Today I am interviewing Jared Barlament, author of the new literary fantasy novel, The Plight of a People.
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DJ: Hey Jared! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Jared Barlament: Of course! I am a self-published author of, so far, only one novel. I’m a student living in the rural Midwest, and manage my writing time in between school, soccer and marching band. I live on a bit of a tight schedule, but I make it work.
DJ: What is The Plight of a People about?
Jared: It’s what I like to call a literary fantasy epic. The book is split into three separate parts, each of them set at a different time period in the history of the Roesanian people on a fictional secondary world. The book follows them and their struggles through the eyes of three of their leaders, and is a show of the inner workings of ever-advancing governments and the spirits of righteous and corrupt men alike that run these governments.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Plight of a People?
Jared: I’ve read many classical works, and although modern fiction has found its influences in my work, most of my influence comes from the stories of many years ago. Tolkien’s and Homer’s sagas have probably had the biggest effect on me as a writer, as have philosophical writers such as Plato.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Jared: The main character of Part I is a man named Solinus. He once led the Roesanians through the most devastating of all wars, but after a disastrous battle, he found himself a disgraced man. All of Part I sees him doing his best to reclaim his people’s hearts and become the man he once was again. In Part II, you meet Aethon, an emperor of a vast and yet deeply divided empire on a collision course with annihilation. Through tactics as bloodthirsty as any man could fathom, he does his best to keep his empire and his authority, no matter the costs. Lastly, Part III introduces Eulasus, a king forced to do the bidding of a foreign ruler. After he learns of a great betrayal that was made against him, he becomes infatuated with the idea of liberty and begins a war to save his people from what he sees as a great beast of tyranny that has feasted away at their freedoms for far too long.
DJ: What is the world and setting of The Plight of a People like?
Jared: It is a world with very primitive technology, akin to the Bronze Age in our world. Although technology does progress throughout the book, the cultures within this world remain marked by their lack of advancement. They are deeply religious and have a deep sense of belonging within their own specific ethnic groups, leading to unending conflict between the many groups that inhabit the lands.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Plight of a People?
Jared: My favorite part was certainly being able to learn so much about our own world because of my research for this fictional world. I had known barely anything about Bronze Age cultures or life before starting this book, and I would likely still have been wholly ignorant of the topic had I not stuck through to finish it.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Jared: It is my hope that readers are most intrigued by the themes and ideas surrounding the stories. I wrote this not only for the enjoyment of those who read it, but also in the hopes that it provokes them to think more about the culture and government they live under. Many of us criticize these things as almost second nature, but none of us seem willing to do anything about our criticisms. There are countless ways to make one’s voice heard in this world, and so I hope people realize their own voice and their own ability to contribute to the building of the world they want to see.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began writing The Plight of a People? Was there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Jared: There are many themes in the story, a great deal of which will be explored further and expanded upon in future books. Some of those that I focused on more in Book I include the judgement of history and the cycle of oppression. Throughout the book, the legacies of men far in the past tend to influence the leaders of the present, but these legacies can vary wildly depending on history’s judgement of that person at that time. In addition, a great wheel of oppression continues to turn through and past Book I, where oppression constantly breeds the yearning for liberty and the seizing of this liberty breeds the yearning for security that always ultimately leads to oppression.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from The Plight of a People that you can share with us?
Jared: There’s plenty of quotes this book has to offer. “Truth is, and will always be, the path to liberty”, “make sure that you, in eliminating the corrupt, do not yourself become the corrupted”, “those foolish enough to assume they’re invincible always end up being those who find out in the most terrible of ways that they aren’t”, and “if we do not fight, both on the battlefield and in our hearts, we shall lose all there is to fight for” stand out as some of my personal favorites.
DJ: Now that The Plight of a People is released, what is next for you?
Jared: For now, I will be continuing to do my best to market this first book. I may even release a paperback version if I see enough demand for one. The first part of the second book is already done, and once everything’s calmed down for Book I, I’m going to resume my work on Book II in the hopes of getting that published by September or so next year.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon author page: https://amazon.com/author/jwbarlament
Website & blog: https://jwbarlament.wixsite.com/anindividualmind
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Plight of a People that we haven’t talked about yet?
Jared: This is only the first book in a five-book series, so there is plenty more to come. The conflicts and themes present in Book I are only the beginning of a war brewing beneath the surface that shall erupt in later installments with an unfathomable force.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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*** The Plight of a People is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
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The Plight of a People is an epic of one people’s continued journey to survive in an ancient world lush with catastrophe. It is split into three individual stories, each separated by countless generations and connected by the culture, struggles and themes they all share.
In Part I, the story follows disgraced military officer Solinus as he attempts to once again be the man he once was and single-handedly defend his people from annihilation from a hostile group of religious zealots. Nearly 300 years later, Part II follows Emperor Aethon as his struggle to maintain power unleashes a maelstrom of tragedy upon him and his empire. Lastly, Part III occurs over a century afterwards, when King Eulasus begins a war of liberty to save his kingdom from the wrongs brought down upon it by a brutal regime.
Each part is intertwined with the others to craft one story about not just the struggles of the individual, but also the people’s struggle and the relationship between the ruler and the ruled. Vast cycles of oppression and the constant presence of great omnipotent gods look over the many eons of war that rule this ancient world. All this bloodshed occurs over a backdrop of barely explored lands full of mystic creatures and powerful deities. The continual exploration of this world and the gradual advancement of humanity within it serve as merely the first of challenges for the people living in a delicate world order just waiting to implode all around them.