Q: Please tell us about Merchant of Alyss and what inspired the story.
Thomas Locke: Merchant of Alyss is the second book in my Legends of the Realm fantasy series. At the end of Emissary (book 1), the young mage, Hyam, loses the magical powers he had recently gained.
When the Merchant of Alyss opens, Hyam has everything he always thought he would want – a home and a wife – but he feels like a cripple.
Merchant of Alyss is the story of Hyam regaining his magical powers. But as he does so, he discovers that there are some obstacles even powerful magic can’t overcome. As Hyam risks everything, he gains something more valuable than magic.
Q: What inspired you to write the Legends of the Realm series?
Thomas Locke: In about half the stories I write, there is a specific instance on which I model the story structure. But that wasn’t the case for Emissary or Merchant of Alyss. One morning, those stories just sort of arrived. I had a sense of walking into a full-blown concept of what I wanted to do.
For the Legends of the Realm series, my primary goal was to create the classical, smooth-flowing style of The Hobbit. I was shooting for the lyrical “feel” of a Dickens story, but one that reads speeds along like today’s thriller.
Q: For what audience did you write this novel?
Thomas Locke: Increasingly, the younger generations within the faith community are moving away from the mind-set of their parents. I am not suggesting that they are abandoning their faith. What I mean is, they are abandoning their parents’ concept of church.
Many younger believers are trending towards a faith that dwells inside the larger mainstream world. Their lives no longer center upon a church so large it contains its own sense of community. They worship in home churches, or smaller centers focused on outreach. They accept a multi-cultural and multi-racial lifestyle, and seek a church that reflects this.
And their entertainment is being drawn from this wider arena.
At the same time, they are not comfortable with much of the darkness that dominates current television and movie trends. With this Thomas Locke brand, I seek to join a small but growing number of believers who are doing this with books and film.
The preliminary response, both from within the younger generations in our faith community, and from the mainstream, has been more than wonderful. It has been a gift.