Featured Novel: 'Vandius' by Michael Nicols

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By Jake Vyper | More Articles MTG Writer/Streamer
May 24, 2015  11:09 AM

In Michael Nichols' dark fantasy novel, Vandius, the titular Prince, is sent by his father on a campaign to find the Queen of Darkness. The campaign turns out to change not only his lie but the fate of the entire world. The darkness changes him in a way that nobody could have ever imagined.

Nichols started writing ever since he was a little kid. When he left the Army, he had no idea what he was going to do with his life. He had all of the time in the world yet no direction, so he set down at his computer one day and before he knew it, he had three chapters written for Vandius. Writing helps him cope with some of the hardships that he have felt since he came back from Iraq.

Interview with Michael Nichols

It's good to know that your novel is not a "typical cookie-cutter fantasy". Do you usually focus on straying away from the cliches of that genre when you write? 

Absolutely. The one author that influenced me the most is Robert Howard. It is very hard to consider a character such as Conan to be cookie-cutter. I want to create characters that will last through the ages because they are not your typical heroes or villains.

How would you describe the world of Vandius? How did you develop it? 

The world is filled with darkness. What was once a peaceful land is now threatened by the Queen Of Darkness and other vile creatures. The setting is that of dark fantasy fiction. I came up with the setting because I prefer a darker setting.

You said that you have found your own voice when it comes to crafting fiction. How would you describe that "voice"? What's your style?

I would describe the "voice" as I how tell the story. I like to focus more on the story and action then I do it details that rob the story. I cannot count how many books I have read that have been to descriptive. Half of the detail could have been cut out and it would not have taken anything away from those books. How many different times can you say the field or forest is lush and green?

Name some authors who have influenced your writing style

There are many Authors that have inspired me ever since I was a little kid. A few of my favorites are Terry Brooks, Bram Stoker, Robert Howard, and Richard Knaak. Having said that though, I have never wanted to imitate or try and replicate anyone else's writing still. I have found my own voice.

It sounds like writing was therapeutic to you. How did it help? 

It has helped keep me balanced. When I was a kid my mom used to tell me that I was off in my own world. She was right. I did not grow out of that as I became an adult. When I started writing Vandius I had my doubts about whether or not I could finish it. The more I wrote it the more I learned that I could not stop writing. Writing took ahold of me.  

Your names sound unique like Thaolak and Vandius. How did you come up with them? 

The names just came to me. I create the characters and then the names come to me. Naming characters is the hardest part for me.


Get "Vandius" at Amazon now

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Jake Vyper is a Fantasy & Sci-Fi Author, Social Media Manager, and Founder of Epicstream.com
@Jake Vyper | [email protected]