Author Interview – N.J. Shamey

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Nick and Reham

N.J. Shamey

August 30th, 2015

Thank you for joining us for another author interview. This time we have the privilege of hearing from author N.J. Shamey who brings us his debut novel ‘Disorder of War’. In the pages of Disorder of War, we join Dagan Sharaf as he must lead an inexperienced company in the Legions of Katora as they fight for survival and face the rigors of combat. An old enemy of the Kingdom has found pretense for war and launched an invasion to seize control of the lucrative trade cities. Dagan’s unit is deployed to stem the enemy tide and regain lost territories. The company struggles to master the art of war and learn to depend on each other as battle-brothers. At the same time, Dagan must balance his own selfish motives with the needs of his men.

Nicholas, thank you for sharing with us. Please tell us, where did you find the inspiration for Disorder of War?

Ever since I was little I always loved reading and knew I wanted to create my own stories some day. I never really felt like I had anything interesting to write until I had spent several years overseas working in war zones. Those experiences combined with my wife Reham’s creative guidance brought Disorder of War together. I had a general sense of what DoW should be about but it was really my wife who helped flush out the characters and breathe life into the plot.

Give us some insight to the main characters.  What makes them special?

We wanted to be careful not write real people we knew into characters. Each member of the company grew into a distinct individual in our minds. As the plot worked itself out in our creative sessions it somehow became obvious how each person would handle a given situation.

How did you come about developing the character names?

I LOVE Tolkienesque world building, so quite a lot of thought went into this area. All names of both characters and places have roots from language trees that fit the lore. They are loosely based on real world languages in the same way Toklien based his languages on Old Norse and Welsh. In Disorder of War one can find linguistic families based on Aramaic, Greek, Proto-European, and Old Germanic to name just a few.

What about the world we’re in, tell about this world and your thoughts behind its creation.

This was partially answered in the previous question, but we also created a basic living economy for the map (also created by my wife Reham) and nations therein. Playing around with the economies of the larger nations actually helped us design the plot, as there is often an economic root to conflict in the real world. Each large nation has an excel spread sheet with a national budget and major traded commodities.

“In addition to character development skills, author Shamey has the talent to spin a great tale… keeping it moving and making it believable within the context of the setting. I look forward to the next installment.”
Ray Nicholson  –  @ralannicholson  –  Snippet from Amazon review

I read the Lore you provided, I’m curious, what was the reason behind giving that at the end of the book?  I would have expected that information before the story or even weaved into the story itself.  Can you lend us some insight into your story design there?

Yes, this was very deliberate. I think that people are drawn to stories with world building because of the depth that it lends to the story. However, dumping all of the world building into a narrative is awkward, boring for the reader, and distracting from the plot. I decided that the lore was great to provide should readers be interested, but that if it was included before or within the book it could be a turn off. For book two (which is in progress) the Lore should be extensive enough to be put into it’s own separate volume.

You said earlier that you’re careful not use real people as a basis for a character, why is that?

Yes, never! My work involves helping people through some of the most difficult and traumatic experiences in their lives. Using their stories for my own profit would seem like both a betrayal and distastefully self serving. Instead, I have tried to boil down the basic things I have learned about people- how they handle combat, for example- and use that knowledge to create realistic characters.

How long did it take you write Disorder of War?

It took about a year and a half altogether, but my wife and I started planning before that.

How much research did you do for the story?

I did quite a bit of linguistic and economic research for the lore, but it only indirectly affected the story itself.

“Most interesting story, excellent mix of characters and it will allow the reader to get a true sense of battles fought years ago. Most highly recommended.”
Chief, USN Ret…VT Town –  Snippet from Amazon TOP 500 REVIEWER

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You’ve titled this book, Disorder of War: Book 1. What are your plans for continuing the story? How many books are you planning in the series? Is there an expected release date for Book 2 yet?

At least one more book, probably continuing to book three eventually. Book two has a tentative release date of late spring 2016.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Everyone who likes epic fantasy and doesn’t mind a few cuss words.

As an author what was does your writing process look like?

I write when I want to, and then pass it by my wife and loyal beta readers who sift out the crap. My greatest struggle in the process is not the story itself, but getting sidetracked by true stories. As I said, real life experiences inform my writing. The my goal is to find as perfect a balance as possible between conveying a scene realistically not recreating a past incident exactly. There is a lot of emotion caught up in past traumatic events and it can be hard to self regulate these things.

If you could go back in time for the distinct purpose of giving yourself insight into writing Disorder of War, what would you tell yourself?

Because it is more of a hobby, I had fun and wouldn’t change anything about the process.

“This is a real fantasy book from an author with valuable insight presented in an appealing way.”
Walter Rhein  –  Snippet from Amazon review

If your book went to film, what celebrities you could see playing some of the Characters?

If DoW ever did make it to the big screen I personally would prefer it if it were cast completely with unknown actors.  That said, my wife and I picked famous actors so we could remember physical descriptions as we were planning the plot. I’ll share two: Dagan was Clive Standen (Vikings) and Katrina was Nina Dobrev.

Reham, what was it like for you to witness your husband develop a story? In addition, it seems like you helped out quite a bit with the planning and creative development here, how much did you enjoy your part in this?

It was a fun, creative activity for us both! Nick and I have the same love for imagination and nerdy gaming type things. I came from Iraq and Nick has worked in conflict areas in the Middle East and Asia so we also share experiences in war that we have lived through that make the book more realistic. Thanks to all that we do not have a shortage of ideas!

Where can people find Disorder of War?

The eBook is sold exclusively through Amazon but the paperback is available through all major retailers.

What other works do you have available to your readers?

This is my first published work of fiction. My name is on a paper published from a working group at WestPoint but I don’t think anyone wants to read that…

“Absolutely love it…characters come to life with wonderfully ‘painted’ pictures in your head by the authors well chosen words (without bogging us down with too many words, very important!) Another time, place, world all bubbling up and pouring onto the pages and swirling in my mind and heart now….I hope the book 2 is out soooooonnnnnn!!!!! i need to know more….THANK YOU N.J Shamey !”
Vannessa Evans  –  Snippet from Amazon review

As readers yourselves, what are some of you and your wife, Reham’s, favorite books? Do you stick to any particular genre?

As you may have guessed we both love fantasy and I love the Lord of the Rings in particular (Reham prefers the Hobbit). Between my work, Reham’s college reading, and our new baby we don’t have as much time for reading as we would like. Top authors for us are Joe Abercrombie, Justin Lynch, Glen Cook, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.

Let’s switch gears a little and get into the publishing side of things. I understand that you published Disorder of War yourself.  In which avenue did you decide to publish? What was that experience like?

I decided to self publish as all the tools are there for authors and it’s affordable. The independence and ability to retain rights that comes with this path suits my personality more than working with a publisher. Plus, let’s face it: I’d probably sit there submitting it till I’m 65 and then 20 years later 5 people might read it. 

Did you have a marketing/book promotion plan in place? What does Disorder of War book promotion look like now that it’s out there?

I’m relying mainly on the Amazon marketing behemoth and word of mouth. So far so good! 

Did you, at any point, seek out a professional non-biased 3rd party book review?

Yes, many times! This is part and parcel of being a self published author. People deserve a bit of independent insight before buying a book and normally a publisher would seek that out. Indie and self published authors are left to do that themselves.

Nicholas, thank you for lending us your time, and a special thanks to Reham for gracing us for a time as well. I had a great time with you both and I hope this interview reaches many new readers and helps them decide to jump into this world with you.

To our readers, a special thanks to for reading along. I hope you enjoyed meeting Nick and his wife, Reham. Please check out the links below to his website and his author page on Goodreads. We have a link here to his Twitter page as well and please consider picking up your own copy of ‘Disorder of War’!!

‘Til next time friends.

N.J. Shamey Website – njshamey.wordpress.com     Goodreads Page    Amazon Page    Disorder of War – FB Page

Purchase ‘Disorder of War’ at these links:

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