Freshman’s foray into science-fiction writing

If the idea of writing a ten-page paper seems like a daunting task, talk to freshman Anthony J. Cunder, who self-published his 500 page fantasy novel “The Silver Talon” last year.

Cunder first envisioned the novel while staring out the window on a nondescript day. He said his thoughts were seized by an image of a medieval inn, where a lodger prepares to fight a black-cloaked figure emerging out of the shadows, only to recognize the figure as a friend. From this initial daydream, a 500-page saga emerged.

Cunder said that he started writing for fun when he was in the fifth grade, but it was not until much later that he developed into a serious, budding author. “If someone told me three years ago that I would someday be the author of a 500 page novel, I would have said that they were crazy,” Cunder said.

Although Cunder’s plans for the future did not initially include authoring a book, he explained, “I always loved to read, especially fantasy – anything that took me out of this world. So I suppose it was a natural segue from being a voracious fantasy reader to a fantasy writer.”

Cunder first started writing “The Silver Talon” in December of 2008.

“After writing my thoughts down, I began to craft a beginning, and then went page by page until this 500 page novel emerged” he said.

Cunder cites the reaction of his readers to his work as the most gratifying part of the process. “The most rewarding part about writing ‘The Silver Talon’ is seeing other people who enjoy my writing. I say this because, being a reader myself, I know how much I love getting a good book in my hands and being transported by the words on the page into another realm, out of this world,” he said.

“Hearing that other people have used my novel as a means of that transportation gives me great joy,” Cunder said.

Despite his enjoyment writing the novel, Cunder admits that there were some difficulties along the way. “The most challenging part of writing this book would have to be the countless times I’ve read, re-read, and re-re-read the manuscript, preparing it for publication,” he said.

“I’ve had several professional editors read through and make comments and changes, but there is simply no substitute for an author who cares about his work to read it word for word himself until it comes out right,” Cunder said.

One editor who read the draft told Cunder that “The Silver Talon” could easily go to cinema because of the vivid descriptions and exhilarating action scenes.

Describing the bittersweet feeling of finishing the manuscript, Cunder said, “I took a deep breath, both very glad and a bit sad that my story and characters had finally reached their conclusion, at least in the first book. I had spent the past five months with these characters, shaping their lives, so when I had unraveled all of the yarn it was both satisfying and depressing.”

Cunder has ambitious plans to continue writing. “There will probably be two more books that follow ‘The Silver Talon’ in the series. I am already about 60 pages into the sequel. There are also several other ideas I have rolling around in my head for different novels or series, so I definitely foresee a long writing career ahead of me!”

For now, however, Anthony is very content at Seton Hall. “I love Seton Hall and I am very happy with my decision to come here.” Cunder is currently enrolled in the Honors Program at Seton Hall and plans on majoring in English.

All the proceeds from “The Silver Talon” go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The foundation is close to Cunder’s heart; when he was 18-months-old, Cunder was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Be on the lookout for more to come from one of Seton Hall’s very own rising authors. For more information on Anthony and “The Silver Talon”, visit

Emily Lake can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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