The Bent Sword – Steve Gashler

The Bent Sword is hitting stores today! Here is a brief interview with author, Steve Gashler! Follow him on his Facebook Bent Sword page.

Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I am great. Frankly I don’t know anyone greater than me.

Q: Where are you from?
A: You may not believe this, but I’m actually from outer space. I know a lot of eccentric people make that claim, but I’m telling the truth. And rest assured, I was telling the truth about telling the truth. I may, however, be lying about that last sentence, but the odds are that I’m not. Currently I’m residing in Orem, Utah.

Q: What did you study at college?
A: I have no formal education. In fact I was raised by wolves. And yes, I did roam around the forest in a red speedo. Though I like to tell people that I got my bachelors degree in Digital Media from Utah Valley University.

Q: Marriage?
A: No thanks, I’m already spoken for.

Q: Kids?
A: I’d say that my one-year-old daughter’s cuter than yours, but I don’t like to boast. You can judge for yourself whether the foregoing sentence counts as boasting or not.

Q: All the works”¦
A: Yes, and with anchovies if possible. I prize myself in my appreciation for all things rare and exotic. Like that Mexican sausage made out of beef salivary glands I bought a few weeks ago at the grocery store.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Country dancing, watching TV, chatting with my friends on Facebook, listening to popular music, shopping for clothes, staying up with the latest trends, eating spicy curry. Only minus everything but the curry.

Q: What is your favorite book, why?
A: The Book of Mormon. Because I pride myself in flaunting my died-in-the-wool-true-blue-through-and-through-Mormonness. Beyond that, the most influential novel in my life was probably that dilapidated book from my parents book shelf entitled “Robin Hood”. I don’t think it even listed the author. But reading it made me who I am. To this day, I am Robin Hood.

Q: Do you have an author who inspires you? Who and why?
A: My wife can attest that every time I pick up any sort of literature by Daniel Pinkwater, I giggle like a schoolgirl until my eyes are red with tears. He has a knack for non-conventional, left-fielded, totally innocent young adult comedy with a heavy dose of mind-bending coolness. I want to write stuff like that.

Q: When did you start writing, or what inspired you to start writing The Bent Sword?
A: I first learned about the Lord of Boredom while in fifth grade in Sandy, Utah. He was the dark spirit of all things “¦ school. As a way of showing off my eccentricities to the girls at recess, I engaged in imaginary light saber battles with Lord Bore, but just before I sealed my triumph, the aid would always blow her whistle, and I once again found myself a prisoner. Soon I realized that it would take a great deal of dream magic to oppose the dark lord, so one recess I invited all of my friends to join me in a holy quest, one that would inevitably be full of adventure, filling us with dream and giving us the power to free ourselves from our fifth grade oppression. All sorts of invisible oracles spoke to me and informed us that our final object was to “conquer the Tupperware”, a phrase that randomly entered my mind.

After battling myriads of invisible skeleton warriors, outrunning title waves, and surviving the booby traps of ancient temples, the invisible spirits of improvisation revealed to me that the Tupperware was the domed monkey bars on the playground. To conquer it, every member of our fellowship (there were six or seven of us), had to stand on the highest bars with our hands in the air at the same time. It was a cold and blustery day, and my friends were antsy to end the quest. I watched their hands carefully, and though, to appease them, I told them that the Tupperware was conquered, I knew in my heart that we never quite achieved our goal.

And so the dark lord lived on. And at the close of my sixth grade year, he revealed his terrible power, whisking me away from my friends forever and, along with my family, planting me in the strange land of Provo, Utah. There I faced a lonely summer, surrounded by mists of boredom, soon to confront the horror of middle school as a lone adventurer. It was a world where people were starting to lose their childlike virtues, allured by the evils of pop culture. I hated it all. But by the time eighth grade rolled around, I had found new brothers in life and death, outcasts and weirdos like me, who shared my aversion to all things grownup. It was during this Renaissance that I remembered my unfinished quest, of the unconquered Tupperware. I realized that it was none other than my old nemesis that was poisoning the minds of my middle school peers, and I had to defy him.

Thus a second quest was born, and this time we could not fail. Each man took on a new name, giving birth to Steffin of Peaville, Jimbob the wizard, Mammoth the friendly giant, Sir Him and Garrick, Sir Percivel Flowermander, and others. To defy the kids around us, who were preoccupied with sitting around and being cool, trying to forget that they had ever played pretend, we wandered and ran about the school, speaking in fake British accents, filling our minds with dream, and improvising the tales that were destined to become The Bent Sword.

The following summer, I realized that my friends and I had come up with so many great characters and stories that they needed to be written down. Other friends had similar ideas, and there was a birth of TupperWar literature. But in my story, the Tupperware evolved into the container for the dark lord’s power. The pathetic, cardboard sword wrapped in duct tape made by my friend Patrick (Percivel), became the symbol of our satirical, postmodern adventures, and, to avoid trademark violation, the new name of our epic. And one night, while gazing at the heavens, I realized just how important our story was. It was written in the stars!

Many drafts, many years, and many rejection notices later, my dream became a reality through Cedar Fort. Of course, having become a wizard of dream magic through my adventures, I always knew that this time would come. I’m just glad that it came before I was sixty. My hope is that through reading the book, others will be inspired to join me in my quest, which is far from finished. And I hope to sell lots of books so that I can pump out the sequels and have a swimming pool.

Q: What did you enjoy the most about writing The Bent Sword?
A: Creating characters, then watching them come alive before my eyes. As described in the book, storytelling is a highly magical art and good fun.

Q: What made you choose Cedar Fort to publish your book?
A: Everyone else rejected me ;-). I learned that my home teaching companion’s wife Jennifer Boss worked at Cedar Fort, and she offered to personally put my manuscript onto Cedar Fort’s acquisitions desk. Alas, it’s true what they say about life revolving around who you know. That being said, I really like Cedar Fort’s values-driven media. And I just found out that my uncle, Ted Gashler, was also published through Cedar Fort, so I guess it’s a family loyalty now.

Steve Gashler is having a Box of Boredom Buster giveaway. Check out what you need to do to enter at Don’t miss it!!

Steve is also holding a release party on Saturday July 17th in Provo. He is sending out invitations and would love for all of you to join, so if you would like him to send you an invitation, please send him your address. Go to The Bent Sword Facebook page to send him your info!

Stay tuned for a summary of The Bent Sword – coming soon! 

Order The Bent Sword!!