The Last Archide was meant to be a fantasy series. I know, I know, that’s hard to believe-what with my fascination with Tolkien and Lord of the Rings.

Very soon, you’ll see some new artwork show up in the Vault on my web site. It will show you just how long the Archide series has been in my brain, the heavy fantasy theme, and the comic book influence all in one spot. Don’t judge me too harshly-a lot of this was done pre-high school!

My next as of now untitled series is well underway. This one will be all fantasy and I’m loving every second. Getting ready for it, I have been binge watching a lot of fantasy films and television. Lord of the Rings (obviously) the terrible Hobbit trilogy, Willow, Braveheart, Gladiator, Game of Thrones and the Starz series Spartacus to name a few. It helped put me in the mindset of what I wanted my series to feel like, what I didn’t want it to feel like, how adult vs. how young adult and so on. It’s been an adventure!

I’ve pulled out the old drawings, established heroes and villains, invented new races, and even designed a map for this new endeavor. I won’t give away too much, but I thought I would throw one thing out there, because I’m having so much fun with it and that is the idea of magic-or, in this case, dark magic.

I decided to tie two ideas together. 1: that the use of magic leaves a mark for good or bad and 2: the concept that poor decisions make links in a chain we carry with us to the next life, as Charles Dickens showed us in his character of Jacob Marley. So, for my new series, a wizard who uses magic for dark deeds, specifically murder, is weighed down with chains. One link per life he or she takes. These links can’t be destroyed, but to remove them from one’s self comes at great cost. I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway, thanks for reading and keeping up with my insanity! Have a great summer and keep your eyes open for all that’s new and exciting in the Chad R. Odom universe!

Q: What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?

A: Science fiction has the outside chance of becoming science fact which, I think, one of its biggest appeals. Fun to see 30 years from now if you’re a prophet or just a nerd!

Q: How important is research to you when writing a book?

A: It depends on the book. Readers are very smart these days. The amount of material available now is amazing, but makes life harder as an author. Just look at the fan backlash from the latest Star Wars movies! Something as simple as an Amazon review makes anyone a public critic, so you can’t just throw a story against the wall-it has to be thought out. With sci-fi I read about what is possible now and try to stretch it to something that may be plausible in the future. Even if you never mention the “why” something works, as an author you have to have that figured out. Fantasy doesn’t need as much. You establish a world, give yourself the rules that govern it, then break the rules because, “it’s magic.” No further explanation needed.

Q: How often do you write?

A: Daily in some form or fashion. Sometimes it’s writing a new book, sometimes it’s editing, jotting notes, creating newsletters, etc.

Q: For The Last Archide: Did you set a plot or did you prefer going wherever the idea took you?

A: Yes. I knew basic character arcs and what the story needed to achieve. Some things were necessity, others whimsy and some are a natural result of where the story is taking me at the time.

Q: Ashes of Andromeda is coming out in a week. What can we expect from the rest of the series?

A: With each progressive book, layers are peeled back. It goes from a sports arena in Ascension to a world war in Puppet Master. Going forward, the stakes get even higher. So far, the series has been very fast-paced. Ashes still has plenty of action, but the beat slows down so you can chew the real meat of the series. To me, it’s the critical piece. This is also where thing go from touching on sci-fi to all out sci-fi.

Q: Do you have any events coming up?

A: The Spencer Creek Library in St. Peters has a Local Author’s Open House every year. I’ll be there and that’s in October. I’ve got a few I’m lining up with local businesses, but nothing definitive yet. Check out my Facebook page for updates on those.

Q: Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?

A: Specifically, no. I remember reading a lot of comic books. I was a big “Choose Your Own Adventure” fan, too. The first one that left a big impression was The Hobbit.

Q: Which inspired you to begin writing The Last Archide? 

A: I was born with an over-active imagination. I loved to hear and tell stories since I was a kid. I started reading and nothing thrilled me more than creating worlds and people. I had a dream with a very specific image to it. It stuck with me and became the base for the Archide series.  I never lost the passion to create and tell stories but now that I’m an adult, I have even more reasons to tell them.

Q: Does The Last Archide carry a message?

A: There are lots of themes to be found and I think that’s the brilliance of any story. Different people are going to pull different things. For me, the major theme is redemption. As the saying goes, “The hardest person to forgive is yourself.” That’s really Oryan’s journey. What he does is terrible but, as bad as it is, he magnifies it in his own mind and does everything he can to not pass what he believes is his legacy onto his loved ones.

Q: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?

A: I always wanted to be an author and create characters and a world and everything that goes with it. What I didn’t realize is the impact doing it would have on me. In addition, I’m blessed to grow up with a colorful family who told the same funny family stories over and over again at reunions. My next project is my way of showing a reader what it’s like to be an author and preserving those family stories. It will be fantasy and will be much more light-hearted than Archide. After that, I’m going to right the wrong that has been going on for some time and that’s the de-horrifying of vampires. When I was a kid, vampires were scary. Now, they sparkle and date high school girls. That needs to change.

Q: Who are you dedicating the remaining books in the series to?

A: Mostly family. Some of my characters and stories are inspired by people in my life, so I tend to dedicate books to those inspirations.

Q: Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?

A: My sister, for sure. Even though she’s gone, she was my cheerleader and still is. My whole family is on board and wishes me the best. I get different support from everyone and it almost adds up to what my sister did on her own! Big shoes to fill!