Author Interview ~ Rival Gates

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Today’s guest is Rival Gates talking about his novel Quest for the Red Sapphire.

Rival was born in Port Huron, MI and was the youngest of four surviving children. At the age of five his father took a position as a magazine editor in Toronto, Ontario Canada. The family moved to a large city just outside Toronto called Mississauga. The different cultures and demographics to which he was exposed formed many of the ideas for his story.

Welcome, Rival. Can you tell us a little about the story?

Former General Linvin Grithinshield is summoned home from the Goblin Wars after his father’s disappearance to run the family trading empire. Soon his mother is murdered and he is on the run with a price on his head. As a faceless enemy pursues him he must seek out the mythical Red Sapphire. In the proper hands it could take up the cause of many unable to fight for themselves.  In the wrong hands he fears the worst.  Together with his wise uncle and intolerable cousins, Linvin strikes out to find the all-powerful gem.  In a world with enemies from without and within, he must fight his way through the dragons in the sky and cutthroats all around to fulfill his destiny or die in the attempt.

What was the greatest challenge when writing the book?

The greatest challenge was deciding it was finished.  I must have gone through and made changes one hundred times.  At a certain point, you have to stop writing and say, “I am satisfied with my work.”  That is a very hard thing to do.

When and why did you decide writing was for you?

It really started in middle school.  I loved to enter writing contests and excelled in creative writing.  When there would be a school play the teachers would always come to me to help with the script.  It was a real thrill.

What gave you the idea for the book?

I came up with a short story with a magical stone.  My sister told me a red sapphire was really a ruby and I liked the irony. So I began the story and kept adding to it until it was a novel.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Oddly enough, I would have to say my favorite character is Bander Greenlith.  He is one of Linvin’s fraternal twin cousins and begins the book as an antagonist to Linvin.  Later it becomes apparent that Bander is a pawn in his brother’s plans and is actually a very simple-minded, heart-felt young elf.  He cares about family, telling the truth (as well as he can understand it) and above all else, eating.  Bander always is thinking with his stomach.  He is not overly clever but he does know right from wrong.  As the book develops, he begins to see through the web of lies his brother has spun around him for years.  Overall, Bander is a loveable, big, strong teddy bear who provides some of the best comic relief in the story.

How did Linvin Grinthinsheild 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.

Any tips for aspiring authors?

Never ever give up.  When you decide your work is ready, stand by your conviction.  Not everyone will like your work.  It is a fact.  That doesn’t mean someone else won’t find it wonderful.  You only fail when you give up. 

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Synopsis from Amazon

Former General Linvin Grithinshield returns home to find his parents murdered and a price on his head. Through his wise Uncle Anvar he discovers his destiny is to find and master the legendary Red Sapphire. In his flight from danger and ensuing quest he must fight man-eating wolves, goblins, bandits, a dragon and worse of all, his cousins. Will he find the gem before the murderers do? Will he prove worthy of the gem at all? Can one half-elf truly make a difference for many?

Thanks Rival!