Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Chat with Rival Gates

When I spoke to Rival Gates, what struck me most was his down to earth nature and simplicity. His blogs and writings speak of his love for his family and children. His writing also is targeted towwards the love for fanatasy. Weaving a wonderful tale in a make believe world, Rival transports the readers into his own created world. Join me as I chat with this wonderful writer.

Buy the Book @

Dear Rival,

Welcome to The Book Club. First of all apologies for this late post. But shifting houses and starting a new venture had send my routine for a toss. But I am glad we had this chat. Your chat shows the intense passion you have for your novel. I am sure not only the readers but also many writers would benefit from this. 

I read you bio in you site. What a touching story. Specially about your Dad and
Mom. Tell us how this story came about?

was picked on mercilessly at school and was very depressed.  My mother suggested I stop dwelling on the negatives in my life and work on something positive.  I loved to tell stories and write.  Then there was the immense feeling of pride I felt when I would read my father’s magazine and read his editorials with his name alongside.  I decided right then and there that I was going to write a story. At first it was something just for me to use in order to escape my life.  I had my own world and characters.  If I wanted something to be a certain way, I made it happen.  Then the story grew into a book and the book grew into a series.  Every night my mother would come to check on me after I had finished my homework and I would regale her with a part of one of the stories.  As a teacher, she would point out when the story didn’t make sense or something was out of place with a character.  When the first draft was complete (hand written) I was only 15 years old and brought it to my father for review.  He read the first page and crumpled the entire work into a ball, depositing it on the ground.  Dad told me my writing was inferior and abysmal.  If I wanted to be taken seriously, I would need to improve immensely.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that stung. He was right, however.  I could tell a story, but I needed to fine tune my writing style.  I read a wide variety of authors and learned through them and school.  Years later I
bought my first computer and started revising the story in print.  Sample chapters I gave my mother were secretly leant to friends.  The responses were very positive and I was encouraged.  I cannot tell you how many times I rewrote the first book, but it was several.  When Mom came down with terminal cancer she shared that my father had worked on a book for years but kept rewriting the first chapter and never moved beyond.  She said my book was ready and it was time to share it.  So she made me promise to have it published and I agreed.  She was always in my corner.  I could not break my vow.

2. You started writing as a teenager? Did the story line change as you grew up?

It changed tremendously as I grew.  Linvin originally gained the Red Sapphire quickly and simply knew how to use it.  That was too convenient.  As I read other writers I thought, “So he’s great with super powers.  What would he be without them?  If he had great ability and then gained great power, he would be a real hero.  So I developed a backstory.  It grew and grew until he was a hero I was proud to have created.  The other characters had to develop to keep pace.  The storyline became more and more complex with every revision.

3. A goblin war? Interesting :) How did Linvin Grithinshield emerge?

Linvin has the good fortune to be trained by the greatest military mind in their world.  Linvin has a real problem.  He is Commander of Valia’s armies but they are pitifully small in number in comparison to the Goblin hoards.  He must rely on the superior training of his troops and military tactics to outsmart the Goblin War Chief.  As if being outnumbered is not enough of a handicap, Linvin knows that the war will likely leave his force shattered and unable to fight again for some time.  The result is that he must come up with battle plans to not only win but annihilate the Goblin Armies so they cannot threaten Valia for years.  He has brilliant strategies which took me a  long time to research and create.  At the end of the day, Linvin is battered and his army is almost nonexistent, but the Goblins are wiped out and will not challenge Valia for a good while.

In the times when our magical realm is dominated by Harry Porter, what is the focus of your novel, Quest for the Red Sapphire?

I love stories with magic.  What I become frustrated with are stories in which magic is a catch-all for everything that the author does not explain.  If a character can do one thing with magic, why can’t they do something else?  What I did was set down a list of rules for magic based on color.  A magician can harness the power of nature and channel it through their bodies.  That power can be released through their hands in a specific color of magic.  If you are an Orange Magician then all your magic will be released in an orange color.  To channel that power, however, it is physically taxing on the body in much the same way moving a heavy weight would be.  The more magic you channel through your body, the more tired you become. The better physical condition you are in, the more power you can muster.

Question 5 is a series of rapid fire. 

a) Favourite author?


b) Person who influenced your writing?

Both parents

c)Planned writer or spontaneous writer?

Planned writer.

d) Movies or Books?


e) Harry Potter or Twilight?

Harry Potter

How many years did it take for you to write this book?

and off I spent nearly thirty years working on this book and planning the

7) What was your main motivation to go on?

Vince Lombardi once said, “The harder you work at something, the harder it is to surrender.”  I worked too long and devoted too much of my life to this book to give up.  I also wanted to prove my father wrong about my writing.  The rest of the family saw it as a waste of time.  I wanted to show
them what I had accomplished. 

8)What follows Quest of the Red Sapphire? A sneak peak please for the readers?

“Sapphire Crucible” is due out in 2014.  The sequel has tremendous action and fighting scenes. Questions are answered and the true villain is revealed.  He is the antithesis of Linvin.  It will take the entire party and a newcomer to complete the quest and survive.  If you love action and strategy, you will not be able to put this book down!

9) What would be your advice for the upcoming writers, especially for those who want to give up.

There will always be people in your life who tell you writing is a waste of time. That is only true if you do not enjoy writing.  They say that if you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life.  If you love your writing, stick with it.  What are you hurting by writing?  You have a unique story that only you can tell.  So tell it.  I was rejected by over 100 agents to represent me.  That doesn’t even include all the publishers who turned me down after I found an agent.  The simple fact is this: once your writing is done then all you need to find is one person to like your work and you are in!  You only lose when you give up. 


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