Interview with PETER ORULLIAN


Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Peter Orullian? 

OrullianP-AuthorPicMy rote answer is that I have two abiding passions in life: writing, and music. In addition to my fiction, I’m also a musician. I spent many years in classical voice training. And I love almost all kinds of music: jazz, Broadway, classical, etc., in addition to rock and metal.

By day, I work for Xbox, which is good, since I’m a gamer. But I’m also a dad. Kids are awesome.

Your next novel, Trial of Intentions, was recently published by Tor. It’s the second in your Vault of Heaven series. How would you introduce the series to a potential reader? And what can fans expect from the new novel?

When I started my series, The Vault of Heaven, I had this idea: Write a series that uses some of the familiar elements of the genre to gently lead readers to someplace new. Someplace my own. That idea begins to kick in with the first book. Then, with Trial of Intentions, it kicks into high gear. Things aren’t what readers are expecting. And a few of my early readers have said they’ve loved having me violate their expectations. Continue reading

Guest Post: On Magical Worldbuilding by Peter Orullian

OrullianP-AuthorPicWorldbuilding is a big topic. Especially for epic fantasy. Or it can be, anyways. Writers and novels differ on approach, of course. With my series, The Vault of Heaven, I did spend time thinking through some things before I got deep into the writing. Glad I did.

Before I dive in, though, I should say that I also left lots of room for spontaneous creation. I don’t map my books out in infinite detail. I likes me some surprises along the way.

When it came to the worldbuilding, however, there were a few bits I locked in from the get go. And because worldbuilding is a ginormous topic, I want to focus on magic this time around.

I sat on a panel recently where the topic was basically: heavily rule-based magic vs. the more open approach. The examples thrown out by my co-panelists went something like: Brandon Sanderson on one end and Terry Brooks on the other, maybe Tolkien. You’ve likely heard this before. One side of the continuum has very precise rules for how the magic works — it reminds me, in fact, of Magic: The Gathering. Then, on the other side of that same continuum, you have magic that just works, and may even seems inexhaustible — with nearly no consequence for the wielder.

First off, for me, that last bit is a cardinal sin. If a character can wield something as super-awesome and powerful as magic and do so infinitely, he or she is pretty much a god. And gods don’t tend to lose many battles. To balance that out, the writer would need to give that super-awesome and powerful magic to both sides of the conflict. The escalation is endless. And silly. It might make for fun reading for a while. You know. Lots of cool visuals. Battles of epic proportions. Gods throwing mountains. The sky filled with lightning scorching entire countries. Time reversing itself. Suns exploding. And on. And on. Continue reading