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R. M. Krogman Brings You “Epic Fantasy on a Grand Scale”

1) What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.

R. M. Krogman

2) What is your genre and what drew you to it?

I write dark and epic fantasy because that’s what I enjoy reading. I have always enjoyed long books with ultimate battles between good and evil, colored with powerful magic and mystical creatures. I adore most of the classical fantasy tropes, if implemented well, although I myself don’t prefer to write the “prophecy” type of story. I love the moral grayness that has become so popular, with unclear lines between what is right and what is wrong, and I explore those same themes in my writing. That said, I also want a book with strong characters, not just a war plot. I want to connect with them, understand them even if their morals are questionable, and cheer them on. Thus, I write with a focus on character development.

3) Which character of yours is your favorite and why?

My personal favorite is probably Taiuki, the myrprincess and future commander of Shiggo’s military fleet. Not only is she Asian-inspired, but she is a total badass warrior, trained from childhood for military leadership. Her people have a proud philosophy of giving everything for their kingdom and each other, and her heart is so dedicated to that cause when the enemy rises at the border. At the same time, she is so broken and lonely inside because she knows she’s different.

4) Which character of yours was the most challenging to write and why?

I often find Syrana a little difficult to write because she is so selfish in her decision-making sometimes. Not to say I’m not selfish. Obviously she came out of my brain, but she is difficult to empathize with sometimes because she just makes decision after decision where you’re like, “Seriously, girl? Are you really going to try fixing it that way?”

5) Have you ever taken a course on writing or advertising? If so, which one(s) and how would you rate them?


6) Did you ever feel like giving up? If so, how did you overcome that?

I am too stubborn to admit that. However, I do sometimes need a mental break to take in critique, to really digest it and make sure I understand it. I think the most difficult feedback was on the beta draft of “Liberation,” which needed a developmental edit. I didn’t fully realize that at the time, but beta readers were very consistent in identifying that something was lacking. Most couldn’t articulate it and thought the book was overall pretty good, but there was just “something.” Luckily, one of my beta readers guided me to a writing craft book (“Save the Cat! Writes a Novel”) and suggested I read it, then revisit my draft. I did, and BOY did I suddenly see. I focused on understanding that craft book’s lessons for a few weeks, then applied it to a smaller project to ensure I fully understood it. That produced a novella (hello, serotonin), and prepared my mind for tackling the developmental edit of “Liberation.”

7) What gives you the most satisfaction in the writing process?

Finishing a developmental edit and realizing that it finally looks how I want it! Although finishing the initial draft is a huge and satisfying step, the draft is just that. It has my chaos written all over it, and parts are underdeveloped or entirely missing. It’s kind of like having all of the pieces of a Christmas puzzle successfully removed from the bag and dumped onto the table and sorted into major color piles. It may be more than that; maybe it’s when you have pieces stuck together but everyone’s compilations are on different edges of the table and facing different directions. The developmental edit is where you take all of the disparate chunks and big holes, and you tie them all together with a few key pieces that fell under the table. When you’re done with a dev edit, the book actually looks how you want it to look, and that is the BEST feeling.

8) What is the one thing you wish you knew at the beginning of your writing journey?

I think the toughest thing so far has been realizing what a long game publishing really is, which means that the team you build of editors, artists, and early readers will take time and thought. You won’t get those people identified immediately, and you may stumble once or twice. If you have a big commission, you want the right person, someone who understands your style of communication and can handle feedback well for a reasonable cost and a good product. I would never wish a bad fit on anyone, because it can be extremely frustrating and a loss of time and money. Don’t rush through these steps, because the quality of the end product matters more to you than anyone in the world. If you’re not getting something that fits right, decide whether you’re willing to sacrifice your vision for it. If you’re not, accept that you have to redirect.

9) Who did you dedicate your first book to and why?

I dedicated my first novel to my 7th grade English teacher with the following:

For Mrs. Willis. Thank you for looking at my words and seeing my world. Thank you for seeing me.

(Sorry about the cursing.)

She was one of very few people who seemed to see me at a time when I truly felt invisible and meaningless, untalented, unimportant. Not only that, she accepted what she saw and encouraged me not to stop writing.

10) Where is your favorite place to read?

I love to read outside on a warm, slightly overcast day, in a place like a park or my backyard. Somewhere with lots of nature. 😊

11) In your opinion, can a book series be too long?

No, stories should be as long as they need to be to tell the story properly. Some long stories feel short because they are such a pleasure to read, and some short stories are a slog.

12) What is you preferred method of reading a book? (Audio, paperback, hardcover, or eBook)

I love hardcovers above all, except for when you fall asleep reading them and they smash your face. They usually have the best interior artwork, and you don’t have to worry about creasing the spine.

13) What is your favorite book that you have read this year?

I just read “Wizard’s First Rule” and “Wayfarer Redemption” this year, and I loved them both. I don’t know what the rest of the series are going to bring, but at least for first books in series, they were both pretty great. I adore the classic epic fantasies, Chosen One and all, even though some of the concepts are little outdated. I also just read “The Lies of Locke Lamora” and totally get why heist stories are popular.

14) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.

My series is “The Keepers of Midgate” and starts with the novel “Liberation.” Told through multiple points of view, this book is about freedom—freedom from the bonds of societal expectations, suffocating control, and physical binds. The next book, “Sundering,” is about choice, allowing the pain and madness of the world to mold you and drive you, or not. The last book, “Schism,” is about love, about who we are when we choose others over ourselves or vice versa. Midgate is a medieval-inspired world of magic, mermaids, and wyverns. I’ve been developing the world since high school. The main storyline of the series has changed very little since then, only gaining more clarity and detail as the characters took on a life of their own. The world has grown in its depth of history, culture, and geography, spawning numerous side stories, prequels, and a sequel. For example, the prequel “Marked” is already out, giving backstory on a side character, and the next prequel “Myrmaiden” is coming in November, giving more backstory on a main character. I talk a lot about the Great Cleansing, which was a genocide of magika users that happened long ago, and that will likely be one of the first full-length prequels I write.

15) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?

16) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)

17) If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?

I would love for you to check out my work, but if a doorstop fantasy is too much to start with, I have a totally free novella available on my website. “Marked” is a stand-alone prequel to “Liberation,” and you can download the e-book version with no strings attached. If you enjoy it, then please come back for more!


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