1. This book has a lot of historical details, how long did you have to research for it?
I do a little bit of research for my adventure novels ahead of time, just enough to select a relic that is worth tracking down and a few locations that will provide for awesome backdrops. That research takes many forms. Obviously I spend a lot of time reading history websites, digging through books I have around the house, and skimming Wikipedia articles. For the Eye of Odin I also found a website that had a virtual tour of Neuschwanstein Castle. I spent many hours over multiple evenings clicking through the tour, researching the paintings in the castle, and reading the legends associated with those paintings. Once I have those elements, I start writing the story. Even more research comes as I am working on the story. For example, when I was researching locations for The Staff of Moses I spent aafternoon crawling across the Egyptian desert in Google earth, tracing the routes that my characters would follow and identifying places where the events of the novel could conceivably happen.
2. What sparked the idea for this book?
I love adventure movies like the Indiana Jones series, but I have never quite found a series of adventure novels that spoke to me in the same way (if anyone has recommendations, please let me know on Google+), so I decided to try my hand at writing some. After I wrote The Staff of Moses last year I decided that I wanted to step away from the established (and sometimes touchy with readers) world of Biblical relics, so I turned my thoughts to the mythology of ancient Europe. Paging through some of my books of mythology, or it might have been some Wikipedia articles, I came across an illustration of one-eyed Odin. That got me thinking about the idea of what sort of powers that piece of magical anatomy might possess if someone were to track it down. The story went from there. It changed a lot as I went along (Loki and Odin didn't even exist as present-day characters until I was about 1/4 of the way through my first draft), so I did have to revise my outline several times as I wrote.
3. Do you plan to write a sequel?
Absolutely. My "beta readers" were begging for a story related to American legends after they finished this story, but I can't promise that I will provide that. I don't want to give away everything at the moment (especially since my characters tend to take the plot in unexpected directions as I write) but I can say that the next Oliver Lucas adventure will begin in New Orleans and involve stolen gems, the Acadian expulsion, French history, and a really cool temple in India. I've already got about 1/4 of the novel outlined and expect to start writing it after I release my science fiction novel Burning in the Void (the first week of November) and publish the first short story in a new fantasy series (on Halloween).
4. Why did you decide to publish it yourself?
That was actually a very difficult decision. On one hand I am petrified that by self-publishing I will poison traditional publishers against my stories, at least those that I have already released. If an established publisher approached mewith a contract that would allow me to pursue my writing full time, I would absolutely take them up on that offer. That said, from what I have observed in the indie community and comments from well-known authors, it seems as if it is just as hard to get noticed by a publisher as it is to build a successful indie career. So, for the moment, I am just trying to produce as much great work as I can and do my best to get it in front of readers.
5. Which character was the most fun to write?
Oliver Lucas. I don't feel like I know him completely yet, but I love exploring his depths. He is truly a good person at heart, but he is also a pragmatic man of the world who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. Over the next few novels I expect to push Oliver to his limit physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Looking forward four to five novels I know where his story is going to take him, but I can't honestly say that I know whether he will end up as a hero or anti-hero by the end of the final novel.