During San Diego Comic Con 2015, we got a chance to play and experience BattleKasters at a fun, free, family–friendly event. BattleKasters is based on the book, The Red Sun, which is the first book in The Legends of Orkney book series to be released this August (buy the book here).
In anticipation of the series, we got a chance to talk to Alane Adams, author of the series, about why she’s collaborated on a thrilling literary adventure game available for mobile devices called BattleKasters which builds upon the world she will be introducing to young readers and players of her game. We also got to find out a little about how her idea for this multifaceted story and where she plans to take it!
The Red Sun takes from Norse mythology and puts it into a modern setting with the lead teen Sam, what inspired that choice to arm your world with that culture?
Alane Adams: The laws of mythology say (for example) this object has this power and you can just use that. It makes sense and you can pull from that. That’s what I like about mythology, it doesn’t change and you can adapt it to your modern character who’s going through all these different adventures and trials and tribulations, their coming of age story trying to figure out ‘who am I?’. [In Legends of Orkney] Sam discovers his father is a son of Odin. So he’s a descendant of a Norse god and he also discovers his mom is a witch. What would it be like if you found out one day that your life was a lie. What does that make you? You have this light magic and dark magic within you so it creates a lot of conflict for my character and it gives him a tremendous amount of potential for good and bad and that makes him so interesting because we’re all flawed we all have light and dark magic.
As a mom, with kids at the reading age of the book would you say you were influenced by your family?
Alane Adams: My son really loves Anakin, Episode 3, full on dark side. And my son is the sweetest blue-eyed boy in the world, but he just loved Episode 3 so I had to make my character that dark. In book two [of the series] he goes full on witch, he goes full on into his dark side. We see what would it be like to really become that person? That dark side. If I just gave into it… By the end of it his friends have to save him. To reel him back in. In book 3 he has to deal with those consequences. So book one we introduce this whole world and this character with all his dynamics, book two let him go completely south and then book three pull him back out and have him deal with the consequences and let him decide who he really is.
My son asked me to write him this book and it took me several months to write it. We were going on a family camping trip, I printed it out, made a little cover for him. He was really my inspiration, he read it in two days and he was like ‘Well, when’s the next one?’ I’m like, ‘I just spent six months writing this book, can I have a few days to just? Come on!’ Two days, he read it, loved it and wanted me to write the next one, and sure I said I’ll write the next one. Sat down, six months later finished the next one and guess what he said another two days later. ‘Mom, yeah that was good but how does it end? What’s next?’ That book kind of ends with a cliffhanger and what I thought when i wrote was that the story had a real nice natural arc. There’s this over all story you don’t even realize you’re [experiencing] until you finish. And when I completed it, I said to him, ‘do not ask me to write another one.’ That lasted for a whole year, but then I missed it, I really missed it. And so my plan is to continue on to four, five and six. The game will expand on the moments of the story and make them what they need to be.
How does the game tie in to expand the universe of your series?
Alane Adams: Its good versus evil really is what it is. You have the dwarf trying to go to the good side, like do the right thing. Go over here, don’t go over there, there’s witches there. Then you have the witches say come over here, come collect these cards because you can come cast some pretty nasty spells in these parts. So we find the players of the game are choosey. Yeah, yeah, i wanna skip this, I’m going right to the dark side. The game has consequences, you get to cast spells that cause damage, you can cast protection spells if you’re on the good side. There’s a lot of different ways the game adapts to their choice. It’s about who do you wanna be and what kind of a role you want to play in this game.
Do readers or players need to start on the books to be able to understand the game storyline?
Alane Adams: With the game you’re able to have a relationship with these characters before you read the book. You know what they look like, you know what they can do. They have a personality, they have a little humor, a little darkness. Every kid who got into it that came to us at [Denver Comic Con] kept saying they couldn’t wait to read the book which is releasesin August.
You can download BattleKasters on the app store and read the first book of the Legends of Orkney this August!