Terry Maggert is a writer of urban and dark fantasy. Author of The Fearless series: The Forest Bull, and Mask of the Swan. A Paul Collins interview.
Tell us about your background. Who you are, where you are from?
I’m Terry Maggert, I’m left handed, and I have a slight pie problem. As in, if there isn’t pie in the house, then baking needs to commence immediately. I was born in Hollywood, Florida, lived in Upstate New York, and now reside near Nashville. I teach college history, but I used to own a restaurant. Teaching is most certainly easier on my body, but you can’t eat all day.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. I have a lovely wife who is an English professor, so we encourage good grammar, and she is a ready-made editor and critic. She’s Norwegian, so we’re also pro-Viking. We have a son, who is enormous, and a herd of dogs and cats, which, when weighed together, are enormous. Life is good. Also, life is loud. I fish, I write, I make pickled things, and I escape into books. I think most writers are readers; it’s one of the reasons we tell stories. I think.
What prompted you to be an author and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain person, artist, or genre?
When I was a kid, I read “Weyr Search” by Anne McCaffrey, and it had an electrifying effect on my imagination. I still love her books, and science fiction and fantasy remain my first true love. The recent exploration of dystopian fiction is an excellent trend, in my mind. I like the grittiness of it.
If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
Maybe- and this is a stretch- Jim Butcher’s books, or Steven Brust. I think I verge into horror a bit, and the second book, “Mask of the Swan” definitely has elements of horror. I’m exploring beings who are evil, and when I do, there are no filters on what they are capable of. In my books, immortals are almost always very, very bad. It’s war, but a very elegant kind of war, in a sense, because the beings waging it have had so many centuries to perfect the art of violence.
It’s also a story about the meaning of what makes a family, and how three people can be bound to each other through incredibly bizarre events. How can you be in love when the world around you is crazy? It’s worth looking into, I think.
Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you.
I’m a transplanted southerner, and when I first saw a cross along the road in memory of someone killed in a car crash, I thought, “What if that cross was used by a ghoul to lure teenagers to be food?” I wrote the short horror story, and it exploded into this series. From small things come bigger things, or in this case, bigger books. The story is on my website for free, it really plays a big part in who my characters are, and why they hunt immortals.
Thanks for your time, Paul, and thanks for having me!