Hi everyone! On the blog today, we have an interview with self-published author, A.R. Lerwill. Read on to find out more about the first book in his young adult sci-fi trilogy, “War for Humanity: The Wrath of Black Scar” and find out in our interview who is in his dream cast for his books, what was the best writing advice he’s ever received, and who he’s a “fangirl” of.
War for Humanity: The Wrath of Black Scar
‘War for Humanity’ is a coming-of-age story set in the future after an apocalypse, where a rival species has risen to claim superiority, and a young human warrior named Aldber is caught in the midst of the climactic war. The conflict will challenge his beliefs and identity, the consequences of which will decide the fate of the world forever.
Interview with A.R. Lerwill
Hi and welcome to My Fangirl Chronicles! To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about War for Humanity: The Wrath of Black Scar and what inspired it?
Hi! The book is part of a trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic earth where the majority of human civilization has been destroyed and another species – called the centauri – have risen to claim superiority. The story follows a young human warrior called Aldber who people believe might be the savior of humanity, which was prophesized many generations prior. This first part of the trilogy follows Aldber on an almost impossible mission, which will unravel great mysterious and also change his life forever. Growing up, I was a massive fan of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, so there have been subtle elements from each that have influenced this book. The works of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley were very important in terms of using fictional settings to translate ideas. I have read and watched countless Sci-Fi books and films, which have helped me when approaching this genre.
Did you have to do any research for this book? What was that process like?
Because I wanted to encompass various topics in the book that reflected upon our current times, I did a lot of research about world history, philosophy, spirituality, and various things like artificial intelligence and global warming. Because the story is a critique on religion, and the differences between fact and fiction when recollecting events, I researched many stories in the contemporary religious scriptures and also took inspiration from ancient mythology from around the world. The process involved reading various books and web pages and then taking snippets of information to then integrate into the narrative. This was a continual process whilst redrafting the manuscript.
Introduce us to your main character!
Aldber is a young human warrior in his early twenties. He has spent the entirety of his life in the safety of the Sanctuary, which is the stronghold of the formidable Galardros, who are an order of warriors established to protect the people against the centauri. He is an orphan and has had a sheltered life away from the barbaric struggle that so many of the tribe’s witness. Throughout his childhood, he had shown great potential and there are secrets about his origins which warrant people suspecting he might be the chosen one. The story begins with him venturing out into the world for the first time on a mission to acquire vital information for the war effort, before he must return to the Sanctuary to be initiated into the order. You see that Aldber starts out as a well-trained and yet reckless person, and as the story progresses, he goes through various situations that will test his strength and morals. Ultimately, his character arc throughout the trilogy sees his identity and beliefs been challenged. So really, ‘War for Humanity’ is a coming-of-age story.
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Are you a plotter/architect or a pantser/gardener? What is your technique for world-building? How about for creating characters?
Before writing the book, I wrote down chapter-breakdowns so that I knew exactly what was to happen. This was necessary because the story is multi-layered and complex. When it came to world-building and character creation, I did various drawings of how I imagined them all. Crucially, I wasn’t overly descriptive because I wanted to feed enough information for the reader to create their own interpretation of the world and all of its inhabitants.
What do you hope readers will take away from War for Humanity: The Wrath of Black Scar?
That they will be entertained, inspired, and intellectually challenged.
Describe a typical writing day for you.
I don’t have any preparation rituals but would usually only set myself the quota of 1,000 words a day. I found that doing this, and then drafting what I had just written, was a productive method
If you could co-author a book with another person, who would that person be and what type of book do you think you two would write?
I’m a fan of Truman Capote, especially his masterwork ‘In Cold Blood’. Perhaps we could have taken another real-life event and collaborated on researching and developing a story together.
Is there a genre that you hope to write for one day that you haven’t yet?
I actually have three other books in the works that are in the spy, satire/drama and horror genres respectively.
What is the best writing advice that you’ve ever received?
Just keep on writing and honing your craft.
A huge movie studio wants to adapt your book into a film/tv series. What is one core aspect of your book you hope they successfully translate onto the screen?
I have actually thought about this a lot because I know the potential ‘War for Humanity’ has. Whilst you could do a straightforward adaption based on the overall narrative, whether some of the post-modern techniques I have used could be so easily translated onto screen would be debatable. I know that was the same issue with the ‘Watchmen’ adaption
Do you have a dream cast for the main characters in your book?
I am gradually compiling the list, but only have a few ideas so far. One of them would be Tom Hardy. He would be perfect as one of the main characters called Hecta.
Do you have a playlist for your book? Either a collection of songs you listened to on repeat while writing or songs you believe accurately convey the tone and other aspects of the book?
When writing I don’t like distractions, but when I do redrafting, I might listen to classical or film scores. Something majestic and epic to match the story!
What are you currently reading?
I am about to start John le Carre’s ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’. Research for the next book.
What is your favorite part about being a writer?
Being able to express so many different ideas in a story that can be enjoyed by so many different people.
If you were only allowed to read one book for the rest of your life, what book would you choose and why?
That is a tough question. I would probably say ‘1984’ by George Orwell because it is such an incredible piece of literature that you can always draw something new from each time you read it.
What has been the most rewarding/the most challenging part of your writing journey so far?
I think being able to actually write this trilogy was the biggest reward because I have been planning it since I was a teenager. The most challenging thing was taking all of those ideas and actually trying to make it into something credible. Receiving constructive criticism was testing but a necessity.
When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
Ever since I was a young boy, I always loved to read books. I also admired the aesthetic of them. When I started doing more creative writing at school and realized I had potential, I knew that one day that was what I wanted to do with my life.
Do you have any writing regrets? A scene you wish that made it into the final version of your book? An overlooked factual error? A piece of dialogue you wish hadn’t been edited out? Etc.
I am fortunate to not have any. I had to edit out a few scenes and pieces of dialogue, but as long as that helped to strengthen the story, I am happy.
Can you tell us a bit about your next project? / (If your book has a sequel) Without spoilers, can you tell us a bit about what we can look forward to in the next book?
The next two parts to the trilogy will be released in July and December of this year.
Go-to writing fuel?
Flat white and banana
Dog-ear or use a bookmark?
Favorite font to write in?
Garamond for books. Georgia for personal.
‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ – Ghandi
Author who inspires you?
J.K. Rowling. Not only because she created such a great series, but also does a lot of charitable work.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Create music, work out at the gym, travel, read, watch films, socialise
Would you rather read a book with a chapter missing or never knowing the ending?
With a missing chapter. It could be an interesting way to construct your own ideas to fill in the blanks.
One question you wish you were asked in an interview and the answer to that question.
Q: What would be the biggest sign of success for you?
A: Receiving fan-mail and reading about how my stories have made an impact on other people’s lives. That would be life-affirming.
One quirk most people don’t know about you?
Hmm I can roll a pen around my fingers in an intricate fashion, because when I was a boy I used to perform as a magician and did this with my magic wand!
Something you consider yourself a “fangirl” (huge fan) of?
About the Author:
A.R. Lerwill is a London-based author. His first project, the ambitious epic young adult science fiction trilogy ‘War for Humanity’, has been a creation nearly two decades in the making, as the initial ideas came into fruition during his childhood. A.R. is also a passionate musician, enjoys travel, fitness, reading and cinema.
Thanks for joining me here today; until next time!