Why are you embarking on this quest? Revenge. For the killing of my men. For the devastation wrought by the beast.
Where are you from? (Tell us about it.) From Morgantown, Western Virginia. Though my family were farmers and shop keepers, I managed an appointment to West Point, where I was eventually commissioned as an officer in the United States Army.
*Tell us about dragons in your world. One exists. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. All I care about is killing it.
Do you have a family? I lost my family, a wife and child, to cholera many years ago.
Do you see yourself as a hero? What is a hero? No. What is a hero? That’s for others to decide. For me, it’s a matter of duty. To your men (or family). To yourself.
What is the technology level of your world? Mid-19th Century.
*Who are you? William Hiles
How do you define a hero? Someone who does what needs to be done, no matter the risk, for the benefit of others. Someone who performs a selfless action. Ordinary people who proceed with grace under extraordinary circumstances.
Why did you choose this world/era to write in? I’m a history nut. I love the challenges of bringing the past to life. I have a very special connection to military history, especially that of the United States.
Give us a couple of lines about your characters. Brave men who take a stand against an unimaginable horror, far beyond that of ordinary war. Former enemies, forced together for survival, who become brothers in a soul-searing crucible.
Heroika: The Dragon Eaters is a dark heroic fantasy – how do you define that genre? Dark heroic fantasy, to me, is a story of ordinary people, faced by extraordinary challenges, in a landscape that seemingly offers only obstacles or heartache. And yet despite this, these people rise to the challenges, overcome the obstacles, and ultimately succeed in bringing hope or peace or some fitting resolution to the story—even at the cost of their own lives.
How much research did you need for your story? Not much actually, having been a student of the era for many years.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Mostly pantser. How a story ends is usually what I need to know before I begin, everything else is a journey to that end.
What other novels/short stories have you written? Early in my career I had quite a few stories in small press magazines. However, most of my output in recent years has been articles relating to my work (video games). I’m now getting back to writing more fiction.
What book(s) are you currently reading? War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America’s First Frontier by John F. Ross
Tell us one unusual fact about yourself. I’ve kept a list of books I’ve read since I was 12 years old. I have over 1600 books on the list.
Red Rain is set during and after a real American Civil War battle. The first land battle of the Civil War, in fact, fought in the vicinity of Philippi, Virginia (now West Virginia) on June 3. 1861. Writer Ambrose Bierce did serve in this battle.
William Hiles, is a former magazine editor, game designer, writer and artist, living in Round Rock, Texas, with his wife, son, and a menagerie of pets. He likes to ramble on about history, cooking, art, and writing. Although he has been accused of living in the past, he does not write with a mere quill. It has to be an Australian Black Swan quill.