The Lord of Winter – An Interview with Author Bryan Alaspa


The Lord of the WinterAs promised, here is the follow-up to the segment I did with Author Bryan Alaspa and his new book The Lord of Winter (The Elementals Book 2). Last time Bryan appeared as a guest and contributed a thoughtful perspective on why a writer writes. For this segment, I interview Bryan Alaspa. Together we discuss The Elemental series in general and the Lord of Winter specifically.   So put your reading glasses on and settle on in. You are in for a treat!








Daniel W Cheely – To clarify, the Elemental series belongs in the YA fantasy genre and is about youth with special powers, is that correct?


Bryan W. Alaspa – Yes, the Elementals series is meant for young adults. They are about an offshoot of humanity known as Elementals that can control one of the four elements that make up the universe. They are very long-lived, generally stronger than regular humans and have vast powers.


Daniel W Cheely – The heroes of the series – they are youth?


 Bryan W. Alaspa – Well, most of them are. There are older folks in there, adults. One main adult, Christopher, is going around recruiting these young Elementals, youths, to be part of his team to ward off a great evil.


Daniel W Cheely – I want to come back to the ancient race of elementals in a bit. But for now let me ask this: These youth that manipulate the elements, are they normal, average kids that one day realize they have this magic?


Bryan W. Alaspa – Most of them, yes. Most of them are offspring of other Elementals. Similar in some ways to the mutants in the comic book world of the X-Men. The Organization, the villainous conglomerate at the heart of the story, has ways of finding Elementals when they are young and recruiting them to teach them how to use their abilities.


Daniel W Cheely – The themes in your book do remind me of the X-men series, I was going to mention that. But I’m also reminded of Harry Potter and even Spider-Man in that both of these characters were normal kids until they suddenly realize that have special powers.

For many, the teen years are filled with anxiety and low self-esteem. Teens are trapped in a moratorium, not knowing who they are in relation to the larger world. Maybe they take to characters that suddenly break out of the “teen trap” and become somebody fantastic. Do you think this is why younger kids/teens are attracted to novels such as yours?


Bryan W. Alaspa – I know that is why I was always attracted to these kinds of stories. I loved Spider-Man because he was a teenager who had powers. It’s why I loved the X-Men. I think that most teens want something that makes them cooler- to stand out from the others around them.


Daniel W Cheely – Also teens want to belong. Often they aren’t allowed in certain cliques. They are shunned, etc. To one day discover that you belong to a race of Elementals – that can be a major ego boost in that you belong to a group that is way cooler than, say, jocks.

OR…is it the opposite? Do they feel as if they are misfits for belonging to this race? Or is it a little of both?


Bryan W. Alaspa – They are generally feared by the public and for the new recruits, suddenly finding out they are not “normal” or like anyone else is a little disconcerting.


Daniel W Cheely –Now in regards to the newest novel Lord of Winter – I have to ask, does the Lord of Winter = Bryan Alaspa? I know of your loathing for hot and humid weather and I can picture you, if you had the ability, smothering the heat with snowstorms to spite the summer.


Bryan W. Alaspa – Well, the name sure did come from there. In some ways, Robin Frost is a little based on me and my love of the colder months. It’s not a perfect match, but pretty close. If I did have his abilities, the summer months would be much more bearable for me.


Daniel W Cheely –In other words, you would be a responsible Lord and not whip up blizzards on the 4th of July.


Bryan W. Alaspa – 

thumbs up 


Daniel W Cheely – I’ll take that as a “yes.”  How about the young man in the story, is he responsible with his powers?


Bryan W. Alaspa – In the story, Robin Frost has had an accident earlier in his life that has damaged the part of his brain that would allow him to control his abilities. He has now lost control and threatens the entire city of Miami.


Daniel W Cheely – Yikes for Miami! Now, if The Elementals are an ancient race, could it be that such a calamity or near-calamity has happened before? Was there any tragedy or near tragedy that might have happened, say hundreds or thousands of years ago on account of their powers, or is it best to read the books for this answer?


Bryan W. Alaspa –  I have yet to explore that, but in the third novel my intention was to delve a bit deeper into the history of some of the main characters and explore more Elementals history, so it may come up then.


Daniel W Cheely – Ah – the third novel. First there was The Lightning Weaver , second The Lord of Winter. What powers might the third character have?


Bryan W. Alaspa – The third novel is called The Water Witch, which I think gives you an idea. The fourth novel will be The Firedrake.


Daniel W Cheely – So, if I recall, the four elements are Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. The third novel is water, the fourth is fire. How about The Lightning Weaver and The Lord of Winter? The remaining elements are earth and air. Does The Lord of Winter = air while The Lightning Weaver = earth?


 Bryan W. Alaspa – The Lightning Weaver draws her power from the earth’s electrical and magnetic field, making her an earth elemental. The Lord of Winter manipulates the air to create the intense cold, snow and ice. I have also added a fifth element, dark matter, but only the villain can manipulate that


 Daniel W Cheely – That is awesome – having a villain manipulate dark matter! I wouldn’t have thought of that. Kind of like Star Wars and The Dark side of the Force, where only The Sith use the red lava elements or whatever it is that they use to make red lightsabers. Or how only The Sith making lightning.

What can the villain do with the dark matter?


Bryan W. Alaspa – Well dark matter is what scientists believe is pushing the planets away from each other. At the start, he mostly just gestures and causes people to blow apart. He gets a boost during the first novel and dark matter becomes a kind of primordial substance that was there before the humans or Elementals. Now he can teleport, create powerful blasts of energy, shapes, all kinds of things.


Daniel W Cheely –I don’t think I would want to mess with that dude!

I have found the four-element myth/philosophy interesting, although I must confess I don’t know how the belief system came about regarding people finding healing, power, insight, etc. from the four elements. I know astrology uses the theme as do some martial arts and various eastern philosophies. Do you have any insight into the history of this myth/philosophy?


Bryan W. Alaspa – I don’t really. I just always bought into the idea that everything was made up of the four elements. I think that’s true of our bodies, the things around us. Controlling one of the four elements would make someone extremely powerful


Daniel W Cheely – These are all the questions that I have. Is there anything you want to mention that we haven’t covered?


Bryan W. Alaspa – This was one of the more thought provoking interviews I’ve had. I think we’re good


Daniel W Cheely – Well thank you for taking part in this interview


Bryan W . Alaspa – You’re Welcome.


Why a Writer Writes – by Bryan W. Alaspa


Hello Readers!  I am honored to host author Bryan Alaspa.  He has been a guest on this blog before, and I was happy to help him promote his book: The Lightning Weaver – The Elementals Part One.  Well, Bryan’s been channeling those elements once again! He has followed up with the sequel – The Lord of Winter (The Elementals Book 2). It is available for pre-order this very moment!


The first book of the series is about a girl that can manipulate electricity. Alaspa follows up with a story about a boy that freeze entire cities.  Some might ask why anyone would imagine these fanciful scenarios. What’s wrong with staying firmly planted in the mundane world of reality?  There are perhaps a hundred different ways to respond to that question. A quick answer is that it would be too damn boring without the gift of imagination.  But Alaspa gives a more in-depth analysis of the subject.  Please enjoy his essay on “Why a Writer Writes”




A writer writes. That’s what you hear when you get started down this rather crazy and weird career path. You are supposed to be constantly writing, because every time you put down a word, create a new sentence and develop a new story, you get better. I know that was what happened with me.


I started writing stories all the way back in third grade. I was obsessed with the movie Jaws and I pounded out a three page single-spaced, non-existent-punctuation story called Jaws, Jr. It was terrible, of course, but the magic I tapped into when I wrote my first story was a high I have been pursuing ever since.


At first, like many, I copied the styles and writing techniques of the authors I loved to read. I wrote many short stories that were total nods to Peter Benchley, Stephen King and HG Wells. That’s not a bad thing because the other adage that you hear, although it is less known, is that “a writer reads.”


You have to read. You cannot think yourself so above the rest of the literary world that you do not read other people’s work. I find that I get some of my best inspiration reading other books. Not that I want to write my own version of what I’m reading, but somehow reading a really good book just tickles the part of the brain that taps into the world of stories I have been granted access.


So, why does a writer write? Well, I can only tell you that this writer writes because he has to. Because when I sink into the fictional world I have created it is only then that I am truly at home, truly in command. Outside, I am shy, nervous, uncertain. In the world of story, I am king, commander, god, benevolent dictator and friend.


I write because the stories come to me. They just hit me hard in the side of the head, inside my skull. They haunt my every private moment and are lurking there, hiding in the shadows when I try to fall asleep. When the story reaches a kind of critical mass, it seems like a thousand voices are running around in my head and I have to sit down and let it all out.


See, I believe that I don’t necessarily make up the stories that I write. No, I believe that I have found a way to tap into these stories. They just walk up to me in my mind and start telling me their tales. I transcribe them, offer some advice, but basically I am just pouring out words told to me by people that only I can see in my head.


I guess that makes me just a tiny bit crazy.


That’s OK, you have to be a bit crazy to want to make stuff up for a living. I think writing is necessary and telling stories is necessary. We need those distractions from the horrors of the real world. The real world is far scarier and more horrifying than anything I have ever written.


So, why does this writer write? Because I have to. Because I was made to. Because I love it. Because I want to entertain you.


I just hope you like the tales when the come.




Bryan W. Alaspa’s new novel is The Lord of Winter: Elementals Part Two, available in print and Kindle editions.



Stay tuned – Bryan Alaspa will make a third appearance on this blog. This third entry will focus on the content of his Elemental Series.

Please welcome author Bryan Alaspa!

LightningWeaver     First off, I would like to thank my friend Dan for letting me set up shop here for a time. I have known Dan for a long time and we went to high school together. I also know he is an excellent writer in his own right, so while you’re here you might want to check out some of his work.

One of the things that we writers get asked all of the time is where do we get our stories? I guess that people who write dramas and stuff that doesn’t make people jump or look over their shoulders in the night or think sexy thoughts don’t get this question as much, but perhaps they do. I write thrillers, suspense, and horror novels and people are often baffled by the stories I write.

I once had a friend, upon hearing the description of the story I was writing, ask me why I didn’t write about bunnies, puppies or flowers. I said, unless the flowers were poisonous or the bunnies and puppies rabid, the story didn’t interest me. Sadly, that’s true.

As for where the stories come, well, they come from a variety of things. I cannot point a young writer to a specific place to find story ideas or ideas for novels. There is no story idea store or website. So, where do they come from? I can only say, keep your eyes and ears open and if you are truly a writer, the ideas will come.

Sometimes they take years to fully manifest. I have had story ideas kick around and around inside my head for ten years before I finally knew their story. I leave myself open to my stories and often feel more like a conduit that a creator. The characters, essentially, tell me their tales and sometimes I end up as surprised as the readers.

Sometimes the stories come from news articles. I have had a few novels that came from that. Sometimes TV shows or articles I read provide the inspiration. Sometimes they just happen. My idea for the novel After the Snowfall came in the middle of summer while I was out walking my dog and thought back to a severe snowstorm that had hit that prior winter. I had a clear image of three man, little more than shapes, on the horizon walking down the middle of the snow covered road. I knew that they were evil, but what kind, I was not sure. That came later.

I rarely work from outlines, although I do sometimes create character bibles, or lists, so I can keep everyone straight. I have ideas about the story, but rarely know exactly how to get to the end. The adventure for me is writing that I also hope the reader follows and enjoys. I open this tiny door in side my brain and the story is just there.

It is something that has always just sort of happened with me. I cannot tell you how I developed it other than I just kept writing. I have written hundreds of short stories and wrote my first novel, long-hand, in high school. None of them ever saw publication, but I did it anyway. That is the only way to nurture that muscle so it works when you need it.

My most recent novel, The Lightning Weaver, is the first in a series. The idea for the story actually came from my wife who once mentioned that she had, several times, had lightning strike near her. She called herself a lightning bringer and mentioned that might be a good idea for a story. It stayed in my head for years and developed over time. I soon realized that the character in the story had to actually manipulate lightning instead of just attracting it. Thus, she was more of a “weaver” than a “bringer.” I also created a world around it, developed future stories and, thus, The Elementals series was born.

So, keep your eyes and ears open. Those ideas can come from anywhere. You just need to be able to listen and hear them and have a brain that’s open to them. After that, you just need to have the passion to tell a story.

You can buy copies of Bryan Alaspa’s new novel, The Lightning Weaver, in print and ebook format here: