Interview with fantasy author Rival Gates

My special guest today is Rival Gates. We’re chatting about his new
fantasy novel, Mandrean Revenge.
Rival Gates has lived
extensively in both Canada and the United States. He currently resides in
Nebraska, USA. The son of an editor and English teacher, he began planning his
series during his teen years. The Sapphire Chronicles took shape in his mind
and manifested themselves into the first book in the series, Quest for the Red Sapphire. It was
released in 2013 and caught the attention of readers. The following year, The Sapphire Crucible was published
feeding the appetite of the growing number of fans of the series. Crucible answered many questions and
raised others. Now the newest installment of the chronicles is out in Mandrean Revenge where Gates takes us
once again back into the fray. Gates likes to develop strong characters and
place them in difficult situations to create tension. He enjoys spending his
spare time with his family and dreaming up new stories.
Welcome, Rival. Please tell us about your current
It has been more than 2
years since the half elf, Linvin Grithinshield returned from his life altering
quest with the Red Sapphire as his prize in the medieval world of Letheria. Apart
from surviving the regular assassination attempts he thought life had returned
to normal. Far to the north in the Mandrean Empire, however, trouble was
festering. In spite of Linvin’s best efforts, Lord Mandrean the 13th survived
their confrontation and has been plotting his reprisal. With his empire on the
verge of revolt he needs a show of force to display his dominance. Dispatching
Linvin in front of his subjects would fill that role most handsomely. With the
help of his evil Necromancer, Mandrean kidnaps Linvin’s Uncle Anvar. The
elderly elf is the closest family Linvin has remaining and has been a father
figure to him for much of his life. The emperor promises to release Anvar only
after Linvin has surrendered himself for execution. Though Mandrean’s word has
slight credibility, Linvin is given a terrible decision to make. With little
choice Linvin sees no other option but to set out for the empire. He cannot
delay as Anvar’s life will expire at the first frost of fall. That will become
more troubling by the obstacles he faces along the way. Can Linvin reach the
empire in time to sacrifice himself in Anvar’s place? Will Lord Mandrean kill
them both? Or maybe, just maybe, Linvin can pull another miracle and save them
both. One way or another, blood will be shed.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had always wanted to do
a story where there could be no foreseeable happy ending. It makes the reader
try to figure it out throughout the entire read. They will be hard pressed to
find an easy answer to this problem. To make it even more difficult for Linvin,
I threw in a huge obstacle.
Excerpt from Mandrean
The beggar had
observed the conversation but could not hear
what was said. When the
officer came near, the man’s face became
concerned. He clenched his
satchel and put it over his shoulder.
“You on the corner!”
called the constable. “That’s no place for
you to stay. This is a
busy intersection!”
The man looked at the
empty streets. “It isn’t busy now,” he
“All the same,” the
policeman answered. “Come with me, and
I’ll see that you get
a bed to sleep in and some good home
The man was
surprisingly distraught. “That’s real nice, sir, but
I’m waiting for a friend.”
“You can wait at the
eatery. I’m walking a beat all night. If
anything moves in this
town, I’ll see it. Now come on. I will not be
dissuaded in this matter.”
The man reluctantly took
to his feet. Then his demeanor
changed most abruptly.
“Please show me the way,” the man said in
a cheery voice. He
followed the constable down the street and out
of Linvin’s sight.
“So how far is this
place?” the man said while looking around.
“Not far,” replied the
constable. “Their stew is my favorite.
Morda also can cook a
bird that tastes…”
The man tapped him on the
shoulder. When he turned to see the
human, he was caught off
guard. The man thrust his ridged fingers
into the constable’s
esophagus. The action crushed his windpipe
and dropped the elf in
Jumping on the
officer, the man put his hand over the elf’s
mouth to remove any chance
of noise. The man scanned
completely around him
while his victim’s eyes bulged and then
moved no more.
He closed the
constable’s eyes. If you had kept your nose out of
this, you might still
be alive.
He dragged the elf off the
road and
hid him in some bushes. You
chose the wrong night to patrol town.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on the next
book in the Sapphire Chronicles, Book 4. It is ready to go to the publisher. Fans
will love it and have some big surprises.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote for years but
did not consider myself a writer until my first book was published.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
I have a day job in retail
that takes much of my time. I write on my days off. It is hard to find the time
to write. I have to set aside time to write and work on my books. Then I need
complete quiet.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to sit in a
rocking chair when I write. When I need to think I just rock back.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer
since I was 13. Other than that I wanted to be the General Manager of an NFL
Anything additional you want to share with the
I highly recommend the
first two books in the series available on Amazon: Quest for the Red Sapphire and The
Sapphire Crucible
Read what you love
and love what you read!
Thanks, Rival. All the best with your writing!

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