Gillbert Troll is the author of the new and upcoming fantasy series about Gateworld Earth’s and Athanator.
Thanks for taking the time! Before we’re actually diving into the interview, we need to make sure you’re safe and staying healthy (at least long enough to finish this interview), so – did you take out the trash and bring the groceries?
It is great to be here, and thank you for having me! I feel greatly positive vibes coming my way, but I must start with a warning: we can never talk about groceries. It is something that is forbidden in some cultures. I do not know which ones, but until I find out, it has to be all hush-hush. p.s. the trash has been dealt with, so we are good to proceed.
Right, let’s talk about your book. Have you ever been to Guatemala, and did you take a look at the Earth Gate yourself? And why not?
I admire the great people of Guatemala. But I have not been able to visit their country so far in this dimension. I am still young, though – just pushing 200 – so there is still time. I must admit I have not seen the Gate here as it still has to be discovered on this Earth, so we still have some work to do. (Mostly homework and domestic chores)
And the gro… oh, yes. Ahem. Anyway, I’m a little curious about the time frame. When did the gate open, and what year is it in the book? I would have guessed the story takes place in 2032, with the gate opening in 2012 – that would have vibed with the Mayan calendar.
The exact timing is still a mystery, but I like your hypothesis, so I might steal it. Regarding Maya, I can only say the same as I have said to my girlfriend who has left me 30 years ago. I do not know any Maya or Victoria or Ana for that matter and I have no idea why they keep calling me.
You better keep repeating that, for safety reasons! Are you on Instagram, by any chance? (Because I’m not, but I’m curious how many dark elfes you are following there right now.)
I actually am, and I must shamelessly post the link here! A Troll must keep himself connected. I have 50 000 dark elf followers, but they do not show as per a secret Instagram policy. The human ones I am still trying to find. It is really hard, as humans are very complicated.
That seems to be something we can instantly agree on. There seems to be a lot of background story to John. Did you just invent a rich history for him, or have I missed a prequel to this book?
No book prequel (yet), only the everlasting songs sung throughout the multiverse about John Zelm Athanator.
But I must confess there is much John has done, and some parts can even be written about with the permission of a few high ranking demon lords.
John reminds me of Harry Dresden. Did you read any books by Jim Butcher? What are your sources of inspiration for this book?
Yes, I have read almost all the books in the Dresden files and also the books in the Codex Alera series. I have paid money for them, and I do not regret it, and I would do it again in hindsight 🙂.
My source of inspiration is mainly my great-great-great-grandfather, who always supported me. He, with an elegant and eloquent speech, persuaded me to write a book. What did he say? – you ask. To quote him directly: “Write that ******** book or I will ****** ******* and ******* ******* and also ********, but not before I ****** ****** ****.” So I wrote the book.
Never question the wisdom of thy elders! While quite a big part of the story takes place off-world, there’s also a big portion playing in Budapest. I’m assuming you know the city yourself? Is your troll cave located around Budapest?
I do live in Budapest. The caves are comfortable here, the so-called “magyars” are nice and friendly, and there is an endless supply of paprika, goulash and pastries. I cannot remember any more stereotypes, so I will say no more.
You probably forgot about the Pálinka. So what’s next in store for John and his ragtag group of friends? I’m guessing the hunt for the ruby eyed man is now on.
They will hunt for that rascal on Earth and on other planets of the multiverse! But John’s life was never easy, so this might not be smooth sailing (or hunting if you prefer). Some of the stories I still have to reconcile with a greater sphinx, who is both my and Johns agent (yes there is a conflict of interest), to define the best plotline which will not anger the old gods.
The young ones neither, I’m sure. Since I’m probably – I’m not confessing to anything here – half dwarf and half hobbit, and you’re a book troll, we would probably be hardly meeting in a bar (the size difference alone!), but if we did, what drink or cocktail would you order?
We can drink at a great place in Budapest called „The half dwarf, half hobbit and full troll Pub”, if we can get past the bouncer.
I’m guessing he is full ork …
But to answer your question; I really love an „old fashioned”. It says great things to me, especially after I had a few, which I, of course, never do.
Thank you for your time, and I hope to meet you – and John – again soon! But now I’ve gotta run, the trash, you know …
Gillbert is apparently a troll of culture, and the old fashioned is really a great and classical cocktail. Since it is both – amazing and easy to mix – I’m going to share the original recipe with you as well as my personal variation.
- 4 cl Bourbon
- 2 cl sugar syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitter
Build in a tumbler with ice cubes, stir, enjoy!
But since I’m not a bourbon guy and prefer a single malt whisky, here’s my alternate version:
- 4 cl single malt (unpeated)
- 2 cl sugar syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Cacao bitter
While I enjoy a peated malt, that particular flavour would be too much for this cocktail. A Speysider usually works good, or Nikka From the Barrel if you prefer the Japanese version. The cacao bitter adds a flavor that works well with this kind of single malt, which is less sweet that the bourbon typically used, so you should switch out the bitter.
This is a true cocktail, which by definition consists of 4 ingredients: alcohol, bitter, sugar and water (the water comes from the ice cubes here).