Lucas Swanson is an orphan living in New York City where he goes to school, has limited friends that add up to two, is constantly bullied for no apparent reason, and has the strangest blue eyes anyone has ever seen. Until now, life had been full of the same disappointments for Lucas. However, that all changes one day when he discovers he is actually not from Earth, but from the magical world of Bomcard, where creatures such as dragons, giants and fairies are all very much real and deadly. Lucas also learns he must return to his home world to stop the evil Lord Barback from destroying the magical community. With plenty of action, romance and drama, Destiny is an engaging fantasy novel that will appeal to young adult readers.
Melbourne based Anthony La Riccia was born the second eldest in a family of six boys. While growing up, he developed an interest in reading everything from cookbooks and true crime to romance and adventure stories. His favourite genre has always been fantasy and he could get lost in the stories he read. This is his first novel and part one of the Bomcard trilogy.
Sid Harta Publishing
Author: Anthony La Riccia
Question: What originally inspired you to write the Bomcard trilogy?
Anthony La Riccia: I had a dream about the final fight and when I woke up I couldn't work out the beginning so I began jotting down ideas and I was continually writing and before I knew it, I had a book.
Question: Why was it important that you examined a range of important teen issues in this trilogy?
Anthony La Riccia: For me, it was more of a way to connect with the reader. I considered that my audience were teenagers and a lot of them can relate to the characters and often they are going through the same things, that the characters go through. I know that I addressed bullying fairly early on in Destiny and most teenagers feel they are being forced to be something that they're not which is the main theme that Lucas Swanson, the main character, goes through, throughout the first book. I find that it is easier for teenagers to connect better with characters, when they can relate to them.
Question: Can you talk about the creation of the character Lucas Swanson?
Anthony La Riccia: I wanted a character that everyone could relate to and one of the biggest themes I have playing throughout the book is 'what would happen if this was set in reality' and I had to make Lucas Swanson as realistic as possible. I threw a lot of myself into Lucas and I put myself in Lucas' shoes by asking 'how would I react in these situations' which is how a lot of Lucas' personality arises.
In my initial dream I had an image of Lucas, standing all alone, fighting to save everyone and that is a big reoccurring theme with Lucas Swanson - he feels like he has been forced to do this all alone, when everyone wants him to fight.
The fact that I threw myself into Lucas meant I was able to make the character grow. He does make a lot of changes throughout not just the first book, but all three, where he has to learn who he is, even though he doesn't know exactly how to do that.
Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?
Anthony La Riccia: A fair bit, I do try and avoid using names of people I know but obviously that can be unavoidable. Like I said, I threw a lot of myself into Lucas Swanson, so there are my own personality traits in him. The people that know me will also recognise different traits in other characters and realise that some of their dislikes are what I dislike and some of what they love, I love.
One or two friend's personalities that I find really loveable have been mixed in with the characters to make them the character that everyone can rely on and follow whilst hoping for the best for that character.
Question: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Anthony La Riccia: Don't stop believing. I was turned down by quite a few publishers because they didn't think my book was good enough and they didn't feel strongly about my story. I didn't stop and I believed that the trilogy would get out there and be published, I didn't care how long it took, I just kept going for it and I think that's the main thing; at the end of the day your biggest fan is yourself and as long as you believe in yourself, you can achieve it.
Interview by Brooke Hunter