Monday, August 10, 2015

Tom Fallwell: Author Interview & Spotlight

A Whisper In the Shadows is a fantasy full of magic and adventure and suitable for teens and adults.


Baric is one of the famous Rangers of Laerean, a group dedicated to protecting the people of the Lands of Hir. Assigned to a task with a beautiful and exotic Vaar'da assassin called Whisper, Baric promises to help her solve the mystery of her recurring nightmares that are eating away at her soul and filling her heart with fear and despair. The quest becomes more complicated when those nightmares lead them to an artifact of ublelievable power that threatens the entire world they live in. The quest soon becomes a dangerous mission for the renowned Rangers as a small group undertake a mission into an area of Hir that men do not travel, where monsters roam and thrive. They must delve deep into the bowels of an active volcano, Mount Scorch, to stop the impending disaster that looms before them. Into the very heart of the territory ruled by the demonic Manenase. The fate of their world depends upon the courage and skills of the group of Rangers and their Vaar'da companion. Can they survive the quest and stop the impending devastation? They must solve the mystery of ... A Whisper In The Shadows.


Leaning on the port-side rails, Baric and Whisper could see the coast of Vaar'da in the distance. The ship always sailed with the coast in plain view. Those that ventured away from the coast, into the open sea, were either never heard from again or returned telling tales of fearsome creatures that lurked within the ocean's depths. Even pirates seldom sailed beyond sight of the shore.

“Ship ahoy!” came a cry from the lookout. 

Turning, Baric saw the Captain racing up the ladder toward the helm, so he and Whisper followed. 

“What is it, Captain?” Baric asked as he moved up beside Captain Ril, who was standing at the bow, looking off into the distance with his long spyglass.

“It's a pirate schooner,” sighed Ril. “Likely she has around seventy-five hands. We’re not a merchant vessel, so she may pass on by, but we best be ready.”

“How many guns do we have?” asked Baric.

Ril lowered the spyglass. “We only have two guns. Both are 24-pounders, though.”

“Let's get them ready, just in case,” noted Baric.

Ril nodded and shouted orders to the crew to ready the guns on the starboard side, turning the Albino Shark to cruise closer to the coast. 

Baric borrowed the Captain's spyglass, keeping an eye on the pirate ship, which appeared to be turning towards them. Whisper had said nothing, but was looking thoughtful.

“She's likely as not got four to six guns,” said Ril. “We’re larger and have more crew at least, if it comes to that.”

“It appears they want to dance,” said Baric, returning the spyglass to Ril.

“Aye,” he agreed, “it appears she does at that. I can see six guns. They mean to broadside us on our starboard.”

“Wait,” Whisper interrupted. “I have an idea.”

“What’d you have in mind?” asked Baric curiously.

She looked up at Baric and smiled slyly. “A sea serpent.”

“A what?” asked Captain Ril. 

“A sea serpent,” repeated Whisper. “Or at least, an illusion of one. I can try to get them to turn before they can fire, giving us a free shot at their stern.”

Ril grinned. “I like it.”

“I'll get the guns ready,” said Baric, heading down the ladder to the main deck.

Whisper stayed on the bow with Ril while Baric helped push the two now-loaded guns to the starboard side, pointing them through two circular openings below the rails. He then signaled to Whisper that they were ready.

The schooner bore down on them, a faster and more maneuverable ship, approaching within seven hundred yards.

“Their guns are 6-pounders,” said Ril. “This’ll be close.”

As the schooner came abroad, Whisper began reciting a litany of arcane words and weaving her arms around each other like snakes intertwining in a dance. As she did so, her pale blue eyes seemed to glow and her voice sounded distant, as the magic flowed from her inner will to become the visible illusion she desired.

The pirates suddenly found themselves facing a giant serpent, rearing its head from the sea in front of them. As they hoped, the vessel swiftly turned away from the Albino Shark and back toward the open sea, putting their stern toward Baric and his two gun crews.

“Fire!” yelled Ril, and the two huge guns unleashed a volley with a deafening boom. One cannonball punched a hole in the stern of the schooner, about a foot above the waterline. The second, however, hit the stern below the waterline and it was evident the enemy vessel would now be taking on water.

Ril figured they could now outrun the faster but now-crippled ship and ordered full sail. Baric returned to the bow and stood by Whisper and Ril as they watched the sluggish and listing schooner fade into the distance. Ril turned to Whisper with a big smile.

“My thanks to you, lass,” he said with evident gratitude. “I didn't fancy losing any of my crew to them brigands. That was a fine idea you had.”

“My pleasure, Captain,” said Whisper with a gentle smile.

Ril looked thoughtful. “I should get Mannrol to learn that spell.” He went down the ladder, seeking his ship's magician.

“Good work, Whisper,” Baric said with a smile. “That was quick thinking.”

Whisper beamed, enjoying the compliments and attention.

Buy It Here:


Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1951, Tom Fallwell spent much of his career as a software developer and programmer. Now retired from that field, he has taken up writing, which he had always loved to do, but did not have the time to indulge himself in. Now he is writing the stories he had always wanted to write.

Still living in Oklahoma, Tom is active in church, running the sound system and sometimes teaching adult Sunday School. He has always had a love of fantasy and science fiction, both in reading and in movies. His love of story-telling came as a result of playing table top role playing games with friends, in which he created adventures for the other players to experience.


1. Magic and Adventure is a great combination in fantasy. What books influenced you growing up?

I was most heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings) and Robert E. Howard (the Conan novels and stories). I read many other authors as well. I was very enraptured by the worlds these authors created, the detail that they provided about their worlds, dealing with language, politics, social biases, maps, and development of the world as a whole that was always just behind the character development of the story. Heroic adventure is a genre that I most associate with, loving to read such stories as much as creating them.

2. What are you currently working on?  Is there a sequel in the works?

I am currently working on book #2 of a trilogy that introduces the world of Hir and the Rangers of Laerean. The first book, A Whisper In The Shadows is currently available. I am currently working on Where Shadows Fall. I have not yet decided on a title for book 3. This trilogy sets up the world of Hir with the political, social and major players for an ongoing series of stories that I plan to tell about the Rangers of Laerean. They are the heroes of legend in Hir, but all heroes have villains to deal with, and that is what this trilogy will establish. Basic, heroic, good vs. evil adventure.

3. Tell us about your publishing experience.  Did you hope to find a traditional publisher or agent or did you always plan on self publishing?

I originally, when I wrote my first book, Dragon Rising, considered traditional publishing channels, but quickly saw how difficult that would be. At my age (64), I mainly wanted to get my stories into the hands of readers, so I decided to take the Indie Author route. Also, there was little cost involved, and I did not have the means to spend much, so self-publishing seemed the ideal solution.

4. What have you learned about the business of writing and publishing a novel that you wished you knew when you first started?

I had always thought I was good at editing. I was mistaken. I quickly learned the importance of having an editor go over my work. I was surprised by the number of errors found in my first book (which I have since corrected most). I discovered that even self-publishing has costs. Publishing free is possible, but to publish books of quality requires more, and I want my books to be of high quality. I discovered many other self-publishing authors and learned quickly, fortunately. But I do wish I had investigated more before I put out my first book.

5. What would you say to somebody reading this today that might convince them to give your book a try?

I write to tell my stories. It is a great pleasure and joy to find someone has read and enjoyed my books. I realize not everyone will like them, but if the reader is one who enjoys the stories that I do, the ones filled with heroic adventure and fantastic new worlds, then I am sure they will enjoy what I have written. Read a memorable adventure filled with magic, fantastic creatures, legendary heroes and manipulative villains, all for little cost. A story that will inspire and remain with you.

You can follow Tom at these links...

Amazon Author Page

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