Author: Powers Molinar
Publisher: Sapertys Enterprises Inc.
Pages: 338, Paperback/Kindle
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Author Interview with Powers Molinar
Interviewed by: Kimberlee Hicks, Pacific Book Review
Today we’re talking with Powers Molinar, author of ” Spartanica.”
PBR: How much did your own children influence the characters in Spartanica? Were they ever a part of your ‘beta’ group?
My own kids and some of their friends directly influenced characters in Spartanica. For instance, Ty Mitchell, one of the lead characters, is a bit of a hypochondriac and based loosely on one of my son’s friends. He always thinks he’s much more injured or sick than he actually is. Bellana is based on how I’d see my daughter behaving in that situation. My son’s personality is the foundation for Nekitys… really smart and always looking for ways to help.
My son was a beta reader as were a couple of his friends. They were brutally honest with me but their feedback was critical to creating an awesome story. They let me know if something was lame or just plain unbelievable. Putting the Atlantean numbers at the beginning of each chapter, for instance, was an idea from one of my son’s friends. My daughter didn’t read Spartanica until the final stages of publishing. However, seeing how important strong female characters are to her (think Hunger Games) led me to make Bellana a much more prominent character, which gave the story a fantastic dimension it didn’t originally have.
PBR: When creating the language and number system, what were some of your influences? For example, ‘Spartanica’ and ‘Atlantis’ are most obviously influenced by ancient Greece, and I believe I detected some Latin roots. Did you have a system?
Thank you for noticing! Atlantean lettering in the book is based on the ancient Etruscan and Oscan alphabets. I made up the numbering system with input from the beta readers. “Spartanica” and “Atlantis” do, strangely enough, have ancient Earthly implications, as do many of the character names on Sapertys. I have a sneaking suspicion that’s not by accident. Stay tuned!
PBR: Similarly, when creating the planet Sapertys and the locations therein, did you have any inspiration there?
No real inspiration, I just wanted it to be cool! Ty and Marcus couldn’t go to a parallel world that was just like Earth. Kids are too smart to buy into that. Sapertys had to be different enough to hold the reader’s curiosity but not so much that it was beyond plausibility or confusing. The tricky part was with the language. It couldn’t just be the English we speak, but it had to be written in a way the reader could infer meaning. We will be having contests on my website where readers can win prizes for decoding Atlantean script.
PBR: Where did the idea for majinecity come from?
I didn’t think I could get away with Sapertyns using electricity as we do on Earth. The other major energy component in nature is magnetism. I thought it would be interesting and believable to have Sapertys powered by highly amplified magnetism generated in the planet’s core. I expected at least one of the beta readers would challenge me on it but they loved and bought into the concept, especially the irogen (instead of iron) planet core. In keeping with the Atlantean language being different than English, “magnetism” got renamed “majinecity”. Ty was kind enough to figure that out for us in the book.
PBR: I love your stated impetus for writing being to inspire a love of writing in children – is there a story behind this desire? Most people seem to espouse causes that are personal to them in some way.
Thank you so much. Every kid has the potential to be exceptional and it pains me when the promise in a kid goes undeveloped. I see it all the time. Reading and writing are basic talents needed throughout life. If you can become strong in those two skills, the world can offer you so much more, and vice versa. I tell my own kids that life is about the options you create and the choices you make. My hope is that Spartanica is fun and engaging enough to motivate kids to want to read and write more and, in doing so, tap into the possibilities that lie within.
PBR: What is in store for Marcus and Ty, and when can we expect to see the next installment?
The next installment will be available in October, 2014. Without revealing any spoilers, let’s just say we haven’t met the true evil lurking on Sapertys yet. Ty, Marcus, Bellana, and the other Survivors still need to know exactly how “the last jorno” happened and who caused it. However, finding those answers will take them places and put them in situations they never could’ve anticipated. They’re going to discover a lot of strange, amazing, and terrifying things about Sapertys, the Guelphic Varkis, their enemies, and themselves… if they manage to survive!
PBR: Is this a trilogy, or a longer series? If so, how many installments might we expect?
The Survivors of Sapertys will include at least two, maybe three, more installments. The story will go wherever it goes and conclude naturally. I don’t like when a book series feels like it was cut off or dragged out. Spartanica will be told as if it actually happened, and will end when it ends.
PBR: Do you have any other projects in the works?
Other than the possibility of a couple novellas related to Spartanica, time constraints will keep me from other projects. For instance, I’m thinking about a short novel call “Rise of the Guelphic Varkis” that details how this group of people a millennium ago adapted their bodies to naturally amplify majinecity to the point where they have almost supernatural powers and how they used them to defend the early inhabitants of Spartanica against an unimaginable evil. A short novel about the lead up to “the last jorno” might happen as well. But let’s be clear. My readers dictate what I write about. I’ll take a poll on my website and see what readers are interested in first.
To learn more about “Spartanica” please read the review at Pacific Book Review