This week we’re getting to know Robert F. Nugent, fantasy author of Knights of the Wolf and The Fallen Banner: Part 1 of The Chronicles of Aerothos. If you love being immersed in medieval worlds full of swords and magic, then Nugent is the author for you. With his beautiful description and relatable characters, he paints a world so colorful you’ll be surprised to find yourself in the real world when you reach the end.
Nearly one hundred years before the Empire’s war on the Union, Dmitry Volkoft, a Hrusko-Sorndiran, is forced to take up the sword to protect his home and those he loves. After the fledgling Kingdom of Sorndir is attacked by the northern warriors of Rovaskia, Dmitry and his Hrusko compatriots seek to rid their homeland of the invaders and return to their quiet lives. But when the enemy proves too powerful and the countryside burns, the men of Hruskaya are confronted with an all-too-familiar truth: shackles are a fate worse than death.
Rob Nugent is an American fantasy author from the American Midwest. Nugent published his first work, ‘The Fallen Banner: Part I of the Chronicles of Aerothos’ in 2015, and his second work, ‘Tales of Aerothos: Knights of the Wolf’ in 2017. An avid student of European medieval history, Nugent blends historical aesthetic and realism into his fantasy world, aiming to create a believable, gritty, low-fantasy setting. His works revolve around Aerothos, a continent with a rich lore, where various kingdoms vie for power in both their courts and the battlefield.
1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.
I’m Rob Nugent, author of the Aerothos books, a medieval low-fantasy series which dives deep into court intrigue, warfare, and the daily lives of people living in such times. Growing up, I was in love with stories like The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire, and ever since I’ve dreamed of creating worlds as immersive as the ones I read about. As the years went on, I began studying history extensively in my free time, starting with classical antiquity and then progressing into medieval studies. Combining my love for epic fantasy and my knowledge of history, I crafted Aerothos.
I’m currently editing and revising my 3rd Aerothos work, a novella titled Tales of Aerothos: Kingsblade.
You As A Reader
2. When did you first fall in love with books?
I’ve loved books since I was old enough to read. I remember in the third grade, I would always check out The Lord of the Rings from the school library. The librarians would tilt their glasses down and look at me over the counter with that, “Really, kid?” look and tell me I had to wait until the fifth grade to read it, because it was beyond my reading level. I’d usually shoot back with, “This is my third time reading Return of the King.”
3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?
If you couldn’t tell yet, I really, really loved The Lord of the Rings as a kid. I was also majorly into The Dragonlance Chronicles, which I think was another important stepping stone for me in my progression as a writer. Dragonlance is fairly simple, but I recall it being the first series of books I read where I paid more attention to the characters and their growth rather than the events of the story.
4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?
“Change”… That’s a powerful word. Throwing a curveball at my theme thus far- the book which has undoubtedly changed me the most is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. While I was a big fan of the Victorian-era gothic horror vibe, that was a book which made me reevaluate life, my priorities, and how I conducted myself. It had a profound effect on how I saw my life and my actions.
5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?
The last book I finished reading was Agincourt: The Fight for France by Ranulph Fiennes. My current favorite book is probably A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. ASOS is the book I sort of look up to for what I want to accomplish with my writing.
6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?
J.R.R. Tolkien. Besides writing, I’m also an avid pipe-smoker, and it would be beyond cool to sit and smoke a pipe with Tolkien and learn what his favorite blends of tobacco were.
You As A Writer
7. When did you first know you were a writer?
I wrote The Lord of the Rings fanfiction in the fourth grade. Go figure. My teacher “published” it for the class to read and that’s when I went, “Yeah, I could do this for the rest of my life.”
8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?
We wrote books in the first grade and I’m pretty sure mine was about killing a dragon with a sword and being a hero. I was a strange kid.
9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey? The best part?
The most difficult part of my writing journey was convincing myself that it could be done. My first book, The Fallen Banner: Part I of the Chronicles of Aerothos, was over 500 pages, and took me two years to write the final draft. I had written about 150 pages of a previous draft before that, not a single phrase of which made it to the final version. Between finishing the writing, editing, and then self-publishing, it felt like an undoable task. I picked a hell of a book to start with.
The best part of my journey has been seeing my finished products and holding the physical books in my hands. I don’t think I could ever pick a moment of my life where I felt more accomplished than when I first saw my name on the cover of a printed novel.
10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?
“Just write,” – Anonymous, or my editor, probably rolling his eyes at me for doubting my work for the millionth time.
But, really. Find whatever version of that quote you want, by whoever you want to have said it. I’ve been told it by probably a hundred people. At the end of the day, it’s the most important thing. Revise later. Edit later. Worry about whatever part of the story later. Just write. Nothing else happens if you don’t do that.
11. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.
Currently, I’m waiting on beta feedback and doing some light editing of my third book, and first novella, Tales of Aerothos: Kingsblade, which is a sort of spiritual sequel to my standalone novel, Tales of Aerothos: Knights of the Wolf. The Tales series explores key historical events leading up to the main Chronicles series, all of which are events that by the time of Chronicles, have been warped and twisted for political purposes, and their truth lost (unless, y’know, you read the Tales books and get the real story). Kingsblade follows an old, troubled knight who is brought back into service by his former squire and their involvement in a pivotal act of grand intrigue which changes Aerothos forever.
I’ve also resumed writing of The Sundered Shield: Part II of the Chronicles of Aerothos, the second installment of my main series.
Fun Stuff About You
12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?
I play music, and before I got into writing, I was in a number of bands. I play drums (and most other percussion. I was a band kid in high school), guitar, bass, and a small bit of piano. I’ve helped a lot of friends with some of their own music and I still write solo instrumental pieces on guitar from time to time.
I also do a lot of Live Action Role Playing (LARP) games. For me, this was a great way to utilize my historical interest and knowledge. I focus on combat-heavy fighting games and have been involved in Dagorhir, a national LARP in the United States, for nearly eight years. For 2018, I’m banding together with some close LARP friends and creating a new game, which I’m very excited for. Most of my free time that isn’t spent writing will be going toward that.
13. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?
Probably something financially related, that way I can be on top of the next Bitcoin or whatever and make a ton of money off a single, easy investment and never have to stress out about money ever again. I’m just saying- all this marketing would be easier with unlimited funds! And I could quit my day job and write more!
14. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world. Where would you go?
Ireland. I’ve been there before, so it wouldn’t be anything new, but I loved it so much. With the sad state my bank account currently is in, a return trip isn’t looking likely for the future.
15. How can people connect with you?
Great question! The easiest way to connect with me is via Twitter. I love Twitter, and though it’s perhaps “unprofessional” of me, I mostly use it just to throw my thoughts into the void and talk and connect with random people (I really despise the idea of having a professional “author account.” I am who I am!) For writing purposes, I have an occasional advertisement here or there, and I always post my big news there first, as well as sneak peeks or my thoughts on what I’m working on.
Instagram is also a good place to follow me. I try to do a lot of cool things there. I use a lot of LARP photos and put quotes from my books or other medieval works to them.
And Facebook is Facebook. I don’t post there too often (<Insert rant about Facebook paid advertising here>), but I always make sure the big news and releases are there, and if you shoot me a message, I’ll certainly get to it.
16. Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I once stabbed myself in the eye with a Megastraw from a Slurpee and had to go to the emergency room. The doctors laughed at me. I was just mad because they wouldn’t give me an eyepatch.
Thanks for sharing a little bit about you. You’re certainly just as colorful as the world you’ve illustrated so beautifully in your books.
If Rob is your kind of nerd, why not check out his books? You can find them both on Amazon.