Q: Is there any lesson or encouragement you hope to instill in readers of Emissary?
Thomas Locke: I most want to take readers back to the type of story that meant so much to me as I was growing up.
During our formative years – up until around age 30 – we are reinforcing our world view when we read for entertainment. But much of the fantasy that’s being published today doesn’t offer that sense of courage and inspiration that used to be prevalent in fantasy and science fiction novels.
Of course, not all of the “classic” authors wrote uplifting work. Ray Bradbury is one example. But even Bradbury’s writing gave me a sense of mind-bending escape and the opportunity to dream and envision more than what was available in world around me.
The books I loved most offered hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for growing into someone who could have these sorts of adventures. I want to infuse that hopefulness into my characters, and not give in to the temptation of creating characters who are only bitter and cynical.
In Emissary, key themes include courage in the face of fear, travel to unknown destinations, and new personal avenues of growth and development. I’ve tried to bring each of these into a story structure that’s applicable to today’s culture.
As I pondered why I loved the book Emissary so much, this encouragement of hope was central to what I discovered. The hero stays true to his character and integrity in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. The fact that hardships exists and our perception of the world will change as we discover new truths does not have to overpower our ability to remain steadfast and honorable.