Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Escapist Book Co. virtual book tour for James Lloyd Dulin’s Epic Fantasy novel No Heart for a Thief! Today, I am excited to help kickoff the tour by sharing an interview with the main character from the book, Kaylo!
You can find our Q&A below, along with all of the info about the book, the author, and links to purchase a copy of No Heart for a Thief 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!
No Heart for a Thief by James Lloyd Dulin
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: January 24, 2023
Publisher: G & D Publishing (Self Published)
We are the stories we tell ourselves…even the lies.
The Thief, a great spirit, and her descendants have abused their ability to steal magic for centuries. When Kaylo starts to hear the song of other people’s magic, he must learn to hide from his people as well as the invaders. A gift or a curse, Kaylo may be able to save his people from the Gousht Empire that claimed their land with this stolen magic.
Eighteen years later, Kaylo still prays to the spirits, but not out of loyalty or love. He knows better than to rely on those selfish bastards for anything. While hiding in the forest from his foolish acts of rebellion, he encounters a girl, Tayen, being pursued by two soldiers of the empire. Against his better judgment, he risks facing the consequences of his past to intervene.
When Tayen attempts to run off seeking vengeance for her family, he offers to train her to wield her magic and a blade. If he can’t convince her to relinquish her need for vengeance and stave off the demons of his past, he’s going to get them both killed.
Cross The Hound with Mr. Miyagi • Build a Story like a Russian Nesting Doll with More Blood and Trauma • Add Moody Spirits
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BLGPMNZG/
Silverstones Books (signed copies) – https://silverstonesbooks.com/product/no-heart-for-a-thief-signed/
Read chapter one for free! – https://www.jamesldulin.com/previewchapter
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Kaylo. You’ve likely heard me called by other names—Ennea’s Thief or the Hero of Anilace—but these are not my names. They are exaggerations of a person I used to be, back when I didn’t know how to step out of my own way. I am no different from anyone else trying to survive in this world. I just have a bit more blood on my hands.
What music do you listen to?
Tomakans have a reputation for finding their way through a song only to catch a half dozen more voices in the process. We sing of Ennea, of the spirits she called into the world, of our past and the blood we overcame. The words don’t matter as much as the voices that carry them, splitting away from each other and creating the most wonderful harmonies.
What are 3 items you can’t live without?
One item has been with me since the earliest days I can remember. My father carved the hilt of his knife from stormwood, and I hold it dear as a reminder of the man he was. All you really need is a knife. The rest The Mother has already seen to. But I wouldn’t say no to a bit of barley wine and a fresh piece of honeyed tanitata bread.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you’d like to have with you?
Stranded, as in alone? No hiding? I’ll go empty-handed. I’ll go naked to the wind. Think of the freedom. No one to trouble you. No one to be troubled by you.
I had that—in a way—for a time.
But, I guess a book would be nice. Nothing too serious either. Some pretty story that ends with a smile.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People talking when they shouldn’t be. Hunting, sleeping—there are some things that call for a still tongue. And there are some people who don’t understand that.
What do you do in your free time?
The world is full of growing things. With a bit of time and care, they will shelter you, feed you, mend your wounds. All you need to do is sit down with a knife and help them find shape.
I garden. Is that a straightforward enough answer for you?
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
Who says I want to get out of bed in the morning?
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Time is not the path we walk; it is the wind that rushes about us on our journey. I’m not sure I fully understand it yet, but I’m starting to.
What do you carry in your bag?
Waterskins, spices, a cookpot, a flint stone, a whetstone, saltmeat, a bedroll, and a bit of firestarter.
What’s your favorite animal?
The kind that don’t put up a fight and cook well. I’m partial to game birds myself.
Oh, not to eat. I guess wolves are interesting. From a distance.
What do you think about [other MC(s)]?
Tayen is a bratty, disrespectful, curious, caring, imaginative, determined, stubborn, broken child. She deserves more than the lot she’s been given. But that story’s nothing new these days.
Do you have favorite saying?
Seed and Balance. It helps me stay in the moment and connect to the spirits who gifted me their abilities.
What is your favorite holiday?
Shunanlah. On the autumnal equinox, when the moons and the sun meet in the sky at dusk, we tell the story of the first dancer and break our fast with a feast to celebrate The Mother’s gifts. My mother loved Shunanlah. That is reason enough for me to love it too.
If you could go anywhere in [the book’s world], where would you go and why?
The stone city, but, you know, before the Gousht landed on our shores. What a thing it would be to see the last wall intact, a solid wall of stone pulled from the earth to connect two mountains, the city’s guardian.
What do you do to relax?
Quietly garden. The key word being quietly.
What is your favorite food?
Liloka soup, a spicy soup made from barley wine and peppers. Good liloka soup will leave you sweating for a day, but it’s worth it.
What is your favorite season?
Autumn is beautiful in Tomak.
How would you define happiness?
Freedom from the weight of the blood I owe. Since that isn’t an option, I’ll take a quiet moment with my garden or whittling away at a scrap of wood.
What are you passionate about?
Woodwork. Plants. Keeping this damn kid from getting herself killed, though passion might not be the right way to describe that last one.
How do you feel about your government?
The governments of Ennea weren’t perfect. My mother knew her history enough to make sure I knew that much, but our people generally tried to serve their communities. The Gousht only serve the inflated ego of a man who thinks he is the legacy of a god.
If you could change one thing about [the book’s world], what would it be?
The day the Gousht arrived on our shores, we should have met them with the tip of a spear rather than an open hand. We assumed their humanity as a reflection of our own and projected the relative peace between our nations onto them. We weren’t prepared to stop them before they took a foothold.
What’s your biggest secret?
My people have a long history of demonizing the spirit they call The Thief, and for a long time, I did too. I assumed her guilt and hid because of our connection. I didn’t know the truth, and how much worse it could be. I didn’t know how much my hiding could hurt those I loved.
What do you hate?
What’s your biggest fear?
When I cross into The Mist, the spiritual plane, and meet those that I failed to protect, I am afraid they will see me as I see myself.
Is that too deep?
I guess I should say something like spiders or snakes. Don’t ask questions expecting to hear the pretty version of things.
What do you think your best quality is?
For as much as I have failed people, I know how to take care of things that grow. I may not be as good a crafter as my father was, but I can make something beautiful with a knife and a bit of wood. He passed his hands down to me, and I do the best I can with them.
How would you describe the world you live in?
Ennea is a gift we lost because we failed to see past the divisions we drew between ourselves. This land is beautiful, full of imperfections, but it was ours to care for. When we lost that, we let the beauty fall from our grasp like grains of sand.
About the Author
James is a nerd with a head full of stories and limited time to put them on the page.
He grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, spending an excessive amount of time at a local community theater where he developed his affinity for storytelling. This affinity grew into a deep admiration for language and spoken word poetry while studying mathematics and education at the University of Michigan. A few hundred mediocre poems and lackluster performances later, he decided his dream of writing a novel might not be as ridiculous as he once thought. He firmly believes that art—even silly books about magic, or maybe especially silly books about magic—has the ability to tell stories that sink beneath the surface.
Author website: https://www.jamesdulin.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JamesLDulin
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jameslloyd27/
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