Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Escapist Book Co. virtual book tour for Samuel Gately’s fantasy novel The Headlock of Destiny! Today, I am excited to help kickoff the tour by sharing an interview with the main character from the book, Van the Beer Man!
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 The Headlock of Destiny 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!
The Headlock of Destiny by Samuel Gately
Series: The Titan Wars
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: March 6, 2020
Publisher: Self Published
Some say titans are descended from giants. Others say they are risen from men. But there’s never any debate about where to find them. They will be in the center of a roaring crowd, beating the hell out of each other. From contenders like the Savage and Scott Flawless to pretenders like Richard the Living Portrait and Troll-Blooded Thom, a titan’s lot in life is the same: To wrestle for dominion and glory in the squared circle.
Van, a quiet titan from the brewery town of Headwaters, wants no part in this. He’d prefer to be left alone with a beer. But destiny has him in a headlock, and it is prepared to drag him into battles that will shake the land and change his world forever.
Step into the ring with this one-of-a-kind novel, brewed special for fans of epic fantasy, fans of professional wrestling from the Golden Era and beyond, or simply fans of a good tale.
Royal Rumble • Roadhouse • The World Cup
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Uh… hey! I’m Van. Some people call me Van the Beer Man. I guess you probably know me for busting heads in the ring, but that’s not what I signed up for. Though I guess I do a lot of it. But I’d rather be bellied up to the bar, talking craft. Pull up a stool, brother.
What music do you listen to?
Whatever is on at the party. I’m not much of a dancer, but I love a good party.
What are 3 items you can’t live without?
Beer. More beer. And some friends to drink it with. And a good stool. How many did you say again?
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you’d like to have with you?
I know you’re expecting me to say a barrel of beer, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this girl. I can’t tell you everything, she’s got lots of secrets, but she’s absolutely amazing. Don’t look at me like that. She’s real. Maybe she’d hang out on a deserted island. She could use a break from keeping the world safe.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people look at a clipboard instead of talking to you. Nothing good ever came from someone looking at a clipboard and talking to you. They are about to tell you something you’re supposed to do. Now! Faster! Never anything fun.
What do you do in your free time?
Man, free time. I wish I had more of that. But between shifts at the brewery and now all of a sudden I’ve got to be in the ring fighting these huge ten-men… I got no free time anymore.
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
I have a killer view of the mountains from my house in the Uplands. From up there you can see the sun hit Headwaters, the town I grew up in. It’s a special place, and they haven’t always been great to me, but they’re learning.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I don’t think she ever said it exactly, but one time someone thought was really cool decided she believed in me and rode into battle with me by her side, and that meant a lot. She’s a smart lady, and she trusted me, and that helped me learn to trust myself.
What do you carry in your bag?
A tap, an extra uniform for my shift at the brewery, some keys I stole to warehouse seven.
What’s your favorite animal?
I like dogs, especially the ones that hang around the brewery and conveniently forget to sound the alarm when I “borrow” barrels after hours. But I hate dragons, even the little ones like Jaygan the Dragon Reynolds’s pet thingee. And they hate me.
What do you think about Richard the Living Portrait?
Man, that titan is the worst. I could handle the fashionable clothes and the smart mouth, but have you smelled him? He bathes in cologne. How is someone allowed in the ring smelling that bad? He knows other titans are going to have to touch him.
Do you have favorite saying?
A friend of mine likes to talk about something called a sleeping titan, I like that idea. Sorta gets at the idea that there’s something special in all of us, just waiting to wake up.
What is your favorite holiday?
That’s a silly question. The Annual Headwaters Beer Festival is the only holiday that matters. We got some killer stuff coming off the line this year.
If you could go anywhere in the Open Nations, where would you go and why?
I’d either go to the Lone Coast to hang out with the Wave Rider, or to Palos Soros to hang out with my ten-man Panam Manly. Two of my favorite titans. Maybe I could do both in one trip. I’d definitely pack some sick barrels.
What do you do to relax?
Nothing beats a good nap. Especially if I manage to get it in while I’m still on the clock. Paid naps are the best naps.
What is your favorite food?
Honest answer, I don’t pay all that much attention to food. I mean, I eat it. Several times a day. But I don’t think about it much when I’m not eating. I guess my favorite food is food I don’t have to cook or pay for.
What is your favorite season?
Definitely Fall. The best beers are still rolling off the line and the leaves in the mountains change color.
How would you define happiness?
Being able to sit still, surrounded by friends, a cold beer in hand. Doesn’t get happier than that.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about my craft, my home, and my friends.
How do you feel about your government?
The Uplands is okay, but the rest of the Open Nations is a mess. And don’t even get me started on the Open Nations Wrestling Coalition, or King Thad, or any of those dorks who run the show in Empire City.
If you could change one thing about the Open Nations, what would it be?
I’d love to see that jerk King Thad stripped of his crown. Who said the richest get to control everyone else? The problem is whenever anyone goes after him, they come back saying they weren’t able to do anything but you can see their pockets are full.
What’s your biggest secret?
I probably shouldn’t say anything about the secret society of flying women who defend our world from the giants, so instead I’ll get really crazy and tell you that I know the secret recipe for Kingsland Ale. Don’t. Tell. Anyone.
What do you hate?
I hate a bunch of the morons I have to face in the ring. I hate Richard the Living Portrait, King Thad, Scott Flawless, Raygan the Dragon Reynolds, and the Ram. I really hate Judge Cage. The Landshaker is actually growing on me though.
What’s your biggest fear?
Same as everyone else’s. I’m scared of dying and then feeling the hand of the OverLord pull me down into the Nether for a lifetime of toil in his titan army. Easy question.
What do you think your best quality is?
Everybody thinks I’m lazy, and I am, but I don’t often back down from a fight, especially if someone is going after my friends. So I guess it’s not too egotistical for me to say I’m a good titan to have by your side when times get tough.
How would you describe the world you live in?
I know I tend to see things from a titan’s perspective, but I’d say one of the biggest things you need to know about my world is how much it is shaped by titan wrestling. It impacts everything – politics, wealth, culture (or lack thereof). You can’t really understand until you’ve seen Empire City during the Headlock of Destiny tournament. There’s nothing quite like it.
About the Author
Samuel Gately is a writer of novels and short stories in the fantasy genre. Most have spies in them. Samuel lives in Oak Park just outside Chicago with his wife, daughters, and overly fluffy dogs.
Author website: www.samuelgately.com