Tag Archives: Fantasy

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Aaron Hamilton

AaronToday’s author you should know is Aaron Hamilton.

Aaron is an amazing writer who’s style and fluid writing is something I’ve enjoyed since I first read some of his work. To be honest, his writing is so engaging and well done that I can say I’m a touch jealous of his command of story and the language used to convey it. He’s that good! He writes primarily science fiction but also delves into fantasy and some horror.

We first met over Twitter maybe in 2015 or so. I’m fairly certain it was before I released Nonlocalmy first book in 2016. Since then, I’ve gotten to know him better and watch him grow as a writer. I’ve leaned on him for feedback and have been honored to offer my opinion on some of his unpublished work. He was one of my earliest supporters and advocates, something I won’t forget.

Though he has yet to release a novel (something I hope is fixed soon!) he has had a couple short stories published in the Nonlocal Science Fiction anthologies, offering his story Catalyst for issue 1 and his story The Hzeen for issue 3.

You can find more about Aaron at his blog Escalator Shoes or give him a follow on Twitter.

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Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Leo McBride

LeoToday’s author you should know is Leo McBride.

Leo is a super-talented speculative fiction author. He writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror from the warm climes of the Bahamas. He’s one of the driving forces behind Inklings Press, the small press responsible for such awesome short story collections such as Tales From the Underground, Tales of Wonder, and Tales from the Tower. His stories are included in all the collections and so worth TalesToweryour time and money. He’s also released a short story collection of his own called Quartet: Four Short Stories, Four Explorations of the Fantastic.

Leo is highly supportive not only of the indie community, but great writers no matter what their publishing history is. He’s been an encouragement to me from almost the beginning, reading and reviewing my first two flash fiction collections and continued support through interviews and shares on social media. He’s a great person to have in your corner and a spectacular writer in his own right.

From his Amazon page:

Leo McBride is a writer of speculative fiction – spanning the fields of horror, science fiction and fantasy. A journalist for more than 20 years, he is based in The Bahamas where he is an editor for the country’s leading newspaper.

He has published several ebooks – although Quartet is the first of his own writing. He has also been published in anthologies published by Inklings Press.

You can find out more about Leo on his blog alteredinstinct.com.

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Merri Halma

MerriToday’s author you should know is Merri Halma.

Merri is a talented writer of modern fantasy, especially her young adult Indigo Travelers series. She’s determined and supportive, always willing to lend a hand and IndigoTravelersshare books and posts. Merri is an excellent writer and often infuses her entertaining tales with characters searching for an inner wisdom.

I first met Merri through a Facebook group for authors of science fiction and fantasy. She also participated in the 30 Days, 30 Authors event created by Lucinda Moebius. Through that event, I learned a lot about Merri and grew to appreciate her as a fellow indie author.

I interviewed Merri last year on the blog. You can find that here.

From her Amazon page:

I enjoy writing, talking with readers, learning new things, and meeting with other writers who want to be published. My husband and family live in Idaho. An avid Doctor Who fan, I dream of being able to time travel and hope one day to go to England to see the wonders of the countryside and visit the city Doctor Who and Torchwood were filmed in. Maybe even chance to see it being filmed and meeting the actors.

You can find out more about Merri at her blog.


Come back tomorrow for another author you should know!

Jason’s Authors You Need to Know – Stephanie Barr

StephanieToday’s author you need to know is Stephanie Barr.

Stephanie is an excellent author of science fiction and fantasy hailing from the Lonestar State. She writes amazing tales that take the reader on fantastic journeys. Much of her science fiction is packed with legit science (she is in fact a rocket scientist!) which only serves to make her stories feel so real.

I first met Stephanie through a Facebook group we both belong to. Since then we’ve BeastWithinworked together on a boxed set (On the Horizon) and are currently both involved in a fantasy shared world project along with Mirren Hogan, Greg Alldredge, and many more talented authors. Stephanie is insightful and dedicated to the indie author community.

From her Amazon page:

Although Stephanie Barr is a slave to three children and a slew of cats, she actually leads a double life as a part time novelist and full time rocket scientist. People everywhere have learned to watch out for fear of becoming part of her stories. Beware! You might be next!

To find out more about this rocket scientist-author, check out Stephanie’s blog or her Amazon page for more of her books.


Come back tomorrow for another author you should know!

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – RJ Batla

Today’s author you should know is RJ Batla.RJBatla

RJ is an excellent author of fast paced, action-filled scifi and fantasy adventure. I know, it sound like a lot but RJ writes some fantastic books!

I met him through a Facebook group I belong to over a year ago and since then, we’ve Beta read each others works and he’s been supportive of me especially when I doubt what I’m doing. He’s a genuinely good guy on top of being an excellent writer.

From his Amazon page:

R.J. Batla is a fantasy author and fan of the genre. He’s working on series in both epic and urban fantasy, and likes to write fast paced books that take the reader on an adventure that they can see in their mind. His books reflect influences from novels, comic books, manga, and other cartoons/media, and he joys in blending in these elements in his books.

Author, Christian, Husband, and Father, R.J. Batla enjoys everything outdoors and takes as much time as he can with his family. When he’s not writing, you’ll find him outside (thinking about writing), working out (and thinking about writing) or various other places (all while thinking about writing).

FireEyesI’ve read several of his books including Fire Eyes Awakened and enjoyed the thrilling pace (See my review here). If you like fantasy or scifi with a bit of wit and wise-cracks, you gotta try his books!

Find out more and get a free sample of his writing at rjbatla.com.


Come back tomorrow for another author you should know!

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Mirren Hogan

mirren-hogan-logo-e1502158817934Today’s author you should know is Mirren Hogan. Mirren lives in Australia with her family and writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction. She’s a talented writer with grand visions for the direction of her writing career.

I think I first met Mirren maybe about a year ago through a Science Fiction writers Facebook group. Soon after, we both found ourselves as part of the On the Horizon boxed set of Science Fiction and Fantasy novels (which is still available as of this blog post). She’s also the creative mind behind an upcoming shared world fantasy project which I was invited to participate in. She’s an amazing author with close to ten novels and several anthology collections to her credit.

One of her latest series of books is her Reasoner Trilogy books, starting with book 1: DragonhazeDragonhaze. I know she likes to include as many dragons as possible in her work (the shared world project I mentioned earlier is centered around them!) so if those flying beasts of legend are your thing, go check out her work.

To find out more about Mirren and her books, check out her website or visit her Amazon page to read more about her novels and anthologies.


Come back tomorrow for another Author You Should know!

(Almost) Average Spotlight: Christa Yelich-Koth

I met Christa earlier this year and was fortunate enough to read her book Eomix Galaxy Books: Illusion (Awesome book by the way and it is FREE on Amazon the week of December 11th! Go get it!). So for the last (Almost) Average Spotlight of 2017, I present scifi author Christa Yelich-Koth.


Hi Christa, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

How long have you been writing?

Christa Yelich-KothI’ve been writing since the early 2000’s, but didn’t get my first publication until 2012. Since then I’ve had 2 novels, 1 graphic novel, and a 6-issue comic book series published.

 

What inspired you to start writing?

I suppose I’ve always liked to read stories and so began telling them/ writing them. I’d love for readers to enjoy my books as much as I love reading other people’s books.

 

Tell us a little bit about your current project. Is it a novel, short story, or something else? Is it part of a series?

cv banner2My current project, COILED VENGEANCE, is in the final stages of editing, yay! It will be released through Buzz & Roar Publishing in spring of 2018. It’s another novel in the Eomix Galaxy Books collection, though it’s a standalone story, so you don’t need to have read the other books first.

The book itself is a science fiction thriller, with dream messages, ice-melting slugs, bounty hunters, and genetically-enhanced murderous children. It follows Ness Opute, who will stop at nothing to find the woman who murdered his wife. But Opute is not the only one on the hunt.

 

What genre do you prefer to write in, if any?

Illusion coverI definitely prefer scifi and fantasy, though I’ve delved into detective fiction as well. I enjoy those genres because they let me do anything as a writer, so I’m completely free to follow the characters and not worry about constraints.

 

What authors influenced you?

My biggest influences have been Anne McCaffrey (for her worldbuilding), Stephen King (for his incredible character depth), Edgar Allan Poe (for his gorgeous descriptions and mounting tensions), and Anne Rice (for her layered backstories).

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading fantasy novel NOCTURNE by author Kat Ross. She is a newer author I’ve discovered and I absolutely LOVE her books.

 

Do you write every day? A few days per week?

Identity coverI write a few days a week. I’m a pretty fast writer so I get a lot done in less time. I also get bored easily if I work on my books every day, so this way I get breaks in between.

 

Where can we purchase your current book? What about previous books?

My books and comics are all available on my website (www.christayelichkoth.com) or can be found on Amazon (keyword: EOMIX) or through www.BuzzAndRoarPublishing.com . The audiobook for ILLUSION will also be available on ACX starting December 2017.

Titles are:

Eomix Galaxy Books: ILLUSION and IDENTITY

HOLLOW (graphic novel)

Hollow’s Prism 6-issue comic book series

 

Where can we find you online?

Twitter: @cyelkoth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christa.yelichkoth

Webiste/Blog: www.christayelichkoth.com

 

Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Here is an excerpt from COILED VENGEANCE:

“Opute charged the payment on his card, stripped down, and climbed onto the table. As he lay there, he wondered for a brief moment at the recklessness of his decision, when he started to feel lightheaded. His hands and feet tingled. Then his whole body felt compressed under a great weight. Opute’s eyelids started to close against his will and he could feel the panic rising inside him. However, much to his dismay, his arms and legs wouldn’t listen to his orders and he simply lay there, paralyzed. Unable to move or call out, Opute’s eyes closed. Though he tried to fight it, he felt himself being pulled into darkness.”

 

Any parting words for writers?

3 pieces of advice:

1) Show people your work BEFORE you publish/submit to agencies. When you are the writer, you know everything. The reader may not get all of that from your story so you need to know if that’s the case.

2) Network with other writers. This can help with edits, ideas, storyboarding, marketing thoughts, and help along the way. Plus other writers will understand what you face and be able to sympathize and support better.

3) Get your work edited by a professional. It’s easy to have an English major help you or someone else who loves to read, but they may not catch what’s necessary in writing a BOOK, which is a completely different beast. As an Amazon Bestseller and award-winning novelist, I cannot recommend this enough.

Author Spotlight: Mercedes Prunty

If you’ve been following along this year, I’ve featured many new and “new to you” authors on my blog. I believe in supporting my fellow authors and I hope you’ve been able to find new authors to follow and read. Here’s my latest “Author Spotlight,” author Mercedes Prunty, author of Junia and many more books.


Hi Mercedes, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, well I’m a mother, wife, author and blogger and I currently reside in a small seaside town in East Sussex in the UK. I trained as a hairdresser before finding out I was pregnant with my eldest and it was on my maternity leave when I was bored (Before the baby arrived) that I really started writing. I had always written things as a teenager such as short stories and poems in my notebooks in class instead of paying attention so I guess it’s always been in me to write but I didn’t think I would pursue it. But I didn’t actually write and self-publish my first book until after I’d had my second child. I just needed a confidence push to get me going, which my husband gave me with a pep talk of ‘If you don’t try you’ll never know’ and I’m so glad he told me to.

 

How long have you been writing?

Properly, about 4 years. Not properly, my whole life.

 

What inspired you to start writing?

My first proper novel idea came to me whilst visiting my grandparents. My baby was asleep in her travel cot and my grandad had a documentary on TV about temples in Peru and ancient gateways around the world and to be honest I’d always loved things like ‘Tomb raider or Indiana Jones’ and that was when the idea hit me. So I wrote it down and threw it in a drawer, that was until a night feed at 1am one night and I was wide awake, so I wrote the first chapter, the next night the next chapter and so on. It still took me a year to write but that’s what awakened the true writer in me. Thanks Nan and Grandad.

 

Tell us a little bit about your current project. Is it a novel, short story, or something else? Is it part of a series?

It’s a novel which is going to be around 50,000 words, I’m writing it for a competition and that’s around the limit they want, because normally my novels are 100,000+ words. It will be a stand-alone and it’s a Zombie horror novel set in my home town. (I mean why not right?) The idea for this one came to me in a dream and I began writing it, then I spotted the competition and thought, why not.

 

What genre do you prefer to write in, if any?

Fantasy and Horror and those are the genre’s I mainly read although I will read pretty much anything just depends on my mood.

 

JuniaWhat authors influenced you?

Funnily enough one of the authors who influenced me a lot was S.D.Perry who wrote the novel adaptions from the Capcom game ‘Resident Evil’. As a teen I was obsessed with Zombie horror (I still am) but I loved those books and read them to death, literally, I had to buy them all again they were unreadable after the 57th time. Another author who influence me was Laurell K Hamilton, this mainly influenced my voice as for most of my works I write in first person as she did with the Anita Blake novels but with my new WIP I am in third person which is actually a nice change.

 

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading the Resident Evil series that are adaptions of the films. (See I told you I liked zombies). I recently brought the last book in the series but thought I would read them all in a book marathon so I remember what happens and can envision it like one long film. Although I have seen the films hundreds of times over too.

 

AloneDo you write every day? A few days per week?

If and when I can. I have two young children and it’s hard to find the time sometimes. So I just wing it and if I have a quiet day I’ll write, if it’s crazy I don’t.

 

Do you listen to music when you write? Does it influence how you write?

I have to listen to music when I write, I get so easily distracted by other noises, even the fridge talking distracts me. (My desk is in the kitchen. I’m not really a piggy…much). I tend to have a separate playlist for each novel but I mainly listen to film or video game soundtracks. For my book Junia I listened to the Final Fantasy X soundtrack on repeat for months.

 

How do you think your writing has changed from when you first started?

It’s neater and by that I mean less sloppy, my vocabulary is broadening, my ideas getting more vivid, less mistakes but still a few, the formatting and page layout has improved. I take it all in my stride though and learn as I go along.

 

KeeperOfTheKeyHow do you create the covers for your books?

I’ve done photography and art in school and college (Before I went off to do hairdressing), so I love drawing and taking photos so I tend to use them as my covers. One day I would love a cover to be made for me but my finances can’t accommodate that so I use my own, which isn’t a bad thing as people have commented on how they like my covers as they are not all the same generic ones you get from the shop.

 

Are there any non-literary influences for your writing (movies, actors, music, etc)?

The Resident Evil films and games, The Last of Us video game (Honestly if you haven’t played it you haven’t lived, it is awesome and so is the soundtrack), Final Fantasy X video game, (I like video games if you haven’t guessed and yes I am a bit of a geek). The Walking Dead… Just anything Zombie horror and Fantasy.

 

Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

‘Suddenly Alicia stopped, it looked as if she was trying to listen to something behind the scream of the alarms. Joel stopped and raised his gun up still holding onto the case, then his eyes widened. “RUN!” he screamed grabbing Maria’s hand and dragging her along the corridor.

Glenn turned to see a whole army of the turned chasing after them, their eyes focused on one thing, “The case Joel, drop the case!” He shouted as he also took Alicia’s hand and ran behind them.’

It’s not been edited yet but I’m working on it so this part may or may not change.

 

What is your favorite book and why?

Hard to choose just one but… Maybe… The Enemy by Charlie Higson. (Yes it’s another Zombie horror book)

 

How do you market your books?

Social media mostly because it’s cheap / mostly free although I have been planning to try and branch out a little into the paid Facebook and Amazon ads so we’ll soon see if they bring any more punters in. I have also been to a few book festival type events and sold a few copies there too.

 

Where can we purchase your current book? What about previous books?

They are all available on Amazon…

From Amazon.com

Junia

Alone

Lone (Alone Book 2)

The Keeper of the Key

From Amazon.co.uk

Junia

Alone

Lone (Alone Book 2)

The Keeper of the Key

 

Where can we find you online?

Twitter – @MercedesPrunty

Facebook author page

Blog

 

LoneIf you’re an indie author, what made you choose that route?

I chose the Indie route because I have so many ideas in my brain for stories, that I worried I would forever be trying to find agents or publishers and not have time to write. I have been told by many that even if you score a publishing deal with a traditional publisher that they might not want to take on all your works, so that would mean finding new agents again and I can’t be harassed with that. Although if one day I decided to try it I wouldn’t mind giving traditional a good go. I guess right now the indie scene suits me and it’s so hot right now it’s a great and inspirational scene to be involved in.

 

Any parting words for writers?

Never give up, keep writing, even when it all feels like rubbish and your failing you truly are not. True writers never give up, quitters are the people who didn’t believe and you must believe.

Author Spotlight: J.S. Frankel

In my year long quest to bring you new and “new to you” authors, I’m please to present young adult fantasy author J.S. Frankel, author of The Titans of Ardana (and many other YA Fantasy novels).

Hi, J.S., thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My real name is Jesse Frankel, but I never cared for it, so I go by my initials most of the time. I was born in Toronto, Canada, a long time ago, and grew up there, attending university and graduating with an Arts Degree, which is about as useful these days as an empty beer bottle.
When I was twenty-six, I moved to Japan to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) and never really went back. I got married a long time ago, and my wife and two sons make our home in Osaka. I teach English and write when I have the time.

Star Maps on AmazonHow long have you been writing?

Not very long, really. I started when I was forty-eight, and now I’m fifty-five, but I didn’t get into it until I was around fifty-two.

What inspired you to start writing?

Something my son said to me back in 2011. We’d been watching a cartoon, something about trees, and he said, “Papa, it would be great if the trees could talk.” It was a throwaway line, really, but that night—cliché time!—I had a dream, and later on I turned it into my first novel, The Tower. (That’s out of print, but I may self-pub it in the future).

Tell us a little bit about your current project. Is it a novel, short story, or something else? Is it part of a series?

I’m working on a number of projects right now. Actually, I’m waiting for the edits to Master Fantastic, a YA novel I have with my publisher. Then I have the third Titans novel to edit, and two more, and I’ve just completed the rough draft of Ether, a fantasy novel with a hard-edged twist. So, I’ve always got something going.

What genre do you prefer to write in, if any?

CatnipYA, as it is fresh and exciting and new. Teens always have something new happening in their lives, and I like to record those happenings, as it were.

 

Do you write every day? A few days per week?

Yes, every day, unless sick. If I don’t write, I get withdrawal symptoms. OCD, I know, but that’s how it is.

 

How do you think your writing has changed from when you first started?

When I first started, I was pretty decent with writing dialogue and action, but my narrative was poor. I knew it, the reviewers knew it, and they mentioned it to me—kindly. I went to work on it, and now my narrative has improved quite a bit, although I still feel there’s room for improvement. I like to keep things simple, no excess, no waste, just enough description to spice things up, and then let the action carry things along.

 

How do you create the covers for your books?

MASTERFANTASTIC final cover!I don’t. I work with a cover artist who goes on basic ideas I put out and she carries them through. I’ve worked with a number of people, but two of them stand out: Carmen Waters and Martine Jardin. Both work for Devine Destinies. Carmen did most of my covers including those for Catnip, Picture (Im)perfect, and Mr. Taxi, while Martine did the Titans covers as well as Master Fantastic and a few others. Both are excellent artists!

Are there any non-literary influences for your writing (movies, actors, music, etc.)?

I’m a huge YouTube video watcher, and I can honestly say that music and music videos have provided me with the inspiration to pen my novels. Mr. Taxi, Twisted (a gender-switch action/comedy) Star Maps, and a couple of others all came about due to watching music vids. They gave me ideas and I ran with them.

 

Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

THETITANSOFARDANA510-253x379Excerpt from my novel, entitled The Titans of Ardana. This is from the end of Chapter One, where the main protagonist, Martin Calder, attempts to get an autograph from his favorite television action star, Dana. And…he finds out that things aren’t quite what they seem…


Peering inside, the brother-sister combo stood in the center of the room. Dressed in jeans and long-sleeved shirts, they stood ankle deep in a sea of empty candy bar wrappers and cookie boxes. Three assistants fussed around throwing garbage into a large trash bag.

In a lazy, idle motion, Dana lifted the front of her shirt to reveal a firm midriff. Yeah, she had the abs, along with a line of bumps that started from a triangular bellybutton and ran around her narrow waist. All of the bumps were a perfectly round shape, the size of pearls. Multiple bumps… that wasn’t a rash. Neither was the three-pointed navel.

Oh hell! My heart immediately accelerated to mega proportions and I flattened my back against the wall, breathing hard. Bumps, I’d seen bumps and…no…it had to be some kind of prosthetic. Sure, that was it. In a second, she’d peel it off, scratch her stomach, and I was an idiot for believing something had been wrong in the first place.

Risking another peek, the assistants turned around, and all of them were clones of Van. With a sudden, massive inhalation of breath from him, they melted into his body. “Holy crap, they’re…”

Reflexively, I put my hand over my mouth in order to stifle the gasp of surprise. This couldn’t be happening! People didn’t just split apart and reassemble, did they?

“Hey, what are you doing here?”

The voice—Dana’s—startled me. Damn it, I’d been busted. Hands on her hips, she wore a pissed off expression. “What did you see?” she demanded.

“Uh, nothing, I saw—”

“You saw nothing. Now what do you want?” That came from Van. He’d come outside to stand alongside Dana and I felt his eyes rake my form over as if searching for a spot to tear me a new one. At six feet and around two hundred pounds, the guy looked strong enough to lift a tank.

Put on the spot, trying desperately to hang onto the real and true, I sputtered out an excuse. “I, uh, was hoping I could get an autograph from Dana. And you, too,” I added. “I’m a big fan of the show.”

Dana visibly relaxed and a smile began to play around her lips. “You’re a fan, huh? If you are, tell me what happened in episode twelve, midway through the show.”

plit-second answer time and it was a no-brainer. “You were captured by the Shadow Agency. They tortured you, sent a rogue mutant agent named Saldar to kill your brother, and you busted in and saved him at the last moment.”

Yes, perfect response, and in an attempt to look cool, I crossed my arms over my scrawny chest. A second later, I dropped them to my sides. My chest was too small and my arms resembled sticks. Glancing at her brother, his reaction was to offer no reaction at all. Rocks showed more emotion.

“Great,” he said. “We got us a fanboy.”

He then took a step toward me, violence flashing from his eyes. Please don’t hammer me too hard. In a quick move, Dana put her hand on his arm to restrain him. She may have been shorter and lighter, but she had some grip. Van struggled, but couldn’t go anywhere. Finally, he jerked his arm away. “All right, sis, it’s cool.” Impaling me with a glare, he said, “Fine, you’re hardcore. So, what did you see?”

“N-nothing,” I stuttered. My confidence shattered and sweat poured down my face. After wiping it away and hoping not to appear too pathetic, I managed to say, “I just, uh, walked in and saw all the candy wrappers and—”

“And now you’re here because you wanted an autograph. That’s all, right?”

“Yeah, an autograph, and then I was going to leave.”

Unfortunate situations made people feel like total tools. Call me Tool Dude. Van grunted something unintelligible, and then pulled a piece of paper and a pen out of his pocket. He scribbled something on the paper and thrust it at me. Pivoting around on his heel, he walked inside, back turned to me.

Dana stayed a moment longer, long enough to give me that same curious smile, a faint curling of the corners of her mouth. Dawn purple glowed in her eyes, and the color seemed to leap out and swallow me up. Something was there, something I couldn’t figure out. Maybe it was interest or maybe not. “What’s your name?”

“It’s Martin, Martin Calder. I’m a student at Tacoma High.”

Dana didn’t bat an eyelash and then went over to the table to grab a sheet of paper and a pen. Following her brother’s lead, she wrote on the paper and handed it over. It read From Dana to my biggest fan.

Lifting my head, our eyes met once more. She was in the process of giving me that same curious look, and then the door closed. Well, mission successful and I’d achieved the impossible. I’d seen it as well. While exiting the building, a security guard confronted me. “Hey, how’d you get inside?”

“Uh… uh, well…”

The expression of mess with me and you’ll suffer major trauma was written all over his face. “The exit is over there.” He stabbed a thick forefinger at the gate. Message given—message received.

Once outside the entrance, the shakes began. What I’d just seen had rocked my world and shaken the very foundation of my grasp on reality. Two people I idolized weren’t people. Aliens lived here and I was the first one to know their secret. The only problem was no one would believe me.

Where can we purchase your current book? What about previous books?

Here are the links to where they can be bought.
Amazon
Devine Destinies
Finch Books
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble

 

Where can we find you online?

I’m on Facebook and Twitter.

How do you market your books?

I use mainly Facebook and Twitter, and hope that word-of-mouth will carry my name around.

Any parting words for writers?

Don’t give up! I know that sounds like a cliché—and it is—but the most popular writers—not the best, maybe, but the most popular, are those who stayed the course and kept at it when others folded. You have to be persistent as well as consistent. If you have those traits, you have a good chance of getting published.

 

Massive book cover from Sara

 

 

Author Spotlight: RJ Batla

Today I’m fortunate to present RJ Batla author of AGAINST THE BEAST and FIRE EYES AWAKENED.

Hi RJ, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi! Thanks for the interview Jason! I’m a Texan, born and raised, a Christian who loves my family and a fan of good old fashioned fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero books. I’m a country boy who has always loved to read and be outdoors in any form or fashion. I consider myself to be one of the ‘nice guys,’ and try to help anyone I can when I can.

 

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for around seven years now, but I’ve gotten serious about it in the last two and have written over two hundred thousand words since then. Most of it probably wasn’t that good (or will ever see a published book in its current form), but it has helped hone my writing craft. It’s been a journey, but now that I (kinda) know what I’m doing, it’s a lot of fun!

 

What inspired you to start writing?

To get the voices out of my head!

Just kidding. But I’ve always wanted to write a book and I’ve been telling stories to myself in my head for a long time. I wrote a little in college, and some family had said it was pretty good. So I continued on, enjoying the learning of a new skill and telling a story.

 

Tell us a little bit about your current project. Is it a novel, short story, or something else? Is it part of a series?

So I’ve got several projects going at the moment. FIRE EYES AWAKENED is my first full-blown novel, and it’s at the editor right now. I expect to release it around May or June.

The RANGER’S FIELD MANUAL is the companion guide to the world of Terraunum. I’ve gotten it written and edited, and might be available now for free for signing up for my email list! There is a smaller version available now for an email signup, but anyone on my list will get the expanded edition as soon as I can.

 

What genre do you prefer to write in, if any?

I don’t know that I prefer any, but I’d have to say fantasy comes the easiest for me. I like the creation of worlds, the magic (both the system and in general), and the old school sword & sorcery battles.

All of my current works are based in Terraunum, a future earth where Marvels have amazing powers over the elements and much more. It’s Epic Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery with a good bit of Superheroism and some technological elements of Steampunk. So a blend of genres.

 

What authors influenced you?

Oh wow, several. Terry Brooks, who was the first author I really latched onto in the fantasy genre, is a clear influence. Also Jim Butcher, who writes the Dresden Files, my favorite series – I love the main character Harry Dresden, a smart-aleck wizard with a strong sense of justice. Those would be the two biggest influences, though everything I read tends to influence me in some way.

 

What are you currently reading?

So I’ve got several books on my reading list right now. I tend to read several books at once (I know, a little crazy). Right now, here is what I’m reading:

Outbreak by Joshua C. Chadd; Mistress of Masks by C. Greenwood, and Thinblade by David A. Wells

 

Do you write every day? A few days per week?

I try to write every day, but it usually turns into around 4-5 days per week, depending on when the kids go to bed and how much time I have at night. The day job gets in the way (as per the usual), so I do all my writing at night. Usually I can knock out between 500-1000 words per hour after I have my outline done, so I am able to make good use of my time.

 

Do you listen to music when you write? Does it influence how you write?

Absolutely not! I love music and tv, but I can’t do either and write at the same time – I get too involved in one thing and get sidetracked.

 

How do you think your writing has changed from when you first started?

I’d like to think it has gotten better – better at telling the story, better at getting my point across, more succinct, clearer, more descriptive without wasting words. I also think I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, and how to make sure and only include what is good/important but to make sure I do include those same things.

 

How do you create the covers for your books?

RJBatlaI come up with the general idea for what I’m looking for, then I work with the professionals to get it done right. I am by no means an artist (drawing wise), so I hire out freelancers who are pros. I have two different cover artists that I use, and they are both amazing.

 

Are there any non-literary influences for your writing (movies, actors, music, etc)?

Absolutely! Movies – anything superhero-related, action/adventure, and even some of the drama. I’ve also been heavily influenced by a couple of animated shows, particlularly Avatar: The Last Airbender (the series, not the movie), and Naruto, a manga adaption.

 

Where can we purchase your current book? What about previous books?

I’m exclusive with Amazon right now, so that’s the only place to get any of my books. I’ve only got one out, but several are in the works and will be out as soon as I can get them out there.

 

What is your favorite book and why?

Now that is a tough question. Because you’re making me pick ONE, I’m assuming a work of fiction, I would have to pick Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, Book 4) by Jim Butcher because it introduced me to the Dresden Files series that I love.

 

How do you market your books?

I use Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Ads, and my email list. But mostly it’s word of mouth from other authors and friends.

 

Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Sure, here is an excerpt from AGAINST THE BEAST.

Royn parried the sword from the left Skeptor and threw up an air shield on his right. Steel clanged against bone as the two traded blows. The second one broke through the air shield quickly and thrust at Royn’s midsection.

Royn teleported at the last second, the creature’s sword hitting nothing but blue light. Growling, they advanced on his new position, circling around again. Clearly they meant to keep his attention divided. The left one started in again, and Royn counterattacked, matching the strikes with his own as the second one circled and jumped in again. Thank God for his Ranger training, or he wouldn’t have lasted ten seconds against these things.

“Flying Knives!” Royn called, arcing his arm and sending dozens of daggers of sharpened air at the Skeptor. They imbedded themselves in the bone, but didn’t penetrate, didn’t even slow the thing down. Again Royn teleported away at the last second.

They continued to circle, and this time Royn put everything he had into his sword work, until he found an opening. “Aha!” he said, driving his blade right into a Skeptor’s chest.

It clanged and bounced harmlessly off the bone armor, the force prying the sword from his hands. “No!” he said, teleporting away, then right back to get his sword and away again too fast for them to react. Damn that was close.

Five more times they circled and advanced, each time Royn throwing a different attack at the second Skeptor, and five more times Royn teleported away. But there was a problem. Royn’s energy was draining quickly—the second bean was wearing off, his reserves already depleted. He was weaker than he thought. He hadn’t fully recovered. He shouldn’t have come. The Skeptors circled again. Like vultures. Might as well be. One of these times they were going to get him. Just a matter of time. How could he win this battle? His attacks fell right off of them, nothing stuck. He was severely out matched.

What is that blasted buzzing? Royn dodged a sword attack and deflected a fireball with an air blast.

“Now.”

From behind him the second Skeptor launched another fireball. Diving away, the heat singed his clothes as he tucked and rolled on the landing, immediately jumping up before he was blasted again.

 

If you’re an indie author, what made you choose that route?

Definitely Indie, though if someone wanted to pay me an insane amount of money I could be convinced!

The main reasons I chose Indie is the ability to actually get your work out in the world and let the people/readers/fans decide if it is good enough, vs someone in a corporate office. So in a word control – I have ultimate say on anything involving my works.

Plus it’s on my timeline – if I need to push something back because I have time with my family scheduled, it doesn’t hurt anyone or myself.

 

Where can we find you online?

Here they are:

WEBSITE: rjbatla.com

TWITTER: @RJBatlaAuthor

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/rjbatla

EMAIL: rjbatla@rjbatla.com

 

Any parting words for writers?

Keep working hard. Take it one day at a time. Grab any time you can to write, market your current works, or read – either for fun or for honing your craft. You eat an elephant one bite at a time, and you write a book one word at a time over a sustained period. You can do it!