Friday, February 17, 2017

Interview with Agnes Toth, author of The Tournament for Gods: The Doomed

Doodles, doodles everywhere congratulates author Agnes Toth on the release of her book, The Tournament for Gods: The Doomed! Let's welcome her on the blog for an interview with DDE today. Read on!


1. What inspired you to write The Tournament for Gods, The Doomed?

It may sound surprising, but it was the Lord of the Rings trilogy. When I was fourteen and entered high school, I got to know a girl who was such a great fan of the three books, as I was. We agreed that this story couldn’t end the way Tolkien decided. Before the other fans would consider me a person who intended to destroy a life-work, I should add that the thing which inspired us was that we wanted to get more from the story, more from Middle Earth. This was why I started to write some kind of a continuation, while my friend was to write the next part. When I became ready I gave it to my mother to read it... Not even a month passed, a publisher called her, to which my book had been sent, and they asked us to meet personally. It turned out that the director of the Hungarian Tolkien Society had read my book and enjoyed it. It couldn’t be published of course, but this was how I started writing. Following the advice of the director of the publisher later I started learning grammar and literature at a Hungarian university. All of my writings grow somehow out from the LoTR and the bequest of Tolkien.


2. Can you give our readers an idea about what they should expect in the book?

The Tournament for Gods: The Doomed is the first part of a fantasy trilogy. I don’t want to say much about the subject-matter, as it is always important to let the story talk about itself instead of the writer, but I can proudly tell the readers that this tale will take them to a magical adventure, imaginary places, to the home of a little enchantment and love of course. I like if a story has something more to say than you can read out from the lines. If I had to tell you briefly what the first part of The Tournament for Gods is about, or what the additional meaning of this tale is, I would say that it is about growing up.


3. Do you decide the character traits before you sit down to write the book, or as you go along?

For me writing is the magic itself. Months can pass without writing a single line; thereafter I meet a trivial thing: a billboard, a meaningless sentence, or an everyday situation which can make me think, and finally a whole world of a story starts to develop in my mind’s eyes. It is like a film which unfolds in some days, while I feel excited to sit down and write everything down, what Muse shows me. I usually write a 200 page-long script in two or three weeks. This period is about nothing but to find some stolen minutes to sit down in front of my laptop and write as much as I can. Sometimes I don’t even realize the passing of time, I just feel tired or hungry enough to stop working. For me writing is like an addiction, this is how I can survive in the real world. I think, sometimes it is very hard to live with me under the same roof.  When I’m ready with writing, real work begins, which can even last long years. I have to read and correct the script, rewrite some chapters, add scenes and make my vehement love-child become a professional literary work. 


4. Can you tell us what kind of research went behind The Tournament for Gods... ?

Writing a fantasy novel has some benefits; you don’t have to go outside to talk to people, you don’t have to read history books and spend years in a library to know your way around the background of your story. In case of fantasy novels you can develop a whole world yourself; this is what I enjoy the most. It is great fun. My father used to ask me why I do not write a story which takes place in the real world or in a historical age. I told him that I don’t feel old enough to write about real happenings. I’m 27, I haven’t experienced enough to start a credibly realistic story, and on the other hand, I’m still a child that lives in a world which was created by her own fantasy. In case of The Tournament for Gods I relied on the power of imagination.

5. If you had to pick one favorite character from the book, who would you pick and why?

Although, Elisanne Snowflake is the main character of the book, I would pick a god; Jaythen. The story doesn’t have any religious background; the gods should be imagined as any other magical beings. Furthermore they vanquished the humans, took their feelings and forced them to live in cities embraced by some stone walls. In the human point of view they are the bad guys. Jaythen is the one who leads the doomed through some magical adventures. He is omnipotent; he is a warrior, who has some special powers. Otherwise he is perfect, strong, beautiful and very manly. Of course he is conscious of his abilities. I like his sarcasm and when he makes jokes about the unconscious company. He plays the role of an unprepared father actually, who has to answer all the rising questions of the doomed that only start to get to know about the basic things of life. He has a special relationship with Elisanne, the girl who didn’t have feelings all over her life but after getting out of her hometown, she starts to get to know the basic emotions. Meanwhile Jaythen, who was capable of feeling but remained senseless, starts to feel in the vicinity of the girl... In The Tournament for Gods not just two viewpoints, but also two worlds collide. All in all, you cannot decide if Jaythen is a good or a bad guy till the end of the story.


6. Tell us about some of the biggest challenges you face in your writing process.

This case my biggest challenge was to write the first three chapters actually. In these chapters I design a strange society, the members of which live like some pre-programmed robots. They live to serve the gods; the task of the caste of the doomed is to give their lives for the gods exchange for rich harvests, good weather conditions and peaceful life in the city they live. So in short: for the sake of their nation. As the doomed don’t have feelings, they find death quite natural and desirable, dying for the gods is something to live for. I wrote this story in the third person’s point of view, but the main character is Elisanne. I wrote down consequently how she felt in given situations, so I had to delete these lines, as her character doesn’t have emotions at all, just like any of her compatriots. It was also hard to write about some scapegoats who desire to die and remain emotionless near to death’s door. I took pity on them over and over; this is how I also had to learn how to master my feelings for them. 


7. What do you do when you are not writing or reading?

I’m a PhD student in linguistics, so I’m still learning and also working at the Research Institute for Linguistics. I’m a pastry-cook as well, but baking remained just a hobby for me. I like learning languages, so I speak English, Spanish, I lived in Germany, where I learnt German, and now I’m learning Russian. I guess you have already found out that I’m Hungarian, thus now I live in a small country in the middle of Europe. 


8. Tell us something personal about you that your readers may be surprised to know.

I have already played the role of Elisanne Snowflake. We have made a promotional video for this book, which can be found on YouTube. There were many people working on it, as everything you can see in this video is self-made. Of course it does not have a perfect Hollywood-film-like quality, but I really enjoyed working on the video and I also learnt a lot. I’m not a fan of the computer, but I learnt how to edit music and video, I helped in doing the cover of the book, I directed the video and I’m also performing a short scene in it. So I would like to thank the help of all the gifted people who helped me making the video.  


9. What's next?

I have already finished writing the other two parts: The Tournament for Gods: The Gods and The Tournament for Gods: The Demigod, but I have a lot to do with the manuscripts, so now I’m re-reading and correcting them. I’ve got some ideas about the next books, but nowadays I only have time for reading. In the interim, I’m waiting for the arrival of the Muse. 


10. Lastly, any special thoughts for the readers?

I think this book is for everybody, who loves fantasy genre and likes to be taken to imaginary places through an adventure. It is also for those, who like reading about love and friendship. One can download it for free (and can also find it on Amazon), however I recommend it for those who are older than 16 because of the background of the story. All in all, I wish you a pleasant journey in the world of The Tournament for Gods.




The Tournament for Gods: The Doomed

by Agnes Toth


Publication Date: October 8, 2016
Published by: Independent
Page count: 212


Once upon a time there was a blooming land, the inhabitants of which didn’t have feelings, at all.

Thus everybody could live in carefree indifference like shadows in the night. There was an unwritten agreement between gods and humans that kept the fragile peace. The gods gave the humans rich harvest, abounding rivers and protection from the outside world. In exchange some inhabitants were marked by the gods. They were selected to die for the sake of community and their wise benefactors...

But what happens, if someone survives the horror of the Stadium? Join Elisanne Snowflake for a magical trip, where the world of humans and the world of gods collide!



Buy the book


About the author



My name is Agnes Toth, I'm a Hungarian PhD student in linguistics. I had learnt Hungarian grammar and literature at a university before linguistics enchanted me and I started to learn Theoretical Linguistics in Master's program.

I lived a year in Germany but last summer I moved back to Hungary to keep studying linguistics in a PhD program. My hobby is learning languages, and writing fantasy novels, as well. I have already published 'On day 13' in Hungarian and 'The Guardian of Power' in English. 'The Tournament for Gods' was written in 2016, which is also a fantasy novel about the strange relationship of gods and humans.


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