Thursday, October 28, 2021

Q&A with Tony M. Quintana




Tony M. Quintana is the author of the new young adult novel Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed.


Q: What inspired you to write Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed?


A: I am a firm believer that everything and everyone around us is a source of inspiration if we open up our minds and allow our imaginations to craft new purposes and meanings. My inspiration to write Doizemaster Phantasm Creed is divided into three pieces.


The first piece of inspiration was my memories of my hometown. The city I was born in, Cancun, is a place where the earth’s natural beauty is abundant, and people are blessed to see it every day.


I forged a strong connection with everything that surrounded me and learned from the jungles, the lagoons, and the vast sea. I have also witnessed with great dismay the destruction of my home’s nature by the hands of cruelty, selfishness, and greed.


The second piece of inspiration came from my travels around the globe. I have been incredibly blessed to have been able to visit many different countries and get to know the wonderful minds of those who live in them.


I am a history nerd, so I gazed in awe at the grandiosity of every museum piece and architectural achievement. I need to admit that I have a particular predilection for anything conceived during the 19th century.


The third piece of inspiration was my own romanticized notion of friendship and loyalty. While not perfect, the world would be better off if we shed prejudices and malice and learned to respect those around us. Believe me when I tell you that having friends that accept you for who you are is a rare treasure. To find this treasure, you must be someone else’s.


Q: The Kirkus Review of the book says, “Quintana’s novel sublimely fuses elements of fantasy and real-world elements of history.” What did you see as the right balance between the two as you wrote the book?


A: This is an excellent question! When I was brainstorming for this title, I constantly told myself that this new place had to be filled with the charm of my magic system yet be realistic enough to make people feel like they could visit it if they had a time machine.


As I have said, I am an absolute sucker for anything that comes from the 19th century, so I perfectly knew how the elaborate clothes, elegant buildings, and strict social interactions were back then. Any important details that I was not familiar with I learned from the many books I bought at The Frick Collection and The Met museums in Manhattan.


In my story, which takes place in this world, magic is dwindling to the point of extinction, so people are more dependent on machines like the rest of the world. The historically accurate inventions you see in Doizemaster Phantasm Creed have been given a magical twist, and my own creations have been harnessed by realism and accuracy.


Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I did know how the novel would end before I started writing it. Azahar, my main character’s forest town, and all of its characteristics was one of the first things my mind conceived. I also knew about a certain duel that would be tied to Azahar and the ending.


There were some changes along the way. Unfortunately, I am a perfectionist. The execution of certain events had to be rewritten and refined many times to fit into the story. What was perfect yesterday might not be today; it is a blessing and a curse.


I do not know if this is good or not, but Dashiel Ermitage, my main character who is tied to the ending as well, was the last thing I fully fleshed out.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: I wish to remind whoever reads my book that nothing is what it seems. The smallest and weakest creatures in the world can make the most impact. We should always respect others regardless of background because true wisdom and strength lie within them.


Furthermore, our protection and respect should transcend humanity. There are times in our lives when we are so absorbed with our own growth that we forget to nurture what allows us to exist/grow in the first place. Directly or indirectly, we have regarded nature as a steppingstone, much more so than our motherly home.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I am currently working on the continuation of the story of Doizemaster. I already know the structure of this sequel, so it will be enjoyable to bring it to life little by little and share it with my readers.


There is still so much more to explore in Zaphyrelia and the rest of the continent. Readers will meet new characters that will spice things up, delve deeper into the mind of beloved characters, and finally learn the truth about characters that the mystery of the past has shrouded.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I would like to say that I am grateful for all of you and your support. The world of Doizemaster is a dream of mine that has become a reality thanks to so many great people, including you. I shall feel blessed if I can inspire you to dream, create and make the world around you a better place.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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