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JV Hilliard talks about his book ‘The Last Keeper’

Author JV Hilliard chatted about his book “The Last Keeper,” which is the first book in “The Warminster Series.”

JV Hilliard
Author JV Hilliard. Photo Courtesy of JV Hilliard
Author JV Hilliard. Photo Courtesy of JV Hilliard

Author JV Hilliard chatted about his book “The Last Keeper,” which is the first book in “The Warminster Series.”

Background on the author

J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain. His father toiled away in industries of honest labor and instilled in him a work ethic that would shape his destiny. His mother, a local healer, cared for his elders and his warrior uncle, who helped to raise him during his formative years.

Hilliard’s earliest education took place in his warrior uncle’s tower, where he learned his first words. HIs uncle helped him to learn the basics of life—and, most importantly, creative writing.

Hilliard’s training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tale of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventure and legendary struggles.

A bestselling author, Hilliard lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two dogs Thor and MacLeod.

Synopsis of ‘The Last Keeper’

The book deals with a young boy’s prophetic visions. The synopsis is: Blind at birth, Daemus Alaric is blessed with the gift of prophetic Sight. Now, as a Keeper of the Forbidden, he must use his powers of the Sight to foil the plans of a fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad.

It also features an elven Princess with a horrifying secret. Princess Addilyn Elspeth travels from Eldwal, the magically hidden home of the Vermilion elves, to begin her life as a diplomat to the human capital of Castleshire. During her journey, she stumbles upon a mystical creature foretelling ill tidings.

Daemus’ recurring nightmare vision threatens to catapult him into a terrifying struggle that will leave the fate of the Keepers—and the realm—hanging in the balance.

Daemus and Princess Addilyn must set out to face the menace that threatens their very existence.

Q & A interview

Can you tell us what inspired you to write the story “The Last Keeper”?

The series, “The Warminster Saga,” was inspired by my many years of playing “Dungeons & Dragons.” Once my uncle introduced me to it, I was hooked, and eventually, I started creating my own campaigns. A lot of the character’s storylines in the novels are based on gameplay.

However, the arch villain was based on a recurring set of nightmares I had as a late teen and into my early twenties. The dream would take me to a bank of fog and to the edge of a placid lake where he’d appear.

It was vivid and horrific enough to scare me, so I used it in the story to bring some shadow to my epic fantasy.

‘The Last Keeper’ is the first book in The Warminster Series. What made you decide to write a series rather than one book? What has the process of writing a series been like for you?

I’ve always been a planner/plotter as a storyteller, so a series seemed to be the right path to take instead of a stand-alone book. And of course, many of the most successful epic fantasy novels are series. It’s expected by the readership.

In the end, there are enough characters with complex backstories that warranted a series, and I am planning on some stand-alone original stories for the more popular ones between my first and second sagas.

The characters in ‘The Last Keeper’ are fascinating. How do you go about developing and breathing life into your characters? Are any of them particularly close to your heart?

Thank you. I like to get inside their heads and write from their point-of-view. In particular, Ritter and Addilyn are close to my heart. They’re the two characters I’ve found myself drawn to more than any of the others.

The story of Ritter (one of my old Dungeons & Dragons characters) and Addilyn came from an epic campaign we completed a few years ago.

Adopting it into a storyline and seeing it through to its end was both rewarding and helped to memorialize a favorite tale we helped to create via gameplay.

What was one of the challenges you faced while writing ‘The Last Keeper,’ and how did you overcome them? And what was one of your successes?

The greatest challenge was finding time to write. I own several businesses that keep me busy most of every day, so I really had to carve out time to focus on writing. Covid came and my world, like many others, ground to a halt. The silver lining was that downtime became my time to write.

In that same vein, my greatest success was completing it, which is something I’ve been trying to do for years.

In today’s digital age, technology has transformed the way we consume and share stories. How has this shift influenced your approach to writing and connecting with your readers?

Social media has been a fantastic way to connect with my readers because they can be all over the world, and they can get in touch with me in an instant. Their feedback means so much and it’s always great to hear from them.

When you finish a new book what is your favorite way to celebrate?

I don’t get a lot of free time to celebrate, but I always spend extra time with my wife and dogs. I make sure they know how important they are to me.

On a lighter note, I always personalize a book and send it to all of my Dungeons & Dragons players, as if it were not for them, the books would not be possible. I even send them to friends and players I haven’t seen in years.

I think that’s a great way to keep the stories of their characters alive while keeping in touch with friends no matter where life takes us.

“The Last Keeper” is available on Amazon by clicking here.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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