Elevate Publishing Team: I see Birthrights is the first book in a series. How many books are you planning for the series, and how long will I have to wait between installments?
J. Kyle McNeal: I’m guessing this question comes from past experience — either from when an author stretched the story over too many volumes or waited so long between installments that you forgot what you’d read. I feel you. Although I’d have liked to keep it to a trilogy, the story I’ve mapped out will take four volumes to tell properly. My goal is to release each new volume within a year of the last, and I’m well ahead of meeting that timing target for book two.
EPT: You’ve used the Truth as a religious text for the people in the Lost Land. I noticed some parallels to the Bible, and wondered if you had specific religions in mind as you modeled the different peoples’ faiths?
JKM: The world of the Lost Land is a fantasy world with a totally different history and mythology from Earth. While I’ve drawn from my own experiences and my knowledge of different faiths, I didn’t model any of the faiths after specific religions. Rather, I tried to blend various aspects of a number of religions to create faiths that would best serve both the peoples and the story.
EPT: I feel like Birthrights has two protagonists — Whym and Quint. With one in the Fringe and the other journeying across the rest of the Lost Land, did you ever consider separating their stories into two books?
JKM: This was something I considered, but not for very long. One of the foundational themes in Birthrights and the Revisions to the Truth series is that truth varies across different perspectives — that your truth and mine may be different. Telling the story using different points of view allowed me to develop this concept.