Author: Ian Wilson
Legend of the Sword Bearer: An ancient evil threatens a modern world. A beast stalks the woods. A young man is marked for death. What does it want with him? Find out in this epic graphic novel adventure.Tweet
Reaching for More
Interview by Jenny Fulton
Ian Wilson describes himself as a man of many hats. In addition to being an author, illustrator, and self-proclaimed armchair theologian, he is also proficient in martial arts, gardening, and woodworking.
So, in what genre does a person with such a wide range of interests choose to write?
“I primarily write in fantasy, now,” Ian said, “but I’ve done science fiction, suspense, horror, and superhero stories.”
He describes his graphic novel, Legend of the Sword Bearer, as “cosmic fantasy; a blend of science fiction, high fantasy, and cosmic horror elements all woven into a seamless fabric.”
“What made you decide to write graphic novels?” I asked.
“I’ve always been a very visual person. I found standard novels rather boring as a child and actually refused to read or write for most of my childhood, in favor of watching cartoons or drawing. I’ve been drawing all my life. My childhood dream was to get a job as an animator at Disney. I’m glad I didn’t get that. Doing graphic novels was just a natural progression.”
That makes sense. As a teacher I’ve known several individuals whom I could see following a similar path. To be honest, my exposure to graphic novels has primarily come from my sisters and through the eager interests of my students.
“What do you like about graphic novels?” I asked.
“Um, everything,” Ian responded. “I love writing them and I love drawing them. There are certain things you can do with graphic novels that you can’t do with other books. In novels, you have to describe everything with words, but in a graphic novel, I can just draw it. People can get the picture. Graphic novels are almost like movies in a lot of ways, but the nice thing about them is there is no budget on special effects.”
As someone with little ability to draw anything, I greatly admire those who are able to show in pictures what I can only depict in words. I also love to hear where artists get their inspiration.
For this project, Ian was inspired by the fantasy and mythology books he grew up with. Lloyd Alexander’s books were a huge inspiration, along with stories from Celtic mythology and the legends of King Arthur. He also pulled from some personal desires and experiences.
“I think the feeling of wanting to be more than you are is an almost universal experience,” he shared, “and that’s what I tapped into. It’s in Star Wars. It’s in Harry Potter. It’s practically everywhere these days.”
In the course of writing this book, Ian was definitely immersed into this process of becoming more than you are.
“It’s forced me to up my game, both in the sphere of writing and artwork. My art has improved vastly since I began this project, and I like to think my writing has as well. It’s forced me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to be more disciplined in my habits. It’s made me work harder to get my work seen. Having a strong work ethic doesn’t just happen, you have to work at it. You have to push yourself and challenge yourself to do better.”
Some of the themes in Legend of the Sword Bearer include fellowship, the power of good, and the power of the individual person to do incredible good.
“Those are the positive themes,” said Ian. “There are negatives, too, though. I consider it a critique of the ‘culture of death’ I see in the world today; the destruction of the family, the sundering of man’s relationship with the natural world, the rampant intrusion of government, eugenics, and the return of paganism. I think that if most modern “pagans” actually met some of the old gods, they’d be scared stiff, and I want to make that perfectly clear.”
“What do you hope readers come away with after reading your book?” I asked.
“Part of the purpose of storytelling is to reinforce the values of a society. By using archetypes as old as mankind, I’m reinforcing the ancient values of our civilization, and hopefully, people will pick up on that. These values include courage, self-sacrifice, and love. I want people to be empowered to do acts of courage in their own lives.”
Perhaps it is, in part, this courage, self-sacrifice, and love that enables us to grow and become more than we are – to became that which we were made to be…
Special, Limited Time Offer!
You can find Legend of the Sword Bearer Volume 1 on Amazon now, and Volume 2 will be available shortly. HOWEVER, if you go to Ian’s website (https://legendsandsongs.weebly.com/) you can read the first chapter for free! And, for a limited time, subscribers to his mailing list can read chapters 1 & 2 for free! Use the sign-up form on his website to register. You’ll get all sorts of other cool things along with that subscription.
“Hurry and sign up,” Ian says, “because I won’t be offering that forever!”
Legend of the Sword Bearer Volume 1
An ancient evil stalks the wood. Mysterious disappearances cause concern. A young man is marked for death. What does it want? Why is it searching for him? What has he done, or what is he going to do? Find out in this thrilling adventure in myth and mystery!