Essel Pratt has spent his life exploring his imagination and dreams. As a Husband and a Father, he doesn't always have as much time to write as he would like. However, his mind is always plotting out his next story and manipulating the plot. Someday he hopes to quit the 9-5 grind and focus on writing full time.
Currently, Essel is building his catalog by contributing to various anthologies as he works on his first novel. He also contributes to www.nerdzy.com and www.infendo.com on an (almost) daily basis. He can also be heard as a co-host on Infendo Radio.
Essel focuses his writings on mostly Horror/Sci-Fi, however is known to add a bit of other genres into his writings as well.
1. Final Reverie is a great YA fantasy about two boys happening onto a very big adventure. What inspired you to write it?
Originally, Final Reverie (published by J. Ellington Ashton Press) started out as a short story titled “Brothers”. It was initially created for an anthology called Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions. The characters in the story really stuck with me and I used them to outline a full novel that told more of story. I submitted the outline as my second to last assignment with the Institute of Children’s Literature and then wrote the first three chapters for the final assignment. The characters were inspired by my animals and other sources. My two huskies created tons of inspiration for Chij. Franklyn was a combination of people that I know in form, name, and personality.
2. Were there any major inspirations for it?
Other than the anthology call for the original short story, a large inspiration came from my younger days playing video games like Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Warrior, etc. Although I am predominantly a horror writer, Fantasy and Adventure are passions of mine as well. I think that Final Reverie is sort of a call back to the earlier games. Simplistic in its adventure, but more complicated when you read deeply into it.
3. Could you tell us a bit about the world in which Chij and Franklyn live?
Chij and Franklyn are children of a world that has been reclaimed by magic that Mother Earth has released upon the Earth. In the past, a world similar to the one we live in flourished. There was no magic other than illusion and technology reigned supreme. However, through the mistake of one man, warheads were released and the end of the world was upon us. Mother Nature released her magic to save herself and the innocent lives that lived upon her flesh. That magic created the world that Chij and Franklyn live in. There are still relics of the computer ruled past, but they are mostly unknown to the boys. With the good magic that has set upon the earth, the evil equivalent has also emerged, opting to collect in the formation of our main antagonist, Nafets.
4. What do you think happens for Chij after he and Franklyn finish their trip?
Chij was distraught and alone for the first time. His communication was not what it was prior, yet his mind was just as sharp. I think that he went out into the world to do some soul searching while still attempting to be the heroic traveler that he once was. I think that he found success in his own rite. Maybe his journey will be told in a novella or novelette.
5. How about their other companions they met along the way? Are their lives changed for having been a part of Final Reverie?
I think that they have. Beals finds a new friendship, and becomes a little sister to the boys in the short time she is with them. Doman, De’ahn, Konalecia, and Timothy are able to see their past lead to victory (We might see more of them in the second book, which takes place prior to Final Reverie). Atrin finds out that he is not as grandiose as he once thought, although he has the potential to be quite powerful.
6. Who is your favorite character? What made them so interesting to write?
I think that my favorite character is Chij. There is a lot of complexity to him. He is still young and likes to have fun, yet he feels the need to be the more serious of the two. Him and Franklyn have been through the same life experiences, yet Chij doesn’t seem to hide behind a façade of youth, but accepts that he is part of a grander plan.
7. What do you hope readers will take away from reading Final Reverie? How did you feel about writing it? Were any scenes very important to you as you worked on it?
I hope that the underlying theme of conservation of the earth and lesser reliance on technology will be realized. Writing Final Reverie, I did not start out by creating a “save the earth” type book. It just sort of happened in the final product. However, there is a greater theme of friendship and teamwork. Although Chij and Franklyn are the main characters, they could not have accomplished their feats without the help and inspiration of others.
Writing Final Reverie was a fantastic experience. It went through many revisions, additions, and deletions. It quickly became a labor of love for me, especially the final scene. There is so much emotion in the scene that I might have shed a tear when writing it. Of the entire book, it was my favorite.
8. Will there be any other books about this world? If so what do you think they will be about?
I am hoping to start the second book soon, which will tell the journeys of Doman, De’ahn, Timothy, and Konalecia. Rabin will also play a much larger role in the book. Once it is complete, I hope to write a third that focuses on Rabin and Nafets, starting prior to the return of magic. I chose to write the story in reverse in order to introduce characters a little at a time. Although we know how Final Reverie ends, the story leading up to it is just as emotional and full of adventure, and I think it deserves to be told.
9. You also write horror, do you often write fantasy as well?
“Brothers”, the beginnings of Final Reverie, was my first real fantasy piece. I have some ideas for other fantasy stories, and am deciding to write short stories or plot full novels.
10. Do you have other books or stories in print?
Currently, besides Final Reverie, I have stories published in twenty other books. Recently, I won third place in Blood Reign Lit’s anthology story of the year, Silent Scream. I also won editor’s choice in JWK Fiction’s We Are Dust and Shadow. Other stories are included in Horror and Mystery LLC’s Mardis Gras Murders and NightScape Press’s Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge. I also edited a collection of poems and short stories written by teenagers and young adults that have experienced emotional stigmas throughout their lives. The book, Misunderstood, serves as an outlet to let others in similar situations that they are not alone.