Interview with JS Herod, Author of Rise of the Storm Lord (Chronicles of the Bard King)

10 Jul 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Rise of the Storm Lord (Chronicles of the Bard King)?

You know, “Rise of the Storm Lord” actually started out pretty modestly. It was supposed to be just the prologue for “A Tempest of Shadows.” But as soon as I started writing, Jerith’s character just took off. Before I knew it, his story was so rich and detailed that it was clear it needed its own book. Jerith’s journey is all about discovery and transformation, which I think is something we can all relate to. The more I wrote, the more I realized how much there was to explore in his world. It’s funny how stories can sometimes take on a life of their own and surprise you. What started as a simple backstory turned into this epic adventure that stands on its own. Writing is such a wild ride because of moments like these. Jerith’s tale, with all its unexpected twists and turns, ended up being a great adventure and really set the stage for the rest of the series.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Rise of the Storm Lord (Chronicles of the Bard King), what would they be?

For Jerith’s song, I’d choose “Valhalla’s Calling” by Peyton Parrish. The song’s epic and powerful sound perfectly captures the legacy and heroic destiny that he is stepping into. Its themes of honor, bravery, and the call to greatness resonate deeply with his journey and the heritage he inherits. The soaring melody and intense energy of the song make it an ideal theme, reflecting the young hero’s path and the epic challenges he will face in “Rise of the Storm Lord.”

For Valeria, I’d choose “Savage Daughter” by Ekaterina Shelehova. The song’s powerful and evocative lyrics perfectly encapsulate her fierce independence and deep connection to her heritage. With its raw, folk-inspired melody, it pays homage to both the Norse and Native American elements that shape the Sutian culture in “Rise of the Storm Lord.” The song speaks to Valeria’s strength, resilience, and untamed spirit, making it an ideal anthem for her character.

For Lysa and Rian, I’d probably choose “Lose Control” by Teddy Swims. The soulful and passionate lyrics of the song perfectly reflect the complexity and intensity of their relationship. The emotional depth and raw honesty in the music resonate with the struggles and triumphs they experience together, making it a fitting theme for their intertwined journeys.

For Harrison, I’d choose “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed. The song’s haunting and intense rendition perfectly captures the anxiety and precariousness of Harrison’s situation. Its lyrics about silence and the weight of unspoken words resonate deeply with his role as a scribe surrounded by danger, where any mistake or misspoken word could mean his end. The song’s dark, brooding energy mirrors the tension and uncertainty that defines his character’s experience in “Rise of the Storm Lord.”

For Marek, I’d choose “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. The song’s driving rhythm and powerful vocals capture the fierce energy and indomitable spirit that define Marek. Its themes of Norse mythology and epic battles resonate deeply with his character, whose towering frame and lethal grace in combat make him a force of nature. The intense and exhilarating feel of the song perfectly reflects Marek’s commanding presence and his unstoppable nature on the battlefield.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

You know, my favorite genre is really a mix of adventure and fantasy. I love stories with strong, complex characters and rich, immersive worlds. That’s why I enjoy classic authors like Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, and Louis L’Amour—they have that rugged, adventurous storytelling I adore. But I also get totally absorbed in epic fantasy, which is why I’m a huge fan of modern authors like Patrick Rothfuss, Andrew Rowe, Kel Kade, and Melissa McPhail. Their books have that epic adventure vibe that I can’t get enough of. It’s the best of both worlds, really!

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Right now, my TBR pile includes “Ancestor” by Edward Crae and “Godkiller” by Hannah Kaner. I’m also waiting on Rebecca Yarros’s third book of the Empyrean Saga, “Onyx Storm.” I just finished “Choosers of the Slain” by E.S. Oliver and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am patiently waiting on Kel Kade’s sixth installment of King’s Dark Tidings. There’s always something exciting waiting to be read!

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

My favorite scene to write has to be this one moment between Jerith and Valeria. Jerith is freezing to death, literally. Valeria finds him, and without hesitation, she pulls him into the warmth of the schoolhouse, wraps them both in a blanket, and tries to warm him up. There’s this intense vulnerability as Jerith confesses his guilt and shame, and Valeria, in her fierce, compassionate way, reassures him and helps him see his own worth. Just when you think the scene couldn’t get any more dramatic, Jerith’s mother walks in, and there’s this hilarious and awkward moment where Valeria leaps off Jerith’s lap, trying to explain. The tension is sky-high, but it’s also a bit funny and sweet. And then, boom, the big revelation: Valeria is actually a princess, the daughter of the very man causing all the suffering. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions—fear, shame, warmth, humor, and then this massive twist that throws everything into chaos. Writing it was an absolute blast, balancing all those emotions and the character dynamics.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Not really. I work a lot. A Whole Lot! I steal every spare moment I can for my writing. I honestly haven’t had time to develop any quirky habits other than being super tired.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I have two, really. “Destiny only favors those that strive to change her.” and “Outwork everybody!”

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

If there’s a lesson I want readers to take away from “Rise of the Storm Lord,” it’s that inside each of us, there are two sides that can be diametrically opposed. We all have the potential for both light and dark within us. After all, sometimes good and evil are just a matter of perspective. It’s about understanding that complexity within ourselves and others, and recognizing that everyone has their own battles and struggles. This theme runs deep throughout the story and I hope it resonates with readers on a personal level.


JS Herod is the author of the new book Rise of the Storm Lord (Chronicles of the Bard King)

Connect with JS Herod

Author Site


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