Mystical Force Volume 4: Many are 1, 1 is 0 follows a sorceress who wants to unleash an omnipotent being to take control of the world for her, while a knight tries to prevent this from occuring. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The character of 0 (Zero), I based him off of ‘Q’ from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was one of my favourite characters from TNG. It’s a classic idea, the omnipotent trickster who uses his powers to meddle in the lives of our heroes for his own amusement. This story was a means to set up 0’s introduction, as he’ll play an important role in the series later on, although it isn’t obvious. 0 is a being with god like power, and like a god, he works in subtle ways that many of us don’t realize. To quote an episode of Futurama, “When you [God] do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”
What was your favorite character to write for and why?
That would be 0. As I stated, I based him off of ‘Q’ from Star Trek: The Next Generation. 0, like Q, is less of a villain and more of an annoyance to our characters. Like Q, 0’s antics may appear to be nothing more than irritating our protagonists for his own twisted sense of pleasure, but underneath he’s secretly trying to help our heroes. It’s a case of him secretly testing our characters. Because he’s an omnipotent trickster, it was great fun having him troll the others, such as the scene near the end when appears before the Order of the Cross, taking the form of (the Christian depiction) God, and later the Pope. Or how he uses his powers to make two countries go to war over Twinkies. I’ve always liked that Monty Python style of humour, that either makes you laugh or ask “What the hell was this guy high on when he came up with that?!” (for the record, I wasn’t high on anything! I don’t do drugs.)
What was one of the hardest parts in Mystical Force Volume 4: Many are 1, 1 is 0 for you to write?
Near the end when Knightwalker “defeats” 0 and sends him home, undoing all the chaos he’s caused. Everyone except our main characters forgets all his antics. When I got the manuscript back from my editor Tereza (a wonderful editor, who really goes above and beyond to help make this series what it is) she asked why they’re the only one’s who remember. Honestly the only real answer I had was that since 0 would be returning at a later date, I didn’t want to go through the process of introducing him all over again. It’s like that Star Trek TNG episode Hide and Q, Q suspends time when his visits the Enterprise. When time resumes later, only the main characters seem aware of what’s happened. Everyone else seems oblivious to Q’s meddling. That’s why I added the part explaining that 0 allowed them to remember so that when he returns he can enjoy their reactions of “OH NO! Not you again!!” That’s part of his character, he loves trolling others. The idea of being an irritant to ‘lesser’ beings amuses him. Like a mischievous child tormenting insects because he’s bored.
What is the next book in the series about and when will it be available?
First let me just add, that I’m also working on a new series set in the same universe called Liberator: the People’s Guard, which should be out very soon (or depending on when this is posted, it may already be out). But in regards to Mystical Force volume 5, I’m currently finishing up the manuscript. Hopefully that one will be out sometime next spring. (I’ll be alternating between Liberator and Mystical Force for the duration of those series). Now what will volume 5 be about? Back in volumes 2 & 3 I teased that Scarlet Knightwalker came from the future because in that time Shi-ria trained an apprentice, died and her apprentice (along with Mystic and Sister Rose) turned evil and took over the world ruling it as a totalitarian dictatorship. Hence why Knightwalker came back to change history. Volume 2 ends with Shi-ria seeing this as a possible future along with one where she lives and her apprentice becomes a Taman Knight. Volume 5 introduces this apprentice. A teenage girl named Chiyoko, who comes from a broken home. A girl Shi-ria takes under her wing as she sees a bit of herself in this girl, a reminder of how she used to be before becoming a Taman Knight. We also get a sneak peek at the “descendant of the darkness”, a young man with shadow based ninja powers. I suppose you could say this is where the main plot of the series really beings.