Interview with A. Keith Carreiro

Keith Carreiro is the author of a planned nine-book series called The Immortality Wars. The Penitent—Part III is the third book and the last installment in the series’ first trilogy.
Carreiro is an adjunct professor at Bridgewater State University and Bristol Community College. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Acting on his lifelong love of storytelling, Carreiro began writing The Immortality Wars series in 2014.



About the Book

THE PENITENT—PART III Completes the First Trilogy in The Immortality Wars Series as the Battle between Good and Evil Explodes onto Urban Terrain

THE PENITENT—PART III, the third installment in author A. Keith Carreiro’s Immortality Wars series, brings Pall Warren, an elite warrior touched by the hand of God, into a new battle that pits the forces of good against those derived from the evils of man and beyond. As the final book in The Penitent trilogy, Pall joins with former enemies and comes closer to fulfilling his purpose of overcoming the corruption threatening humanity.

In THE PENITENT—PART III, Pall Warren recovers from another bout of the suffering that has plagued his life by helping his friends bury their family members who were killed by a supernatural being with an insatiable appetite for humans. He travels to Gullswater, West Fündländ, in search of John Savage—the accomplished bowman—who was once his foe. The men forged their friendship in combat against Commander Gregor Mordant and his Marauders.

While Pall searches for his friend, Savage meets with his employer, Braucus Peredurus, the King’s minister of affairs, to report his observations of mystical events and otherworldly creatures and then reveals that he has been tracking Commander Mordant, who, as he learns from Peredurus, is a key member of the King’s intelligence service network.

Mordant is loyal to Kosem Mungadai, the respected head of the Church of Equity in the City of Seascale and a practitioner of the occult arts. Savage suspects Mordant is working against the King’s agenda and wants to detain the Commander, but Peredurus orders him not to; however, this command does not stop the bowman from surveilling Mordant. Meanwhile, Pall encounters Merek, a former member of the Marauders and crossbow expert. Merek suggests that Savage has gone to Seascale in search of Mordant.

As tensions rise in the city, Mordant, Mungadai, and Savage cull together fighters to engage in urban warfare during a torrential rainstorm. As the battle begins, Pall and Merek stealthily contribute to Savage’s efforts. While the warriors relentlessly brawl throughout the pitch-black night, Mungadai conjures a squad of supernatural beings to assault Savage and his warriors with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the kingdom and empowering the evil forces he serves.

In writing THE PENITENT—PART III, Carreiro’s goal was to create an epic story that brings Pall closer to fulfilling his destiny by posing the question, “In his quest for meaning, can virtue be used to combat and overcome evil?” For the reader, Carreiro hopes THE PENITENT—PART III offers a sense of “the mystery, wonder, and grandeur that is in this world and beyond that is available to us in the time we are placed here, despite the suffering and challenges each of us faces in our own lives.”


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Can you tell us what your new book is about?

The Penitent – Part III is the third book of a planned nine–book series called The Immortality Wars. It concludes Pall Warren’s search for John Savage. Pall is an elite soldier who is a gifted combatant in close quarter fighting. Savage, also being almost seven–feet tall, is a fierce and indomitable warrior known for his accuracy with a longbow and fierce fighting prowess. Unknown to Pall, Savage is working for the High King and Minister of Affairs’ intelligence network. Savage was sent by Minister Pereduras to investigate strange rumors about supernatural creatures being unleashed against the people of West Fündländ, as well as to learn more about an alarming increase in raids being conducted along the western coast of the Realm.

After first meeting Savage close to a deadly field of combat in Part I, both men become separated from one another as a result of a pitched battle they have against Commander Gregor Mordant and his Marauders at a nearby abandoned farm. Added to the mix is a demon named Ünger whose sole purpose is to destroy “breathers” (i.e., humans), for whom he has an insatiable appetite. Pall’s pursuit of Savage brings him to Gullswater. Here, he learns from Merek, a former Marauder who helped torture Pall at the farmstead, but is now allied with him, that Savage has most likely gone east to the coast of the Sea of Fáelán.

In Part III, Pall’s quest for understanding what is happening around him brings him to the port city of Seascale, the summer residence of the High King’s court. Pall becomes involved in a deadly running battle between the High King’s forces and those of a renegade priest named Kosem Mungadai. A thaumaturge of the 13th level of the occult arts, his origins are unknown. He is capable of great feats of organization and oratory. Considered a savior by his followers, he is also respected by almost everyone in Seascale where he has a monastery called the Church of Equity. However, his sole purpose is to defeat and overthrow everything around him for the sake of investing all power into himself and the powers he serves.

The forces arrayed against the High King, his kingdom and army become further entangled with the war being waged between Mungadai, Commander Mordant and his Marauders and the spiritual forces unleashed by the priest against Savage and his companions. Combat swirls relentlessly throughout the city at night in the middle of a torrential downpour of rain.

In search of John Savage, Pall Warren encounters the destructive power of evil arrayed against him. Even though loss ekes a toll upon his life, he summons the strength and courage to continue his quest for meaning. He discovers that the role he must play in determining who he is forms an integral part in the destiny of everyone around him.

Evil unleashed. Goodness embattled. A spellbinding story erupts onto the pages of the concluding novel of the Penitent trilogy.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Pall Warren was raised in a small village in West Fündländ by David and Lucia Warren. Pall becomes one of the finest young warriors of his time. He is especially gifted in hand–to–hand combat with the quarterstaff, falchion sword, and fighting knives. He has been deeply touched by the hand of God.

John Savage, also known as “the bowman,” or “the archer,” plays a major leadership role in King Ranulf Ealhere’s intelligence. Savage works directly under the command of Braucus Pereduras, the King’s Minister of Affairs.

Evangel Greatworth was found by her adopted grandfather, Matthew Greatworth, who gave her this name. As her name becomes known, she is also called “the Lady from the Wood,” or “the Lady of the Fields and Forest.” Matthew accidentally found Evangel when she was a baby. Her mother hid Evangel in a ditch for safety from outlaws. Both her parents and the members of their caravan were brutally murdered. Her given name is Evangel Blessingvale. She and Pall meet one another in a vision they share with one another.

Known as “the Priest,” or “the Father of us all,” Kosem Mungadai is a thaumaturge of the 13th level of the occult arts. His origins are unknown. He is capable of great feats of organization and oratory. He communicates with what he terms “the darknesses” and divines what needs to be done in this world to satisfy their demands upon him. The priest has attained and been given the power to create magic, spells, and demonic creatures, as well as summoning these darknesses into his scrying chamber set within a secure room in his monastery. He is considered a savior by his followers. He is well respected in the port city of Seascale where he has his monastery called the Church of Equity. However, Mungadai is a nihilistic spokesman, prophet and leader of a terrorist organization seeking to destroy all norms of government, including religious, monetary, military, and economic societal orders.

Your book is set in the Western Isles and West Fündländ.  Can you tell us why you chose this location in particular?

The book is set in this location because it is where the main action of the story takes place. The time period that it occurs in is similar to the European Middle Ages. I chose this setting in particular because I wanted to experiment with the tropes used by other fantasy writers about this era, but I wanted to do so in a unique way. The genre(s) it is written in also includes science fiction. As the story’s premise is based on science fiction, the setting becomes an integral part of the plot.

How long did it take you to write your book?

In 2014, once I came up with the idea for The Immortality Wars, I wrote every day starting on May 26th through October 9th. When I stopped writing the first trilogy I had a manuscript containing over 168,000 words in its first draft.

What has been the most pivotal point of your writing life?

On New Year’s Eve of 2014, I resolved to completely edit and revise my poetry. It was scattered on napkins, envelopes and note paper, even on the back of manilla folders. Some of it had been written on manual and electric typewriters, while others had the technological blessing of being created on computers. January turned into February; and at the end of March I completed revising and editing almost all of my poems.  I not only had brought them up to date but added annotational notes and information about many of them in case I would read from them publicly. Bringing this project to a close gave me additional satisfaction because I had put together a legacy of my writing that I can pass down to my children and grandchildren.

In April of that year, I read Neal Bascomb’s (2009) book, Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi. Bascombe’s story inspired me to write a long poem about Eichmann and the holocaust entitled “Send down the Master in person.” It is a phrase taken from Reichsführer–SS Heinrich Luitpold Himmler’s order to Eichmann, as Bascomb relates, “to comb Hungary from east to west of its Jews. Those who were physically fit were to be delivered to labor camps for ‘destruction through work’; those who were not were to be exterminated immediately. Eichmann’s mission was a secondary, but critical, one in the invasion of Hungary.” This poem became a tribute to my parents and the members of their generation who fought in World War Two.

In looking back at my writing productivity of the first four months of 2014, I felt that I had the energy and drive to write and, finally, to complete a novel. Up to this time in my life, I had not succeeded in writing a fully developed, fictional story. I started many stories that never saw their completion. This time, I developed a momentum I had never experienced before in my writing. When I started writing the first trilogy in my series I wondered whether or not I could complete it. I employed a writing strategy I had never used before based on advice Stephen King shared with me over 50 years ago when we were fellow students at the University of Maine in Orono.

What kind of advice would you give other scifi, fantasy authors?

I don’t believe I am at the point in my fictional writing life to give advice to other authors. However, I do believe it is important that authors communicate with one another about their writing journeys, and that they consider advocating for those of their contemporaries who are also scribbling away in like manner.

In 1974, I wrote Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) a heartfelt letter about the impact his book, Theophilus North (1973) had upon me. Much to my delight and surprise, he wrote a handwritten letter to me. He advised that I surround myself with three kinds of people if I hoped to lead a fulfilling life. He believed it is important to be able to teach those who seek your advice and knowledge. At the same time, it is important to be with your peers in order to share the knowledge you have accrued with them. Likewise, it is important to be with individuals who have attained mastery of their art and work. You have much to learn from them.

I would like to apply Wilder’s concept of human flourishing to be the basis for sound advice to other authors.