Interview with Theophilus Monroe, Author of The Vilokan Asylum of

master mentalism tricks

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Vilokan Asylum of the Magically and Mentally Deranged Omnibus?

I first developed the character of Dr. Cain in my book “Bloody Mad.” In that book, Mercy Brown (a vampire) is committed to an asylum for supernatural creatures. Cain is her doctor. He appears again in The Legend of Nyx series in my book “Bat Shift Crazy.”

A while back I sent my readers a poll. I asked them which of my “secondary characters” they’d like to see as the heroes of their own series. Cain won the poll by a landslide. I hadn’t planned on writing a series featuring Cain before I sent that poll, but I could see why my readers wanted it. I couldn’t think of a better story-telling vehicle than an asylum that treats supernatural creatures and magically-endowed persons. It was the perfect recipe for mayhem!

Before I knew it, the series had grown into nine books. Now, I’m offering all nine stories in one omnibus. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Vilokan Asylum of the Magically and Mentally Deranged Omnibus, what would they be?

“Hungry Like the Wolf,” by Duran Duran. Since Cain’s curse is that he’s also a werewolf, it fits.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I read pretty much every sub-genre of fantasy. I probably read more epic/high fantasies than urban fantasies, but I do write both and enjoy them equally for different reasons. What I love about urban fantasy is the ability to bring real-world locations, situations, and history into a magical universe that allows us to approach the world we all live in through a different lens.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Brandon Sanderson’s latest installment from the Stormlight Archive is sitting on my shelf waiting for me right now!

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

In a universe where necromancy exists, a lot of characters from Cain’s past return looking for vengeance. Some of them include the Witch of Endor and his brother, Able. Some of the scenes where he and his brother reconcile are especially powerful.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

It’s not so quirky, but I drink a lot of coffee while I write. I have a mug that my wife bought me a couple years ago that I always use. It says, “It may look like I’m listening to you, but in my head, I’m writing my novel.” Guilty as charged. When I’m not writing, my mind often takes me back into my story. Some of the best twists and turns in my stories came to me while I was doing something other than writing.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“We cannot build the future by avenging the past… It is generally the trustful and optimistic people who can afford to retreat. The loveless and faithless ones are compelled by their pessimism to attack.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Redemption is possible for everyone. No matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past, no matter how grievous they might be, you still have a chance to do the right thing today and tomorrow. We don’t have to be defined by our past. Instead, it’s the choices we make now that determine who we are.


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