Visit A Magical Land: Rise of the Djall

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

I don't know why it always surprises me when people you know show extraordinary talent in another arena. Such is the talent of Talon Windwalker, better known in the travel writing world as the author of the popular travel site, 1dad1kid - Giving my son the world. He's also a faculty member for our Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program, teaching underwater photography!


I read his new book, Rise of the Djall, and I have to be honest - I could NOT put it down. From the very first, I was entranced with this world that Talon has created. There's something about fantasy novels that intrigues me - the strange words, different customs, traditions, and cultures. This book packs all those in, while maintaining a very readable and enticing story. With likeable characters, a great sense of humor, enough magic to make anyone happy, and an interesting, vivid story, the Rise of the Djall is one book I highly recommend.


We caught up with Talon and asked him about the backstory to Rise of the Djall, inspiration, favorite character, and more. Here's what he had to say...


Please tell us about The Rise of the Djall...

Vednis, a member of a mystical order, happens upon an unusual artifact in an unlikely location. The device gives him a vision that shakes him to the core. As he tries to decipher its origin and meanings, he unwittingly begins a quest to save the world from a demonic invasion, and he and his companions must also redefine everything they've held sacred in their lives.


What inspired you to write this book?

I tend to get story ideas while I'm running, biking, scuba diving, snorkeling, walking. . . you get the idea.  The basis of this story just kind of came to me.  In 2009, I decided to take part in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which you write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days.  The focus is on quantity, so you aren't allowed to edit or anything else except write.  I wrote the majority of this book during that contest starting with the basic concept I had and then just let things flow.


What is your favorite character in the Rise of the Djall?

I'd probably have to see Treto.  I love his attitude and outlook.


What's the biggest challenge of writing fantasy?

I actually find nonfiction to be more challenging.  However, when using uncommon names for characters and places, it can be a little more work keeping track of all the names you use.  One of the last things you want to do is mix up names and confuse the readers!


Why do you enjoy writing fantasy?

I have a good time writing nonfiction, and I blog about our travels at, but fantasy saved me during my abusive childhood.  I could take a book and escape my real world.  Now I don't need to escape my life which makes fantasy even more enjoyable for me.  I love the creative mental workout of having to not only keep track of everything I've created, but it is so much fun to take a single idea, build upon it, and then begin to paint with words.  One of the things I enjoy the most is watching my characters evolve and begin to reveal themselves to me as I write.  Some have taken on personality traits I hadn't expected.  It's always fun to be surprised by your characters.


What's up next for Vednis - and you?

Vednis has a long road ahead of him.  While he hasn't had some of the personal challenges in dealing with new paradigms as his companions, he has had a bit of a painful past.  As their adventure moves forward, he's going to have to face some of those memories and move beyond them.  He's also about to discover he had a lot more power than he was aware of.

As for me, I am traveling the world with my son (who turns 11 soon).  So we will continue to travel.  I am trying to find more time to write.  I have begun a new fantasy book (currently untitled and completely unrelated to Rise of the Djall) and am currently working on 2 nonfiction books:  one dealing with our preparations to begin our new life as full-time nomads and the 1st year of our new lifestyle, and the other is on spirituality at the end of life.  I plan on doing NaNoWriMo again this year and may use that time to write the sequel to Rise of the Djall.


Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

I'd love it if people bought and reviewed my book. LOL  My author's blog is new and still being designed, but people can keep up to date with my writing and photography via my Facebook page at  One of the joys of being an author these days is the Net makes it so easy to be able to interact with readers.



You can find Rise of the Djall on Amazon Kindle - and don't forget, you can read Kindle books on any smartphone or computer - there's a free Kindle app for that!


It's available at smashwords - and Wandering Educators can use coupon code QT65G to get 25% off the purchase price. :) 

It is also available at Barnes & Noble for NOOK readers:

and in the iTunes store!