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Hi! Kuir here! With Jacob13Kyle and his fanon, The Gunfighter. A crossover of our earth and the Avatar world. John Rider is a gunfighter, trained by his father in his specialty of pistols and firebending. Let’s ask the author what he had in mind when he wrote this unique story.
1. Hey Jacob, how are you today?
Walking and Talking, Kuir.
2. Would you care to explain the connection between the two worlds and the travel there in between?
I'll try to put it in a way that someone other then myself understands. Imagine two rafts that sit side by side. They're next to each other, and simmiler in many ways, but never touching. This is what I based our world and the Avatar World off of, the idea that both of them are rafts sitting on a pond, with the Spirit World being the water around them. The travel between them is like a plank of wood between the two rafts; fragile and narrow enough for only a small group of people to cross at once.
3. So can anyone access this or is there something invovled like a power, location, or device?
All three actually. Extreamly powerfull matterbenders like Dante have the ability to tear holes in the fabric of the universe they're in and enter the Spirit World. This can back fire, as everyone knows that bending isn't possible in the Spirit World. Locations, known as Gates, are naturally occuring doorways that allow people who find them to travel between worlds. And, finnaly, a device given to him by his father is the way that John makes the crossing at the end of the first chapter.
4. John Rider seems to have quite the past, what would be the most defining event that shaped his character?
I would have to say the death of his parents. If it didn't establish who he is now, it sure helped.
5. What is the deal with the Gunslingers? Why are they turning against John Rider?
The Gunslinger Loyalists, more specificly The Grandmaster, hold the belief that benders are the ultimate form of life. They desipise non benders, mainly for the persecution they brought down on them. John's father Liam held the belief that peace could only be achived if benders and non benders worked together. The Grandmaster took power, killed Liam, and then tried to kill John because of this belief.
6. How does modern tech from our world clash with the more mystic world of Avatar?
It depends on what you mean when you say "modern". Every weapon and piece of tech that John and his allies use were around during the 1920s, the time period the Avatar World was in at this time. I guess some of the more religous people in the Avatar World would view it as magic, but someone with their head on thier shoulders would be able to figure it out.
7. Leon helped out John and mentioned Italy, care to explain that for anyone who hasn’t read?
Leon is like John's older brother, always watching out for him. He was in Italy with Liam seaching for the next incarnation of our world's Avatar. At some point they were ambushed and Liam was severly injured but he allowed Leon to escape.
8. Now The Unknown is the prequel to the Gunfighter. Would you say you used the same themes and styles in making the stories?
Not really. I kept The Unknown as close to the plot line of ATLA as I could. When it came time to start The Gunfighter, I knew that I couldn't do this and achive the story that I wanted. The writing qualitly between the two stories improved, and the ideas for The Gunfighter keep coming, unlike when they did for The Unknown.
9. Why a firebender of the four elements?
Two reasons. 1: I'm a pyro, plain and simple. 2: I wanted my character an element that connected back to using a gun the most. Firebending and gunfighting go hand in hand in the since that they both rely on the breathing, disapline, and ability of the user.
10. How does John feel about the Equalists given how bending is treated in his own world?
At first, John dismissed the Equalists as a bunch of nutjobs who didn't really know what they were talking about. After seeing what Amon could do, however, John began to treat them more as an enemy rather then an annoying neighbor. He is hesitent to underestimate him like his fellow benders do, but it doesn't change the fact that he hates them.
11. Why is there a disparity in time between John’s world and the world of Avatar?
In a way it mimics what really happened in real life. The time between when ATLA ended and LOK began was four years in the real world, yet in the universe, seventy years had passed. It was this, and my desire to have John meet a younger Tenzin that inspired the time flow differnce.
12. What did you prefer writing, this or the Unknown?
This, I get to experiment more and alter as much as I want compared to The Unknown.
13. As you read, you notice crossover of technology from Earth to the Avatar world. Did you think at any time that it would be too much?
When I first started introducing The Refugees, I became concerned that they could easily overwelm the Equalists with M16s and other tech. To counter this, I created "The 1929 Rule". The rule states that anything technology wise made after the year 1929 would quite litterly turn to ash if someone attempted a crossing with it. Things such as machine guns, radar, and other bits of tech that The Refugees bring with them are allowed so long as they were made before 1929. This way they can still use something that they have experience with, but they're not so over powering that the Equalists would be wiped out in one fight.
14. How would you describe Leon in comparison to John.
Leon is like John's calm older brother. He's stable enough to take over for John when the latter needs a break, and he's smart enough to lead the group if he needs to. Even though Leon has his moments of being jealous of John, such as when John gets the girl (i.e. Korra), he understands what it's like to be in John's shoes.
15. It is clear early on that the Grandmaster is the villain to John Rider. Did you want this to be underneath the battle of Korra and Amon or did you want it at the forefront?
I set it up like Aang and Fire Lord Ozai during ATLA. Zhao, Zuko, and Azula were all encountered and fought before we even saw the Fire Lord's face. The same applies to Amon and the Equalists, they're the enemy to be fought right now, and once they're out of the way it will be time to face The Grandmaster.
16. Now Korra has heard all kinds of stories about Liam and John, how did it affect her to actually meet him and see they were the same age?
To clarify, Korra only heard stories about The Gunslingers and Liam. John was very rarely mentioned, if at all. When the two finally did meet, Korra was compleately unaware of who John was, and was supprised that something she had consitered to be just a story actually existed. I think she got over it, cause less then fourty eight hours after meeting each other they were traviling halfway across the world.
17. Korra has plenty more 'options' in The Gunfighter as opposed to LoK, how would you deal with these various factors to get the desired end you want?
When I first started out, I held the intention of keeping all of the canon relationships in place. Of course that all flew out the window when I was writing Centeral City Station Part 1. The scene where Korra kisses John was a suprise, I didn't even see it until I started reviewing what I had wrote. I tried to go back and change it, but it led to the only outcome that I was satifsied with. With Leon or anyone else I never gave any thought to putting them in relationships so I think it all works out in the end.
18. Now we didn't ask much about Book 2 here, that way readers have something to look forward to, but since it covers the war, what about that was your favorite part to write?
I would have to say the action and bending scenes. My specialty has always been in the ways of action/adventure, so my preference would be based around what I am good at.
19. John mentions in one of the later chapters that they finally upped his world for once on technology, think you're going to add anymore of those moments in here?
This question, Book Three, and the ending of the story all depend on what will happen in Book 2 of LOK. The way things are looking right now I kind of doubt it, but then again the Avatar World has surprised me before.
That's it from Jacob for now. Read on through The Gunfighter and see what happens for yourself! Until next time!