Welcome to Imagine, Beldro! Let’s get started!
You said that your story takes place in the realm of a story called “Chronicle Of Darkness: Mage The Awakening”. Can you give us a brief overview of the original story and tell us why you chose to contribute to this particular mythology, and how it inspired you?
Beldro: “Chronicle Of Darkness: Mage The Awakening” Is, at the origin, a tabletop Role Playing Game. The main mood and theme of it is a darker modern world where horrors really lurk in the shadows. Mages are humans with an awakened soul, but still human, how do you deal with that much power? The location and character are my own, but the setting, the magic lore, the factions, the rules for magic have been codified in the game’s rules and I try to stick to it.
Comicality: That being said, would you consider yourself a ‘fantasy’ genre writer? Or is this an independent part of your talent, and you want to spread out into other territories later?
Beldro: Yes I would consider myself a Fantasy genre writer, I Have tried for science fiction also, but “Real life” fiction, I am not good at it. I need an element of fantasy to be able to write. My most “Real life” text, still include the element of fantasy in a big form.
Comicality: What was your writing process like when putting this all together and mixing it in with the original lore? I’m always curious to know where the characters come from, and the stories they bring to the table in stories like this.
Beldro: The original inspiration for the story is that it was, years ago, an actual game I played with my best friend and then roommate. He was the storyteller and I was the only player. We played together for 2-3 years in that story, universe. It was a defining moment and a cherished memory. My character was Beldro, he played Melbourne.
I had the desire for a long time to write and retell that story. But I don’t exactly remember every detail of it and doing a strict retelling would be a bit boring. Also, it wasn’t explored during the tabletop game, but it was evident for me that Beldro was gay, and so, in my retelling, I wanted to explicitly explore that aspect. So the story I am writing isn’t a strict copy of that tabletop game, but it is heavily inspired, mainly the “main quest” part (not much explored yet).
Comicality: Well, THAT’S cool! RPGs can be so very immersive. I understand that it also takes a lot of ‘on the spot’ creativity while playing. Do you find the story writing process different from the gameplay? And if so, how? Better or worse? Maybe even? Hehehe!
Beldro: It is different in the improvisation needed for during the activity, but When I am in, I write in advance the arc of the story, and detail the different branches, so it is not that dissimilar. But I have difficulty writing alone and need the feedback from someone. In a tabletop, if something doesn’t resonate, they tell you and you adapt, but it is harder to have that. Or it is always after the fact. Yes I am writing mainly for myself, to tell those stories, but I need that feedback from readers, that conversation. If what I write is of no interest, I need to be told.
Comicality: How close is the main character (Named ‘Beldro’, hehehe!) to you and your personal experience as a writer. Many authors pour a lot of themselves into their stories. Are you and the main character connected with the thoughts and beliefs that you share in this story?
(Side note: I’d love to hear more about your tai chi and the like. I’ve always found that stuff fascinating as well)
Beldro: As a role playing gamer and a LARPer (Live action role-playing games) I am quite used to incarnating character. Usually, I often try to pour in the character a part of my psyche, my personality and explore that aspect. It never creates a perfect copy but it reveals a part of my identity. Beldro is in big part my desired self, the incarnation of what I would like to be: Open, artful, generous, comfortable in its body. Francis/ Melbourne, is more my current self/ the image I perceive of my self: Lonely, analytical, technical, oblivious. Both aren’t a perfect image but both are a part of me. Francis is also heavily inspired by my best friend since he was the one who incarnated it in the first place.
Personally, I don’t practice tai chi, but I am very interested to learn it and so, I decided to add it to Beldro’s character to tint his magical practice and to give him a good tool for concentration.
Comicality: I really like the way that you paint a picture with your descriptions. The characters, the scenery. How do you go about creating a truly visual experience for your readers when you’re writing? Any secrets that you want to unveil?
Beldro: None specifically, but I do find a lot of visual aid for myself before and during writing. Also, Mage the Awakening is strongly recommending to the storyteller to give vivid and metaphorical description, and so I do have a lot of practice. Furthermore, as a storyteller and game master myself, I need to learn to provide a good description to my players around the table since I can’t actually show them. And so, I have a lot of practice maintaining the suspension of disbelief and the player, and by extension the readers, involved.
Comicality: You’ve spent a great deal of time with the lore of this story, but I’m assuming that many of your readers are discovering it for the first time. Do you ever feel like you’re struggling to rebuild this mythology from scratch so they can follow along? The Order, the Mysterium, the Athenaeum…how do you effectively bring readers in and make sure that they’re on the same page?
Beldro: It is something I am struggling with. I know my first chapters are slow and confusing on that subject. In time, I introduce a character that is new to that universe and so, someone to whom I can explain the universe in universe, at the rhythm of that character. Is it an overused trope, yes I am aware of it, but I had no better idea at the time (and it is canon to the original story so not exactly my fault 😉 ) I also try to use description and notes so that it can be explored outside of the narrative.
Comicality: I noticed that you have a musical selection at the beginning of every chapter. I definitely listen to certain music when writing my own stuff as well. Tell us, how did you chose these music selections, and why suggest them to your audience? What tone are you attempting to set with each chapter?
Beldro: I am a HUGE music fan and connoisseur. Of all the arts, music is the one that touches me the most easily and the most deeply. Music influences my mood and emotions. When I write or read a story, a musical landscape creates itself in my mind. I decided at some point to share that musical mood. And so I reread all my chapters and included the music that was resonating. I try to choose music that is different/ not widely known, and I avoid music with singing (or at the very least English lyrics) because I find it hard to concentrate on reading text when I try to understand the lyrics at the same time.
For me, sharing the music with my reader is another way to convey what is the intention of the author about that part. I find that words aren’t enough for me and so music is my solution. I also know that it puts me apart from other authors and has become a bit of my mark.
Comicality: Now, I cheated and read a chapter or two ahead, hehehe…but, without giving away any spoilers, what can readers expect from future chapters of the “Golden Bridge Chronicle”? Adventure? Romance? Mystery? What’s coming next?
Beldro: Hahaha, no peeking ahead 😉 At the start, Mystery. It is the core of the universe theme. There is romance and conflicting emotion. I try to present more normal characters, with conflict and doubts. When the character and universe are better settled, different plot line I have already introduced will start to be explored and resolved, which will bring adventure.
Comicality: Well thanks so munch for the info, Beldor! I appreciate you taking the time out to do this interview for Imagine, and I’m wishing you all the best! Do you have any email addresses, websites, or social media links, that you’d like to share with your future “Golden Bridge” fans?
Beldro: Beldro!!! 😉 Now my best place to read me is on Story Lover’s site. and my address email@example.com is my author address. I lurk on discord channels from the Story Lover’s community, but I am not that active.
Comicality: Hahaha, oops! Sorry! That was, honestly, just a ‘tired finger typo’! 😛 Good to know! Thanks again! And I hope the Imagine readers will give you some great feedback from here on out! Take care!