Q&A With Zachary Hagen

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Q&A With Zachary Hagen 

Mickey Mikkelson was kind enough to connect me with fantasy author Zachary Hagen. Zacharey Hagen is the author of The Eternal Chronicles Series. His upcoming book in the series, Eternity’s End, will be available this year! 

Q: Zachary, would you like to give a brief description of The Eternal Chronicles series? 

A: The series is a spiritual successor to the Chronicles of Narnia in that it takes timeless truths and interprets them through the lens of fantasy, intrigue, and a new world that is wild, free, and full of magic. It follows the story of Elior BarVidania, a bastard prince who has lost everyone he loves and creates a new family through his adventures even through the midst of grief and loss. It is a story of faith, restoration, and coping with some of life’s most difficult challenges.

Q: Are you currently writing book 5 in The Eternal Chronicles series? How many books do you plan on writing in the series?

A: Yes! Book 5, Eternity’s End, is currently in progress and on track to release in the second part of the year (unfortunately, due to a move and other obligations, I can’t be more specific than that right now), and it will be the last book in the series for now. It’s a fantastic ending to Elior’s and the gang’s story, and while I’d love to add some prequels to the main series, I’ll have to wait until I can justify that with fan demand.

Q: I read the press release that Mickey emailed me, & I saw that C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien & Christopher Paolini were some of your many influences for writing The Eternal Chronicles. What is it about those three authors that made you choose their works to influence yours? I love the Narnia books by the way! 

A: The Chronicles of Narnia was actually the first full book series that I ever read, so C.S. Lewis has sort of stayed with me all these years. Fans of his will see influences of the White Witch and Screwtape in my villains. However, all three of the authors created epic new realities that followed their own rules, and that was pivotal to the development of Terra Aeternitas, the world of my series. It had to exist on its own and be a fully fleshed out world. I particularly loved the Inheritance Cycle when I was growing up, and I think that Eragon’s growth really inspired me on how to show a character change in the face of major life events.

Q: Speaking of C.S. Lewis & Christopher Paolini, what do you think of Netflix creating a Narnia television series & Disney + turning Christopher’s books into a series? 

A: I would love to see Netflix actually make good on that promise! I haven’t seen anything about it in a while, but I’ll have to look to see if anything has started. At one point, I’d actually considered finding an agent for the sole purpose of pitching myself as a writer for that series.

I had absolutely no idea that Disney was attempting to turn Christopher’s books into a series, but I think that it will likely be pretty good based on their recent adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Lighting Thief.  As long as Christopher is involved, they’ll likely have a hit amongst fans, myself included, on their hands.

Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to The Eternal Chronicles Series? Who would be your dream cast for your characters? If they don’t they should. We need more fantasy series and Hollywood needs original content again instead of remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels & spin offs. 

A: Currently, no. No one has approached me about acquiring the rights, but I’m open to the possibility, so if any readers have connections, I’d love to take a meeting! And I am in full agreement with you. We need some fresh, untold, or underutilized stories. I’d love to go to the theater or turn on a streaming service to see something that I haven’t already seen three times before. Actually, I think I’d prefer it as a series rather than a film, anyway.

A dream cast would probably include either Darren Criss or Timothy Chalamet as Elior/Eliam, I’d like to find an unknown little person for the role of Opal, maybe Brenton Thwaites as Nyx, Kit Harington as Michael, Zendaya as Nereza, and Khaled Al Nabawy as Taariq. The rest of the characters are too many to name, but as a core group, I think these would look the part and are all extremely talented.

Q: Do you use bits and pieces of real people to create your characters?

A: All. The. Time.  I think I really took the advice to write what you know to heart, and so much of the interactions, feelings, and personalities of the characters are taken from people I actually know. Actually, the Elior’s and Nereza’s relationship is based on my own marriage. I’ve drawn from friends, relatives, and real events in my own life, though for legal purposes, any similarity is strictly coincidence. 

Q: If you were to write in genres that weren’t fantasy, which genres would you explore and why?

A:  Science-fiction. I think I prefer writing in genres where I can take a little liberty with reality. I’ve read very few novels that I have personally enjoyed that didn’t move beyond the scope of our world in some way, shape, or form, and I only see myself reading something that I would actually enjoy reading myself. I think that’s probably why critics have received my books so well: I aim to deliver a product that I would actually enjoy myself rather than just trying to make money.