Thursday, November 29, 2012

Interview: THE PROPHECY CHRONICLES Prophecy Foretold by Ron Hartman

Today I have author Ron Hartman with me today. Let's get to know him a little better.

Ron, do you prefer Milk chocolate or Dark?  Milk, but dark sure goes well with a nice red wine!

Coffee or tea?  Tea, but to be honest most of my caffeine comes from Diet Pepsi

Vodka or tequila?  I am fond of Vodka, but my favorite drink is a Gin and Tonic

Romance or a Thriller?  Thriller

Mystery or Horror?  Mystery

Did you always want to be an author?
            No.  When I was a kid I wanted to be a Paleontologist, but by the time I’d gotten to high school I wasn’t sure anymore.  My guidance counselor mentioned that pharmacists got paid pretty well and were always the good guys, and I was intrigued.  I’ve been a pharmacist for almost thirteen years, but I am really passionate about writing.  That is what I’d like to do full time if I could!

What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
            Growing up one of the first real books (no pictures) I remember reading was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.  I remember bursting into tears near the end when one of the main characters died…and I was hooked.  I read all of the Shannara books, which led to Tolkien, R. A. Salvatore and many others.  Probably the one fantasy author that impacted me the most was Stephen R. Donaldson.  His Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and Mordant’s Need series came to life for me more than any books before.  The way he seamlessly melded our world and a fantasy realm definitely had a strong impact on The Prophecy Chronicles.

Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer?
            My wife, Leslie, encouraged me tremendously.  When I first started writing the Prophecy Chronicles I was actually embarrassed to admit that I was trying such a daunting task.  Leslie always encouraged me, though.  She really is my rock, and the glue that holds Daniel Marten’s tale together is his relationship with the family he’s desperate to return to.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that his wife Ashley is patterned after my own angel.  I also have a good friend named Robbie Schwenker that was instrumental in motivating me to seek electronic publishing.  He encouraged me at a time that I’d nearly given up on ever getting The Prophecy Chronicles published, and for that I am very thankful.  When I told him how much I appreciated his help, he said, “Just mention me in an interview sometime.”  Here you go, Robbie!

What is your writing atmosphere like?
            I work primarily at a very cluttered desk in an office overflowing with textbooks, paperwork, photos of my family, and occasionally a cat that wants attention.  Periodically I give it a good spring cleaning, but the clutter seems to like my desk and it keeps coming back.  So does the cat!

What is your favorite aspect or writing? Your Least Favorite?
            To me the hardest part of writing is putting the first word on the page.  How do you introduce this scene?  This character?  This world?  Once that’s down the die has been cast and I just go with the flow.  My favorite part is when I finally pull all of the strands together—the point when I can look back and say, “There.  That’s why the character went from here to there, see?”  Putting the last word to the story is also pretty sweet, but its usually bittersweet, knowing the seed that’d been growing in your mind for so long has finally been harvested.

            My least favorite aspect is the constant revisions.  It’s not that I don’t want to read my book again, but really?  Again?  Usually with the first revision I’m shocked at how many typos I missed when writing the rough draft.  By the fifth or sixth revision I’m usually still surprised at the typos that make it in.  Hopefully the copy that you read will be perfect…if not, sorry!

Your current book  your promoting is:
             The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Foretold, the first installment in a fantasy trilogy.

How did you come up with the your story line?
            The Prophecy Chronicles started with a seed that planted in my mind when I was sixteen or seventeen.  I was driving home in a snowstorm and came across a series of s-curves.  About half-way through the curves there was a frozen pond not far from the road.  Even though I’d seen that pond a thousand times before, that time an idea jumped into my head:  wouldn’t it be terrible if you lost control, your car slid across the road and into that pond?  That idea never left me, and eventually it became the opening sequence in Prophecy Foretold. 

            Several years later I had a job where I had to travel quite a bit.  While I was in the car, missing my family, I started to think about what it would be like to be trapped in another world.  You only want to return to your family, but everyone in this strange world sees something else in you, and it’s potent enough to fight for.  That idea was the beginning of the story arc that took Daniel from the car wreck in the opening sequence to Naphthali and all of the adventures that followed.

How do you choose your characters names?
            Naphthali is one country on a large continent called Enialé.  There are many different nationalities on this continent, so I was careful to try and give a regional feel to many of the names, making those that would have grown up relatively close to one another to have an almost ethnic similarity.  This is shown even more thoroughly in Prophecy Chronicles two and three, when Daniel Marten travels to other countries outside of Enialé.  He will meet people that are similar to ancient Greeks, feudal Japanese, and Bedouin wanderers, to name a few. 

            Having said all of that, there were some exceptions.  Enialé is my wife Leslie’s middle name (Elaine) spelled backward.  There is a city Daniel travels to called Namtrah (Hartman spelled backward), and he climbs a man-made mountain called Mount Dlanor (Ronald)…some names just sounded too good not to use!


An accident made him a savior.  Now Daniel Marten struggles to find himself and a way home while the armies of Naphthali battle to control him.

These are dark days for Naphthali.  The king has been murdered, the land invaded by the Imperial Army.  It will absorb Naphthali into an Empire that stretches across all of Enialé at any cost.  The ravaged people cling to an ancient promise, an assurance that a Prophesied savior will come to set them free…Daniel Martin is trapped in a life that hasn’t gone as expected.  His pharmacy is struggling and he is losing all hope of making a difference in his patients’ lives.  His family is the one shining light in his disenchanted life, but he is torn from them when an accident draws him to Naphthali.  The people need him but Daniel is driven by his need to return to the family he loves.  Is he the Prophesied One?  Only time will tell as both the Empire and the Resistance battle for Daniel while the fate of Naphthali hangs in the balance…


“Is there another way out?” Soren asked.  Alaric grimly shook his head.  The captain rested his hand on the door knob and looked back at the men.  “We move quickly.  Away from the house, back to the other district…we’ll lose them in the streets.”  He glanced at Daniel and snapped, “Get your hood up!”  When Daniel complied he glanced around once more.  “Ready?”  He threw the door open and launched himself down the steps, everyone racing behind him. 
Daniel glanced to the side and saw a large bloody stain on the wall, the headless body of Dalen lying on the ground beneath it.  Soren took one step and froze when a man emerged from the shadows across the street.  Daniel froze also, his legs nearly unhinging and dropping him to the ground.  He recognized the red robes and his heart skipped a beat before he even saw Malthion’s face.  Without a word, the sorcerer raised his arms and crossed them, making an X with his little fingers and thumbs extended.  He lowered his head for a split second until a pulsing ball of light grew before him.  He threw his chin up and arms out simultaneously and the light launched toward Daniel, moving almost too fast to follow.
Daniel closed his eyes and cringed, but just before impact he was pushed from behind and Regnar vaulted in front of him.  The light hit the carpenter in the chest and he was instantly engulfed in flames.  He never cried out.  The intense flames seared away flesh and melted bone.  Regnar managed two steps before falling face-first to the cobblestones.  Daniel froze as he stared in horror at his friend’s corpse and gasped, “No!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ron Hartman has had a life-long passion for the written word and is an avid reader.  The Prophecy Chronicles are his first written works.  Ron graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2000 and lives in Ottumwa, Iowa with his wife and three children.


To purchase book:;;


Ron will be awarding signed cover flats for each tour stop and a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

To enter just leave a comment with your email address. For more chances to win follow the tour.


  1. Thank you so much for having me here today! I'm excited to be here and I'd love to hear what you all have to say. If you have any thoughts/questions, please shout them out!

  2. I loved the excerpt. This really sounds like an awesome story.

  3. Great interview, thank you. I love the way you choose your characters names.

  4. Thanks! I hate it when I read a fantasy novel and all of the names are so varied and, well, fanciful, that you can't even say them. I wanted something a little easier on the ear! :)

  5. This was a great interview. Again, I see how a writer's inspiration can be so random. I would never think of such a horrific scene like that. I am too paranoid in the first place. So cool that you used that to open up the novel. That's a great way to hook readers.

    I also loved the interviewer's style. Your initial questions serve as nice icebreakers. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I think cannot get over how cool the haunting cover is. Thank you for the fun interview. It is good to know that even published authors struggle to start their novels

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  7. I'm glad you liked the cover! I wanted something that really caught your attention...the original rough copy was actually a picture of me with a fake scar on my face. I'm a little to old and goofy looking to be "piercing" though, so I found a stand-in! :)

  8. I'm happy to hear you like the sound of the book! I put a lot of sweat and tears into it...I'm glad other people think it sounds as neat as I did!

  9. Fun and interesting interview! Thanks for stopping by, Ron!


  10. Sounds very intriguing--best of luck!


  11. I have not read anything by Stephen Donaldson. I'll have to check him out. I also love your reveal about names--with a few being names spelled backwards. I will probably check (either consciously or subconsciously) names to see if they are inversions...LOL.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  12. I'm glad you liked it, Catherine Eel...I mean Lee :)

  13. I loved how you flipped names around. They sound just right for the story. How clever & personal.