When asked if he might be the next J.K. Rowling, author Ron Hore answered fearlessly.
"I have no fear of that at all."
But, it may be too early for Hore to deny the possibility. On April 1, the Charleswood resident will see his latest medieval fantasy novel, The Queen’s Pawn, published online and soon after in print.
Hore describes it as a case of mistaken identity. A farm boy, sent to study for the priesthood, ends up escorting a queen and her "very obnoxious daughter" to safety after a city falls to the enemy.
"And of course, there’s a series of adventures along the way."
The Queen’s Pawn is not the first work Hore, 74, has had published. Since retiring from the financial services industry in 2003 his ghost story Midnight won first place at the Canadian Authors Association’s 2006 CanWrite! conference, and was included in an anthology. He had a vampire story – Evolve – about a teenage girl with a vampire father and human mother published as part of another anthology in 2010.
In 2012, Hore hit his stride. The Dark Lady, another medieval fantasy, was launched at the Keycon science fiction convention in May, and in December he released Housetrap, the first of a series of fantasy detective novellas. His publisher, Burst Books, has since contracted three more installments of the series, which he’s already written.
Hore says his stories aren’t too graphic for young readers.
"People die, but there’s not a lot of gory death. I would have read them when I was a youngster, but then, I always read above my age level," he said.
He’s always been interested in history, he said, which serves him well in creating fantasy worlds from a distant past. And although medieval history is often rife with gender inequality, Hore said he strives to create strong male and female characters.
As for usurping J.K. Rowling, Hore said he’s not sure how well his latest books have been selling. It takes a long time for sales numbers to flow from Amazon to a publisher, he said, but he does know the print editions sell well at the conventions his publisher attends.
"I don’t think it’s anything I’m going to get rich from. If I break even I’ll be happy," he said.
In any event, he plans to enjoy himself. Hore will be at various conventions around Canada this summer to speak about writing and give readings.
Check his website – www.ronaldhore.com – for updates and samples of his work, which can be purchased through his publisher’s website at www.burstbooks.ca.