❝ Thomas Wildus is a new series of Middle Grade Fantasy books written by J.M. Bergen. The first book in the series Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows was released in February 2019, published by Elandrian Press. The second book in the series, Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, will be released in Spring 2020. Through a fresh voice, genuine characters, and a unique storyline, the Thomas Wildus series is destined to appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and young adult readers who enjoy books about magic and adventure. ❞ — Media Kit
* i didn’t have time to make another button! (the shame, the shame) if you click “buy indie (US)” you’ll be directed to J.M. Bergen’s website where you can buy the books. just picture it more as a “buy AN indie FROM THE US” *wink*
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows courtesy of J.M. Bergen through Book Publicity Services. I have not read the second book yet. I offered to do this Q&A post.
Catch my review on Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows.
i was able to catch j.m. bergen for five quick Qs about his writing process and how Thomas Wildus’ world came to life. let’s see what he had to say
Q1: Quick! You have 280 characters or less to describe your book. What do you say?
A1: If you are someone who loves stories about magic, adventure, and friendship, as well as complex villains and unexpected plot twists, you’re going to have a lot of fun reading the Thomas Wildus books. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria has one of the biggest plot twists in the whole series.
Q2: The Thomas Wildus series began as a bedtime story for your son. How have the stories evolved from your oral tellings to what readers see in print?
A2: They’ve evolved quite a lot! There was something magical in the process of telling the stories, and then a whole different kind of magic in taking that raw material and turning it into readable books. Not surprisingly, the second part has taken a whole lot longer.
The characters have shifted in a variety of ways, becoming more complex and multi-dimensional over the course of time. That’s especially true for Thomas, but also for Enrique, Akhil, Scott, and even some of the villains. Complex characters tend to make different and more interesting choices than those who are obviously good or obviously evil, and that’s led to twists and changes that I wouldn’t have anticipated in the early tellings of the story.
Q3: As both an author and a parent, you must have a lot of opinions on children’s literature. What do you believe are key components of quality children’s lit? We won’t hold it against you if you use your own book for examples! (Considering it has a rating of 4.12 on Goodreads, we’re kind of expecting you to.)
A3: Believe it or not, I have very few opinions. For me, I think the most important thing is that readers enjoy what they’re reading, and that the material is age appropriate. I don’t think children’s stories shouldn’t be stripped of the hard or painful parts – life can be tough, and kids get that – but the hard parts need to be dealt with in ways that are authentic and instructive. Ideally with a touch of love.
Q4: A common occurrence in fantasy books is for the protagonist to cut their own path, or make new friends along the way. But Thomas insists on bringing along his best bud Enrique, no matter the risk. Tell us a little more about these two, and what makes their friendship so unique. (anyone remember when Mandy and I re-created their doodle wars? i won. don’t let Mandy tell you different.)
A4: Thomas and Enrique are connected at a fundamental level, with ties that run deeper than either of them fully understand quite yet. There’s a natural playfulness to their relationship that is pure and innocent and rooted in trust. To them, everything is a game, and at the end it never matters all that much who wins or loses because they’re going to come back and battle again tomorrow.
Of course, having magical powers and facing powerful enemies changes the normal dynamic a bit, and their friendship will be tested on more than one occasion. The important thing is that their bond is strong enough to weather the coming storms.
Q5: One last question from me today! In Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows, we watch as Thomas learns about his legacy and meets the foe that comes with it—Arius Strong. Now three months later in Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, Arius has gotten even stronger. What makes Arius so dangerous? And what does Thomas’ mom think about all this “save the world” type business? (oops, two questions!)
A5: Arius is a fascinating character, far more interesting and complex than is readily apparent in the first book. Imagine having not only all of the money in the world, but also magical powers and an insatiable desire to get what you want – being rich, powerful, ruthless, and driven. It’s a dangerous combination, and not just for the people around him.
Susan Wildus desperately wants to see Thomas live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life, but she knows his path will never be ordinary. She hates seeing him in danger – it worries her so much she can hardly breathe – but at the same time she’s incredibly proud of the person he is becoming.
thanks for taking the time to let us dig into your brain and learn more about thomas!
Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumaria is out NOW and available for purchase.
J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five.
When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping, or dreaming up new adventures.
If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).
What do you think? Are you ready to add this series to your TBR?