An interview with Brett Salter

Written by / Interviews

Risingshadow has had an opportunity to interview Brett Salter, who is the author of The Talisman Series.

Brett Salter
Brett Salter

In his own words:

"My background in writing stems mostly from the inspiration I found as a kid when I read Fantasy and Sci-Fi books. These include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Xanth Novels, The Time Quintet, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and everything from Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss. In my formative years, I joined several punk rock bands and wrote songs, poetry, and short stories aplenty. As an adult (?) I took on a dare and wrote the first book in my Talisman Series. I loved the feeling it gave me and the idea of inspiring others so much that I kept writing until I had an entire series."

About The Talisman Series:

The Talisman Series will reveal the clandestine workings of the dragons and their knights who embrace the role of protecting our world from The Tyrant King and his evil minions. Whichever side controls the Talismans and their magic will determine the destiny of the world. The question is, what are these Talismans, and how can they be used for the good of humanity and the dragon dens? Read along to find out!


1. Could you tell us something about yourself in your own words?

I’d like to start by thanking Rising Shadow for taking the time to conduct this interview and all their hard work. I am very excited to use this platform to promote my books, and I humbly thank you for the opportunity. As for me, I live in Atlanta, Georgia with my wife, two kids, and a dog named Walter Salter. I love writing, and I do it whenever I find free time. I dig the MCU, anime, Totino’s Pizza, classic poetry, all types of music, and ALL the Atlanta sports franchises (Go Five Stripes!). I’m in a “dad band” that covers 90’s music so be sure to check us out. I’m the bassist that jumps all over the place like a lunatic. Really, if you ever want to know anything about me, just ask me on Goodreads. I’m an open book…get it?

2. What inspired you to write The Talisman Series?

I write for a couple reasons. 1. I feel like there is something in me that needs to “create”. I try EVERY day to “create” something which scratches that itch. In my past, I’ve been a musician and a poet. Those were great outlets for allowing that creativity bug to escape, but unfortunately, I found those to be more like fleeting diversions. Writing a book is a project that keeps the creativity pouring out for months at a time. Not that writing music and poetry is easy. It most definitely isn’t! I believe musicians and poets follow the same creative yens that authors do. I just feel like writing a series of books, creating palpable characters, and keeping all the details juggled properly is a larger-scale project with more channels for creative output. 2. I write to inspire others. I remember being a kid and reading things like The Chronicles of Narnia or The Xanth Series and being awestruck and engaged to no end. I want that! I want to inspire others to embrace that creativity gene and nurture it. I tell my kids all the time to practice being creative. Take some time to draw a battle scene of dragons or a kaleidoscope of butterflies! Construct a folded-up, 8-page comic book about a superhero you invented. Make up a dance and share it with you friends so you don’t look like the only weirdo doing it. Use the rainy days to read about new places and explore that part of your brain that dies a little each time you stare at your screens. Egon Spengler famously said, “print is dead”, but it’s not. It’s just evolved. We have more ways to share our stories now than ever. And I just want to be part of that amazing assembly.

3. Is there anything that you could tell us about the protagonists, Rome and Julian?

Oh man. Rome and Julian, huh? Yeah. Those two are crazy! So, this can all be learned on the wiki I created (link below). In the beginning, I based my characters off me. Just me. I’ve known myself for a long time, and it was a small cast, so it was easy. I made Rome and Julian to represent the two different sides of my personality. Rome represents the levelheaded and introspective portion of me that wants to do the right thing, but rarely jumps at the chance to be a leader. Despite his uneasiness about assuming a leadership role, he always has the best interests of his friends and family in mind. Rome’s internal dialogue and hesitant decision making reflect how I feel about myself specifically during my teenage years. Julian, on the other hand, is brash and braggadocios. Not to mention loud, and most times, his mouth operates without properly consulting his brain first. Even the idea of him rebelling against his family ideals is indicative of my own brazen and defiant nature during my teenage years. Julian uses informal language with everyone other than his father to emphasize the fact that he tries to be “cool” with a “devil-may-care” attitude. Whereas Rome is more the internal example of how I felt as a teen, Julian more closely resembles my physical appearance during those years. Finally, the spatial linking that the two share as Synergist Knight and Master Dragon is a metaphor for how my two personalities differ and interact inside my head. LOL. Seems funny to really say it out loud, but the idea of splitting my two personalities into two characters was an idea I wanted to explore since the earliest days of my writing.

4. What can readers expect from this series?

The first book is a “getting to know you” kind of deal. We meet the main three characters, learn their ambitions, and see how their world is teetering on destruction. In the subsequent books, the reader gets to travel with the main two characters (Rome and Julian) to different parts of the world and really expand upon the magic and lore of the series. They meet new friends to help in their battles and run into all kinds of trouble from the Darkbrands (bad guys). We see throughout the series that the secrets of the Talismans are not as tightly kept as one would imagine. As Rome and Julian’s allies grow, so does the mystery of the previous world and its tumultuous history. The books are full of thrilling action and classic cliffhangers between volumes. There’s plenty of eccentric characters to laugh at and journey with on several arcs of self-discovery. In short, you can expect a fun escape from reality or time for your kids away from their screens in fairly quick reads that will leave you clamoring for more once the pages run out.

5. What is the target audience of The Talisman Series?

The books are written with middle-grade readers in mind, but that does not mean they are only for that demographic. I write stories that I, myself, would like to read. And The Talisman Series hits all the buttons for me. I’ve had adults and kids of all ages read them and enjoy the zany characters and cinematic action sequences. In fact, MOST of my reviews are from adults. And that is really my goal as a writer. That’s my modus operandi. I just want to share my stories with people and hope they find inspiration or some enjoyment in them. I love TV shows and movies that make you speculate and theorize. So, that’s what I want from my books. A chatter. A vibe. A buzz, ya know? Water cooler talk. Or in the case of my middle-grade books, water fountain talk.

6. Did you have to do research during the writing process?

Oh, yes! I am constantly researching to remind myself the names of the parts of armor or weapons or parts of a house or types of plants, etc. And trying to come up with a million ways to say “hot” or “attacked”. You can only use the same words so many times before they start to sound like they are from a different language. Lol. I also had to dive deeply into the places my characters go. I am not quite the world traveler I may appear to be. So, when my characters go to The Statue of Liberty, for example, I have to combine thorough internet research with trying to visualize myself there and putting myself in my characters’ shoes.

7. Is this series an ongoing series? Will there be more books in the near future?

Yeah! The saga continues! As of today, I have self-published 4 books in the series. However, I have “written” 11 of the proposed 12. So, if you like the first 4, there is PLENTY more story to come. I plan on releasing the 5th book of my proposed 12 by winter of this year! It needs and edit or two….or three or four. And it needs some cover art, but it should be out this year. The 5th book opens so much more trouble for our heroes in the form Darkbrand threats. Plus, we get a ton of reveals regarding the “big bad’s” plans, more Talismans, and we maybe, possibly, definitely get to visit a new dragon den!!!

8. Is there anything you'd like to add?

I would just like to say thank you again to Rising Shadow and all those who read/have read my books. I hope you enjoy the adventures of Rome and Julian and find some escape from screens and jobs and whatever is causing you stress when you read them. Thank you for letting me feel cool about being a big dork! As long as you guys still like the books, I will keep putting them out on Amazon. That is unless Rising Shadow wants to publish me!!! That would be super cool! Um also, I want to remind you to support people like me that love what they create. You will never be disappointed with the results because we will never let you down. With the support of like-minded people who build movements and fandoms, things like The Talisman Series can rise to heights never dreamed of. And then I can cast myself as Mr. Jones in the film adaptations! And finally, this is just a friendly public service reminder to hold your Talismans tight and keep a wary eye out for portals! Stay cool!