Sunday 15 November 2020

Blog Tour: Interview with Dominic Hodgson Author of Gift of the Mancynn (The Ragnarök Chronicles: 2016) @DEJHodgsn @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Gift of the Mancynn (The Ragnarök Chronicles: 2016) by Dominic Hodgson. I have an interview with the author to share with you today. You can click here to order your copy now, don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour using the hashtag for more exclusive content and reviews.

Here's what it's all about...

Beyond the scope of Earthly perception, ancient forces have been waiting, prowling out in the further reaches of the multiverse. Now however the time has come for plans put in place from the dawn of human history to be set in motion. Philip Quint has always been different, able to do and know things beyond immediate explanation, all the while unquestioning of these abilities. For the present, all he has to concern himself with are the upcoming summer holidays, that and the disappearance of his best friend, plus the mysterious individuals approaching him in the hope of gaining his allegiance. On the one hand, there's Lord Gryal Repa, seemingly the embodiment of Death, along with his Council of the Brethren, who originally made this boy so extraordinary, made him a Mancynn. On the other, there's the man dressed all in black, renegade former-devotee of the Brethren Lords who promises to reveal Gryal's true intentions. Then in turn, in this grander conflict spanning dimensions, who can say that there aren't other foes operating even deeper within the shadows? As Philip and his friends are thus swept up in a mission taking them across and beyond this world, uncovering conspiracies and secrets hidden at every turn, with even Time itself differing from belief, the latest in a line of Mancynns must soon decide if he should fight back against what he’s told is his destiny, if he can at all...

Here's that author interview for you...

First question-bit of a cliché-how did you get into writing?

It’s something I’ve always done, since I was in pre-school sending my toys on adventures. I still have some of those earliest stories in the pipeline to do someday, albeit it greatly evolved forms. As it then transpired at around the age of ten I realised one day that most of my stories could actually exist within the same continuity, given a little tweaking, thus I assembled what would go on today to be The Ragnarök Chronicles, a sci-fi franchise detailing the history of a multiverse set to ultimately consist of fifty-five entries (hence my continuing drive to write in the present so that I can hope to get through them all) which is in turn broken down into sub-series capable of being read independently of each other. Elsewise I’ve also been inspired by other franchises in other mediums, namely screen and stage, to want to write for them as well, to add my own stories to their canons, however those pursuits are for now at least less tangible. Beyond that, this ever-present want to tell stories shaped most other choices in my life as well, in terms of what I studied, where I got work experience and that I got involved in things like some amateur acting.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I’ve been doing it full time since June of this year, before which I was either in education or for the year after that continuing with my tutoring job I’d started while at uni. I don’t know in turn how long I’m going to keep doing it full time up for, but at the moment I’m dedicating as much as I can to the craft.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer to write?

My instinctive writing style is close-third person in the past tense with alternating perspectives, however I have dabbled in others for specific effects. As for genre, pretty much everything I write is science fiction to a given degree, but then within that I always like to mix in other genres as well, especially fantasy and horror, as I feel compelled to have a go at everything.

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

I try not to consciously/wholly base any character on any real person just in case that person makes the connection and not appreciate it for some reason (although on the flip side of that same coin observing social groups can be good for reminders of what diverse options there are when fleshing out individuals). It’s then a matter of just considering what their role is, both in the story and in their world, what their opinions are of their surrounding cast, and more than that I’m not entirely sure, they just develop naturally as the story is written rather than it being a product of many purposeful choices.

What was the inspiration behind your book?

With ‘Gift of the Mancynn’…I honestly don’t remember for the most part. I can say that around 2013 I was trying to come up with the sub-series that would be the introduction to the multiverse of The Ragnarök Chronicles, for which I devised a story set before the beginning of time. That tale has since been discarded as it was, with book two ‘The Archk of Angels’ (coming soon, keep an eye out) most closely resembling it amongst the finalised entries in the franchise, but as part of that idea there was implemented into the lore a group of extra-dimensional beings that could be paralleled to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They would become the Brethren Lords in ‘Gift of the Mancynn’. Then I can say that the inspiration for the sequence set in Venezuela was that I had shortly beforehand done a presentation on the country in a lesson of Spanish. Beyond that, it’s a mystery to me, as many of my sources of inspiration are, it just being that I’m ever having ideas thrown at me by the back of my brain which may go on to be added to my copious amounts of notes. There are just some occasions though that I can point out were the direct result of me realising I don’t currently have a story with a given kind of location/style/character which makes me want to make one based around that thing, while at the same time also looking to work out how I can experiment with what’s already been done in that regard to take it in a new direction.

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

Always planned out first. I’ve tried to go along a bit at a time with my current project but it hasn’t been working out for me nearly as well. There will definitely be details that come about later on in the process as the story transitions to the page, but personally it seems I need an established framework of all the beats, twists etc. before I can make a start.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

There are certainly sections of certain books where I can point out that that was a direct reflection of my mind-set at the time, but for the most part I don’t think there’s too much, at least not consciously, as I try to make sure that across my works I display as diverse a range of characters, opinions and tones as I can, especially if that means those details are distinctly other to myself.

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing behind your book?

It depends on the book; if it’s set on Earth then I’ll be looking up as many relevant details as I can to ensure it’s grounded in as much reality as they can be given the nature of the plot, however if it’s in space or the future that’ll be pared back to just any appropriate bits of science that might be fit in to keep things as ‘accurate’ as they can be in a sci-fi story, again given everything else that’s already been set up. Regardless though, given the nature of The Ragnarök Chronicles, there will in turn always be at least an element of researching the mythologies that will be paralleled in that given entry. All of the above then can take the form of cross-referencing any combination of books, documentaries and websites, accompanied in cases where foreign countries are involved messaging people who have lived in those places through mutual contacts.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

Reviews from test readers during the draft process are immensely helpful, regardless of whether or not they end up each leading to an edit of some kind. As for once the book’s out there, it’s always great and interesting to see what people think of my work, I’m fortunate enough to have so far not received any that have left me feeling negative because of having read it, however I think they will have less of a chance of effecting how I go about writing whatever’s next.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

Thankfully very much so, although there’s always also the sense that I should be doing other stuff as well, which is fair in turn.

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

If I’m being honest at that time my main concern is worrying whether or not I’m doing enough on the social media side. I’m not savvy when it comes to online discourse, I’ll readily admit that, yet since I at present at least choose to go down the self-publishing route that means that I need to spearhead book’s marketing etc., so it becomes a matter of trying my best to make sure I tick the proverbial boxes especially around that special day.

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

Well I’ve already addressed how ‘inspiration’ isn’t something that I find readily identifiable, but in terms of simply enjoying reading you have the likes of Jasper Fforde, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Eoin Colfer, Garth Nix, Agatha Christie, then the books that had the greatest presence in my life as I was growing up where those of the Harry Potter series.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

In terms of The Ragnarök Chronicles, seeing as how I’ve finished the first sub-series (the rest of the instalments just awaiting publication), I’m now in the process of writing a stand-alone entry set very much apart from those in terms of both time and space. Beyond that, I’m also currently involved in a fan-made audio drama series Doctor Who: Reverberations (coming soon), for which I not only have a role in voice acting but also writing in a couple of cases. Then as well at the time of you reading this I might have some other random project also on the go on the side. Focus isn’t my strong suit.

About the Author

For as long as I can remember I've been telling stories, odd tales which over time evolved into grander connected narratives. This in turn led me to do work experience at Igloo Publishing House and get a degree in English & Creative Writing, meanwhile also working for just over three years as a tutor of Maths and Science, such pursuits also being of great interest of mine, even if I don't desire a career in their respective fields. I've also enjoyed bringing stories to life by means of amateur performing arts, both scripted and improvised, both the works of others and my own.

Born in 1997, at around the age of ten there was a moment where I, looking over the many scraps of paper upon which were written the chapter titles of my various planned stories, realised that with a little tweaking every idea I currently had could conceivably take place within the same continuity. Soon a timeline was drawn, people and enemies were made recurring, and thus The Ragnarök Chronicles were born, albeit not in the exact form the series is in today.

Since then, as my writing style evolved and the stories became more refined, this project, which is planned to consist of fifty-five books in total, has been my consistent goal. Each sub-series, defined by the year in the titles, can be read in isolation, yet when experienced together will form a greater saga spanning time, space and beyond. When it came to then incorporating a mythic side into the tale, taking inspiration from a plethora of mythologies (but per the series name primarily Norse), everything continued to naturally fall into place. Going forward, my work is going to be doubled-down on the novel front (save maybe for some elusive other opportunities down the line).

YouTube channel The Ragnarök Chronicles ( and website

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