We planned to honor JC Boyd, dark fantasy author, as our September author of the month, but due to time constraints, he was unable to get back to us in time. Now we’d still like to introduce you to the man behind the snark in our exclusive interview.
Name: JC Boyd
Latest Book Released:Strong Armed
Upcoming Release: Blood and Bile
Preferred Genre: Dark Fantasy
J.C. lives in the Midwest with his wife and two dogs. He recently earned his MA in English Literature and is working on his debut novel for his own fantasy world. Despite growing up with Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and a collection of both Dragonlance andForgotten Realms novels, J.C. has an abiding love of classics and spends his free time reading anything he can get his hands on.
Let’s talk about your latest released book.Where did your idea for the story come from?
Strong Armed actually kind of took on a life of its own. I had an initial idea of a warrior that was beholden to a unscrupulous fellow and actually wrote it as the introduction to another work about ten years ago. When I finally landed on Sin-sim and Balvoc, the pieces hit home.
How long did it take you to write it?
I guess if we start from this rendition with Sin-sim and Balvoc, about a year and a half. If we start from the original tale that I wrote, about ten years.
How did you come up with the title?
I hate titles. I spent a great deal of time with Google, a thesaurus, and the estimable Joshua Robertson. I don’t even recall if it was my idea, to be perfectly honest, but when Strong Armed did come up, I knew it fit.
What is your favorite line from the book?
My favorite line is actually on the first page: ”Sin-sim smiled an oily smile so slick that Balvoc thought his lips would slide from his face.”
There’s a lot of talk in the writing community about “writing what you know.” Does that apply to this book?
No. I never know what the hell I’m talking about. I flounder around trying to get something meaningful out and as soon as I put in the last period, I forget whatever happened to make it on the page.
How did you find “your voice?”
I am still finding it, because it changes. I don’t have the same voice I did ten years ago, or five years ago, or even last year–and next year I will have a different voice still. I think that the important thing authors need to remember is that they change and they cannot expect every book to sound the same. If they did, no one would want to read them.
Do you stick to one genre or do you dabble in others, too?
I dabble, but nothing has ever made it to light. I tried to start on something more modern, a horror, and a dozen sub-genres of fantasy, but who knows if any of that will ever make it off of my hard drive.
What are you currently working on?
Blood and Bile with Joshua Robertson. A book taking place in my own world: Jorthe. At this point, I would have to liken it to horror-fantasy more than dark fantasy. It is a tale about a race of giants living off of the land in the north who are still trying to find their way in the world when one of their best hunter’s goes insane and is found eating his wife.
Which manuscript did you have the most fun working on?
My current one: Blood and Bile. It is fun to be able to dive into my own world and see if it holds together. I am really benefitting from partnering with Joshua Robertson, since he is able to keep me focused and make my world more than just a background for the tale to take place.
What is your best one sentence advice to other writers?
Rubbing a thick layer of salt on steak about an hour before cooking it helps to tenderize the beef and makes it taste amazing.
Let’s talk about you, the author, now. What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I play computer games and tabletop RPGs. When my wife and I have the time, we like to travel with our two dogs.
If you had to sum your life up in 3 words, what would they be?
Verisimilitude. Imperturbation. Ineffable.
What motivates you?
Nothing. Not in the sense that nothing motivates me, but in the sense that I am motivated to be able stop doing something and start doing nothing. If you have never done nothing, you should really try it. But you have to be careful about doing anything, because the moment you do, you have stopped doing nothing, and now you’re doing something. One day, I hope to do nothing.
Tell us about your favorite cause.
Because. I mean “cause” is nice and all, since it is the original, but because is better. I suppose some might suggest “subcause,” but who has ever heard of that?
Identify your superpower.
The one I want? Stopping time, because I never have enough.
The one I have? Insomnia. But there isn’t anything funny about that.
What’s your favorite quote? Book? Movie? Song? Food?
Quote: Matthew 21.7 “And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.”
Book: I don’t have a favorite, but I will list a few of my favorites. Mad Merlin by Robert J King, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, and The Soulforge by Margaret Weis.
Movie: The Sons of Katie Elder–I am an unashamed John Wayne fan.
Song: The Unforgiven II by Metallica.
Food: Dutch Apple Pie.
Are you coffee or tea?
Both, but the former more than the latter. I like the idea of drinking tea, but late in the evening I usually reach for a beer first.
And lastly, what is the one thing you wish people who DON’T write would understand about writing?
Well, not exactly writing, but being an author is like being a warrior in Valhalla. We wake up everyday, get our asses kick, and then drink ourselves to sleep–rinse and repeat. Well, at least, that is how Faulkner did it, and he was pretty successful.
Thank you for answering our questions.
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Stephanie AyersA published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.