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Friday 3 June 2022

Author and Character Interview with Brett Salter - The Talisman Series

 CBY Book Club caught up with author Brett Salter to chat all about his YA Fantasy books, The Talisman Series. Read on to discover more ...

The Talisman Series
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date:  May, 2017 - February 2022



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Author Interview

1. What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I think when my son started reading, I realized I wanted to be part of that. I felt I wanted to give back to younger readers to inspire them the way the books I read when I was young inspired me. The other time I realized I wanted to write came in a completely different form. I’ve told this story a bunch of times. And it’s completely true. I used to write short stories and poetry and music, but I never did any big projects. At one point, my mother dared me to write a book off a premise we brainstormed together, and I just went with it. Before I knew it, I had the first book done and since it ended on a cliffhanger, we were like, “What’s next?”. I realized that I liked writing so much that I just kept on going. Now, I’m sitting on 4 self-published books and 7 more waiting in the wings (get it?)

2. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I’d love to say it was winning the awards I’ve won, but that’s just not true. It’s the reactions from younger readers who read my series and just love the books. Whether or not I hear from parents about the kids theorizing about how the they can’t wait for the next installment to come out or just listening to my son and kids his age theorize about how the plot and characters will develop in the future. I would say inspiring young readers to enjoy my books, but also write their own is the most rewarding part of being published.

3. If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why? 
My favorite book of all time is “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, so to have a Hunter S. Thompson signed copy of that would be mondo radical. Um, but I would also entertain “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis or “A Spell For Chameleon” by Piers Anthony as they were HUGE influences in my younger reading life.

4. If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
In the realm of fiction, I would say that invulnerability is the most broken superpower, so I would need to steer clear of that. Especially if you have an evil despot in a position of authority that is invulnerable, that makes defeating them nigh impossible. If I had to pick a superpower from my series, The Talisman Series, I would pick something like Mr. Jones’s spell Transportation Incantation that basically allows him to teleport groups of people anywhere he wants. I even had to set some limitations on it because I was like, “That’s not really fair! What’s to stop him from using this for nefarious purposes.” I guess we should be happy Mr. Jones is on OUR side! And, of course I would NEVER use it for personal gain (wink, wink).

5. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. 
I write for kids like my own and tell stories meant to entertain, so check out my books if you like action, dragons, and zany characters.

6. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I do have the humblest beginnings of a second series in the works. I have the plot of the first book and the “Legendarium” already put to paper (or hardrive). That series will be a work of portal fiction mixed with destiny fiction and entail more adult themes as compared to The Talisman Series.  Trying to make it a pure YA series instead of the more MG adventures of Rome and Julian.  I can give you a little taste of my plans for that one here:

Seven young humans from the planet Earth are sought and transported to an alternate dimension where technology does not exist. The realm is called ??? and the most powerful beings there are a race of tyrannical warlords. There are seven of them, and they each run a specific kingdom on separate islands/continents of the planet. There is a resistance living on the planet consisting of a small group of rebels who want to realize a prophecy by gathering the seven Earthlings who are destined to change the world and fix the oppression demonstrated by the dictatorial warlords.

As with The Talisman Series, there will be a heavy emphasis on mythology, colors, names, and elements. As well as some video game RPG fundamentals like summoning, weapons, and certain aspects of magic. I’m really excited to get a rough draft of book 1 or at least a solid foundation. I plan to get into that tasty experiment later this year, after I finish the initial rendering of book 11 for The Talisman Series.

7. Do you write as you go or do you have the book planned before you start the first draft?
Oh, I absolutely write as I go. It’s a crazy ride too! I had no idea how far I would go with this. I am currently working on the finishing rough draft for book 11. Mostly, I wrote the first 3 books flying by the seat of my pants, but after that, I developed a clear plot and resolution for books 4-6. Then, after the pandemic, I settled in and got a long, intricate story for the next 6 books which I will release as the years go on. And I gotta say, I feel like each entry in the series is full of better story telling and more interesting characters.

8. What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
I am a huge MCU nerd. I grew up reading comic book along with all the fantasy and science fiction I read. So, now that we live in the Golden Age of being a comics nerd, I am absolutely in heaven!

9. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
If I HAD to move from where I live now, I would live on Loch Ness so I could see about getting a view of Nessie!  LOL

10. Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Oh man! For sure in Rome and Julian!  So, this can all be learned on the Fandom.com wiki I created (link below). In the beginning, I based my characters off me. Just me. I’ve known myself for a long time, and it was a small cast, so it was easy. I made Rome and Julian to represent the two different sides of my personality. Rome represents the levelheaded and introspective portion of me that wants to do the right thing, but rarely jumps at the chance to be a leader. Despite his uneasiness about assuming a leadership role, he always has the best interests of his friends and family in mind. Rome’s internal dialogue and hesitant decision making reflect how I feel about myself specifically during my teenage years. Julian, on the other hand, is brash and braggadocios. Not to mention loud, and most times, his mouth operates without properly consulting his brain first. These characteristics are also like me.  Even the idea of him rebelling against his family ideals is indicative of my own brazen and defiant nature during my teenage years. He also uses informal language with everyone other than his father to emphasize the fact that he tries to be “cool” with a “devil-may-care” attitude. Whereas Rome is more the internal example of how I felt as a teen, Julian more closely resembles my physical appearance during those years. Finally, the spatial linking that the two share as Synergist Knight and Master Dragon is a metaphor for how my two personalities differ and interact inside my head. LOL. Seems funny to really say it out loud, but the idea of splitting the sides of my personality into two characters was an idea I wanted to explore since the earliest days of my writing.

Fandom Wiki Page:


We were also graced with the presence of a much-loved character, Julian Rider, from The Talisman SeriesRead on to find out more about our young knight.


Character Interview

1. Julian, quick, describe yourself in seven words or less!
Megalithic, hypersonic, unrivaled, undefeatable Darkbrand slayer….dude!

2. Tell us something about your current hometown.
It’s soooo boring here. Like, painfully boring. It’s a small town feel with even less to do with your free time. It should really tell you something about my hometown when I found myself hanging out at the local library for entertainment, right?

3. What's the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Haha! You wanna talk about strange?  How about going face to face with a giant, red-furred Minotaur that exploded into another dimension? Or how about traipsing across The Gobi Desert to find a long-lost fire Talisman? Or being dragged thousands of feet under the ocean to meet water dragon royalty?  Take your pick, dude.

4. What's your favorite food?
Pizza, no doubt. Pizza with extra cheese and tons of pepperoni!

5. Can you tell us a little about what to expect in The Talisman Series?
Only the most epic, action-packed, rib-tickling adventures your eyes will EVER have the privilege of viewing! Seriously, the books are fun and full of humor and cinematic action.

6. Can you tell us something about yourself we don't learn from the book or series?
Where do I start? I’ve seen over 200 movies. I have an autographed picture of Stan Lee. I can juggle all kinds of fruit. I’ve beaten The Legend of Zelda like 6 times. I have perfect pitch but ONLY in the shower. In a room, I always have to sit facing the door. I don’t trust snails or slugs. I’ve memorized the entire Weezer blue album and once performed it a capela at the middle school talent show. I invented “Rick-rolling”. I don’t drink coffee, but I love the smell. My hero is Monty Oum. I sleep with only one sock and with my feet out from under the covers. I can never spell the word “seperate” correctly….see? I don’t eat the crust on my sandwiches. My favorite dinosaur is the velociraptor. Favorite Pok√©mon is Charizard.  I can hold my breath for 47 seconds. I have a collection of spores under my bed that I use for the science fair every year. I once drank an entire 2-liter of Coke in one sitting. I can fit my entire fist in my mouth. I don’t have any…

7. What is your author Brett Salter like?
Yeah, he’s cool. A bit of a nerd though. But he loves his family and his passion for creativity and writing makes him a great host to dictate my life on the written page. (Pauses, considering) Yeah, I don’t think I would ask for anyone else to be my creator.  Unless The Rock is available?

8. Name five items in your purse or pockets right now.
Uuuuum. (digging into pockets of sweat pants)  Let’s see here…We got a key to my house, a chewed piece of Bubble Yum squished into a napkin, 37 cents in change (mostly pennies), a fake spider, and, of course, Pandora’s Die of Hope. I never leave home without it.

9. What was your first impression of Rome?
I thought he seemed cool. I kinda wanted to be like him. Friendly and honest and a hard worker. A good combination. Kinda like he is now. He’s a perfect leader. Simple and forthright. And he’s so humble that he doesn’t even know how good he is at it. The truth is, we would follow him anywhere if it meant protecting the ones we love. And that is Rome in a nutshell. Courage personified.

10. If you had one chance to change anything about your life, what would it be?
Well, The Great Synergy gave me a brother. And Mr. Jones trained me to be the most famous Darkbrand slayer the world’s ever seen. So, I guess I just wish I could have a never-ending supply of tacos!



About the Author
My background in writing stems mostly from the inspiration I found as a kid when I read Fantasy and Sci-Fi books. These include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Xanth Novels, The Time Quintet, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and everything from Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss. In my formative years, I joined several punk rock bands and wrote songs, poetry, and short stories aplenty. As an adult (?) I took on a dare and wrote the first book in my Talisman Series. I loved the feeling it gave me and the idea of inspiring others so much that I kept writing until I had an entire series.

I am currently working to finish The Talisman Series. I have self-published 4 of the books which can be found on Amazon. At this very moment, I am on book 11 of the 12 I have planned.

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