Hey Everyone! It is time for another fantastic Meet The Author moment!
I am happy to introduce…
Let’s get to know him a bit!
Brett has always been dabbling in writing and his passion for the written word shines through all that he has done. Starting off with writing short stories and poetry when younger, Salter dipped into the practice of creating these stories and caught the writing bug. The writing was always a constant companion providing a perfect outlet for ideas that were always springing up. Which helped out a bunch when he started to writing his own songs and music for the bands that he started up and joined. How talented is that?!
Salter’s adventures only grew from there, leading him into the challenge of storytelling. His series, The Talisman Series, might have started as a dare but has now grown to be an amazing story and world! Don’t worry there is always time for family for this busy father. His family is his biggest supporters and fans. The love that he has for his wife and kids radiates through in his writing. I absolutely love the fact that it is for them that Brett is creating such a magical legacy to read! If that doesn’t scream Father of the Year, I don’t know what does.
An amazing thing about this author is the fact that he is entirely self-published! His first book in his series (The Search of Synergy) was published in 2017 and his fan base has only grown. Having already published five of The Talisman Series books, Brett has a few more stories in the works right now and one should be heading into the final stages soon which is pretty exciting! The world Brett has created is full of dragons and knights, magic and portals, and a full on battle to save the world from the evil horde of creatures wanting in through those portals. The two characters we follow throughout the stories are two young men, Rome Lockheed and Julian Rider (or Rome and Jules).
I love the interaction between these two guys. They are a fun and very entertaining duo that is an absolute pleasure to read along with. In The Search of Synergy they are middle school age young men (about 13 or 14 in age) figuring out how to control their powers in a world that doesn’t even know the magical realm is real. Jules was raised knowing all about it since he comes from a long line of Knights. Rome, however, is thrust into this new world that is all around him thanks to his once dormant dragon coming out at last. It is a crash course in dragonology and a whole world history for him! Talk about some serious study lessons. These two learn to train together, work together, and fight together with the guidance of an eccentric librarian. And then the series continues on into their adventures fighting back evil creatures and protecting everyone!
If the poetry of Brett’s interests you, there are a number of anthologies that sport his writings! These are indie published and some have writings from authors from all around the world. This one (My Unheard September) has a collection of poems from writers all over the world. It was published just this past October (2022). This collection of authors set out to interpret a single theme: My Unheard September and whatever that theme means to them. The writings from this one might touch on different the festivals and holidays the authors have experienced providing both the good and the bad moments from these occasions. Or some even stretch into the opposite light, pulling away the curtain to talk about taboo subjects and even the short lived moments and stories that happen in life. This is just one of many that Brett has been involved in during his writing career. It is wonderful to see the his poetry and short stories that started the passion still pop up!
As you’ll see from the Q&A below, Brett is passionate about his writing and is eager to share it all with his readers. His wit and adventurous soul comes alive in his storytelling which makes it an absolute delight to read. You can feel the excited energy he had while writing pour out of the books. I hope you all get an opportunity to go and take a look at his Goodreads page or his Amazon page and read though his writings. I really enjoyed the First book in The Talisman Series and fully intend to continue on with the series! In the words of Brett Salter “Keep a wary eye out for portals.”
Alright, into the questions!
Time for the Q&A!
Q. Rome and Julian are fantastic characters! Rome is such a dedicated and strong young man. And Jules has some great witty responses while also being a great, encouraging friend! How did you come up with these two characters? Is there anyone or pairing of people that inspired their personalities and friendship?
A. Oh, awesome! I’m so glad you like them! Yes, there are two characters that REALLY hit home for me personally. And those would be the main characters, Rome and Julian. Strap in because this is a looooong answer. The two of them are based on the two sides of my personality. Rome represents the levelheaded and introspective portion of me that wants to do the right thing, but rarely jumps at the chance to be a leader. Despite his uneasiness about assuming a leadership role, he always has the best interest of his friends and family in mind. Rome’s internal dialogue and hesitant decision making reflect how I feel about myself…… specifically during my teenage years.
Julian, on the other hand, is brash and braggadocios. Not to mention loud, and most times, his mouth operates without properly consulting his brain first. Even the idea of him rebelling against his family ideals is indicative of my own brazen and defiant nature during my teenage years. Julian uses informal language with everyone other than his father to emphasize the fact that he tries to be “cool” with a “devil-may-care” attitude. Whereas Rome is more the internal example of how I felt as a teen, Julian more closely resembles my physical appearance during those years. Finally, the spatial linking that the two share as Synergist Knight and Master Dragon is a metaphor for how my two personalities differ and interact inside my head. LOL. Seems funny to really say it out loud, but the idea of splitting my two personalities into two characters was an idea I wanted to explore since the earliest days of my writing.
The only other character I might say is my favorite would be Jericho Rider. He’s ripped straight out of a shounen anime being the silent, mysterious type with blue/blonde chunked hair. He’s basically a ninja on steroids, constantly taking the front line in fights since he’s probably the best hand-to-hand fighter in The Alliance. And he ALWAYS puts in his earbuds and blasts some abrasive, punk-rock music while cutting down Darkbrands! Plus, his magic spell Chaos Eater, as far as I can tell, is pretty original for the fantasy genre. I’ve never read anything like it before. So yeah, he’s pretty cool!
Q. I couldn’t stop smiling the first time we got to hear Julian’s father speak to the boys. Bringing in that super proper “Ole English” talk into modern day conversations is so unique and brilliant. (If you can’t tell, I was quite intrigued by him!) What sparked the idea to make Mr. Rider stand out so strongly not only in his style of speech but also in the way he interacts with others?
A. Great question! Mr. Rider is an interesting character. He is kinda over the top, isn’t he? People usually either really like him or really despise him. When I originally wrote him, I wanted people to dislike him (mainly because of what happens later in the series), but I find it interesting that so many people find him intriguing. I guess with the nice car, fancy mansion, and throwback accent I can see why. He definitely seems like there’s more going on there, which is good! I took inspiration for Mr. Rider from all kinds of media. I wanted a character that looked down on the rest of society. A really haughty and egotistical kind that considered himself above others. He’s not a “bad guy”, but he IS meant to keep you on your toes. Basically, if Rome gets a bad feeling from him, then so should we as readers. Luckily, he gets more fleshed out as the series continues, including a backstory and a small character arc. Yay!
Q. The die that Julian carries is such an interesting choice for a magic wielding knight. As an individual who has played a number of Tabletop RPGs over the years, I loved that dice became more than just game pieces in your story. What made you lean towards deciding on a die? Was there any other object you thought about using for Jules instead?
A. Actually, no. I settled in on a die from the very beginning when I was brainstorming the first book. I knew I wanted to include Pandora’s mythology for young Jules, and I needed something that would allow him to use multiple weapons. Honestly, the first thing I thought of was a 12-sided die (like in those tabletop RPGs), but then I figured I should limit him a little, so I went with the Milton Bradley special! And trust me, a “nerfed” Julian is still a formidable Julian! As you continue the series, you’ll see the other surprises he has tucked away in his die. And who knows? Maybe I could upgrade him in a future book to have a 12-sided die instead! He could be a veritable Swiss Army knight. Get it? Sorry. Bad pun!
Q. If you could travel through a portal into any realm from a book (with the promise that no harm would happen to you!) Where would you go? Is there anything you would want to go see or do straight away while there?
A. Another brilliant question! And I absolutely love the caveat that no harm would come to me. Too funny! Ummmm. I would LOVE to say I would go prevent John Coffey from being executed in The Green Mile, or stop Ophelia’s suicide in Hamlet, or keep Snape from dying at Voldemort’s hands in Deathly Hallows, but in all honesty, I’d probably just spend the whole day at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory gorging on sweets! Either that, or I’d go someplace from LOTR like Rivendell and hang with the elves. Actually, I’d probably go to Jurassic Park. You know, before all the breaking of fences and eating of people takes place.
Q. On the topic of portal traveling, along with the amazing accomplishment of Father of the Year (which is so perfect and rightfully earned!), I saw that Mr. Jones awarded you the Official Navigator and Cartographer of The Void! I love that you have this and it just adds to how creative of an author you truly are! What would be three things anyone willing to brave the Void would need to bring with them? Any particular reason as to why those are your picks?
A. Oh man. For sure, you’d want to bring a light source, cuz lemme tell ya. It’s dark in there! I would also recommend some weaponry to keep the Darkbrands off of you! Remember, The Void is their second home. I think Pandora’s Die of Hope would be the most logical selection as it is diverse and super handy in almost any situation a traveler might find themselves in. And lastly, and I CANNOT stress this enough. Take a dragon with you! For both company and as a bodyguard.
Q. How did you get started in writing? Was the fantasy genre your go to genre when you started writing? What helped you take the dive into writing The Search for Synergy?
A. Well, I have always been a writer “of sorts”. When I was younger, I wrote short stories and poems. As a teenager, I joined/formed a bunch of punk rock bands, so I started writing lyrics and music. I kinda just carried those influences into my 30’s writing more poetry and more short stories. But then, after my son was born, my mom approached me with an idea and a dare to write a book. I really liked the idea of leaving some kind of legacy for my kid(s) to read one day. So, my mom and I brainstormed the character Rome into existence, giving me the bare bones of a story. I added a few characters and a simple plot and wrote “The Search For Synergy”. But at the end of the book, there was a cliffhanger, and I was like, “what’s next?”. So, I continued writing, and now I have a 5-book series with a 6th one on the way early next year. I also have had some of my poetry sprinkled around in some anthologies, but my main focus is “The Talisman Series”.
Q. What is something you do to treat yourself when you step away from writing and take a break?
A. My kids and my wife are my life! They are the best people in this world! Every weekend is spent going to soccer games, and basketball games, and quality time with my wife. But when the weekend settles, and I have time for myself, I do enjoy certain things just for me. I am a gamer (mostly RPGs), and I love thought-provoking cinema/television, and I jam out with some other guys in a Dad band that covers 90’s music. I am also a huge MCU nerd, so I spend a ton of time on YouTube trying to soak up every theory or prediction that’s out there. Theorizing in media is huge pastime of mine. So, I often find myself down rabbit holes on everything from Kubrick films to Twin Peaks to video games to the aforementioned MCU.
Q. Do you have any advice for the adventurous writers getting ready to start their own unique magical worlds?
A. I know it’s cliché, but I would say I am a strong proponent of using your influences. That way what you love will come out in your writing. If you like stories about ghosts, write stories about ghosts. If you watch TV shows about true crime mysteries, make your series about unsolved crimes. Diehard romantic? Write a romance novel! If the coolest thing you can imagine is a boy that can secretly transform into a dragon and go on quests with a knight-in-training…..um. Read my books!!! And THEN go write about them. The point is that writing can be daunting. And if you want to make the challenge more enjoyable, then you should dabble into what you like. It makes the climb much more agreeable and all the more rewarding once you get to the top. (figuratively speaking…lol)