My Enemy, Myself: The Crystalon Saga, Book 2 (2014) – Written by Ralph L. Angelo, Jr. – Published by Cosmic Comet Publishing.
Welcome to Atomic Interview #20, the latest installment of my interview series with creative folk. In this installment, I’m talking to Ralph L. Angelo, Jr. about MY ENEMY, MYSELF, the sequel to last year’s REDEMPTION OF THE SORCERER (which we talked about here).
Here’s the description for MY ENEMY, MYSELF:
From Ralph L. Angelo Jr., winner of the ’2014 New Pulp Award’ for ‘Best New Author’ and the creator of ‘The Cagliostro Chronicles’ comes the long awaited sequel to ‘Redemption of the Sorcerer’
It has been two years since Crystalon defeated the mad warlord Maceyis. Much has changed in that time. Crystalon has become his adopted worlds hidden mystic guardian, protecting the Earth from those who would threaten it with evil, sorcerous intent.
Until a visitor from his past, one he never expected to see again would appear within his very home. Now he and his companions must travel between worlds to his home dimension, a universe where he is hated and feared, to face a threat that dwarfs any challenge he has ever faced before. The challenge of an enemy who wears his very face. The challenge of ‘My Enemy, Myself’
Now, on to the interview …
Mark Bousquet: Welcome back for your third go-round in the Atomic Interview series, Ralph! I’m happy to have you back.
Ralph Angelo: Hi Mark, thanks again for having me back.
MB: First, congratulations on winning the 2014 New Pulp Award for ”Best New Author”! What did winning this award mean to you?
RA: Wow. I mean to verbalize this… this award meant a heck of a lot to me. I know relatively speaking it’s a small award and not that well known, but to me I just won the Oscar. I won the NBA championship, I won the World Series. I won the Hugo and every other award all rolled into one. I was seriously over joyed and beside myself with joy. It was being recognized for busting my butt and really throwing myself into this wholeheartedly.
MB: MY ENEMY, MYSELF is the sequel to REDEMPTION OF THE SORCERER. For those who haven’t read the first book, could you please give us a quick overview of that story?
RA: Sure, ‘Redemption of the Sorcerer, The Crystalon Saga, Book One’ is the story of a very powerful sorcerer who is also the ruler of his people and universe. He comes from a parallel Earth that is based in magic, and not science. He has lived for a million years so far. After many of those years he lost his way and became jaded. He began making heavier demands of his people and just lost sight of what he had been in the past and what he had accomplished. He becomes a tyrant of sorts, though not really an evil man. As we learn in the second book, there’s more to the story than just that. But he gets overthrown by his people in a very long planned coup and he is banished to a universe and Earth without magic. A world that looks exactly like ours. Once there he almost immediately becomes embroiled in a plot by an evil force that is seeking to subjugate the world. He realizes that he’s the only man on earth who can stand against it. But first he needs to get his powers back.
Along the way he encounters a handful of people who become his companions and friends, as well as the forces of his mysterious foe who is orchestrating everything he is seeing happen around him. He begins a desperate quest to regain his abilities which involves him and his companions traveling around the world. This book to me is a rousing adventure in the vein of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Indiana Jones.
The story culminates with a fantastic battle against the forces of his foe with the fate of both worlds at stake.
MB: How has Crystalon changed between novels? Or is this story a direct continuation of the previous volume?
RA: Two years have passed. He’s very happily ensconced in his new life, which is earth’s secret mystic guardian. He deals with threats of the sorcerous nature that only he can perceive. But then he gets a visitor from his old life who comes back to him, begging for his aid because a new challenge has arisen on his old world. It is someone he had never expected to see again. This persons appearance rocks his world to its core, taking all the stability he had driven to create for himself away. When that person gets taken out of Crystalon’s home by a group of soldiers from the other universe, he realizes he must return to a place where he never wanted to see again, his old home.
MB: What challenges does Crystalon face this time around? After writing Maceyis last time, what was your approach to finding a new challenge or villain for Crystalon to overcome?
RA: Think bigger. I went really big this time. You may ask how much bigger can you go after the end game of ‘Redemption’ but the sky, or should I say the stars, as well as the depths of hell are the limits.
MB: One of the things I’ve really admired about you over the past year is the aggressive manner in which you market and promote your work. What’s your approach to pushing your own work? What have you learned in this regard since REDEMPTION was released last year around this time?
RA: Wow, thank you Mark! Well what I learned is repetition is what it’s all about. You have to get your message and your product out there and remind people about it non-stop, and sometimes that’s not even enough. I’m always looking for a new way to advertise my books and to be honest nothing is perfect yet. Something’s have worked for one book but not for another. Marketing is really a very hard angle to figure out and make work properly. I’ve tried various book sites, I’ve tried fiverr marketing gigs. I’ve spammed 55 facebook groups a night. I’ve done automated tweets on hootsuite.com. Honestly I have no idea what will work on a given night. I personally cannot believe that it all has to rely on facebook groups. To me, that leaves a huge part of the market (people who are not on facebook) out in the cold. There has to be something else and I just can’t figure it out at this point, but I’m going to keep working at it until I do.
MB: What are you working on now?
I have two novels set to come out in the next two months. The second ‘Cagliostro Chronicles’ book ‘Cagliostro Chronicles II: Conflagration’ should be out by late June. Followed a month later by a novel called ‘Hyperforce’ which is my take on a prose super-hero team. After that I have a pile of short stories set to come out in different publications. I think there are about four set to go in various Pro Se Publishing books, one for Airship 27, one for Flinch books, and then one for Destroyer books. Right now, I’m writing one I started last night for Pro Se. I should have that finished in the next week or so. After that I intend to start another ‘Cagliostro’ book that I want to release later this year. The last thing I want to write this year is a novel introducing a new 1930’s classic pulp style avenger. That’s what the schedule inside my insane head is right now, Mark.
MB: Geez, good luck! Where can people go to learn about you and your work?
RA: There are two good places for that; one is http://RLAngeloJr.com the other is http://tinyurl.com/ralphsamazon. Also, they can friend me on facebook @ http://facebook.com/RalphLAngeloJr and people can friend me on Twitter: @RLAngeloJr.
MB: Thanks for joining me, Ralph! Best of luck with MY ENEMY, MYSELF!
RA: Mark, thank you so much for having me back here, I really appreciate it. It’s been my pleasure as always. Talk to you soon!
When I’m not talking to others about their work, I’m creating my own. Please give my latest work, GUNFIGHTER GOTHIC: UNDER ZEPPELIN SKIES a look, and visit my Author page and personal website for a complete list of my available titles. Thanks for stopping by and reading, all!