Harmon Cooper - Action-packed Portal Fantasy Chock-Full Tibetan/Bhutanese Lore
Harmon Cooper has written over thirty-five science fantasy books spanning the GameLit, harem, dark fantasy, superhero, dystopian and cultivation (wuxia/xianxia) genres. Cooper was born and raised in Austin, Texas before relocating to Asia for five years. Upon returning to the States, he resettled in New England with his wife. Cooper is most known for my series Cherry Blossom Girls and House of Dolls, as well as The Feedback Loop, Monster Hunt NYC, Way of the Immortals and Fantasy Online. As our Author of the day, he tells us all about Way of the Immortals.
Please give us a short introduction to what Way of the Immortals is about.
Way of the Immortals is a portal fantasy/cultivation series about a group of people transported to an unknown world filled with magic and intrigue. It is partially about survival, but it is equally about the people that the main character comes into contact with and how they progress by joining him. It's action-heavy and chocked full of Tibetan/Bhutanese lore reimagined to fit into the world.
What inspired you to write about someone who is thrust by a mysterious portal into an unknown world?
I spent five years living in Asia, and once I started looking into writing in the cultivation genre (also referred to as Wuxia and Xianxia, which are both different so don't @ me), I thought I would bring the things I had learned and experienced, especially the more magical and wondrous things, into a fantasy story.
Tell us more about Nick Barnette - what makes him tick?
Nick is an outsider and a drifter. Injustice makes him tick, as does betrayal. He's also equally inspired by mystery.
You weaved some Bhutanese and Tibetan lore into this series - why did you take this approach?
I took this approach because I studied Tibetan in India and Nepal and traveled to Bhutan. I wanted to bring more attention to their cultural stories by weaving them into this series. I also use characters crafted from Tibetan and Katakana in the book as part of the rune system.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am a musician who can play multiple instruments (when provoked).
Do you have a set of rules for your world? Is there a process you go through that helps define these?
The world outline is generally where I have my set of rules. The process revolves around getting as much down before I start working on the piece and updating it as I go along/as my imagination takes over.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hardback books?
Ebooks and audiobooks. I don't read paper/hardbacks unless it's for research purposes.
Why did you title this book Way of the Immortals?
The Immortals were five beings who came to the five kingdoms 2,000 years ago. They each created a religion, also known as Paths. Nick and his company are the new Immortals, so it felt appropriate to title it this.
The book takes some interesting twists and turns. Did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did some of it just "happen" along the way?
I outline plot points, and let the discovery writer in me take over from that point.
Which of your characters has been the most challenging to write for?
None of the characters in Way of the Immortals are particularly challenging, but I believe this is because it is first-person from Nick's perspective, so all the characters are being interpreted through his lens.
This book is part of a series - can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in this series tie in with this one?
There will be five books, at least. There are already two books out and I'm finishing up the third now.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I write standing up and I write speech-to-text. There is never an average day, but I generally work until 9pm every night and call it quits at that point.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on Way of the Immortals 3 and Death's Mantle 2. I'm also plotting/getting ready to write the final House of Dolls book.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
www.harmoncooper.com -- All my links to social media are here and I'm pretty easy to interact with at that point.
Universal link to Way of the Immortals: https://geni.us/Way-of-the-Immortals