Interview with Eric Reinhold

(Seventh in a series of interviews with the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour authors.)

Eric Reinhold ( lives in Longwood, Florida with his wife and three children. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and he is a certified financial planner. His first book, Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword is his first, and the first in the Annals of Aeliana series. Recently, Incredibooks did an e-mail interview with Mr. Reinhold.


Incredibooks: Have you always liked writing, or was it an acquired taste?

Eric Reinhold: I’ve always enjoyed writing; however taking on a novel became an acquired taste.  The more I wrote the more I wanted to improve and deepen my plots.

IB: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

ER: I was a big science fiction and fantasy reader growing up.  C.S. Lewis, Narnia series and his Science Fiction series were favorites, as was a science fiction book entitled Hunters of the Red Moon.

IB: When you were younger, did you ever imagine that you would become an author?

ER: No, I actually imagined being the illustrator or a comic book artist.  I loved to draw, especially cartooning, and still do.

IB: What inspired you to become a writer?

ER: My children. I used to tell stories to my two girls every night before putting them to bed.  Each night we would continue the saga of three girls and their adventures in moving from this world to a fantasy world.  At one point they both said, “Dad, you need to write a book so that other kids can enjoy your stories.”  That got me thinking.  Maybe I can do this.

IB: Why did you choose fantasy to work with instead of some other genre?

ER: I enjoy mixing reality with the fantastic. I enjoy asking myself the question, “What would happen if?” Then fill in the blank: I could find a portal to another universe, there were different species to interact with, I could fly or had other super powers, and so on. Plus, I get to make up my own worlds and no one can tell me they’re wrong!

IB: How do you make your characters seem like real people instead of just figures who move the plot along?

ER: I had to work into this. A friend of mine at Disney who works on character development helped me ask questions about my characters and develop flaws that the reader could relate to. To have a good story, I believe the reader needs to be able to imagine themselves as the characters I am writing about.

IB: Where do you get your characters’ names?

ER: I love Ancient Welsh names, so most of my fantasy characters get names that are translations of the current English word.  My human characters typically have names that relate to qualities of characters by the same name in the Bible.

IB: Who is your favorite character from all of your books so far, and why?

ER: Ha! I’ve only had one book published, so I would say it’s a tie between Ryann’s father and Noah, both of whom give Godly wisdom to Ryann as he goes about the task given to him by the Arch-angel, Gabriel. I’m writing book two now and enjoying one of my other characters, Terell. He’s a 13 year old with a sarcastic sense of humor that I laugh with as he makes jokes in the story.  

IB: Have you ever incorporated yourself or anyone you know into one of your books?

ER: I patterned Liddy after my 13 year old daughter and biggest fan.  In book two I used an Elven Language translation of her name for one of the characters.  It doesn’t look or sound anything like her name, but she knows it’s her.

IB: How do you work allegory or Christian themes into your books without it being blatantly obvious or sounding preachy or clichéd?

ER: Actually, I would say my books are probably the most blatantly obvious in regards to Christian themes of any fantasy books on the market.  I use scripture throughout my books and don’t hesitate to invoke the name of God or have my characters pray.  The key is to still make them real and to not come off as preachy.  Judging from feedback I receive from readers, they enjoy the overt Christian message and say it makes them want to read their Bible more, which is the best compliment I could receive.

IB: Do you ever write something that you love, only to look at it later and discover it’s not as good as you thought?

ER: I was asked by a young reader if there was anything I would change about my first book.  I responded that there was quite a bit I would change, because I believe an author should always be seeking to improve. The most recent book I write should always be better written than the one before it.

IB: What is a typical writing day like for you? For example, where do you write? Do you always write at the same time of day? Do you listen to music when writing? If so, what?

ER: I’m a Naval Academy Graduate and have spent most of my life getting up early.  Couple this with the demands of my everyday job and family in the evening and I find that getting up at 4:30 A.M. and writing for a few hours is the most productive for me.  I have a study with all my favorite books and décor that my wife calls, “the cave.”  It’s perfect for writing and very quiet.  The only sounds I like to hear when writing are the tapping of my keyboard.

IB: What are you currently working on?

ER: I am more than halfway done with my second novel in the Annals of Aeliana series.  I’m planning for there to be at least 5 books in the series.  The cover artwork is already completed and the planned release is the Spring of 2009.  It is twice as long as book one and will have quite a few shockers in it.

IB: In round numbers, how many books do you think you’ll sign during the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour?

ER: Wow! I actually have no idea.  I’ve had school venues where I’ve signed 150 books in a few hours to bookstores where I’ve only signed 20.  Let’s aim high and say 1,000.  That would be awesome.

The next interview is with Jonathan Rogers, so stick around!

One Response to “Interview with Eric Reinhold”

  1. Thanks Jordon… I enjoyed the interview. The tour was awesome and all of us are posting “post tour blog highlights of each author” – one a week. You can check it out on my blog at and the new book video trailer is up of book 1. Book 2, “Ryann Watters and the Shield of Faith,” should be completed next month and out in stores May of 2009. Eric Reinhold

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