Writing and Me

NaNoWriMo 2017

book-review4

Welcome to December, folks. I’m so ready for the Christmas season. I just love it!!!!

giphy (57).gif

Anyway, back to the post. This past month has been NaNoWriMo crazy. I bet those who haven’t participated are sick of it by now. Those of you who did have a bash at it, I hope you’re happy with the results.

I made it to 11k words. Not great, but I’m okay with that. NaNo was always going to take second place to my EVO Ghost edits. I managed to finish the edit, and now, I’m prepping to send copies to my betas. Whoop!

I had a weird month in regards to my NaNo writing. I started off writing a science fiction novel, and finished writing a zombie comedy. I can safely say that I’m happy with the concepts for both, but it just wasn’t the right time for writing my science fiction story. The narrative was too serious and dark to be writing alongside the EVO Ghost edit. I needed something a little more light hearted to balance it out.

If you like Zombie Playlist, I reckon you’ll like this new one. I’ve already got a title that has well and truly stuck, but more on that in the future.

Here’s an excerpt of my Zombie novella:

“What brings you all the way to Hero Fest?” I ask.

“I used to do L.A.R.P. You know, live action role play,” she replies.

All three of us scoff.

“Of course, we know what L.A.R.P is,” Milton replies.

“Well, there was a terrible accident, and the organisers couldn’t continue. Health and safety reasons, they said.”

“What happened?”

“We used to use farmland offered by a local farmer whose son was a Warlock. The land bordered an estate house, but that was strictly out of bounds. One guy tried to scale the fencing into the estate, and well, there’s no nice way to say this… He got impaled.”

Milton, Hugh, and I gasp.

“…Up the asshole.”

“Holy Yoda.” My own clenches in sympathy.

She sighs. “You just can’t continue with an event once someone gets impaled up the asshole, can you?”


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Advertisements
EVO Ghost, Zombie Playlist

Update 29/06/17

book-review8

A lot has happened since my last update. I finished Zombie Playlist in the first week of June. Something came over me and I wrote nearly 10k in two days. As soon as the playlist was finalised, everything fell into the place. Zombie Playlist has been put away until July to give it some time to rest. I swore that I wouldn’t touch it again until the first draft of EVO Ghost was finished. I had been toying with the last 10-15k words on EVO Ghost, and it has been hard to sit down and finish. Self-doubt and worry about not doing my characters justice was to blame. I wrote through it and finished that draft at 6am this morning. That’s two finished drafts. Woohoo.

What’s Next?

EVO Ghost needs to rest, so I will start the editing of Zombie Playlist for CampNaNoWrimo in July. I have my betas waiting patiently, and will be doing an ARC reviewer request in the foreseeable future. Don’t ask me dates because I have no idea. It’s a novella, so I’m hoping for a quicker editing process. When I say things like this, my words usually come back to bite my in the butt.

I’m not going to lie, I am going to play around with book two of The Indigo Flame Series, The Red Archer. Playing around will be the extent of it for a while. It’s strange to think that once EVO Ghost and Zombie Playlist are done, The Indigo Flame series is my only series on the table. I don’t roll like that, and I have had an idea bouncing around in my brain for some months now. I can’t think of a better time to crack open a new notebook.

What Have I Been Listening to?

As I have been concentrating on the conclusion of EVO Ghost, I have been listening to a lot of empowering music. The new Little Mix song has that female strength and kickass-ness to it. It’s perfect for my MC, Teddie.

Excerpts:

Sorry, these are getting shorter and shorter. I don’t want to give anything away. Obviously, there will be no more excerpts after today’s post.

Zombie Playlist:

Once I have my old trusty in my hands, I’m back in business. “Not today, Mother Fuckers!”

EVO Ghost:

“Do you see?” I scream through tears. “Do you see me? Do you see who I have to be?”


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Thrown to The Blue

First Chapter Excerpt: Thrown to The Blue

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP(5).png

As it is Christmas, I thought I’d get in the giving spirit and give those who haven’t read Thrown to The Blue a teaser excerpt from the first chapter. Don’t say I don’t give you anything. Ha!

1Foretellings have no place for goodness, only greatness. Princess Ezrahli is far from good, but she is a great woman in a conventional Kingdom, followed by whispers and scorn. However, across the waters is un-convention, magic, and fable. Her existence has been foretold in the battle against dark magic, and destiny shall weave itself into her life because darkness cannot be fought with goodness, only greatness.

Smuggling and sorcery leads to adventure, and adventure leads to destiny. Reed is a prince of the streets, but what he lacks in title, he makes up for in skill; a skill that sets him on a path already written in fate. Can he be more than what is expected? Can he enable greatness in another and survive the process?

Vengeance is a motivator, but it can never be your friend. In the end, it will ask for sacrifice, and only the great will pay the fare.

Chapter One Excerpt:

There is about five litres of blood in the average human body and that amount covers good ground. The pool of claret stretches across the marble floor, over my bare feet, and runs down the stairs. Father was an obese man, I am unsure if fat men hold more blood than most, but I am utterly mesmerised.

I have been witness to a slaughter before now. The cow is stunned, and then the animal is cut open with the heart still beating. A waterfall of red gushes out of the beast along with a ghastly smell. It is quick, humane some may say, and effective. Father’s heart was still beating when his throat was cut, much like that animal’s, only, I felt sympathy for the cow.

I drop the knife into the sticky mess at my feet and lift my nightdress before it is spoiled. It is my favourite; hand embroidered lace imported from Jansani- a shame to ruin with that man’s blood.

Brenneth and his guards enter the vestibule below. Father’s drained body is a welcome sight for him. Although the guards look taken aback by the scene, as soon as Brenneth nods, they set to cleaning the mess; he is their King now, after all.

Their mustard coloured uniforms contrast vividly with the red. I reach out to touch the closest guard’s tunic and he springs away from me like a cat on hot coals. A show of strength is what keeps people obedient, fearful. There is nothing stronger than killing the King of Ye’Sande, one’s own father.

“Goodnight, Brother,” I say, stepping over Father and heading toward my quarters, leaving bloody footprints behind me.

“Beautiful dreams, Ezrahli,” Brenneth replies.


Thrown to The Blue is available from Amazon.

Find Thrown to The Blue on Goodreads.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

CampNaNo, Writing and Me

CampNaNo Update: Week Three

CNW_Participant

Another seven days done and dusted. It is technically the end of week three, but there are 10 days left in this month, so my next update will be once NaNo is finished.

My word count for this week is 3645 words. My writing time has suffered due to it being the end of the school term for my little one, but I have still written something at least. The last 48 hours have wielded approximately 300 words, but I’m planning on a writing slog tonight to get back on track. Thankfully, I was on fire for the first two weeks, so I only have to write 7641 words in the next 10 days- totally doable, right? I WILL do it.

morpheus

For now, here is an excerpt from this week’s writing sessions:

A hexagonal shaped room with a vaulted ceiling, which by my estimation is situated in the very centre of the castle, holds pews upon pews of indigo robed sorcerers. The way the pews line up perfectly with all six sides of the room, circling a podium in the centre, is highly pretentious, yet masterfully thought out. They rise as we enter, but I’m sure it is for Teal’s benefit and not mine. Every man present glances over my white hair and shuffles in his seat at the confirmation they’ve all been awaiting. It takes all of my will power not to smile at their awkwardness in my presence. It does not bother me in the least for I am used to making people uncomfortable. In fact, I have mastered that particular art form.

I am aware of how my gown billows out behind me, of how the clink of my heels resounds through the hall as I walk with renewed confidence, and for the first time, I wear this gown without my shawl to show my arms and back. Teal did not say a word. Oh, his eyes certainly studied the tissue like scarring, but he kept his mouth shut. Just how I like it.

“Take a good look, gentlemen,” I say, as we climb atop the podium. “Get the ogling out of the way before we get down to the serious matters. I am not sure what fascinates people the most- the crown, the white hair, or the burns?”

Teal’s mouth twitches in a smile, and I watch a room full of men blush with shame. I’ve still got it. Sometimes, I feel like I lose myself with Reed. He’s my happy place, my curative place, and rather than keeping my darkness company, he heals the cracks and shines light on the shadows. The old Ezra would never have allowed her scars to be seen, the old Ezra would never have taken pity on those poor folks in Pontisef, and the old Ezra would laugh at the mere prospect of a new Ezra. It’s time I find a healthy balance; a hint of the old with a shot of the new.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIF sourced from GIPHY.COM

Thrown to The Blue

More Thrown to The Blue Quotes

musings(1)

As I have been doing weekly CampNaNoWriMo updates, I opted against posting a WIP update. Instead, I thought I’d share some of my excerpts/quotes that I uploaded to Instagram. Thrown to The Blue is about 10k away from completion, and I hope to finish the first draft by the end of NaNo.

I’m happy to connect with other bloggers, writers, and readers via Instagram: KJ’s Insta!

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.(4)

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.(1)

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.(3)


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Thrown to The Blue

WIP Update #4

Book Review(2)

This update is going to be a little different. I have been solely working on my new WIP, Thrown to The Blue for the last few weeks, and I’m already at the half way point in the manuscript- eekkk. *Does a little author jig.*

Anyhoo, I have been sharing some quotes to Instagram and Twitter, and rather than post a single excerpt, I thought I would post all of my Insta-witter posts. Are you ready:

her guard

fashda gems

have your eyes

charlatan's trick


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman


Find me on:

Pinterest

Twitter

Author Interviews

Author Interview: Phil Price

trés cool

author interview. p. price- horror genreToday, I get to welcome author, Phil Price to my little ol’ blog. Phil self published his first book, Unknown, in 2015. Unknown is a tale of vampires, other worlds, and blood harvesting. I was lucky to get a copy of Unknown during a free promotion, and you can read my review  here.

I love a chance to interview indie authors and gain a little insight into their lives as writers, publishers, marketers, and all that goes with self publishing, so I jumped at the opportunity to interview Phil. Not only that, I’m a sucker for a good horror story and haven’t interviewed a single horror author to date. But right here, right now, that will be rectified.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the mind of Phil Price…

Your debut novel, Unknown, has been described as a new spin on the traditional vampire novel. Can you describe Unknown in ten words or less?

Man finds a doorway to another world, filled with vampires.

You write in many POVs and in many eras. Would you pick your favourite character and give us a little insight into their mindset?

I guess I’d go for the main protagonist, Jake. He’s a young man who has lost his wife and daughter in a hit and run. He quits the police force because the system has failed his family and he feels he can no longer protect the innocent. When he discovers unexplained abductions, he is suddenly swept along by a tide of events, almost glad that his mundane existence has taken a turn for the interesting. He is searching, although he’s not sure for what exactly.

I always offer authors a chance to showcase an excerpt from their work. Would you care to share a snippet from Unknown? Give the readers a taste of what they are missing.

My pleasure: Excerpt from Unknown by Phil Price

Have you always had a love for the horror genre, and what inspires you to write in that genre?

I wanted to draw people into the book, hopefully giving them a fright or raising the hairs on the backs of their necks. I love reading books of this genre, which started when I picked up my first copy of Salem’s Lot. People want to be scared. They want to think about what goes bump in the night. The thought of something evil and supernatural just gets my juices flowing. I was haunted for years by the vision of Mr.Barlow. Even now he gives me the willies. We live in a world full of gadgets, reality TV, and celebrity. It’s nice to read about things that lurk in the shadows, out of sight.

Are you interested in writing in other genres? Can we expect a release in the future?

I’ve got a sci-fi book currently on ice. I started it last year, but wanted to concentrate on finishing Unknown and starting the sequel. I hope to release it next year (fingers crossed). It is similar to Unknown whilst being different, if that makes sense. It will take readers to the far corners of the cosmos, with all kinds of cool stuff like wormholes, warp drives, and weird aliens. I just need to get my Star Wars/ Star Trek head on.

Why did you choose the self-publishing route? Any good or bad experiences you’d care to share?

Money. This is a guilty hobby and I couldn’t justify spending lots of money on getting published. So, I opted for the ‘indie’ route. Maybe I will choose a different way next time. I’ve had mainly good experiences so far. Nothing really negative. I had no expectations when I released Unknown. So, any experiences are good ones, which will help me next time perhaps. I’ve also met many great indie authors. Some great people who are truly talented. It’s great to read books by folk who give everything to their story. People like that inspire me to write. I’ve made some firm friends so far. Happy days!

Some writers find the idea of self-publishing a daunting one. Do you have any advice for writers who may be comtemplating self-publishing their work?

Get a friend to read it in draft form. Let them give you honest feedback. Also, get it proof read and formatted professionally. A big piece of advice for any aspiring indie, is to get themselves set up on social media well before the book comes out. I didn’t, and am now playing catch-up. Twitter, Facebook, author pages, Goodreads, blogs etc, are a great way to build a network of followers before the book comes out.

What is next for Phil Price?

Well, aside from my busy family and work life, I hoping to release the sequel to Unknown later this year. Then, maybe the sci-fi book (Zoo) next year. I have another book in the back storeroom of my brain. It will be neither horror nor sci-fi. It will be based loosely on a high profile news story of the last twenty years. It will be very dark. I can say no more than that at present. You will have to watch this space.

Thank you to Phil for joining me today!


Connect with Phil on:

Twitter

Goodreads

Instagram


For use of content in this post, please seek permission from the author, Phil Price.

Author Interviews

Author Interview: Sarina Langer

trés cool

sarinaOn Monday, Sarina Langer released her debut novel, Rise of the Sparrows. I was lucky enough to be a beta reader for Sarina, and can honestly say that it was a gripping, well written, captivating read. You can check out my review here.

And guess what? Sarina has stopped by my little ol’ blog on her week long blog tour! I’m thrilled to welcome Sarina to my blog today, to throw some questions at her, and get an insight into the life of the newly published author.

Firstly, congratulations on the release of your first book! Is there a particular experience, good or bad, that has stuck out for you in the drafting or publication of your debut?

There are several things which I enjoyed, like writing the first draft, doing the research, and even editing! The writing community both here on WordPress and on Twitter (or more recently on Instagram) has been amazing and incredibly welcoming. The only thing that has stuck out negatively is formatting my novel for Createspace and Amazon KDP. There were no issues with either- Createspace have responded to everything very quickly and were much faster than I expected! – But formatting anything in Open Office has proven to be a huge pain. I’ve made notes, so hopefully it’ll be a little easier next time.

Would you share your writing routine with us? Are a scheduler or an ‘as and when’ type of writer?

My writing routine is relaxed and forgiving compared to my editing routine. I usually write for roughly one hour to ninety minutes every day (apart from weekends- I take those off), which tends to result in anything between 1k and 3k words, sometimes (rarely) even more than that! If you’re not a writer you might not realise how many other things are involved. We don’t just write- we do research, we have to name people, places, maybe different magics and towns and complicated systems, and we have entire worlds to create from nothing. So, while I’m not writing every free minute I get, I do these other things which also progress the novel. My mornings are quite varied because of it.

What has been the most rewarding part of publishing your novel?

I write for myself- and I think every writer should- but I do want to inspire other people with my writing. Whether my writing inspires them to write themselves, improve their writing, or to do something else entirely doesn’t matter. Every time someone tells me that my writing makes them want to write or do something, I know I’ve done well, and that’s a very rewarding feeling.

What were your reasons for choosing the self-publishing route?

I am a control freak to a personal extent, and didn’t want to give up control over important aspects of my book, such as the cover design. It’s my business, my baby, and I want to be the one who makes all the big decisions. To be honest, I did want to go the traditional way when I started writing Rise of the Sparrows, but I thought that if I published a trilogy by myself first and did it well, my chances of getting a great agent and publishing deal would improve! A year later, and I’m not so sure anymore that I want an agent or traditional publisher. I like being in charge. This is my book, and I will work my butt off to make it work.

Can you describe Rise of the Sparrows in ten words of less? A quick summary for anyone thinking of purchasing your novel.

Oh my! Let me think…

Misjudgements, swords and daggers, magic, prophecy, trust issues, demons, prejudices and death. (You weren’t hoping for one sentence, right?)

I’m going to name three characters and I would love for you to describe them in just three words.

Rachaelsurvivor, paranoid, and defensive.

Cephyyoung, naive, and pyromancer.

Cale- strong, fiercely loyal (we’ll treat that as one, shan’t we?), and protective.

Would you share an excerpt from Rise of the Sparrows, pretty please?

This is a moment from the first chapter, where we first meet Rachael. Two men have come to rape her, and I think it shows nicely that she can defend herself when necessary, despite being homeless and malnourished. She maybe tired, hungry, and weak, but she can kick as if her life depends on it!

Rise of the Sparrows Excerpt

What is next for Sarina Langer?

I’m working on two novels at the moment- the sequel to Rise fo the Sparrows and a scifi novel, which is a bit of an experiment for me. I’ve never written two books at once and I’ve never written scifi either, so it’s a learning curve for me. But it’s an interesting and fun learning curve, and I’m enjoying all the new research I get to do! ( The end of the world, anyone? Multiple universe theory, anyone?)

Do you have any parting advice for unpublished writers out there?

A lot of people will love your writing, but a lot of other people won’t. That’s fine. You can’t please everyone, and that’s perfectly alright. Whether your first book does well or fails, you write another. And maybe make a note of some of that awesome feedback you get along the way- it will cheer you up when you get a bad review!

Thank you, Sarina for stopping by today, and I wish you every success with the blog tour and your debut novel!


Buy Rise of the Sparrows: here.

Find Sarina on:

Twitter

WordPress: Cookie Break

Facebook

Goodreads


Permission to use excerpts, quotations, or content must be sought from the author, Sarina Langer.

100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

WIP Update #3

Book Review(2)

I have been holding off with this update because I didn’t feel that I had much to report, but I thought I could still ‘update’ you on my lack of motivation. However, when I started thinking about this update I realised that a lot has happened slowly but surely.

Two WIPs!

I kept being drawn into a new idea (one I blogged about before), and it took my attention away from EVO Ghost. So, I decided to start drafting both. I like to make more work for myself *hehe*.

07a33b391bef10556ac64d9a03508f0e

New WIP:

My new WIP is a fantasy with two POVS- Princess Ezrahli, and a skilled archer named Reed. I wrote 12k words of the draft in just Ezrahli’s POV, and got stuck with how to progress the narrative with the sub-story that she is to become a huge part of. Once I started writing from Reed’s POV, I knew that his narration was equally important, and went back and added/ rewrote chapters.

I have been calling this WIP ‘Thrown to The Blue’ because of an important act that is necessary for witches to have their magic awakened. The title may change, but it is kind of stuck in my head for the time being. I’m unsure if this will be a series or not, but only time will tell. I like the idea of a stand alone book.

Current Word Count: 15,470 words

Excerpt from Thrown to The Blue:

“I wanted to understand, is all.”

“And what is it you think you understand, archer?”

“A lot. I am sorry for you, Princess.”

“I don’t need your pity!” I scream. How dare he? “I am not to be pitied!”

The guards bang on the door at my outburst, throwing it open and almost breaking its hinges. The thunder of feet race through my chambers, and the archer throws himself from the balcony, effortlessly scaling the building like an animal of the night.

“Your Majesty,” shouts a guard, gripping my forearm forcefully. I stare at him in a moments confusion, and then tear my arm from his hold. “Princess?”

“I’m fine. It was just a dream. Get out! All of you get out!” He eyes my wrist, and I pull my sleeve down fully. “I could have your eyes removed from your skull if I wished.”

He averts his gaze, bowing low to the ground. “My apologies, Your Majesty.” He backs away without any further eye contact, ushering the other guards with him.

Quinn slips into the room, rushing to my side as I lie on the bed. He wears a simple negligée, showcasing smooth legs to rival any woman’s. “Was it another dream, Ezra?”

I want to tell him of the archer- of how both he and the guard saw more of the real me today than anyone save him. Even Brenneth has never seen them since I was a child. The words won’t form in my mouth. I feel like there is a mystery to the caped man that I’m the only one privy too, and that interests me more than it should.

“Yes, just another dream,” I say, choosing to keep the encounter to myself. “Tell me a story, Quinn. One of the tales your mother would tell you.”

Lying beside me on the bed, Quinn plays with my hair and recites a renowned story about a Queen who fell in love with a poor man with nothing to his name but an enchanted bow and arrow.

EVO Ghost:

I think I’ve been enjoying getting to know the new characters a little too much and EVO Ghost has suffered because of it. That being said, I have decided on a time jump of about three to four months. Just getting everything in place for that jump has been a slog, but I’m confident it will work out well.  Yesterday, I had a plot twist idea that needs to simmer a little longer in my head. I haven’t even written it down because I want to see where my mind goes with it- if anywhere. It’s a fragile one that has to be handled with care- a ‘this could go amazingly right or drastically wrong’ idea, but that alone makes me keen. Go big or go home, right?

Current Word Count: 23,673 words

Excerpt from EVO Ghost:

Rafe retrieves a laptop from his bed, sits on the pristine, army style sheets, and gestures for me to sit beside him. “Things have stepped up a gear since the rally. What has it been- eight days? I can’t fully believe it myself.” He hands me the laptop, presses play, and gets up to leave, taking the others with him. “Come and find me when you’re done.”

A news broadcast, dated two days ago, plays as smoke billows from a high rise building. People run from the building, clutching infants, carrying injured people, and some throw themselves to the ground in an attempt to put out the flames that engulf their clothes. The news reporter can’t be heard over the noise, but he comes into view, and gestures for the camera to swing to the right.

Soldiers and military vehicles fill the area to the right of the burning building. Every person who rushes out of the flames is restrained by soldiers and tested with a kinetic reader and a swab. Injured men and women are cuffed and thrown forcefully into the back of large trucks with guns trained on their heads; none are offered medical treatment. Screaming kids are bundled into separate trucks from the adults. They look so terrified.

“I thought this was an E.N.C attack,” says the reporter to the camera man, the carnage making him oblivious to the camera still rolling. “I don’t understand this.”

“It’s a flush,” shouts a bloodied man, running passed them at speed. The reporter grabs his arm, almost whipping him off of his feet.

“Can you tell us more about—”

“I’m EVO. We’re all EVO. I need to get away from here,” the man shouts, trying to free himself. “This is a flush. The E.N.C have been protecting us here. The government bombed the building to flush us out. There are children inside. There are kids in there and they still bombed us! Let me go!” He frees himself and races off between buildings.

The reporter just stares at the camera. “It appears this is a government orchestrated attack against EVO. We do not have facts, but… hell, I don’t know what this is.” He pushes the camera aside. “Come on, man. Let’s get out of here.”

I think I have been generous with the long excerpts, but I hope that makes up for my lack of updates.

God knows when my next update will be, but if I have anything to report, I will do.


All content is the property of KJ.Chapman

Image sourced from CraftaholicsAnonymous.net

Author Interviews

Author Interview: J.M.Bush

trés cool

jm bushA few weeks ago, I received a book review request email from someone unknown to me- J.M.Bush. After finding me on Twitter, and noticing I do book reviews, he sent me a personality packed email, and a request to read a free copy of his novel, Storm in Shanghai, for review. I agreed, and guess what? I’m so glad I did. Check out my review: Storm in Shanghai review.

Since the review, I have contacted J.M.Bush to see if he’d like to be a guest on my blog, and he agreed- yay! Today’s the day that I get to welcome him to my blog and introduce him to you lovely lot.

Storm in Shanghai is a fantasy novel set in present day, Shanghai. What inspired the narrative, and is fantasy your go to genre?

The story was inspired by my time living in Shanghai, China from 2011-2015. My wife was working at an international school, and I had given up my job in America as Claim Processor for State Farm Insurance to become a stay-at-home Dad as I was not allowed to work in China. Having been a musician for the past 20 years, playing in several different punk bands, I ended up forming a band in Shanghai. We played a lot, toured around China, released two albums, and were featured on National Chinese news to 1.5 billion viewers, so I had this kind of double life while living there. During the day I was a stay-at-home Dad, but at night I lived the life of a punk rock star, and those two lives had very little to do with one another. When I decided to write the book, I took that idea and wove magic into it because, yes, fantasy (and to a lesser degree) sci-fi are my go to genres.

How has living in China helped you with the drafting of Storm in Shanghai? It must have had great influence over your work.

I left China in 2015, and me and the family now live in Penang, Malaysia. The sequel to Storm in Shanghai will take place here; I made sure to set that up in the book! But my time in Shanghai absolutely helped with the sculpting of my book. In fact, many of the characters from the novel are based on the people from the Shanghai punk rock scene. On my facebook page I have recently been doing a character inspiration series, where I introduce the real life versions of the characters from the book.

Character development is an important feature in your novel. Could you describe your main character in 10 words or less?

Family man, mage, fast, son, selfless, funny, insubordinate, leader, hungry. Haha, I hope that wasn’t meant to be a complete sentence, If so, I totally cheated.

What experience, good or bad, stands out for you in the drafting or publishing process of your novel?

In drafting the novel, I learned that you’re not always as good as you think you are. After beta-reads, I recieved some harsh criticism. The story was good, but the book was to ‘explain-y’ one reader told me. He begged me to show him and not tell him why the characters were doing what they were doing, especially the Maelstrom. So, I went back and did several rewrites, which is where the flashback chapters came from for both Jaret and the Maelstrom. This really improved the way the book read as now you could follow both of the characters from their youth until the present day, and see their motivations for the wonderful or terrible things they have done. It was a great lesson- get multiple opinions and listen to your readers.

In the publishing arena, I learned that there are millions of people trying to do what I’m doing. They all want to get published and many of them write better than I do, write stories with more marketability than I do, or know the right people. After a year of queries, I had two full requests on this book. After a couple of months each, they passed. I had many partial requests, but those never panned out either. So, I made the decision to self publish. Many people think that self publishing your first novel is a mistake. They say that your first book probably isn’t good enough to publish. They say to just keep writing. But others, like Hugh Howey, say publish it. Self publish as many books as you can. Just keep writing. I prefer that advice.

What is your writing process? Structured or ‘as and when’? Plotter or pantser?

I come up with an idea, and sometimes jot down notes so as not to forget them. But when it comes time to write, I just sit down and let my fingers do the talking. I’ve explained it before like this- there is a movie playing in my mind as I write and I just type what is happening as fast as I can. I never pause to consider motivations or if this makes any sense. I just type as fast as I can to keep up with that movie in my head. The details got sorted out in editing and rewrites.

What advice would you give to an aspiring fantasy author? Is there anything you have learnt from your journey that you didn’t know when you set out?

Write something else, something that will sell. Hahaha! No, but seriously, some people will tell you to write what you want to read, and other people will tell you to write something marketable. My advice is do whatever makes you happy. If you want money, write with marketability in mind. If you have stories in your head and you want them out, write those. If you want to read a book about six dogs that can turn into cars and know karate, please write that… I want to read it.

Would you like to share a small excerpt from Storm in Shanghai? Pretty please…

Storm In Shanghai Excerpt

What is next for J.M.Bush?

Keep writing! As much as possible. The family is in talks to return to America in late 2017, but nothing is final, yet.

Here’s your chance to pitch other books or upcoming works.

I have two manuscripts currently being edited and a third being written. One is a sci-fi lovestory set in my hometown in Alabama, and taking place in the not too distant future. The second one is a mixed genre fantasy/sci fi where in ancient times, human magic users from Earth travelled through time and space on wooden ships to arrive on a planet full of dwarves. Space travel, axes and hammers, magic, and same sex relationship between the two main characters… a dwarven warrior and a dwarven sorcerer. The third book is a non-fiction collection of the articles I have been writing about my international travels. Also, I have recently committed myself to participating in a 100 day project, where I will write one short story for 100 days. I’ll be posting them all on my Wattpad. Oh, and it’s about dwarves. I’m a big fan of the short yet sturdy race that lives under the mountain.

Thank you to JM.Bush for joining me today!


Get your copy of Storm in Shanghai from Amazon today!

Find JM. Bush on

Goodreads.

Facebook

Twitter

Wattpad

Amazon

Website


Permission to use any excerpts, quotations, or content must be sought from the author, JM.Bush.