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Chatting with Canadian author Lloyd Pilling Tosoff (Includes interview)

He began his writing career in 2010, penning two non-fiction books on leadership, after leaving a four-decade career that culminated as a primary leader and chief executive in an award-winning Canadian company.

Although his entry into the literary world was late, he has been a prolific author with eight published works to his credit, and two completed manuscripts awaiting publication. His novels have been recognized by readers and reviewers worldwide, and his top-ranking Kirkus Reviews can be viewed at the Kirkus website.

Lloyd’s newest work, Children of Pleiades, is a two-part series that begins as an ancient, historical human drama that reflects the superstition and folklore of the people who first populated England’s Salisbury Plain. The first in the series, Rise of the Henge, tells the story of a sacred bloodline with legends of star men, and the struggle between forces of good and evil that defines the human condition.

He comes from a musical family, and has a keen interest in songwriting, as well as oil painting.

A proud Canadian, he lives on a secluded acreage on beautiful Vancouver Island, on the west coast of Canada, with his wife, Karen who edits his work. They have four children and four grandchildren.

Most great books have an interesting backstory, what was the inspiration for writing ‘Children of Pleiades, Rise of the Henge’?

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The book’s ancient historical theme is about a star seeded bloodline with a murder in its past that haunts its descendants. Set for the most part on the ancient Salisbury Plain of Southern England, it is largely a view into the gamut of emotions ranging from lust to hate that fuel the drama of human relationships remaining unchanged to this day.

The supernatural aspects of the plot are metaphors and personification of the legends, myths, and belief in an Otherworld that the people of the time embraced. The title “Children of Pleiades” was inspired by a chance meeting of someone who claimed to be of Pleiadean star seed. “Rise of the Henge” goes with the territory of the setting, along with all the archeological and speculative implications of how Stonehenge came to be. The ethereal aspects of the story were inspired by my upbringing influenced by a mother whose deep sense of the mysterium—juxtaposed by a fierce and fearless father—brought to bear the notion of a mystic warrior character that figures into the story.

In this rather brilliant book you take on the struggle between the forces of good and evil in a dynamic and unique way. Have you always been interested in this theme?

The struggle between good and evil has always underscored the human story. I think we all have a sense of the duality that necessarily causes us to perceive light and shadow without which there is nothing for us to see, sense, or feel on this human journey. The world we live in is brought to life through darkness and light, night and day, hot and cold, love and hate, as well as all the rhythms, polarities, and differences that define our living experience.

Within us, at the deepest level of existence, is the unassailable purity of goodness that reveals itself as trust, empathy, compassion, and love. In “Rise of the Henge”, it is the urge to kill that casts a dark shadow on the goodness inherent within the sacred star seeded bloodline. The emergence of evil in the plot is patiently revealed as the central theme in the “Children of Pleiades” series.

This may well be a hard question to answer since the characters in this book are so compelling, what character is your favorite and why?

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My readers identify strongly with the characters in my novels because they are believable, and I develop them to be authentic to the roles they play. “Children of Pleiades, Rise of the Henge”, begins in 2600 BC and takes place in an era just before the birth of the Bronze Age.

The story spans four generations, so there is an abundance of characters. Some of them are ancestral children of a sacred Pleiadean bloodline but there is one who is a nefarious and vile antagonist, who appears as a malicious shapeshifter. There is a character named Alda, whose life spans almost the entire novel. He represents the voice of goodness, beauty, and truth that influences the purification of his descendants towards an eventual hero—a mystic warrior—whose role will be to slay the evil character who appears early in the plot, as noted above. Alda of Avon is my favorite character.

You used to write non-fiction, and then made a jump to fiction, which is awesome because your books are so amazing. What inspired you to make that jump, and what was it like for you?

When I first left the business world, I was highly motivated to write books that aimed at helping business leaders build enlightened organizations. After penning a couple of books on the subject, I concluded that many at the top are simply unable to embrace the kind of change that interrupts patterns of interpersonal dysfunction rampant in toxic workplaces, so I moved on. With a desire to write fiction, I took a novel-writing course from best selling author, Joy Fielding, as well as an accredited course in advanced screenwriting, both at the University of Toronto.

Since then, I have penned a three-part Scottish mob thriller series, a human war drama, a semibiographical war novel, and now of course, the ancient supernatural human drama, “Children of Pleiades”. Through my commitment to multi-genre writing projects, I have solidified my writing skills, style, and author’s voice. The writing basics, however, are not enough. Having something authentic to say in a way that makes for a good read requires life experience, keen observation skills, imagination, and mostly 24/7 dedication to the craft.

To answer the question, it has been a twisting turning journey of learning how to develop characters, crafting cliff hangers, devising plots, and setting out scenes in descriptive detail that has allowed me to tell gripping and satisfying stories while loving every minute of the joy of writing.

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I’m sure your fans are dying to know, so I have to ask – is there another book coming?

Yes, the second in the “Children of Pleiades” series, “The Curse of Nordumaal” is in the final editing stage. It picks up where “Rise of the Henge” leaves off, delving more deeply into ethereal realms, wizardry, legends, and the mysterium touched upon in the first book.

A mystic warrior, Gwain of East Down, is the final incarnation of the sacred bloodline. He is thrown into conflict with the evil antagonist, Nordumaal the Ancient, priest of the plain. The murder that takes place in “Rise of the Henge” by an ancestor of the sacred bloodline must be avenged. The continuing drama that drives the human story told in the series leads to a biblical and climatic end.

For more information on Canadian author Llyod Pilling Tosoff, check out his official website.

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