Q: The heroine of Myth Hunter is drawn in the vein of such artifact hunters as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft. What differentiates Elisa Hill from Croft and how did you put your own spin on the genre?
Percival: I think what differentiates Elisa from Lara is that she’s more developed as a character. In the Tomb Raider games, comics and movies, there was never that much development behind Lara—she was a thrill-seeker, pure and simple. And everything always seemed to come easy for her. With Elisa, you see her struggle a lot—she struggles not only in the physical and mental challenges she faces, but emotionally as well. She’s dealing with the specter of her past and her parents’ legacy hanging over her and how that drives her in the present.
Q: The genre you are working in has roots in the classic cliffhanger serials and pulp novels of the 1930's. What sort of inspirations did you draw from for Myth Hunter and how were you introduced to the pulp ethos?
Percival: My biggest source of inspiration for The Myth Hunter definitely comes from the Indiana Jones films. That was my first real introduction to pulp and I was raised on those films, so it’s no wonder I draw on them a lot. I also did a lot of research on various myths and legends, which I drew a lot from. The book focuses on the search for the lost continent of Lemuria and in the story, there’s mention of James Churchward and his book, Mu: The Motherhood of Man. Churchward was a real person and his book does exist—that hoax was the springboard of my theory. There’s also mention of the Yonaguni Monument, which is a real thing as well and is rumored to be relics from Lemuria/Mu.
Q: In the pages of Myth Hunter, Elisa battles against a mysterious and powerful sect known as The Order. Are there any parallels here between The Order and any actual or rumored conspiratorial groups and are you secretly a member of said group?
Percival: I could tell you if I’m part of a secret society, but then you’d suddenly end up a victim of a freak accident, so best if I keep quiet, haha. There are parallels between the Order and other rumored conspiratorial groups. I find conspiracy theories extremely fascinating fiction, so I do draw a little bit from them.
Q: Elisa's quest takes her to Japan. You've spent quite a bit of time in Japan, yourself. How did this help you in drawing the location and culture?
Percival: Actually, the only thing about Elisa’s time in Japan I’ve taken from my own experience is a very brief exchange the characters have in Japanese. While researching Lemuria, I discovered information about the Yonaguni Monument and did some more research on the island of Yonaguni and some of its culture. So while it may come as a surprise, the only thing related to Japan in the book which comes from firsthand experience is the language aspect.
Q: Though you live in an area that is not close in proximity, how have you seen the Fukushima nuclear melt down affect life in Japan?
Percival: I live quite far from Fukushima, so I haven’t seen anything firsthand. My area wasn’t affected by any blackouts or natural disasters or anything like that. The only thing that really affected us was the shock of the whole situation, just like everyone else in the world. I do have some friends who live further north and for them the situation was a bit more tense. But fortunately, no one I know suffered anything.
The Myth Hunter is available in hard copy for $11.95 at Amazon or pick up a Kindle edition for $2.99.