Jeff Wheeler: Behind The Words


Last year, Jeff Wheeler, the mega-selling fantasy author, agreed to a feature interview for InD’tale magazine.  We found him to be one of the most gracious and kind men we have had the pleasure of visiting with, and because his books are absolutely top-notch, we enjoyed a conversation long to be remembered! That visit, however, was right before the deadly worldwide pandemic hit. 
We have often wondered since, how Jeff and his writing - along with so many others -  are doing this past year, and how their writing is affected in their stories. So we decided to catch up  with him and ask!
And, as is his style, he immediately offered to write an article for us on how events in one’s life can influence the stories we read.  It’s personal, fun, and yet allows us as readers to understand and look a bit closer at the characters and stories we deem “fantasy”.

Authors pour a part of themselves into the words they write. Many scenes in novels come from places, experiences, and people we know. My novels come from places I visited myself or from trips with my family. Sometimes stories reflect situations from the real world. I still hear from fans about how grief-stricken they were when Argus, the faithful boardhound in my Covenant of Muirwood series, met his end. What they don’t know is there was a man I knew who lost his faithful dog. That man became Jon Tayt from the series. He and his dog were both real.
My bestselling series has been the original Kingfountain trilogy. The main character, Owen Kiskaddon, is a young boy held hostage to a king. I based him on my youngest child, who is afraid of so many things, he even has a little patch of white in his hair that he was born with. There’s a scene in the book where Owen shimmies up a door-frame to hide from someone pursuing him. After writing that scene, I one day discovered the real "Owen" doing the same thing, wedged up in the doorframe of the bathroom. It was such a strange moment, where life was imitating art.

Read the entire article in the March 2021 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

You can just click on the magazine image on the left hand side of our home page to open and enjoy!


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