Author Andy Peloquin

Not only is Andy Peloquin one of our monthly columnists, but he’s also an author and vlogger. Check out his YouTube page to see his panels in action.

Name: Andy Peloquin
Latest Release: The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen
Genre: Dark fantasy/grimdark
Email: andy.peloquin@gmail.com

Andy Peloquin–a third culture kid to the core–has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.

When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since.

Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.

Links: Amazon | Website | Twitter  | Facebook | YouTube

  1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for close to three years now. I started out writing graphic novel scripts, but quickly branched out into full-length novels. In fact, I could ONLY write full-length works (90k+ words) until this year, when I forayed into short stories.

  1. What kind(s) of writing do you do?

My writing is a bit dark on the surface. It deals with themes like death, loss, violence, murder, betrayal, and the underside of human nature. My stories look at neurological, emotional, and psychological disorders and how they can create monsters from normal people. All of this is presented through the lens of a fantasy world, making these dark concepts even more fascinating for readers!

  1. What are your goals as a writer, both small and large?

My goal is to tell a story that is as real and identifiable as it is fantastic and fictional. You may not think you can identify with a half-demon assassin, but when you realize that he is dealing with “everyman” emotions like the fear of loss, a desire to find his place, and a war with his inner demons, the characters become VERY real. My desire is to bring these stories to life in a way that everyone can relate to them. Of course, being able to tell them in the form of fantasy makes them so much more enjoyable to read.

  1. What inspires you?

I’m a creative person by nature. My mind is always looking for ways to make new and unusual connections between seemingly ordinary things. I’m inspired to tell stories that will showcase how even the simplest of things can have a huge effect on the world around us.

  1. Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance.

I wouldn’t say “fallen in love”, but I will say that I have no end of fun writing about a bad-ass half-demon killer. Who wouldn’t have a hell of a time telling the story of a near-immortal killer who can pretty much do whatever he wants?

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

Thankfully, I’ve progressed in my career as a freelance copywriter to the point where I can get my work done in the morning. That frees up an hour or so in the afternoon (between chauffeuring my children) to write. I get about 10 hours of writing time per week, at the moment.

  1. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.

I’ll usually have a story very well thought-out before I sit down to write. I always leave plenty of room for creativity and intuition, but I like to be fairly organized. I won’t have a complete draft of the story–simply a rough outline of where I want it to go. As I write, the details flesh themselves out, so I never have to worry about what comes next.

  1. Who would play you in your life story?

I’d say my personal life story (right now, at least) would be one of the most boring movies ever! Like many writers, it’s an endless struggle (albeit a quiet one) to find the balance between work and life. I’d much rather a movie about my characters!

  1. What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’ve submitted the third book in my half-demon assassin series (The Last Bucelarii) to the publisher, so I’m working to get through the fourth book before starting work on the fifth. However, I’ve just signed a three-book contract for another trilogy–one set in the same world, with the same dark tones, but following a girl sold to the Thieves’ Guild of her city. I need to write two more books before the end of 2017, so that will be consuming most of my time and attention for the immediate future.

  1. What process did you go through to get your work published?

I self-published a book (In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent) in early 2014, and through that process I realized that I need a team of beta readers, editors, proofreaders, and formatters to help me make my books as good as possible. When writing The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer, I had it in my mind that I was going to search for a publisher. I finished the book, had it professionally edited and formatted, and had a big book launch in place before I started shopping around for a publisher. All that gave me better leverage, and increased my chances of finding a publisher–which I did, in early 2015.

  1. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Not having enough time. I wish I could spend more time on it, but it’s a fight to maintain that work-life balance. So I’ve had to limit myself to a certain amount of time so my other important life elements (exercise, kids, etc.) don’t get pushed too far aside. I wish I could spend all day creating and telling stories, but for now, I treasure the time I get.

  1. What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work.

I love being able to create anything I want! Writing fantasy means I get to create the rules to follow. I can make my characters do anything and go anywhere–all I have to do is dream it up. For me, that’s what makes fantasy the genre of choice.

  1. If you could have any fictional character(s), living or dead, on your survival team after an apocalypse, who would you choose and why?


The Hunter. He may not be much of a team player, but he’s one hell of an ally. Immortal, can heal from anything, susceptible only to iron, he’s pretty much the best protector around.

  1. Which actors would you choose to play the main characters in your story?

I’ve had a hard time thinking who I’d want to play the Hunter in a movie or TV show. He would need to be a serious, somber actor, one with a few years on him. A Jeffrey Dean Morgan type could be good.

  1. What is your favorite escape from day to day living?

Writing. There’s nothing that makes me happier than sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee, a good story line, and an hour or two with nothing to do but bring that story to life!

  1. What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?

I’ve started using Twitter and Facebook more, as well as recording virtual discussion panels to YouTube. They do take up a bit of time, but they’re a lot of fun. Plus, people seem to enjoy them, and I love talking to people.

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?

I’d have to say my two favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson and Scott Lynch. I try to make my characters as intriguing and complex as Scott Lynch, while emulating the writing standard of Brandon Sanderson.

  1. Do you know the secret to originality in writing? Would you share it?

I wouldn’t say there is any ONE secret. However, I will say that telling a story from a new angle is always a great way to go. For example, my The Last Bucelarii series is told from the perspective of a half-demon assassin. Not many books that feature that kind of character as the protagonist (not hero, anti-hero).

  1. What are you currently reading? 

I’m just getting to the end of the last Safehold book by David Weber. Think historical fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi all rolled into one glorious series! I’m also reading a book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. It’s a book on how to be smart with social media and marketing. AMAZING stuff!

  1. What do you think is the future of reading/writing?

I think (and hope) that reading becomes the “cool” thing to do once more. I haven’t played a video game in the last six months because I’m so addicted to both reading and writing. That’s a very strong departure from character for me, but it’s been wonderful to dive headlong into the written word. I believe more and more people will join in the addiction.

Thank you for your time and great answers, Andy! We wish you much success on your writing.

Telling a #story from a new angle is always a great way to go. @andypeloquin @interview… Click To Tweet

Meet Auren of Shadow Stalker by Renee Scattergood

Shadow Stalker is a lengthy fantasy from Renee Scattergood. Her first two books in the series is available on instafreebie. Grab a copy now! Today, we meet the protagonist of her story, Auren.

Name: Auren
Occupation: Shadow Stalker
Age: 18 (at the beginning of the story… it takes place over several years)

1.What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I don’t think I’ve achieved much of anything at this point in my life, unless you consider training to be a shadow stalker and surviving against all odds when the Galvadi Empire has been trying to kill me since my birth to be an achievement. I’ll be happy if I manage to do what I’m meant to do and stop the Galvadi from taking over the entire Serpent Isles and destroying innocent lives.

  1. What is your best physical feature?

I’m not sure. It’s not something I’ve ever thought about. I’ve always been self-conscious of my looks. I grew up on Appolia, an island in the far north and most people there are fair haired and skinned. With my olive complexion and dark hair, I really stood out. But I suppose my height and strength have helped me over the years. I’m certainly not helpless.

  1. What is your most treasured possession?

My books. I don’t own a lot, but I love my books. Oh, and the backpack Kado got for me when I was young. We would go camping every year during the summer months, and I’d take that backpack with me. It’s pretty beat up after years of use, but it’s part of me.

  1. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Makari, most definitely. We started as enemies as he is the son of Drevin, the emperor of the Galvadi, but we were mean to be together.

  1. What is your favorite journey?

Travelling from Adalasia on the Dark Isle to meet my aunt, uncle and cousins for the first time. My parents were taken from me when I was born, so meeting my family was probably the best thing that ever happened to me, despite the other issues that happened during that visit.

  1. What is your most marked characteristic?

My inability to avoid getting into trouble. I always thought my friend Jade’s bad influence was what had gotten me into trouble so much growing up, but now I’m beginning to believe it’s something I was born with.

  1. Define happiness and share your happiest memory.

Happiness is feeling safe and secure no matter what’s going on around you. I feel like that whenever I’m with Makari. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. My happiest memory was meeting my father; something I thought would never happen since I’d spent my life believing he was dead.

  1. What is it that you most dislike?

That’s easy. The Galvadi Empire and everything it stands for.


  1. What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is that I won’t be able to do what I’m meant to do. That I won’t stop the Galvadi and that Drevin will turn me into the monster he tells people that I am.

  1. What is your greatest extravagance?

A warm bath and a comfortable bed to sleep it. It doesn’t happen often.

  1. Who do you most despise?

Drevin. I hate that he’s turned against his own people and destroyed many innocent lives, including my own.

  1. What is your greatest regret?

That I will never know my mother. Apparently, I’m just like her, but I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad. It makes me miss her more.

  1. Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able to turn invisible. That would really work in my favor. Sure, I can sort of do that through the shadow world, but it’s limited.

  1. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My inability to keep my thoughts to myself. It’s part of what often gets me into trouble.

  1. What do you most value in your friends?

My friends are the most loyal people you’d ever meet. I was an outcast growing up, but they didn’t care about my differences. They loved me and accepted me anyway.

  1. Who do you most admire?

My foster father, Kado. He sacrificed a lot to raise and protect me, including giving up his own child.

  1. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Courage, though I’m not sure it’s so much overrated as it is misunderstood. Most people believe courage is the absence of fear. I’ve learned the hard way that those with the most courage also experience the most fear. They just don’t let their fear stop them from doing what needs to be done.

  1. Which words or phrases are you known for?

None that I know of.

  1. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

That’s hard. For a long time I wished I had been born normal. Then there would be no Galvadi Empire or war. I wouldn’t have spent my life in hiding, but I also wouldn’t have met most of the people who became important to me, especially Makari.

  1. What is your motto?

I don’t have one, but if I had to adopt one it would be, “Look before you leap.” It’s something I need to put into practice more, but I probably won’t.

 

Author Brian Paone

Name: Brian Paone
Latest Release: Yours Truly, 2095
Genre: time-travel romance
Email: Brian@BrianPaone.com

Hugo Award Nominated author Brian Paone was born and raised in the Salem, Massachusetts area. Brian has, so far, published three novels: a memoir about being friends with a drug-addicted rock star, Dreams are Unfinished Thoughts; a macabre cerebral-horror novel, Welcome to Parkview; and a time-travel romance novel, Yours Truly, 2095—all three novels are available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook. Along with his three novels, Brian has published two short stories: “Outside of Heaven,” which is featured in the anthology, A Matter of Words, and “The Whaler’s Dues,” which is featured in the anthology, A Journey of Words. Brian is married to a US Navy nurse and has four children. He is also police officer and has been working in law enforcement since 2002. When Brian isn’t writing, he is playing or recording music with his bands. He is also a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, a New England Patriots fanatic, and his favorite color is burnt-orange.

www.BrianPaone.com

www.Facebook.com/BrianPaonesNovels

 

  1. How long have you been writing?

In 7th grade, I wrote my first original story called, “The Night is Young,” and brought it into school for everyone to read. My classmates liked it so much they encouraged me to write more. Every weekend throughout 7th and 8th grade I wrote a new story, just for my classmates to read on Monday mornings. My teacher encouraged it so much, she would even go to the front office and photocopy the stories so each student could have their own to take home. I even had a friend start drawing front covers of all my stories, which would be stapled to the front of the printouts. So I think the “in-school popularity and quasi-celebrity” status I received in junior high because of my short stories was what fueled the fiction machine for me.  I still have every story I wrote during those 2 years, EXCEPT that very first one. Someone spilled water on the only copy and the paper disintegrated. . I only wrote short stories from 1988 to 2005. It was then that I began work on my first novel.

  1. What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I write exclusively in a genre called Rock Fiction, which is a sub-genre of Musical Fiction, when a single song, an entire album, or the span of a band/artist’s complete work is turned into fiction, using the literal lyrics to directly create the plotline and story arc, and usually the title of the book/story is taken directly from the song/album that the work is an adaptation of.

  1. What are your goals as a writer, both small and large?

To do justice to the albums that I novelize. I know that dire-hard fans of each of these bands and albums that I adapt buy and read my work, and my goal is to make them happy and not show up at my house with torches, ready to lynch me because I ruined their favorite album. Because that is always a risk with everything I publish.

  1. What inspires you?

Music. Albums that have strong emotion all the way through. If I can’t connect to an album as a listener, how could I ever be motivated to adapt it into a novel/short story?

  1. Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance.

Allison Tampico, in my second novel Welcome to Parkview. She started off as a child in the beginning of the book, and I grew with her to adulthood by the ending of the novel. She’s the only character that I saw grow up right before my eyes.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

I’ve published 3 novels, and my typical day during the writing of each book was totally different from each other. When I was writing my first book, Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts, I was in the middle of moving from MA to GA, changing police departments, and recording an album with my band, Transpose. So a typical day would be: get everything done first for the move, switching jobs, the recording studio, and whatever time was left at night: work on the book. We also didn’t have any kids yet.
With my second novel, Welcome to Parkview, my wife had been deployed to Djibouti and I was working full time at the police department in GA, and we had 2 kids now. So I was alone without my wife, with 2 toddlers, and working full time. The My day would be: get the kids to day-care, go work fighting crime for 8 hours, pick the kids up and do whatever household chores I had to do (laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping etc.), feed the kids dinner and put them to bed around 6:30, then I would work out for an hour, and then I would work on Welcome to Parkview after I showered until whenever I passed out at my laptop.
With Yours Truly. 2095, the Navy had sent us to Japan for the next 4 years. I had to take a leave of absence at the police department, and we moved the family there. I did not get a job right away, as my wife wanted me to be the stay at home parent during our time in Japan (I did eventually become a Criminal Justice professor for the college on base, but that’s irrelevant to the book.) We moved in November, 2011 and by January, 2012 I was itching to write. For the first time, I had the TIME to write, and not having to worry about a new job, moving, or wiping poopy diapers. So, in February, 2012, I started my outline, and writing the book was my full-time job for a while. We sent out 2 kids to Japanese Kindergarten (called a Yochien in Japan) and they were gone Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:00. I would bring them to the bus stop, wave goodbye, go back up into our apartment, and write until the bus brought them back. It was the first time I could write without distractions, and the first time I was writing not being dead-tired at night after putting in a full day.
I’ve just started outlining what will be novels 4 and 5, and the process has, again, changed. We have a new baby, and we are back in America, but this time, I have my first office. It’s a room in our house that is designated to strictly writing or creating music. So, I have a room I can go into, shut the door, and disappear, even when the kids are home… which I was never able to do before.

  1. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.

All 3 books were done a little different from each other. My first book, Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts, was outlined more in journal format before it went to narrative. My second book, Welcome To Parkview, had no outline. I wrote stream of consciousness and just let the story take itself where it naturally wanted to go. Then when I was finished, I had to go back and almost write it a second time now that I knew how everything played out. With the new book, Yours Truly, 2095, I did the most amount of outline, but it was done on a poster board with different colored Sharpies, tracing the character’s time travel journeys back and forth to make sure none of the lines crossed and created paradoxes that I couldn’t explain. When I was done, I could hold the poster board up and see the whole book in the form of Sharpie lines crisscrossing and making a graft that then needed to be turned into words.

  1. Who would play you in your life story?

Chris Kattan

  1. What projects are you working on at the moment?

I have 3 in progress, all slated for a 2017 release:

  • A short story that I am writing for the anthology, “A Haunting of Words,” is going to be an adaptation of Porcupine Tree’s album, “Fear of a Blank Planet.”
  • One of the two novels that I am currently writing is about the eight months my wife was deployed to Djibouti, Africa, and left me home alone with two toddlers. Tentatively untitled, it’s going to be a comedic-military novel, almost in the style of the film Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton, about the learning curve and craziness that ensued during those months.  Every night I would send her an email, usually quoting song lyrics from our favorite bands at the end. I am compiling all those songs, and will use those specific lyrics to drive the story forward.
  • The other novel that I am writing is an adaptation of Dog Fashion Disco’s “Adultery” album, which is a concept album that is about a private detective, set in a pulp noir setting, who gets dragged into the dirty underground. The great thing about this novel is the reader will not need to have ever heard the album to read the book. None of my novels or short stories have a prerequisite of needing to know the band or album the work is based off of to enjoy or understand the storyline.
  1. What process did you go through to get your work published?

So, I’m kind of a rare case in the manner of how I got published. I never had an agent. So it’s not mandatory or a prerequisite to have an agent to sign a book deal. I landed my first publishing contract because I had self-published my first novel, “Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts,” and I had built and designed a website strictly for the book. This was BEFORE Createspace, and Smashwords and all those other self-publishing platforms. Back then, you had to find a company who would mass print documents (like a Kinkos) and literally have it pieced together with the plastic spiral binding… no back cover, and pretty much printer paper stock. It was so ghetto that I wish I still had a copy of my “self-published” book just to show you guys (or so I could laugh it.) Anyway, between the website, and constant self-promotion, I sold a little over 1,000 copies of this terribly put together/bounded “book.” (It was really just 320 pages-3 hole punched and kept together with plastic rings.) I couldn’t order them fast enough. I was ordering them 20 at a time, and selling 30 (so I was always behind in my orders. I couldn’t keep up.). What I did RIGHT (if I didn’t do anything else right at all with the way it physically looked) was that I was smart enough to assign an ISBN number to the book before I even sold the first copy. This meant that every single sale was being tracked! Even my Mickey Mouse looking “docu-book” was being tracked sales-wise. Well, after about 8 months of selling hundreds and hundreds of my book from my website and out of garage MC Hammer style, publishing companies started contacting ME! I have never written one query letter in my life. I have never solicited my book to one single publishing company myself. All of a sudden, I had about 3 publishing companies fighting to sign me… and they got into a mini-bid war over my novel. All of this because I had proof of how many units were sold through the ISBN number, and they could also track it themselves. I had no idea, in my wildest dreams that I would sell that many copies of my book… and I never EVER thought that I would be one of those cases where the publishing companies contact me first without having to go through all that stress of dozens of query letters and rejection slips. But looking back at it now, I really truly believe it was because I had created a unique and specific website for the book PRIOR to release, and I had assigned an ISBN number to the book. Without that ISBN number, my book would never ever have gotten on the radar, and I would probably either have quit writing by now, or would have a shoebox full of rejection slips under my bed.

I feel like I write the same was we drive to somewhere we’ve never been, but with GPS on. When you drive somewhere far away, and you are using GPS for each turn, you understand what and when the next “turn” will be, but you have no idea what you are going to be seeing out of your window while you are driving to the next turn. I feel that’s how both of my fictional novels were written. I knew what had to happen, and when, but I even surprised myself at some of the things that I saw out the window while I wrote.

  1. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

The greatest challenge about writing is the first 20,000 words of a new novel. That is really the most critical time where you are figuring out what you are trying to say, and the voice and the tone you are trying to say it in. When I was writing “Yours Truly, 2095” I wrote about 40,000 words and trashed the whole manuscript. It was unorganized and too busy. I was trying to cram a mini-series worth of plot into a single novel. Once I cut back, and started from the beginning again, focused and organized with a single vision, everything fell into place. Some writers will tell you that the editing process is the most frustrating about being an author. I, on the other hand, feel that once my book gets sent to the editing team, all the weight has been taken off my shoulders and now it’s just a series of corrections, approvals, omits, rewrites…. That sounds tough, but when you have a solid editing team that you trust, it’s more like building a puzzle with a few friends where someone is in charge of the corners, and someone is in charge of edges, and someone is in charge of the middle… eventually you all get to the same goal together. Being on a team while editing is easy… being by yourself during those first few drafts when you don’t even know if you’re coming or going… THAT is the hardest part.

The greatest challenge about #writing is the first 20,000 words of a new #novel. #author… Click To Tweet
  1. What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work.

Because I turn people’s favorite albums into novels or short stories, my favorite part is when a complete stranger leaves a review or contacts me and thanks me for doing a great service to their favorite album.

  1. If you could have any fictional character(s), living or dead, on your survival team after an apocalypse, who would you choose and why?

Cujo. Because I could just sic him on anything that threatened us. On second thought, he might also attack me. So, maybe Christine? Or Pennywise? Or Arnold in Terminator 2?

  1. Which actors would you choose to play the main characters in your story?

For Yours Truly, 2095 I would have Rose Byrne play J0/Julie, Jason Bateman play Jeff, John C Reilly play Bruce, Paul Giamatti play Horace, Ellie Kemper play Rael/Rayleen, and Randy Blazak play Blazak.

  1. What is your favorite escape from day to day living?

Music. And football.

  1. What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?

I am a marketing a promotional machine. Social media presence, swag, book signings, paid advertising, blog tours, giveaways. And I believe that promotion is such a big part of the process, that I consider it “part” of the writing.

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?

Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Jean Auel, however, I only have one favorite author, but many favorite books. Stephen King is my favorite author, and I would say that his influence is all over the place in my second novel, Welcome to Parkview. In fact, some reviews of the novel on Amazon have said things like, “a great combination of Stephen King and the Twilight Zone,” and stuff like that. So I guess, reading every single King novel and short story he has ever commercially published, had some effect on my writing when I wrote that book specifically, since it is a cerebral-horror novel. Some of my favorite books include The Bell Jar, The Great Gatsby, Les Miserables, Pillars of the Earth, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Virgin Suicides. I think the emotional breakdown that happens in The Bell Jar and the constant struggle of trying to find out where you actually belong in society that is prevalent in The Great Gatsby and Breakfast at Tiffany’s comes out in all of my writing. In my book, Yours Truly, 2095, the main character wakes up over a hundred years in the future, and has to figure out his place in that time, or he might never get back.

  1. Do you know the secret to originality in writing? Would you share it?

Find a niche that isn’t saturated. Be a big fish in a small pond. The beauty of the genre I write in, is that I will always have a 2 built-in audiences: the fans of the band/album I an adapting, and then the fans of the genre that the story encompasses. For example, Yours Truly, 2095 is a time-travel romance adaptation of Electric Light Orchestra’s album “Time.” So ELO fans are buying the book, AND romance fans are buying the book. The crossover with everything I publish is always two-fold.

  1. What are you currently reading? 

I just finished “Habeas Corpseus” by PR Johnson.

  1. What do you think is the future of reading/writing?

Unedited and poorly written self-publishing novels are killing the industry for the solid, well written self published novels. I think there will be a crest and a revolt against these pieces of drivel. Right now it seems that every 14 year old can release a book into the world, but I think the consumers are going to start to make some noise and there will be some stricter standards put into place to “publish” a book.

Thank you for your time in answering our questions, Brian. We wish you much success in your future endeavors!

Book Tour: The Glass Thief by John Ryers

We are so excited to share with you John Ryers’ author debut with The Glass Thief, the first book in his Tears of Aeryeth series! Get all the details and order your copy today!

The Glass Thief

A debt is owed.

Del Kanadis–indentured thief to the King of Fires–desires freedom above all else. When given the opportunity to repay his debt with a single job, he begrudgingly accepts, believing it to be a fool’s errand. His task: infiltrate a secluded village rumoured to hold a relic capable of defeating the Fire King’s enemies.

Living amongst the townsfolk and gaining the trust of those in charge, Del quickly discovers they know more than they’re letting on, and that perhaps the relic truly does exist. Upon discovering their ultimate secret, he realizes winning his own life back could come at the cost of everyone else losing theirs.

Excerpts:

CHAPTER 1:

A debt was owed.

Four simple words and a simpler concept still, but it was the repayment of said debt that was particularly difficult for one glass thief, Del Kanadis. If it were just a matter of acquiring enough gold to satisfy the debtor, then Del wouldn’t be freezing his ass off in the middle of a moonlit cornfield right now. But as it was, it wasn’t to be settled by coin alone, but rather favours of a delicate nature. A nature that required weeks of meticulous plotting, planning and preparation. 

CHAPTER XXI:

If you could describe Uri’s home with a few words, it’d be sterile, bare and spartan. Almost militant. It reminded Del of the early days, back when he’d steal glass from the barracks and keeps of human kingdoms before the Glass Wars diminished their numbers and put the faen into power.

Nothing was out of place here. His clothes were organized into two sections: patrol Uri and magistrate Uri. Light armour and leather on the left and garish robes and ceremonial trinkets on the right. No Glass Crown.

A mouse would be hard-pressed to find a crumb of food in the kitchen. The floors were scrubbed, the table clean and polished, and the scent of citrus lingered in the air. No Glass Crown.

Upstairs was, as expected, equally tidy. Saria’s bedroom would seem chaotic compared to the order of Uri’s, and all she had was a bed and a book of poems. The sheets were pressed and fitted tight around a bed that’d hold no more than a single person. If Uri had anything going on with Renny, it sure as hell wasn’t going on here. Perhaps they rolled around on the floured floor of her bakery. An image both amusing and disturbing. No Glass Crown.

Del returned to the kitchen and grabbed a glass along with the bottle of wine beside it. He pulled the cork out with his teeth, spit it onto the floor and filled the glass, putting his feet up on the table. A small consolation for a fruitless search, but a deserved one nonetheless. He had after all saved Uri’s life.

CHAPTER XVII:

“Don’t run,” Arisee whispered.

It was like she could see the list of options scrolling through Del’s mind. Running away being at the top of the list. Screaming or soiling oneself tied for second place and wishing for a pair of loaded glasslocks came in third.

Arisee shifted her feet and crouched into some sort of exotic combat stance suggesting she’d be making a stand, and since Del’s ankle had so conveniently betrayed him on the way here, it seemed he’d be making a stand too. A weaponless, armourless, hopeless stand most likely ending in a gruesome death.

#Book The Glass Thief from emerging author @johnryers. #amreading. #TBR #read #darkfantasy… Click To Tweet

ABOUT JOHN RYERS

John is a graphic designer by day, and graphic designer by night (depending on the client), but most importantly, he’s a writer at heart. His dreams include writing for a living, experiencing virtual reality on a Matrix-esque level, and flying unaided (or possibly via really sweet jetpack).

John writes all genres but prefers Dark Fantasy over most anything else. This is due in part to the fact that he likes it the best, and because it’s awesome.

John prefers blue cheese over cheddar, cats over dogs, and will attempt to answer any question with sarcasm whether appropriate or not.

He completed his first novel The Glass Thief in 2017 and you should buy it. Or don’t. He’s not the boss of you.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

 

ABOUT YOU:

  1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:

My name is John Ryers and I write predominantly dark fantasy. I have written a few short stories in YA and Sci-Fi genres as well. I live in Ontario, Canada with my wife and twin daughters, and work as a graphic designer to pay the bills.

  1. Please provide the link to your social media:

Website: www.johnryers.com

E-mail: john.ryers@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook/com/jryers

Twitter: @johnryers

Instagram: @johnryers

  1. How many books have you written?

The Glass Thief is my first novel.

  1. Has any of your work been published yet?

I have had a couple short stories published in anthologies. You can find links to those stories on my website at: www.johnryers.com

  1. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing?

The Glass Thief will be self-published. I see advantages on both sides of the coin regarding traditional or self-publishing, but opted for self-publishing in order to control my rights, cover art, interior design and marketing strategies. As a self-publisher, I can decide the when and where of how I promote my books and that sense of control is very important to me.

  1. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I knew I wanted to be a writer from a very young age. I wrote my first story at aged six (complete with amazing (not really) crayon illustrations). It was about my hamster and his inevitable death, and so I’m entirely surprised my favourite genre to write is dark fantasy.

  1. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?

I need to tell my stories. I have to get them out of my head and onto a page. There are some I never show to anyone but myself, and some I feel have a message others might gain something from. It’s this creative form of communication that keeps me going and gets me through the days when the words are difficult to get out.

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favourite author is John Green. It’s his style of writing that I felt a connection to and his books helped me find my own narrative voice. For a while I was floundering with a lack of style and voice and it was through reading his novel A Fault In Our Stars that everything seemed to click for me, despite him not writing anything remotely close to dark fantasy.

  1. What is your preferred reading method? Why?

I like both equally, but if I had to choose, I’d pick a real book. There’s something about flipping from page to page and feeling the words in your hands that an e-reader just can’t replicate. But at the same time, I can’t keep a thousand books in my house but I can on my Kindle.

  1. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?

I prefer writing short stories in first-person past and longer works in third-person past. I’ve never really felt a connection to writing in present tense, though I’m not opposed to trying if the story would sound better using it. I also prefer writing a very close third and don’t really care to write in third-person omniscient.

  1. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books?

I don’t always read, especially when I’m deep into writing, but I can’t go too long without picking up a book (or e-reader) because I find reading other people’s stories help recharge my creativity. I’d definitely run out of writing steam if I stopped reading altogether.

  1. How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time?

I can only ever read one book at a time. When I get into a story I like, I give it my full attention, and since my reading time is limited, I’d prefer to focus a single story from start to finish and really absorb what the author is trying to say. I also find switching between stories with different narrative voices to be quite distracting.

I’m also a very slow reader, sometimes only getting a single scene in before I crash for the night. I’d say 6-7 books a year is about average these days.

 

ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK:

  1. What is the title of your current work in progress or the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?

The Glass Thief is my most recent completed manuscript. I came up with the idea in late 2012 and finished final edits in late 2016. There were a lot of lessons learned along the way with this one.

  1. What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?

My genre is Dark Fantasy, and I’ve been told I could classify it under the sub-genre of Heist/Swashbuckling Fantasy. I think my narrative style makes it a little different than the usual dark fantasy tales. It is set in the middle ages but I use anachronistic language that borders on contemporary, and I also implement technology that didn’t exist during that time period such as magical firearms and a steam-powered suit of armour in one particular scene.

  1. What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?

I think I pulled the inspiration for The Glass Thief from my own past, in that, I was a very different person a decade ago than I am today. A lesser person so to speak. The Glass Thief is a story about betrayal and redemption, and I wanted to write a story that showed no matter what your past entailed, you always have the power to set things right, if you truly want to.

  1. What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.?

I’d say my target audience would be adults. There’s some pretty dark moments in The Glass Thief, definitely not suitable for children, but as for how old I’d draw the line? Who knows. There’s so much pain and suffering in the media these days that I don’t think anything in my novel would shock a teen audience.

  1. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story?

The Glass Thief is the story of Del Kanadis, a thief who’s made a name for himself stealing elemental glass throughout his realm, but who owes a heavy debt to the King of Fires. The King of Fires is fighting his own war and requires a certain relic to defeat his enemies. He tasks Del to infiltrate the village where they believe the relic hides, and steal it. So the meat of the story is essentially Del gaining the trust of the villages to find the relic, and then royally screw them over by stealing it.

 

ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE: 

  1. How often do you write?

I write every weekday from 7am to 8 am. My writing time is very limited having 4-year-old twins to take care of at home, and so I get to work an hour early every day to get my writing in.

  1. Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting?

It really depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I can break 2,000 in that hour. Other times I’m slogging through a paragraph or two before the hour’s up.

  1. Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else?

I do as much editing on my own as I can before sending it to my beta readers. I want them to have the cleanest version they can, so they can focus on the story instead of the grammatical errors and typos. Once they’ve read it through and I’ve applied all their feedback, I’ll print it out on paper and go over each page one more time. Then my editor gets it and finds the million things I glossed over during my final pass.

  1. What is your method of writing?

I’ll start with a brief sentence or two outlining each scene I plan to write. Once I have this very rough roadmap, I’ll start writing out the scenes for a first draft. I write in order, so I can maintain the pace and flow in my head as I go. After the first draft, I’ll write a revised draft (which is the longest part) and correct all the plot holes, remove redundant or useless scenes and add more scenes where necessary. After that draft, I’ll write a third in which I add in foreshadowing and tie certain later events back to the beginning for a more organic feel. The fourth draft is after my betas get through it and the fifth and final is the polish that goes to my editor.

  1. Do you have a muse? If so, please elaborate. If not, what inspires you?

I don’t think I have a muse, unless life itself is a muse. Life inspires me all the time. Every day I see something that sparks a new story, or an addition to one I’m currently writing.

  1. How long does it take you to write a full manuscript?

Too long. [laughs even though you can’t hear it]. The Glass Thief took me 4 years to write from concept to clicking Publish. The second book in the trilogy will go a lot faster because I know my character and their world better now, and I have a valid starting point to jump off from. I predict less than 2 years for book two.

  1. Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel? If so, please elaborate.

I don’t give myself any time limits. As writers, we struggle enough with self-doubt and motivation that I feel it’s borderline cruel to impose limits like that on ourselves. I suppose a self-imposed deadline does help some, but for me, a missed deadline is something I don’t want to deal with mentally.

  1. How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?

I use simple names, despite writing fantasy. Single or double syllables put together for a pleasing rhythm when it rolls off the tongue. I love writing Fantasy but I also want it as accessible as possible to people who shy away from that genre. I’d love for more people to read Fantasy and so I want to make it easy on them if they decide to try it with my book.

  1. How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing?

Very light. I don’t write a whole lot of notes before diving in. The story is mapped out enough in my head and my 1-sentence scene outlines that it’s enough of a jumping off point for me to get the first draft out.

  1. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write?

I must have silence. I can’t write with music playing or background noises of any sort. I mean, I can, but I’m far more productive in absolute silence.

  1. Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location? If so, do you make yourself stop after a certain time?

I’m a graphic designer from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, so I always arrive at work an hour early to write. I have twin 4-year-olds at home that make writing at night a near impossibility. So once my hour at work is up, that’s usually it for the rest of the day.

  1. Does your real life ever get neglected because of your writing? If so, how do you feel about that?

My real life really only gets neglected during the final month before a book release. I have an amazing wife who supports me in this and understands that it’s only a month out of many years in which my extra time is consumed. Other than that, I always put family first and writing second.

  1. What is the quirkiest thing you do or have ever done when writing?

I’m a writer, when am I NOT quirky?

Every day I see something that sparks a new #story. @johnryers #book #author #blogtour… Click To Tweet

ABOUT YOUR WORK:

  1. If you have written more than one novel, which is your favorite and why?

I have only written one novel to date.

  1. If you could be one of your own characters for a day, who would it be and why?

I think I’d like to be Arisee Moonwater, despite her being the opposite sex. She lives in a secluded forest all to herself and gets to hang out with wildlife amongst the trees all day. Sounds relaxing to me.

  1. If one of your books became a movie, who would you choose for the “perfect cast” of main characters?

I’d actually like to see how THEY would cast my characters. I’d be very interested is seeing how my world and the people in it are interpreted through someone else’s eyes. I’d find it fascinating and would leave the casting completely up to them.

  1. What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books?

Probably how long certain poisons take to end a life. There’s a lot of herbalism in my stories and some of those herbs aren’t very nice to ingest. I wanted a variety of different types of poisonings to add authenticity to that aspect of the story. I’m sure I’m on several watch lists now.

  1. What is the most difficult thing you have ever researched for one your books and why?

I don’t think I’ve find anything I’ve ever researched to be difficult or hard to swallow. Knowledge is power, and the the more you have the better the writer you’ll be.

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