Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Escapist Book Co. virtual book tour for Palmer Pickering’s Epic/Heroic Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery novel Heliotrope! Today, I am excited to help kickoff the tour by sharing an interview with one of the main characters of the book, Teleo Stonemason!
You can find our interview below, along with all of the info about the book, the author, and links to purchase a copy of Heliotrope for yourself! Also, be sure to take a look at the schedule here or at the top of the post and follow along to see the stops from our other awesome hosts!
Heliotrope by Palmer Pickering
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Epic/Heroic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: November 2022
Publisher: Mythology Press (Self Published)
Teleo is a retired soldier descended from Mages, who were cast out of power generations ago. After years of war and sorrow, he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life on his farm and work his stonemason’s craft.
His wife and daughter had been murdered during a war raid several years earlier and his young son stolen by the enemy side. He spent years unsuccessfully searching for his son and returned home broken-hearted. At the local castle, he comes upon a war orphan stolen by his side from the enemy and rescues him from abuse, adopting him as his foster son.
Teleo is working at the castle when he finds himself in the middle of a coup. This launches a journey to protect his new family, uncover the secrets of the ancient ways, and reclaim the magic of the Mages.
A cast of lovable characters:
Teleo – A gritty warrior who would do anything for you, unless you cross those he loves, then you will meet his blade.
Dinsmora – A reclusive herbalist who weaves shadows.
The fosterling – Orphan who forms a family and softens the toughest of hearts.
The animals – Characters in their own right who carry burdens and bring glory.
Magic was outlawed generations ago but lingers in the blood of the kingdoms. There were good reasons it was outlawed and reasons it must rise again.
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing • Mushroom Wine You Make Me Feel So Fine • Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Teleo Stonemason. I’m a stonemason and a farmer, and a former soldier.
What music do you listen to?
I could listen to a pipe or fiddle ditty in a pub on occasion. I have no use for bards.
What are 3 items you can’t live without?
My horse, my sword, my integrity
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you’d like to have with you?
I suppose a bow and arrows to hunt with, although I’m not much of an archer anymore.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Military officers taking credit for winning battles that were fought by their men while they simply watched.
What do you do in your free time?
I make art out of stone. Mosaics, to be precise.
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
I need to tend to my animals. They wake up at dawn.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If you’re going to kill a man, the least you can do is look him in the eye. Every man has a soul, and you should look upon it in its last moment.
What do you carry in your bag?
Hardtack. Water. Jerky. Whetstone. Tinderbox. Hoof pick. Rope. Spare knives. A dry change of clothing.
What’s your favorite animal?
What do you think about Gerik?
He’s a mean and arrogant prick. I’d like to look upon his soul in its last moment, I can tell you that.
Do you have favorite saying?
“The river flows.” The river is life. The flow is the natural course of things. If you pay attention to the currents and eddies around you, they will serve as a good guide.
What is your favorite holiday?
Summer Solstice, when the magic of the Heliotrope is strongest.
If you could go anywhere in Heliotrope’s world, where would you go and why?
I’ve always wanted to go the the Far Shell Islands. I’ve been everywhere else, more or less.
What do you do to relax?
Polish my sword.
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite season?
Summer. Best time to be on the farm, when you can watch the fruit of your labors ripen.
How would you define happiness?
What are you passionate about?
Finding my son. Although, I gave up searching for him, so currently, you could define passion as intolerable pain.
How do you feel about your government?
Which one? The Staggas? Horseshit.
If you could change one thing about Heliotrope’s world, what would it be?
A man should be measured by his skill and accomplishments, not by his bloodline.
What’s your biggest secret?
I can’t tell you that.
What do you hate?
A dull sword.
What’s your biggest fear?
That my son is still alive and suffering, and I haven’t rescued him.
What do you think your best quality is?
How would you describe the world you live in?
It’s a beautiful place. It’s only the greedy and selfish people who mess things up for everyone else. Otherwise, it is quite nice.
About the Author
Palmer has been writing fiction since she was eight. She received her BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University, with concentrations in Religion and Race Relations.
She currently works in Silicon Valley in the gaming industry and high tech. In addition, Palmer holds a certificate in Chinese Acupressure, is a certified solar panel installer, and studied Tibetan Buddhism with the 14th Dalai Lama.
She lives and writes in the magical redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, California.