Take Five with Peter Orullian, Author, “The Unremembered”


unremembered-coverPeter Orullian is the contributor for this week’s Take Five, a regular series where we ask authors and editors to share five facts about their latest books. Orullian is the author of The Unremembered, available for purchase now. You can also read an excerpt here!

Rumors have beset the eastlands of Aeshau Vaal. One ruler, to answer these unseen threats, is set to recall the Convocation of Seats—something that hasn’t occured within living memory. While one man would use the fear of these nations to advance the power of his dangerous league.

For an author’s son, it will mean taking up a mythical weapon before his hands are even accustomed to steel.

For an expectant mother, it will mean learning the reality of a trade that travels the highways across the nations of man, even a trade in human lives, and the latent power of her song to protect its victims.

For a simple hunter, it will mean finding answers to a lost childhood, and to the words he feels compelled to speak every time he draws his bow.

These three, aided by an exile who cares for orphans and foundlings in the middle of a wasteland, by a powerful member of an ancient brotherhood whose best intentions are destroying his own order, and by a woman warrior of a legendary race, will fight the past even as they face a dark future.

Because the threats are more than rumor

Peter Orullian:

1. I finished The Unremembered ten years ago. My agent at the time wanted to build a diverse client list, and asked me to write some thrillers. Always the good soldier, I did as he asked—I love the thriller genre—and put the fantasy on hold. Later, he and I parted company, and in querying a new agent, it came up that I had the fantasy book. Agent liked. Tor liked. There you go.

2. In college, I learned this awesome phrase: violating expectations. I picked it up in a Shakespeare class. The bard was rather good at this: violating the reader/audience expectation. So, when I wrote The Unremembered, I decided that in addition to unique invention I wouldn’t be afraid of using genre conventions, but laid my plan across the series to evolve those conventions beyond reader expectations.

3. Music is a big part of my life. All kinds of music, too. And that has found its way into The Vault of Heaven series. In The Unremembered it crops up not just in the first stirrings of the music magic system, but even in some of the plot construction, where I echo music motifs. That’s pretty hard core music geek, but I gotta be me. And book two—which I’m almost finished writing—is where the deeper mechanics of the music magic starts to be explained.

4. Whether you know the term or not, transmedia is an emerging storytelling approach that most of us have experienced in one way or another. Essentially it’s providing a story experience across multiple creative media in order to broaden and deepen the tale. The key is that in these various media, it’s not simply retelling the same story, but telling additive story to enrich the whole experience. To a lesser degree, I’ve taken my hand at this with short fiction, a webisode series called Cradle of the Scar, and a forthcoming concept album, all related to The Vault of Heaven. It turned out to be a good way to avoid data-dumps in the novel, too.

5. I don’t know for sure, but it just might be possible that my early love for Immanuel Kant and his categorical imperative helped me subconsciously fashion a character in my series who is principled to a fault. You’re either going to love him or hate him. He ain’t lukewarm.