Jeff Henrikson - An Elven Kingdom Under Siege

Jeff Henrikson - An Elven Kingdom Under Siege

Jeff Henrikson lives with his wife and three children just outside of Washington D.C. He works for a Department of Defense think tank advising our armed forces who so valiantly keep our nation strong. Jeff is a Chemical Engineer by trade and obtained his doctorate from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Go Blue).  As our Author of the Day, Henrikson tells us all about his book, Do the Gods Hear Our Prayers?

Please give us a short introduction to what Do the Gods Hear Our Prayers? is about.

It is a well crafted sword and sorcery fantasy novel that keeps you turning pages until the end.   Deep within the woods stands Armena, the last elven kingdom of Tellus. For centuries, Armena’s citizens have tried to maintain a peaceful existence on the land which has always been their home. Yet that peace is about to come to an end. An unexpected tragedy, brought on by the world's most powerful thieves guild, thrusts Armena into disarray, and authorities, desperate to bring some calm to the distressed citizens, place the blame on two high-profile scapegoats: Evisar and Jefon, the sons of Armena’s most beloved warrior, Lacrue Talisman.

What inspired you to write about an elven kingdom under siege?

The inspirational answer is that it was a mountain I wanted to climb, to see if I could write a great story.  The more direct answer is that the basis of the story, the world and personalities of the main characters, came from a Dungeons and Dragons adventure I experienced in graduate school.  Years later, I molded the story into the exciting roller coaster it is today.

Tell us more about the Talon Thieves Guild.

The Talon Thieves Guild is the ultimate enemy behind a curtain of enemies.  The immortal Guildmaster wants to carve out the first thieves kingdom in history, but he has to take territory away from the humans and elves to do it.  So he develops a complex scheme of assassinations and misdirection to trick the humans and elves into fighting each other.  The Talon Guild has hundreds of members, but it is ruled by an Inner Circle known as the Thirteen.

Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you.

I work for a Department of Defense think tank in Washington D.C.

I love playing sports of all types, with soccer and basketball being my favorites.

I enjoy board and video games of all types.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Throughout my youth, I loved advocating for environmental issues.  I would tell my younger self to follow that dream.

What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?

The first computer game I played in 1983, called Starflight, is widely achknowledged as one of the best games of all time.  The instruction book was actually a story in and of itself.  This game, along with the included story, probably had the biggest impact on my life.  The alternative answer would be Isaac Asimov's "Foundation."  My series is modeled after this great work in many ways.

Why did you title this book "Do the Gods Hear Our Prayers?"

Throughout the story, the gods above play an active part in the lives of the mortals below.  I wanted the reader to always wonder if the characters were in charge of their destiny, or if the gods were behind the scenes pulling the strings.

View points tend to change throughout the story.  Why did you take this approach?

It seemed the most interesting and exciting way to tell the story.  I feel my story is unique in this respect, as I have never read another story where you get the plot from one point of view, and then a completely different take from another point of view.

Some people say that the book follows a bit of a Dungeons and Dragons formula.  Are you a fan of the game?

This is a difficult needle to thread.  Yes, I am a fan of the game.  Readers who enjoy role playing games will love this series; however, I tried very hard to appeal to a much wider audience.  Much like Game of Thrones, even readers who don't typically like fantasy novels have told me how much they love the series.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

George Washington.  I would say he is most directly responsible for creating a country that has provided a light in the darkness for two centuries.

Do you consider yourself a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule that you stick to, or is it more in the moment?

When I am writing, I have to follow a schedule.  I have to write everyday.  Of course, this is difficult with three children.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I am developing plot for the fourth and final volume in the series, while trying actively to advertise the series.

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

The best place would be my website at

I also welcome direct contact via email at [email protected]