Keeping Hilliard

Born of steel, fire, and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the three mighty rivers that forged his realm's wealth and power for generations.

His father, a peasant twerg, toiled away in industries of honest labor and instilled in him a work ethic that would shape his destiny. His mother, a local healer, cared for his elders and his warrior uncle, who helped to raise him during his formative years. His genius brother, whose wizardly prowess allowed him to master the art of the abacus and his quill, trained with him for battles on fields of green and sheets of ice.

Hilliard’s earliest education took place in his warrior uncle’s tower, where he learned his first words. His uncle helped him learn life's basics—and, most importantly, creative writing.

Hilliard’s training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tale of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventure, and legendary struggles. He lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids, and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two horsehounds, Thor and MacLeod, and reside there to this day.

 
What started your relationship with writing?
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My relationship with writing stemmed from my love of reading. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien was an inspiration as well as TSR’s Dungeons and Dragons game. Both of those fantasy worlds nurtured my interest in creating my world. I even took inspiration from my game campaigns and used them to fuel my imagination in writing the Warminster series.

What has been the hardest part of the process so far for you?

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The hardest part of the writing process has been learning the ins and outs of publishing. The Last Keeper was the first book I’d ever written, so I was very green about the entire experience. The people at Dragon Moon Press have been incredibly helpful in that respect. For Vorodin’s Lair, I think the hardest part was deciding how much of the story I wanted to include in the second installment and how much I should hold back for the third and fourth books.


What do you do to relax if you aren't writing?
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My schedule is usually packed, but when I’m not writing and have time to relax, I spend time with my wife, who’s been extremely supportive of me throughout this whole process. I also play with my dogs and play Dungeons & Dragons on Sunday nights online with the ol’ gang.



Which character came to you the easiest?
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The easiest character to write was probably Sir Ritter of Valkeneer as he was the type of character I played in my campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons. I’d already spent many hours getting inside his head, so his scenes just flowed out of me.



Out of all the books, you have written, which would you say is your favorite?

The Last Keeper will always have a special place in my heart because it started me on this incredible, winding path of the publishing world. I’m very excited to release the rest

of the Warminster series and see what the world thinks.



Any scene that has stuck with you the most?
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The scenes with Blue Conney, a berserker barbarian who rides a war dog, will always stick with me because he’s such a character. He’s often drinking and serving as an eccentric contrast to the others.


Is there an upcoming book or event you are excited about?

I’m excited about releasing the rest of the Warminster series and attending my book launches for each. They’re coming up quickly with Book Two, Vorodin’s Lair launching in late August 2022. Book Three, The Trillias Gambit will launch right before the holidays in 2022, and the final installment, Echoes of Ghostwood, will launch in April or May of 2023.

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What questions are you frequently asked by readers about your books?
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I get a lot of readers asking me not to “kill” certain characters they like. As you know, fantasy adventure novels often force their protagonists into harrowing situations, and not always do they “survive” the story. What’s strange is, most like one of the villains, Incanus Dru’Waith, and have told me he’s my Boba Fett. They are cheering for the bad guy…



Do you have plans for any other series?

I do have plans for another series that hopefully, I’ll be able to announce in the back half of 2023.


What is one thing you want readers to know about you?
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One thing I’d like readers to know is that I care about their opinions and try to respond to each of my inquiries within 24 hours. So, feel free to email me at joe@jvhilliard.com or DM me on my social media channels.




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