Welcome to our interview with epic fantasy author Tiger Hebert.
With a passion for noble heroes and epic worlds, Tiger has cemented his place in the noblebright fantasy sub-genre.
In this interview, we’ll delve into Tiger's writing process, the inspiration behind his work, and what he hopes readers will take away from his writing.
So, grab yourself a nice cuppa, sit back, and enjoy!
What inspired you to start writing in the fantasy genre?
Even as a small child I was always drawn to the fantasy genre. Whether it was He-Man and Thundercats or The Last Unicorn and The Hobbit, I was into it. I wanted the toys, the shows, the movies, and the games. Ironically, the only thing I didn't want, was the books.
As a kid I took to reading very slowly. It took a while before it clicked and I was able to learn to even read at all. And quite frankly, it was hard to get me to sit still long enough to find enjoyment in books.
It wasn't until I went off to college that I first started reading fantasy books. I read a little bit here and there in my early twenties, but it wasn't until I was almost thirty that I decided to finally attempt to write my own "dragon story". That was over ten years ago, and as they say, the rest is history.
How do you approach world-building in your stories?
When I first started, I had no clue what I was doing and I had to figure it out as I went.
I've learned a thing or two since then.
Now, I generally start with some element of map creation. It used to be ink and paper, but now I use software to create them. This part of the process helps get those creative juices flowing as I start to visualize the world I'm creating.
Then I often start exploring ideas and concepts for things like what races will exist within this world.
Then I start asking questions like:
What are the different belief systems?
What kind of magic exists?
What historical events shaped the world?
What makes life in this world unique?
Can you walk us through your writing process?
I started as a complete pantser, and over the years I've evolved a bit into someone that does need to take the time to plot and outline at least a little bit. It's more of a very high-level overview of key points and events. I also spend more time now doing that upfront world building.
Then when I've got enough on paper that I can start actually writing, I will go into Scrivener and I will add some notes for each of the first 5-10 chapters. It's usually not much more a few short paragraphs of what needs to take place in that chapter. Then I turn on some epic fantasy instrumental music and get writing!
The writing itself is typically done in sprints. The time can vary anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, it just depends on how much time I have. When I'm done, I track my word count and record it in my spreadsheet. I know some people thing tracking word counts are silly and pointless, but they actually help me stay focused, productive, and on track!
Would you survive in your own fantasy world?
While there is always hope, I'm not sure that my current skillset would offer much help, so I better make friends fast!
What themes do you explore in your work?
I explore a wide range of themes in my work. They range from faith, hope, and love to pain, trauma, and grief.
What do you consider to be your biggest influences as a writer?
Currently my primary influences are Tolkien, Lewis, Sanderson, and Erikson. There are so many things that each of them have done well, and those influences can be seen in certain spots.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research for your stories?
It's usually the type of symptoms some experiences when they are suffering or dying. Ie; dehydrated, poisoned, etc.
What do you hope readers take away from your stories?
Hope! The world can be a rough place sometimes, so my goal is that when they read my novels that they come away with a sense of hope—no matter what they are facing!
Would you rather have a pet dragon or a unicorn, why?
I want an ice dragon, because summers in North Carolina get awful hot.
If you could have any magical ability, what would it be?
I'd want the magical ability to produce money. That way I could spend more time doing the things that I love; enjoying family time, hiking, reading, and of course writing fantastical stories!
If you were stuck on a deserted island with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
There's a certain elf that comes to mind. Let's just say he has a way with water. We wouldn't be stranded for long!
What would you name your pet dragon?
Ausaliia, after the frost dragon in my Demon Hunters series.
Where is the best place to start reading your work?
Readers curious about my work can grab several samples of my writing simply by visiting my website and signing up for my newsletter!
By doing so they will get my book Fated Bonds, which features a pair of stirring fantasy short stories.
After a few days, they will also be given The Chronicles of Aurion. It is an action-packed novella that serves as the entry point into the world of Aurion, where my Beating Back the Darkness series takes place!
After a few more days, they will also be given Tales from Darkness. This is a small anthology style bundle of 10 thrilling fantasy short stories that also take place in the world of Aurion. Not only that, but many of the characters that you encounter here will show their faces again somewhere in the core series!
About the author:
I am a firm believer that the Light shines brightest in the darkness. That's not only WHAT I write, but also WHY I write.
I love to explore humanity through fantasy because it allows us to take ordinary people (and orcs) through impossible situations and see what or who comes out the other side. It is often that through trials and tribulations that we get to see the most honest version of not only our characters, but ourselves. It is through this lens that we can discover truths. That is why I write dark, epic fantasy that dares to hope.
I am a Christian, husband, father of three young children, and a veteran. I have a BA in Communications. I was born and raised in Maine, and currently live in North Carolina. I love spending time in nature, and I especially enjoy hiking and swimming. When I'm not busy writing or chasing after my wife and kids, you can usually find me sneaking away for some quiet time with a good book.
Find Tiger online