing the game and from that time on, my love of all things sword and sorcery grew.
What books have influenced you and your writing the most? What are you currently reading?
Other than The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Time War series by Simon Hawke was an inspiration to me. Both stories opened my eyes to the fantasy world (and genre) in general. I also am a huge fan of RA Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy and the Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis. I’m currently reading Sarah Maas and A Court of Thorns and Roses.
What does your writing process look like?
I’m definitely a plotter through and through. The characters seem to come first with my writing as I draw on the backgrounds I develop through D&D (most notably, Sir Ritter of Valkeneer). I admire those who can just sit down and write, but I have to plan every element of my story beforehand.
What are you most proud of in your writing journey so far? (No matter how small!)
I’m proud of myself—for finally trusting myself enough to go for my dream of publishing my epic fantasy series, The Warminster Saga, while continuing my other entrepreneurial endeavours.
What’s the title of your current work in progress? Can you tell us a little about it? When is it due for publication?
I’m working on finishing the Warminster Saga with the third and fourth instalments, The Trillias Gambit and Echoes of Ghostwood. Trillias Gambit will be released in time for the holidays while Echoes of Ghostwood will be released in early 2023. I do have plans for another series that hopefully, I’ll be able to announce in the back half of 2023.
How did you come to write your epic saga, The Warminster Series?
Over the years, I became a D&D dungeon master and began to memorialize our campaigns in small diaries. That developed my writing and gave me dozens of incredibly worked ideas for epic and dark fantasy novels. The campaigns became the basis for many of the characters in The Last Keeper—and make up various parts of the realm of Warminster.
Tell us about your latest book, Vorodin's Lair.
Vorodin’s Lair is a continuation of The Last Keeper and picks up again with Daemus and his party of adventurers traveling to the scholarly city of Abacus. Meanwhile, Elven princess, Addilyn Elspeth is still working to discover why she’s receiving visitations from a mysterious creature that shouldn’t exist. And of course, the villain, Graytorris the Mad, seeks a cure to his chronic condition no matter what the cost.
Can you talk a bit about Daemus, the protagonist of your latest book, Vorodin's Lair?
Daemus is a Keeper of the Forbidden, trained at the Cathedral of the Watchful Eye. He’s in the middle of his coming-of-age story, finding himself and honing his power of prophecy. And he’s on a crash course to meet Graytorris the Mad, in what will be an epic first battle in Vorodin’s Lair.
I definitely want to read your stories now! Where should I start?
Start with The Last Keeper, my debut that started it all.
Born of steel, fire and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the three mighty rivers that forged his realm's wealth and power for generations. His father, a peasant twerg, toiled away in industries of honest labor and instilled in him a work ethic that would shape his destiny. His mother, a local healer, cared for his elders and his warrior uncle, who helped to raise him during his formative years. His genius brother, whose wizardly prowess allowed him to master the art of the abacus and his own quill, trained with him for battles on fields of green and sheets of ice. Hilliard’s earliest education took place in his warrior uncle’s tower, where he learned his first words. HIs uncle helped him to learn the basics of life—and, most importantly, creative writing. Hilliard’s training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tale of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventure and legendary struggles. He lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two horsehounds, Thor and MacLeod, and resides there to this day. Website - GoodReads The Last Keeper on Amazon Vorodin’s Lair on Amazon Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - YouTube - TikTok