Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Like father, like son... Meet an adventurer's dad

I managed to meet Ian's Dad from Deception Peak the other day. Luckily I had my trusty tape recorder with me and I've transcribed our conversation for your enjoyment. If you've not read Deception Peak yet, look for it in stores. It's a tale where teenage loner Ian is transported to a curious realm in the company of a girl. Of course, Dad's long had hopes that Ian might make friends with Abbi, but Ian's more interested in hanging out with Dad...

There's lots more information about Deception Peak after our interview... Don't forget to scroll to the end.

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Me: So, hello Ian's Dad. Do I call you Mr. Wilson?
Alex: You can. Most folks call me Alex though.
Me: Then I'll call you Alex, if that's okay. And I'm Sheila
Alex: Nice to meet you Sheila. Let me turn my web cam on here. It's an old one but I think it still works.
Me: Oh, it's definitely good to see you. I can just imagine you riding that horse. And climbing mountains, and all those other things I hear you do.
Alex: Yeah, *blush. You like that stuff?
Me: Well, I haven't actually ridden a horse or climbed any mountains, but I enjoy reading about it... So, you're a single dad, right? Can I ask what you found hardest about bringing up Ian on your own?
Alex: Oh man, well, I never really got over Gloria's death. Not for a long time. Every time I looked at Ian he reminded me of her. Man, she was the world to me.
Me: How old was Ian when she died?
Alex: Ian was ten, somewhere around there. I never kept track of birthdays. Gloria did all that. I wanted Ian to grow up healthy, strong, but her death just rocked our world apart.
Me: I can imagine.
Alex: He pulled into his shell and I didn't know how to get him out. I guess I just got to be too much of a friend to him because he started looking at me like I was some kind of super man. And then he stopped having friends, I was the only one he wanted to be around for any length of time. It really worried me.
Me: It's interesting isn't it. We want our kids to want to be around us. But we want them to have lives of their own as well.
Alex: You can imagine how elated I was when that pretty thing Abbi started hanging around. Yes ma'am.
Me: Indeed. So you were hoping they'd be friends then?
Alex: I really hoped Ian would not just find friends, but grow up, find his own niche. Oh I sure was. That's why I even let her come into the Realm with us.
Me: I was wondering about that--whether it just happened or you intended it to happen.
Alex: It was really a shock to have know, see the portal open and all. But when I saw she was adventurous, outgoing like Ian should be, it thrilled me. I thought man, this is just what we need. A little challenge. I know Ian has enough pride not to let a girl show him up.
Me: We girls have to stand up for ourselves.
Alex: Yes. You sure do, ma'am
Me: So... it wasn’t entirely planned. But you hoped to have them both there with you sometime?
Alex: It didn't matter if they were there, or at home. I just wanted Ian to look beyond his dad and see his own life. You know, to have a future.
Me: It's got to be tough.
Alex: It's tough to watch them grow. You want to help them but you know they're better off if you don't.
Me: One of my sons is moving out soon, so I know what you mean about wanting a future for them.
Alex: One thing about kids growing up, and you should remember this when your boy leaves, you can't save them from themselves. You'll want to, but you can't . They'll be stronger the more you step back.
Me: I've just got to build his chairs and bed before I step back. That's about the limit of my building stuff though. No medieval weapons for me.
Alex: *Laughs, well whatever fits your style.
Me: Had you met any other people in the realm before Ian and Abbi turned up? I know I should know, but I've forgotten.
Alex: No. Just that little Xylon guy. And I met them when Ian and Abbi were with me
Me: Right. So I guess you really had no idea what you were all getting into when things started to go wrong.
Alex: I had decided to turn back. We would have headed straight home if our horses hadn't been stolen.
Me: I'd have been panicking then, with one of my kids with me. How scared were you for Ian?
Alex: The night we found the elk all chewed up? Or the next morning?
Me: Well, both...
Alex: I was scared for both of us. I knew Ian wouldn't have been able to handle that hot prarie on foot. There was no other choice but to find our horses. He was such a little man then. It surprised me. That was the first time I saw him for who he was, really.
Me:  guess that's the time your kids find out you’re not superman, when you have to make the same choice as them.
Alex: And it hurt, you know?
Me: I'm sure.
Alex: I mean you want your kids to think you'll be there for them. It's a humbling experience. A little of you decreases so some of them can increase
Me: That makes sense. You have to be smaller in their eyes so they can see their own potential.
Alex: That's right
Me: And then you got separated...
Alex: That was beyond my control.
Me: It must have really hurt though.
Alex: Well, I thought I could handle it. A lot of that was my fault. I had no idea that mountain was deceptive like that.
Me: I guess Ian really thought he could handle the computer. The whole realm thing must have totally thrown him. And then he just rose above it.
Alex: He had a lot of growing to do and he did it quickly. Worse was getting a handle on that temper of his. I think that's the hardest thing I've ever seen him do. Boy just gets mad. It could be because he didn't get any counseling after his mom died. Probably my fault there too, but then, I wasn't in a position to understand what either of us needed. He's a lot like me.
Me: Fathers and sons. He's like you in good ways from what I've read.
Alex: Yeah *chuckles, thanks. We're both kind of loners. It was his mom that kept us connected to the real world
Me: Did you do the medieval adventure stuff when she was alive or was that later?
Alex: Oh yes, she was a seamstress, made my clothing and hers too. She was right there with us.
Me: Very cool! That must have been great fun.
Alex: Yeah, it was. Miss it.
Me: It's good that you didn't stop when you lost her. It seems to have been a really important thing for all of you.
Alex: Well, I had work to do. Not too many blacksmiths around and fewer foundries. It's hard to turn away clientele, especially when they pay well
Me: They say sometimes losing yourself in work helps you find yourself.
Alex: That's pretty much what I did. And that's probably why Ian got lost in his school work and computer graphics.
Me: So, do you imagine Ian doing the same job as he grows up? Or d'you think he'll be a computer geek?
Alex: He'll be a geek. He doesn't have the build for what I do. He works more with his mind.
Me: Still builds things though, and beautiful things it seems.
Alex: He's really creative. Pays attention to detail. He's an artist. Yes. That's my boy!
Me: You sound proud of him. That's nice.
Alex: I am. I get teary eyed when I talk about him. I just wish he'd see those things in himself. I hope Abbi helps him see how talented and needed he is. Right now he does things to impress me and as much as I'm honored, I know that's not right.
Me: Ah, now you're making me teary eyed too. I wish my son had an Abbi to show him how talented he is.
Alex: He will!
Me: I guess you give him a focus and a purpose until he grows into finding his own.
Alex: Well, I supposed, but now. Our circumstances have been pretty unusual. I'm not sure how much you know... it's been pretty much mandatory that I take a few steps away from him, from being his dad, from being close. Its for his sake, and because I know what has to happen in the end.
Me: Yeah, I heard a bit about that. It had to be tough on you.
Alex: Man...cut to the heart
Me: But he's a good lad. You know he'll make it.
Alex: The solace is knowing he will, yep.
Me: And there's Abbi.
Alex: Well...that was kind of a borderline thing too. Kind of shaky there
Me: True.
Alex: And I never did find out what happened.
Me: I was planning to ask you what your biggest regret was. I'm thinking having to be separated must be close.
Alex: My biggest regret was not helping Ian the way he needed help when he was younger. I just didn't see all this parenting thing in the right perspective. I was too engrossed in my own troubles
Me: I wonder if any of us do. But it was rather thrust upon you when you lost Gloria. Most of us don't have to do it all alone.
Alex: Yeah. I guess we never know what life is going to throw at us.
Me: You must have done a pretty good job to have such a good lad as Ian.
Alex: Well *blushes, I guess. He's a good boy and I love him. He'll be a fine dad someday and a faithful husband.
Me: So, my other big question is what's you biggest hope for Ian (which depends to some extent on what life throws at him I guess)?
Alex: My biggest hope for him? That he finds himself. That he gets over all know, all of what happened here in the Realm.
Me: And thereby gets over losing his Mom as well...
Alex: Right. That he finds friends back home and that he stays with Abbi.
Me: I'll second that. I think she's good. A keeper.
Alex: She cares for him. She stuck by him. Took some chances for his sake. But like I say, last time I heard, she'd ...well, I won't get into that
Me: Yeah. Teens... But they'll have time.
Alex: I guess you got to do what you got to do~
Me: I should probably let you get back now shouldn't I? I've kept you for half an hour, and I really appreciate you spending time to talk with me.
Alex: Yes, I've got some swordplay this afternoon. I've been making some blades for Amleth and his men. They need to learn about footwork now.
Me: Sounds cool! Maybe we'll meet again someday.
Alex: You take care, ma'am and be careful walking through Alcove. I heard a rumor about those conks.
Me: I will. 

I really enjoyed interviewing Alex. I hope the result is as much fun for our readers as it was for me. But now, as promised, more information about Deception Peak:


Newly edited, Deception Peak, Amazon’s best seller two months in a row, has a face lift and it’s better than ever now. Having combed through the edits, added some action, toughened Ian up and even gave him a better attitude toward Abbi, (something his fans have been asking for), you won’t want to miss this version!

I think you’ll like what PDMI Rara Avis has done to spiff up Book I of the
Ian’s Realm Saga! And now, The Tale of the Four Wizards, Patriarchs of the Realm Silvio is a bonus feature with this book (and the other shorts will be included in the
sequels) so you don’t miss any of the tale.

"Within seconds, the light show vanished and Ian opened one eye. What he had experienced was not at all what he had expected. No unusual sensations fizzled through his body. He hadn't felt like he was plummeting in an elevator, or blasting through space like in a rocket ship. It didn't even feel like he might be racing down an escape chute on an airplane. No jet sounds, or hums, or buzzes, rattled in his ears."

And so young Ian Wilson enters the Realm.
The first book of a trilogy, Deception Peak is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. 

But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and is forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search to find his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm. It's then that he learns there is a greater purpose for being there.

If you enjoy dragons, sorcery, wizards, magic, legend, and fantasy adventure, than this series is for you!


Dianne Gardner, an award winning author, is also an illustrator living in the Pacific Northwest, USA. She's an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women.  She is author to The Ian’s Realm Saga, Tales of the Four Wizards and is currently writing a screenplay of her fourth book Cassandra’s Castle all published by PDMI publishing.  You can see more of Dianne’s work on her website

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1 comment:

Sheila Deeth said...

Alex sounds a really nice guy, and a really nice dad. It was fun chatting with him.