With the release of his new book tilted 'The Tempest Fate', I was happy to host a guest post from this fantasy author, as part of a blog tour. I have to admit, I am not a fan of fantasy myself, but I love to connect with, and chat with authors from all genres about their work, and more importantly, their creative process.
He describes himself as a nerd, husband, father, and veteran.
Hello there! My name is C.S. Ratliff. I am a fantasy author and I’m very excited to be able to share a little about myself with you. Firstly, a huge thank you to Hayley Walsh for inviting me to be a guest here. Now, you may not be a reader of fantasy, or a fan, but that is okay! I have had many people ask me... why Fantasy?
Well, honestly I have always had creativity flowing through my mind. Every single day I imagine the world with a little bit of magic in it. Other days my creativity runs wild and shows me worlds filled with whimsical wonders. For me to be able to put pen to paper and tell my adventures, for everyone to read, is one of the most exhilarating paths for me to explore and share. I hope that people will be able to get lost in the pages as much as I have in writing them.
I moved around a lot when I was growing up. I met people from all walks of life. When I turned 18, I joined the military for various reasons. I wanted to serve my country as well as fall into the family business, so-to-speak. Within two years of joining, I was sent to Afghanistan. Being surrounded by the Kunduz Mountains only amplified my love for fantasy books of old. The tales of dragons and mountainous terrains that flowed into rich, green valleys perplexed the contrast of a desolate country. A place where life was a struggle, in reality, was wondrous when my imagination ran amok.
Between being combat trained and spending ⅔ of my life in martial arts training, I knew the route I wanted to take when I sat down for the first time to write my debut book, The Lightning Rod. I knew very little about the world of writing and the business. So, I let my fingers crawl on the keyboard as my story came to life. There was no plotting then. It became my first published book.
It was then that I discovered there was so much more to tell in the story and of the characters I had created. I created an entire world: Gnariam! Immediately after publishing, I jumped into the sequel, The Thunder King. The story required more plotting this time around. But I worried not. I learned vast amounts of knowledge about writing, editing, marketing, and publishing by then. And just 7 months after The Lightning Rod was published, I released The Thunder King. I feared it wouldn’t be as well-received as the first book, of which a lot of sequels are guilty. I was overjoyed to discover that it was unanimously liked more than the first!
As my following grew on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I slowed my rhythm down. I conversed with many, many authors across various genres. I knew one day I would write another series, so I explored that idea. Rather quickly, I created several potential novels. I learned that many authors struggled to write action scenes or combat scenes. I had always found them not only easy, but I looked forward to them! I chose to write a guidebook for authors after participating as a teacher in a virtual author’s convention. I wanted to teach people how to go into these scenes with confidence. I published a 12 step program called Stand Your Ground: Writing The Right Fight!
But, the world of Gnariam held onto me in ways I had hoped it held my readers. There was no question; I would sit down to write book 3 in the Gnariam’s Fate Saga. And so I did. I struggled through the beginning of the story with pantsing. I turned to plotting just before November 2020, and the decision to attempt NaNoWriMo. I finished the month at just under 52,000 words, in total shock, and pride, to myself. A few weeks later, I finished book 3: The Tempest Fate. Instantly, I pushed it into editing. Currently, it is waiting to be published on March 1st, 2021! It is also the first time I have had a book available for preorder!
I do believe, in the future, I will branch out into other genres. I started writing an adult Weird West novel and shelved the idea. Perhaps I will try my hand at romance, a genre in which I desperately need help! Perhaps I’ll write about my 13 months away from home in Afghanistan. The best part of being a writer is blending ideas and genres to create uniquity. For now, and for the foreseeable next few years, I shall continue becoming a better fantasy writer.
Thank you all very much for having me here, and for reading about me. I wish you all the best luck in all of your endeavors.