Today we have a guest blogger with us, author Terron James. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about him and his debut novel Insight, which will be available June 1st, 2013 by Jolly Fish Press. This is the first installment of four in the Beholders series. This book has the best twist at the end! I promise you’ll be wishing he had them all done so you could know how it ends. Enjoy!
Dumbledore or Gandalf? GANDALF! This is a no brainer! They both died, but when Gandalf died, he killed his opponent first, then he came back from the dead and led an entire nation to victory. All Dumbledore did was give a little advice with a mangled slimeball crawling around under his feet.
Twizzlers or Red Vines? Twizzlers for sure! They taste better, and have you ever slipped a Red Vine into your Coke can? Violent Mentos reaction! I don’t know what movie theaters are thinking, serving coke products with Red Vines. They’re all asking for a law suit.
Tell us about your writing space. Do you prefer a laptop or desktop? Couch/chair or desk? Most of my writing has been done on a laptop, in whatever quiet place I can find (college, library, bus, breakroom, etc.). Nowadays it’s usually in the front room, with the laptop, on the red couch. But I dream of the day that brings me my own private in-home office.
Finish this sentence: If you like to read __________ then you’ll like my books. Everyone wants to say, “If you like to read anything then you’ll like my books!” Although I hope that’s the case, I’ll try to pinpoint a more finite answer. I was inspired by Lord of the Rings and The Inheritance Cycle (Eragon), but I hope my writing is better than Paolini’s (I am fifteen years older with a college degree in creative writing, after all) and much less cumbersome than Lord of the Rings. Think fast-paced, action packed, with magic that has never been unveiled before now. As many of my readers say, “INSIGHT is a fantasy novel for people who hate fantasy novels.”
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to? Absolutely! Wordless movie and video game soundtracks are the only way to go, especially when composed by Harry Gregson-Williams. I think I wrote half of INSIGHT while listening to the soundtracks of The Chronicles of Narnia and Halo ODST.
What authors do you read in fantasy? My all-time favorite is Tolkien, but I’ll read whatever I can get my hands on.
What inspired you to write The Beholder series? From roughly 2006 to 2008, I had an unquenchable desire for a very specific type of fantasy novel. I hunted and hunted, but couldn’t find it (and at that point, I didn’t even know what “it” was). One night, while reading The Return of the King, I became especially frustrated with Gandalf’s undefined magic. He could beat down a Balrog, but couldn’t manage other life-threatening tasks that were significantly less difficult. I was fed up with asking questions like, “Why didn’t he just…?” I slammed my book shut, tossed it aside, and said to my wife, “I can’t take this anymore! If I can’t find what I’m looking for, I’m going to write it myself!”
That’s how I started writing , but once I jumped into The Beholders Series, I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to inspire people to love literature. As a child who grew up hating reading, this was especially important to me. Non-readers don’t know what they’re missing! I wanted to write something that was equally simple and complicated, something that could be enjoyed at the reader’s level, be it 4th grade or collegiate. I believe INSIGHT lives up to the task.
World building to me seems so daunting. Can you tell us the process you went through to build Appernysia? I’ve often said that I picked the most difficult style of book to write when I chose to create a high fantasy novel series. You’re right, world building is extremely difficult. I spent four months building it before I even started writing the story. I began first with creating True Sight, the magic system in The Beholders Series. Once that was finalized, everything else fell into place. I don’t mean to make it sound like it was easy, because it wasn’t, but thankfully, God blessed me with obsessiveness. I have notebooks full of diagrams, sketches, and notes that are constantly being modified. The hardest part of all was learning the “Iceberg Effect” of writing. I wrote a blog post about it in January of 2013 (http://terronjames.blogspot.
Introduce us to the main characters. Lon and Mellai are two of the main characters in INSIGHT. They are twin siblings, 17 years old, and living in the small village of Pree. Although connected through an inexplicable emotional bond that allows them to feel each other’s emotions, their personalities are worlds apart. Through no choice of his own, Lon becomes the first Beholder in over twelve-hundred years.
What are five words you would use to describe Lon? Mellai?
Lon – burdened, confused, caring, swordmaster, leader
Mellai – headstrong, sassy, witty, intuitive, courageous
What is a Beholder? Beholders are wielders of the magic, True Sight, which enables them to see the world’s energy and manipulate it to their will. When using their power, a Beholder’s eyes will cloud over, like the moon trying to force its way through a thin layer of clouds.
What is a Rayder? Rayders are the enemies of Appernysia. They were banished at the end of the First Age for betraying their king and assassinating all Beholders. At the beginning of INSIGHT, the Rayders are frantically searching across Appernysia for the rumored Beholder, someone who might give them the power to claim what is rightfully theirs; their homeland, Taeja.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you have play the main characters? Considering the fact that I know very little about actors/actresses, I’m not sure. But they would be directed by renowned director. I’ve seen too many novels destroyed by terrible movies. I won’t allow INSIGHT to be made into a movie until it can be done right.
I know it may be too soon to tell us, but what can we expect from book 2 in the series? New powers, new politics, new deaths, new leaders, new love, and new battles. Oh, and a significant increase in the roles of Mellai and Kaylen. Because most people haven’t read INSIGHT at this point, it would be fruitless to share anything more. Ask me again in six months. 🙂
How has social media helped you to reach/retain your readers and fan base? Any words of advice? It’s a fantastic, inexpensive way of connecting with fans all over the world, but it is also a time leech. To twist Bilbo Baggin’s words, “It’s a tricky business, using facebook and twitter. If you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Meanwhile, you’re real life is still locked up, unattended, back at Bag End. I’m still trying to find a balance.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? Making time to write. Last I heard, the average author makes about $7,000 a year, so the chance that an author will be able to write full-time is highly unlikely. If I want to write, I have to make the time. I can’t wait for a time when it’s convenient, because as a junior high English teacher with a dependent wife and four very energetic boys, that time just isn’t going to come. That’s why I love writing in the wee hours of the night. No distractions.
See the book trailer below.
Insight, Beholders #1 will be out on June 1st in paper back, hard back and e-book format from Amazon and B&N.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Goodreads description: Rumors are surging through Appernysia that a Beholder has been born, the first wielder of True Sight in over a millennium.
Seventeen-year-old Lon Marcs discovers he has been blessed—or cursed—with this gift. He cannot control the power of True Sight and feels it killing him with each passing day. He realizes that the only people who might possess the knowledge to save his life are the sworn enemies of his king. To obtain their help, Lon would have to journey into exile, leaving behind his village, family, and beloved Kaylen.
Although this is the hardest decision Lon has ever made, it is only the first of many that will test his strength and challenge his interpretation of right and wrong.
Author bio: Born in the wrong age, TERRON JAMES continually fantasizes of shining steel, majestic stone architecture, thundering cavalry rushes, and opportunities to prove his honor.
James is an English teacher and a member and recent president of the Tooele Chapter of the League of Utah Writers. He currently lives in Tooele, Utah, with his wife and four kids.
If you’d like to visit the rest of the tour here is the list of blogs/websites participating.
Shelli Howells, http://shelliproffitthowells.com/amusings/
Rebekah Grow, http://rkgtheauthor.com/
May 21 – Elsie Park, http://elsiepark.blogspot.com/
May 22 – No Thoughts 2 Small, http://nothoughts2small.blogspot.com/
May 23 – Janet Jensen, http://www.janetkayjensen.blogspot.com/
Teri Harman, http://www.teriharman.com/
Krista Wayment, http://itakethepen.blogspot.com/
Nikki Wilson, http://mormonmommywriters.blogspot.com
May 25 – Books Complete Me, http://www.bookscompleteme.com/
Fiona Carter, http://fjrtitchenell.weebly.com/
Books For YA, http://bookforya.blogspot.co.uk/
The Reading Diaries, http://thereadingdiaries.blogspot.com/
Ann Marie Meyers, http://www.annmarie-meyers.com/
Donna Weaver, http://donnakweaver.com/
May 30 – Compulsive Reader, http://magdalenaball.blogspot.com/
June 1 – Jennifer Griffith, http://www.authorjennifergriffith.com/
The Ramblings of Toddler’s Mom,http://theramblingsofatoddlersmom.blogspot.com/
Wendy Burr, http://saraburrbooks.blogspot.com/
J.A. Bennett, http://www.ja-bennett.com/
June 4 – Lehua Parker, http://www.lehuaparker.com/
June 5 – Amie Borst, http://www.amieborst.com/
June 6 – Johnny Worthen, http://www.johnnyworthen.blogspot.com/
June 7 – Adrienne Monson,http://www.adriennemonson.com/category/blog/
June 8 – Dan Levinson, http://www.danlevinsonwriting.com/
June 9 – Paranormal Book Club, http://paranormal-bookclub.com/
June 10 – Min Reads and Reviews,http://www.minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com