Author Talk with J.E. Reed

Running_With_the_Wolves_JE_Reed

Recently, I had the chance to interview BHC author of Running with the Wolves, J.E. Reed. Here’s what she had to say. 

How long have you actually considered yourself a writer in a professional sense and was there a defining moment or a gradual process that gave you that distinction?

 

I don’t think I considered myself a writer until I sent my final draft of Running with the Wolves to my publisher. There’s just something about not being able to work on your manuscript anymore that settles the feeling in. Even though I’m published, I’m still waiting on that “ah ha, I did it feeling.” I don’t think it’s set in because in my mind I’m still on the adventure with Kiuno in books two and three.

 

That’s interesting. There’s more work to be done. This, Running with the Wolves, is your debut novel, and it’s a doozy. What was your inspiration behind the Chronopoint Chronicles?

 

I’m an online gamer and thus I wanted to write a book that revolved around a created world. However, I didn’t want to do what’s all ready been done in the sense that the world is virtual. I wanted the stakes to be high and the experiences to be very real, thus the Chronopoint Chronicles was born. Interestingly enough, many of my characters were taken from my perception of people I knew in the gaming world.

 

That makes sense. Write what you know. What is it that drew you to the fantasy sci-fi genre? Do you see yourself writing in another genre in the future?

 

I adore fantasy. It lets readers escape to a whole new world with a different set of rules and possibilities. I see myself diving into romance (clean) a bit, but even those ideas are centred around fantasy elements with lots of action and adventure.

 

I can see that in your work, even the romance part, the passion. What motivates you to write, and what has been a stumbling block that you have overcome or are overcoming?

 

I write for the characters. I love exploring personalities and pushing their limits. The world building and obstacles come as needed. Because of this, I often don’t outline, which can make the process of writing a little longer as I figure out what the characters will face and obstacles they will overcome.

 

Yeah, those characters tend to have a mind of their own, seriously. What are your views on the different avenues of publishing i.e. self-publishing, indie-publishing, hybrid publishing, traditional publishing etc.?

 

I think people should publish the way they feel comfortable. I don’t have any negative things to say about any of the avenues as long as they are done correctly. For example, if you’re going to self-publish then take the time to hire a good editor. If you want to traditionally publish then research a good agent to represent you. Each method has many pros and cons and I did my research on each before choosing. I anticipate trying other routes in the future just to satisfy my curiosity on the process.

 

That’s good information and sound advice, I’d say. What are some of your favorite novels and authors and why?

 

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I fell in love with Eragon and followed the release of each book as they came out. The characters are what did it for me. I always say if a book can move me, then it’s worth five stars and this series definitely did. (Now if only they would properly redo the movie)

 

As a child and teenager, I remember loving the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and anything under the Dragon Lance series. (there’s a lot.)

 

Haha on the movie. Some of these film adaptations are cringe-worthy at best. And you can’t miss with HP. Nowadays it doesn’t matter how you’re published, and even with a great publisher like BHC, to some degree, you are also acting as your own PR and marketing team. How are you finding that process? Were you prepared for it when you began your journey as an author? What would you tell other authors who find this side of things intimidating and/or undignified?

 

Was I prepared? No. I thought I was, but I was actually prepared for a self-published book marketing strategy. Many of the avenues I had planned to pursue require the complete ownership of rights and having control over main platforms. Since my publisher holds most of that, I’ve been forced to create a new strategy. Yes, I’ve found this challenging, but if things like this were easy then everyone would do it. I like a challenge and set aside time every week to look at new avenues I can take in promoting my series. I’d tell other writers to do your research and stalk your fellow authors. I promise they won’t mind. Chances are, they’ve found things that you can tap into and help your progress. Research, research, research.

 

SMART!!! I see you all over social media and at the different brick and mortar book stores, including big Barnes & Noble selling Running with the Wolves and meeting your fans. How has that process been?

 

Odd. It still hasn’t sunk in that my book is published, but as I said before, I think it’s due to my brain still creating the adventure. As far as meeting people, the experience has been exciting and made me nervous at the same time. This isn’t my first business so I’m familiar with interacting with the public, but a book is a lot more personal than anything I’ve ever done.

 

Not your first business, eh! Interesting. Tell us all about Kiuno, including what percentage of her is actually your alter-ego.

 

I’d venture to say a large part of Kiuno is my alter ego and perhaps parts of my current self. I’ve had readers tell me they can see me reacting to situations the way she did. I like to write by experience and a lot of things I’ve experienced went into this book. Kiuno is a twenty-three-year-old married woman. She works in a library and enjoys painting landscapes. (Take note that I can’t paint) In Running with the Wolves Kiuno often comments on the beauty of the created world. Her biggest fears are abandonment and loneliness or being forced to live a life she doesn’t want. (Mine as well) She enjoys almost any outdoor activity such as camping and hiking and has even experimented with survival techniques out of curiosity. (thank goodness too.) Kiuno is not her real name. It is a surrogate name she uses for online gaming to keep her real identity hidden.

 

Kiuno is smart and caring and these qualities lead her to making friends easy. She likes to help people and is quick to blame herself when something goes wrong rather than logically looking at the situation. Her emotions control a lot of her actions which gets her in trouble from time to time.

 

That’s great insight on your Kiuno and you. I’ll have to come back to this before I read the next book in your series. What can we expect from you next, and when will the next Chronopoint Chronicles book drop?

 

Currently, I’m editing book two and it is expected to go to my editor at the end of September. I hope to have it in my publisher’s hands by November, but we’ll see if the characters give me any hiccups. The third book will be underway soon and I have ideas for an eight-part series to follow. It will not be connected to The Chronopoint Chronicles.

 

Wow! Sounds pretty intense. Tell us something different and unique about J.E. Reed that you haven’t said in any other interview.

 

I’ve studied practical Martial Arts (on and off) for a few years. This helped me write the battle scenes in Running with the Wolves. I wanted most of them to be realistic and employed my husband to help me act out some of the moves. I even had my editor comment that Kiuno might be too advanced in the book, but if you were in a society where there was nothing else to do but gather food and work out, progression would be a lot faster. (What else are you going to do when you’re bored?)

 

Let me add that I am by no means an expert in Martial Arts. There is still a lot to learn and by this point Kiuno is far more advanced than myself. I’d probably die in a sword fight. (I’ve been cut three times when friends and I got a little too daring.)

 

Yikes! You sound pretty fierce to me. Well, where has the time gone. Thank you, J.E. for sharing. I’m sure our readers got to know more about you and your work. I know I did. We look forward to the next book in The Chronopoint Chronicles and beyond.

 

If you haven’t read Running with the Wolves, you really need to check it out. Kiuno is a character that rocks. She is sure, decisive, and definitely badass. To check out the book and find out more about J.E. Reed, click on the links below.

 

JDW

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Author Talk with J.W. Garrett

Recently, I had the chance to interview BHC author of Remeon’s Destiny, J.W. Garrett. Here’s what she had to say.

 

How long have you actually considered yourself a writer in a professional sense and was there a defining moment or a gradual process that gave you that distinction?

Although I believed her back in elementary school when my teacher confirmed that I was indeed a writer, it wasn’t until much later that it was confirmed professionally. I had some work published in college, but my 1st piece of published fiction was a short story in 2016. I would say though, that I consider it a gradual process as we as writers grow into the words we write.

Ooh, we grow into the words we write. I love it, and teachers can have such an impact. This, Remeon’s Destiny, is your debut novel, and quite a unique one I might add. What was your inspiration behind the first book in the Realms of Chaos series?

I grew up in the mountains of Virginia, so I guess it’s not surprising that I chose that backdrop for my novel.  My inspiration for the main character Thomas was my father. But through his development throughout the novel, Thomas definitely becomes his own unique character.

Yeah, I can see that. Soon or later, characters tend to find their own way. What is it that drew you to the fantasy sci-fi genre? Do you see yourself writing in another genre in the future?

I read fantasy and science fiction as a kid and was drawn to its unique characters, settings, and plot – so much less predictable than other genres. I love speculative fiction so I’ve also dabbled in horror as well. I enjoy historical romances, so I could see myself writing a romance or two with a dash of time travel mixed in.

Yesss! Can’t miss with time travel. What motivates you to write, and what has been a stumbling block that you have overcome or are overcoming?

The developing story and the characters all compel me to write. I’ve not found motivation to be a problem. The stumbling block has been trying to turn it off at times. Finding a structure to conform writing within, as well as my characters, has been an ongoing challenge.

So, it’s all about holding J.W. back a bit, not a bad problem to have, I’d say. What are your views on the different avenues of publishing i.e. self-publishing, indie-publishing, hybrid publishing, traditional publishing etc.?

There are more opportunities than ever before out there, but also, it’s extremely competitive. Start with researching the basic models: self-publishing, traditional and hybrid. Determine what works for your individual scenario and then pursue it with a passion. With changes in the publishing landscape happening so fast writers must continually re-evaluate and adapt to make sure they are still on target with their own personal goals. More and more I think we’ll see the lines blur between self-published authors, traditional and hybrid.  All are fighting to keep market share as this business continues to shift and evolve to meet today’s market needs for the reader.

Monster answer! What are some of your favorite novels and authors and why?

First, The Hobbit, since it was the novel that opened my world to fantasy. Tolkien is, of course, a master. The Earthsea series by Ursula LeGuin introduced me to her talents when I was a teenager, and I haven’t looked back since. Her insights into humanity are profound and never-ending. Jean Auel and her Earth’s Children Series, beginning with the Clan of the Cave Bear has been a lifelong love of mine. The Outlander series is another one of my favorites. Diana Gabaldon gives her characters such emotional depth there’s no way you won’t come back for more.

Love the Outlander series. Nowadays it doesn’t matter how you’re published, and even with a great publisher like BHC, to some degree, you are also acting as your own PR and marketing team. How are you finding that process? Were you prepared for it when you began your journey as an author? What would you tell other authors who find this side of things intimidating and/or undignified?

I’m still navigating these waters. I’m not sure you can be prepared without going through it. I find I’m learning new things every day, which is great. What I wasn’t prepared for was the seemingly endless traffic of internet noise attempting to vie for my marketing dollar. That is difficult to sift through, and before you know it you can waste hours and hours of time with no redeeming benefit or value for that time spent.

True story! One of the things I really like about Remeon’s Destiny is the Juxtaposition of settings, from a rural Virginia town to an off-planet world, light years away, and the inclusion of the historic 1947 was genius. Tell us how all of that came about.

The story has been brewing in my head for decades. I just kept putting off writing it down, searching for the “perfect” time. And as I mentioned above, rural Virginia has a solid place in my personal history. I spent many carefree summer days on my grandparents’ farm soaking up the family stories and learning some of the inner-workings of farming life. History intrigues me, especially its circular nature. So I enjoy mixing the past with the future and melding those influences.

I’m big on characters in story, and you have quite a few powerful ones. From Thomas to Arista to Whisterly (awesome names) to Simon, you go hard with character. What did you draw on to draft such powerful souls, and which one most reflects your own personality and in what ways?

Initially, I typically start with traits of individuals I know. But as the story and characters develop they morph into their own unique personas. I love how that happens! If I had to pick one character, probably Arista most reflects my own personality. Her determination and drive are traits I see in myself, but also her short-sightedness and lack of focus I can identify with as well.

I must say you did a masterful job of making this novel stand alone in a big way, no nagging cliff-hangers. But when I heard this was a series I was elated. What can we expect next from J.W. Garrett overall, and when will the next Realms of Chaos book drop?

You can expect more books!! I don’t have a date as yet though, beyond 2019.

Tell us something different and unique about J.W. that you haven’t said in any other interview.

Let’s see…. I share my love of writing with my father. I didn’t learn that fact until I was in college. It’s always amazed me since, that when we spoke of poetry and other writings we had in the works that we had a special bond and I didn’t realize it. He was creative in many other areas, music specifically. His attempt to share that talent of his with me didn’t go so well. And after him trying multiple instruments in my hands he settled on the ukulele, which I dutifully and painstakingly learned to play. And when I had the first opportunity, subsequently quit playing. However, he reached his goal. I did play music with him on many occasions. Now, thinking back, I cherish those memories.

Beautiful!!! Thank you so much, J.W. for sharing. It’s been fun, revealing, and stimulating. We look forward to your next efforts.

Since this interview, I’ve heard from J.W., and I’m pleased to write that the second book in her Realms of Chaos series is set to publish, June 2019. So, that gives you plenty of time to grab the first book, Remeon’s Destiny and experience the magic. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I’ve included the links below to assist in that process. Ciao! 

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