…got featured today for an interview I did for Red Haircrow Review. I had a good time on this one. Have a look…
December 12th, 2015
Hiya readers! Thanks for joining me again for another indie author interview. We have something super special this time. I am thrilled to bring you a dark fantasy novel written by one of the most active independent authors I’ve worked with.
With all honesty, I can tell you I loved reading this story!
Though tragic at times, this is a story to relish in and must be placed on your To Read list if you’re into dark fantasy (and a tiny bit of sci too).
One of my favorite things I run into as a reader are the times when I come upon a story that lights me up with satisfaction. The surprises, I call them. The ones you don’t expect to find that strengthen your pursuit to open new books just so you can experience yet again a new world unfold in your very hands. I have the honor of introducing to you R.J. Jojola, author of a story that did just that for me…
On the Verge.
Most people tend to think that fiction stories are only that. Made up stories based on what the author imagined and how their creativity transformed that into words on the page. We have a great many stories based on that principle, but when we come across a fantasy novel built on the foundation of real life tragedy, we have a rarity of delicious proportions. We not only have a beautiful novel forever in our library but we also are witness to something that will encourage us for years to come.
R.J., thank you for the honor of letting us into your world so we get to know you for a little while.
Can we start with sharing with the audience a little about where you’re from?
Well Tyler, I have lived a few different places in my life. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona. I grew up in Michigan from the ages of one to thirteen. And I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico from the ages of thirteen to twenty-eight. Currently, I reside in Fleming Island, Florida with my husband, two little dogs and our very mischievous cat. I’ve always been an outdoors girl. Spending the first half of my life in Michigan, I was definitely a lover of the great outdoors. I love being out on the lake, catching fish. Making sandcastles and being in the peaceful realm of nature.
I moved around a bit too just not around the country. I did grow up in the Midwest like you. How about writing, what kind of writing past do you have?
Since elementary school I’d always enjoyed writing and excelled at it. I reveled in being able to create stories and illustrate them. Though, I was much better at the writing than the drawing (laugh out loud). In my middle school years, I used writing poetry as a means to express some of my experiences. Writing poetry was my favorite. Especially during a time when I had just moved to a new place. Not being able to spend much time outdoors like I had in Michigan, I had more time alone to think and write about things in Albuquerque. Throughout high school I was always in advanced humanities courses where I really enjoyed reading the classics and letting them inspire my writing. I remember reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and choosing to write a monologue for my book report. A few people in the class were actually in tears during my performance. I think it was because it was actually me speaking through that character. I really connected with her struggles. And writing was a way for me to connect with the world. Which is why I inevitably chose to teach language arts. It was a way for me to connect with my students and connect them with the world.
Sounds powerful R.J., do you have a place where our readers can read some of your poetry?
Yes, absolutely. I have some of my poetry on my website under the “poetry” tab. The first half is social justice poetry on being a girl in America. The second half is just for fun and healing poems. Inevitably, my plan is to publish a book of poetry some time in the near future. But for now, just on the website.
I’d like to move into On the Verge and dig into the inspiration behind the story. Could you share with us a little bit of where this story comes from and why you wrote it?
Music is a huge inspiration in my life. When I listen, it calms me. It helps me clear my head. The vision for, On the Verge came to me while listening to a very emotional, instrumental track. I saw Raelle’s home in the valley. At first, I didn’t know what it meant, or why I kept seeing it. And some how, I knew I wanted to write a story beginning there, in that place, but I wasn’t quite sure what it would be about until a very dark time in my life. My entire life, I’ve suffered from childhood PTSD and anxiety/ depression. But, my PTSD had always been misdiagnosed until my last and most intense relapse. None of my misdiagnoses of A. D. D. and other mental illnesses ever explained the night terrors, the intense fears, or my dark way of seeing the world, until my worst relapse in 2010. My mind finally felt safe enough to unlock the gates, and the flashbacks came flooding in. My life changed forever in that moment, and I realized why I was the way I was. I also realized that the reality I had created for myself as a child, was false. A falacy created by my brain to keep me safe and somewhat sane until I was strong enough to face it head on. And when I did, I knew exactly what the vision of the secluded valley was. It was my safe place. It was my false reality. I knew I was meant to journey from that valley and into the harsh realities and let downs in my life. In writing this book, I was able to work through most of my issues. It is, in the end, a nightmarish metaphor for my life’s experiences.
You’ve shared some of your past with me before we started but hearing about what Raelle’s secluded home valley means to you as the writer of On the Verge and as a person that worked through serious struggles, changes it completely for me. It frames the story in hindsight adding so much more depth to it. Amazing.
You mentioned that every character embodies a person or trait that helped you make it through your childhood PTSD. Could you elaborate this on a couple characters for us?
Yes, absolutely. One of the main characters, Raelle, she embodies my innocence. She embodies the good and curious part of me. She is pure and she is free of guilt. She is the victim part of me. The character Chrishtan, the warrior, he embodies a couple of people. First, he embodies my husband. My husband was the first person in my life to never give up on me. He taught me about unconditional love. But at the same time, Chrishtan also embodies the fighter in me. He embodies the part of me that faced my demons and came out stronger on the other side. He is my strength. The character of Samuel embodies much of my anger, frustration, and that part of me that has been easily manipulated by others. Cohlen and Oleevar represent friendship. While they are symbolic of my real friends Colin and Ollie, they are a symbol of unconditional friends. Those rare people that stick by you no matter how dark things get. And then there’s Browden, he represents my very dear and beloved friend and surrogate brother, Reid, taken from us at a very young age. It changed our lives forever. The character Jenladra, she represents wisdom, and the people in my life that helped me move forward, including my therapist. And finally, the demon Hazale, represents the predator. The child abuser, the trickster, the manipulator. He is the destroyer of innocence. He turns children into monsters.
You certainly portrayed these characters exactly as you say. Honestly, I appreciate your writing more as you tell us what you were attempting to illustrate in the story. My heart breaks for why this story was written but I have to say that you working through your struggles, partly with this book, certainly have a mechanism for inspiration here. Well done, RJ and thanks for being vulnerable enough to let us in.
“One word… WOW! I constantly find myself searching for a new fantasy/sci-fi novel that I can lose myself in like when I was younger and first started reading series like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Eragon. … Enter “On the Verge”… This novel had me hooked from beginning to end!”
Bob Jena – Snippet from Amazon review
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Can you tell us about the world this story takes place in, the continent of Mirilan?
The world that this story takes place in is mainly me fan-girling over some of my favorite books, movies, and video games. I am a huge fan of high fantasy. Middle Earth, Azeroth, and other fantastical worlds are a big part of my life.
Do you have a process that helps you develop character and place names?
I usually name a character after someone I know, then I put my own spin on it to make it sound more fantastical or foreign. Each nation in Mirilan is named after a place I’ve been, or someone in my life. Or sometimes, I just make up a random name that I think sounds cool. I try not to put too much stress on it. I think that part should be fun.
There’s this term called “Falling in love with your footage” it comes from, as you may guess, the film industry but we can extrapolate that to authoring. It describes the scenario where you write something. And you LOVE it. You love the language. You love the scene. You love what the characters are doing…but it just doesn’t fit in the story. In writing On the Verge, did you encounter this and what did you do? Cut it or keep it?
Gosh, yes. In fact, the very first chapter, “Samuel,” was never intended to be there until I received some harsh feedback from an editor. It wasn’t my editor, but someone I ended up not using. However, their harsh critique did open my eyes a bit and prompted me to write the chapter 1 – Samuel, that you see in the book now. Originally, I had intended for it to open up right into the scene where Raelle is attempting to take her own life. That was my favorite scene. And in the beginning, it was written rather differently than you see it now in the book. It was originally very telling, and not enough showing. Even though I loved the way it felt to me as I wrote it, I needed to make it more action and dialogue oriented than telling in narration. And, some of my beta readers who got to actually read the original version, were a little miffed about the whole thing. They liked the way it opened up, but once they saw the new version, they really liked that one as well. But I think as a writer in any realm, you have to make sure what you write makes sense and moves along at a nice pace, even if that means taking out some of your favorite wordy parts.
Is there anything you wish you had put in the story that you didn’t think of until you published On the Verge?
Yes, there are some minor details that I feel I may have missed. However, the great part about writing a series is that, in the next book, I can make sure to add those things and make them the way I want them to be even after the fact.
How long did it take you to write On the Verge?
It took me about 3 years on and off. I was working and going to school, so I had to fit in writing where I could.
“As an avid reader, I love to get caught up,and wanting more in the books I read, and This does it. The author brings such vivid details that I felt as if I was watching a movie. Loved this book, cannot wait for the next. R.J Jojola, your novel is excellent and I am now bummed that I finished it so quickly. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great fantasy!”
Dawn Morris – Amazon Review
Do you have any favorite writing tools?
I would say some of the tools I use the most are reading other books in and out of my genre and then also, playing video games. I know it seems strange, but playing games is a great way to really get into a character. You put yourself in their shoes more so I think than in a book. I also keep a messy notebook of all my ideas. I am a very unstructured writer. Which is hilarious because I used to teach writing. LOL But, I think because I have been writing from such a young age and also teaching others, things just come to me so automatically that I don’t think of them as tools. I’m also not a fan of the “writing prescription.” People saying that people have to use certain tools or do things a certain way or else their not really writing. I say, if you’re sitting down and writing something, you’re a writer. Especially if you complete it.
Where is your place of writing? Your lair, if you will? What’s it look like right now?
I have different places. I mostly enjoy writing outside though. When the weather is nice enough. When I first began writing On the Verge I lived back in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My back yard had the most amazing view of both the mountains in the east and then the desert to the west. So each evening when I would sit outside and write, I could watch both the moon rising over the mountains while at the same time watching the sun set in the west. It was one of the most beautiful and inspiring places to write. Now that I’m here in Florida, I write out back as well. I have a view of a woody area with many creatures. As for my writing cave inside, it is surrounded by my favorite things; inspirations, movies, books, characters etc. And, it is usually kind of a mess. LOL
Are you an outliner or an on-the-fly writer?
I am mainly an on the fly writer. Or a “gardener” as Stephen King would call it. I let the characters drive the story. Many of times when I sit down to write, I have sort of a general idea of what is going to happen. But most of the time, even I don’t know and am just as surprised as the readers when it comes to fruition.
What avenue did you use to publish On the Verge and what were the 1-2 biggest lessons you learned from going through the publishing process?
I chose to take the self-publishing route. I never even submitted my book to any agents. The reason for that was because I didn’t want anyone changing my story or my vision. As you know, this book is very personal and I had no interest in changing it for anyone. It’s such a huge part of me that I am sharing with the world, I wanted to be in charge of how it was shared. Essentially, I felt very vulnerable. But with the positive feedback I’ve gotten from readers, that vulnerability has faded and when the series is finished, I may shop for an agent.
“So I am a total fantasy nut! And I loved this book. RJ does a great job really creating another world, and her imagery allows you to see it. I felt like I was there. I knew these characters, I cared about them and felt what was happening to them. It was a fully developed world with its own creatures, cultures, politics, and secrets. I loved it, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.”
Shelby McCorkle – Amazon Review
If you had the choice to be part of a Lyre bloodline or write fantasy novels for a healthy living, which would you choose?
That is a great question. I’m going to have to say, I would love to be a lyre-blood warrior and pwn noobs for the rest of my life. (laugh out loud).
Readers, if you don’t know what a Lyre Bloodline is, well….you’re just going to have read On the Verge then aren’t you!!
If you could co-write an epic story with a favorite author of yours, who would it be and what would the story be like?
Well, if we are just talking authors I would have to say either J. K. Rowling or Terry Goodkind. But I would have to lean more toward Rowling because her writing is so much different than mine. I would love to write a story with her for children. Rowling knows how to keep childhood fantasies alive. She helps adults to bring back and reconnect with their inner child. I would love her assistance in doing that in writing.
Just because you mentioned Azeroth and Middle Earth I’d like to ask one thing…if you had the choice between reigning for one year in a real Azeroth or spending an evening picking the brain of and chatting with J.R.R. Tolkien, which would you choose?
Oh my gosh, that is a loaded question. The teacher in me wants to say an evening with Tolkein, But the adventurer in me says, “Well of course you’re going to Azeroth.” Honestly, I’m going to have to go with Azeroth. If it were real, I would move there now. Those real experiences I would have there for a year, would give me so much writing fuel! LOL
So, if someone likes your author page, then it would be no secret to them that you’re diggin’ the Cosplay. Like a lot! Like no joke people, she has serious characters going! For us peasants…hehe…could you share with us a little bit of what Cosplay is all about for you? (Readers see cosplay pics below reply)
For me, cosplay is another way to step into the shoes of a character. You are becoming that character in a tangible way by creating or crafting a costume of that character and pretending to be them. Not to mention, crafting is incredibly fun. Very time consuming, but fun.
Okay enough with the goofy fun and back to business… I want to leave the audience with a few things. One, a definite, yes on checking out On the Verge, one of THE best indie books I’ve read so please help support RJ in making that purchase. Two, I’d like to invite everyone to Like RJ’s Author page so you can stay up to date on, yup, you guessed it…BOOK TWO – From the Void hitting the shelves in the spring of 2016.
RJ, can you give us a little glimpse/plug/teaser from Book II – From the Void?
I sure can, Tyler.
When darkness, deception, murder, & torture reign over truth, trust becomes a wavering notion…
Will the heirs of Mirilan escape the lethal web of lies? Or will they let it drag them to hell?
Sounds great, I’ll be sure to pick that up when it comes out. How else can we support your writing?
Honestly, just reading my work and sharing it with others is the biggest help. Word of mouth is still the best way to get your work out there. And so I must say thank you, so much to you, Tyler for taking an interest in my work and helping to get the word out there.
There you have it folks, R.J. Jojola, a writer to be watched (read actually).
Sincerely R.J., I give you from myself and all our readers, the warmest thank you for joining us and letting us get to know you for a little while. I wish you all the best in your writing and hope to continue to see your name on the bookshelf.
R.J. Jojola Website – rjjojola.wix.com/authorrjjojola
Purchase here: On the Verge
Lost & damaged in evil’s wake, two reluctant strangers may be the last hope for their continent of Mirilan… Raelle Jowellia and her siblings were never allowed to travel outside their secluded valley. Having never come into contact with anyone outside of their immediate family, the mysterious and gruesome murder of her younger brother leaves Raelle tormented by a relentless need for answers. But answers reveal much more than Raelle bargains for when she discovers that the magical practices, daunting creatures, and foreboding demons of her father’s bedtime tales are anything but fiction. As a dark force closes in, the shock of her family’s secret renders her completely alone, with only bits and pieces of the puzzle. Lost in a world teaming with menacing danger, Raelle is forced to rely on the help of a meddlesome warrior, Chrishtan Vilgare. Together, will Raelle and Chrishtan be able to outrun their sordid pasts, or will they let it devour their very souls?
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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.
Purchase ‘Disorder of War’ at these links:
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Todd Wynn and Tim Wynn
Author Interview / July 29th, 2015
Todd and Tim, thank you very much for taking the time to share with us your journey in writing and publishing your debut novel, Trespassers. Why don’t we start at the beginning and ask you where you found the inspiration for this book?
TIM(Left): I don’t know. That’s always been a tough question. People always want to know where the ideas come from. The main inspiration was actually the first line of the book, “Earth hovered a hundred feet below.” That was the first thing we wrote on the blank page, and it set the tone for the rest of the novel.
I know you write screenplays too and movies are where I began my love of stories. Could you tell us, in which genre your screenplays are written?
TODD(Right): We’re all over the place with genres. We have a romantic-comedy that follows the adventures of five couples over the course of a single night. We have a high-concept heist movie. We have an action-adventure mystery-romance that’s set on a cruise ship. We have a fantasy romantic-comedy about the true nature of love itself. And we have a family fantasy about being careful what you wish for.
What a broad range of talent there, please keep us updated on any developments there. Let’s get back to Trespassers, could you give us some insight to the main Character(s). What makes them so special?
TIM: There’s an underlying tone that all the characters are going through the same challenges, just from different points of view. We also like the idea that one person doesn’t have to lose for another to win. And these characters are finding ways to reach outcomes that benefit everyone involved. That’s what many readers have responded to: the fact that the book isn’t about good guys battling bad guys. It has become boring and stale to throw away a few characters in a novel just because they’re the antagonists and they’re supposed to be evil and hated and they’re supposed to lose.
There are a lot of characters at play in the book, were there specific challenges in coming up with so many or keeping them straight?
TODD: Yeah, the names. Names are always the hardest part, and they’re usually not settled until the final draft. As for keeping the characters straight, this turned out to be a large story, so many characters naturally developed. We didn’t force any of them into the novel, and when each has a natural place, it’s easier to keep them straight. Not that we didn’t get a few of them confused from time to time.
That’s good, I appreciate not forcing characters in. As a reader you can tell those kinds of things and I thought your characters flow well with each other.
“The story flowed so well and kept me engaged. . . . a hilarious novel! If you enjoyed Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy or Men In Black, you would love this book. It easily gets 5/5.”
The Bohemian Housewife – Link: Click here for the full review.
How long did it take to write the manuscript?
TIM: Working on it on and off while we were doing other things, it took about three years.
TODD: Was it that long? I would have said a year.
Was there a lot of research that went into developing this story?
TODD: You have to research the real parts, of course, not the completely made up parts.
TIM: That’s true. There’s always research about the little details. And apparently we missed a bit of research, because we had a reader in Scotland inform us that Scotch Whisky is spelled without the “e” whereas Irish Whiskey is spelled with the “e.” So, we got that wrong.
TODD: So, we upset someone in Scotland.
TIM: She actually liked the book . . . except for that.
Hmm…What’s worse? Upsetting the Irish or the Scottish? Wait, better not answer that! Who would you recommend this book to?
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TODD: Our ratings and reviews come from all across the spectrum. We’ve had people in their seventies telling us how much they enjoyed the book, and we’ve had a mother tell us that she reads it to her daughter at bedtime.
TIM: It sounds like a cliché to say it’s for everyone, but we’re really hearing that from people. Lots of readers tell us that they don’t normally read sci-fi, but they enjoyed our book.
Actually, I think it’s a fair assessment. You haven’t targeted a specific audience so I think it will work for the adventure types. Sci-fi sure but I think anyone would enjoy reading about how these aliens work out their mission while being hunted. Who wouldn’t?!
“TRESPASSERS is an eloquent science fiction tale, with some romance and mystery mixed in…both funny and touching, a book I can see easily translating to the big screen.”
Bibliophilic Book Blog – Link: Click here for the full review.
As co-authors, what does your writing process look like?
TODD: We don’t even know the answer to that really.
TIM: We discuss it a lot. We form ideas. Then paragraphs begin to appear; then when we have several chapters finished, we go over it and get real nitpicky about what’s working and what’s not. Then we adjust it from there, chapter after chapter until we have the whole book. At that point, we do an intense line-by-line polishing.
TODD: I guess we do know the answer. Well said. Tim writes more. I revise more.
TIM: That’s true.
TODD: As far as writing with a partner, that’s not something we would be able to do with anyone else. We have a certain sibling telepathy that makes it work.
Yeah that makes sense and I believe it manifested well in your writing. Did you fight over what to include or not to include in the story?
TIM: When we disagree about a word, a sentence, or a chapter, we write something better to replace it.
TODD: Nothing gets in the book that we don’t both approve of. If there’s an issue, it’s the job of the one who wants to keep it to convince the other.
Seems to be a system that works well. You two seem to get along pretty well. Has it been that way since childhood?
TODD: Yeah, pretty much. Our whole lives people have asked why we get along so well and if we ever fight.
TIM: We really should fight more.
TODD: I agree. We don’t even fight about that.
What character from the story do you each most identify with?
TIM: I doubt there’s a single character that we identify that closely with, but we certainly identify with the sibling relationship between Lyntic and Dexim.
TODD: They’d probably be good co-authors.
Nice! What’s the thing that makes co-authors work well as a team?
TIM: Trust. That’s the most important element. I trust that when I listen to Todd the book gets better. And I assume he feels the same way.
TODD: Absolutely, when you listen to me, the book gets better.
TIM: That was totally my fault.
We are proud to announce that TRESPASSERS by Todd Wynn and Tim Wynn is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
5 Star review by indibrag on Barnes and Noble
Did you use any people you know as the basis for any of the characters in the story?
TODD: Not on purpose, but some traits always slip in here and there.
TIM: In other works we have, but I don’t think we have any real people in “Trespassers,” probably because we don’t know that many aliens.
If you could go back in time for the distinct purpose of giving yourselves insight into writing Trespassers, what would you tell yourselves?
TIM: Probably the biggest thing we could tell ourselves is that it’s going to work and it’s going to be well received. That would make some of the process easier.
If your book went to film (hey that’s another question, PIXAR or Film?) pick three characters and tell us what celebrities you could see playing them.
TIM: We had a reader suggest Olivia Wilde for Lyntic, and that seems to work. Chris Pratt would make a good Stewart. And maybe Mark Ruffalo would be a good Bruner.
TODD: Tom Hardy would work for Dexim.
I would certainly show up for Trespasser movie with that cast! Okay, so where can we find Trespassers?
TIM: It’s available as an e-book on Kindle and in paperback through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million.
TODD: And it’s on Kindle Unlimited.
What other works do you have available to your readers?
TIM: This is our debut novel. We’re still working on the next one.
TODD: We do have free short stories and poetry on our website: WynnBrothers.com.
Let’s switch gears a little and get into the publishing side of things.
I understand that you published Trespassers yourself. In which avenue did you decide to publish? What was that experience like?
TIM: First we published across many platforms. Then we settled on Amazon exclusively, to take advantage of the Kindle Unlimited program, which allows members to read the book for free.
Did you attempt traditional publishing? What made you decide to self-publish?
TIM: I think an author should always try traditional publishing, but should only sign if the publisher puts up enough money to prove they are serious. Self-publishing allows the writer an opportunity to get the publishers’ attention.
Did you have a marketing/book promotion plan in place? What does Trespassers book promotion look like now that it’s out there?
TODD: There’s no great way to say this, so I’ll just say it. When we released “Trespassers,” we did everything wrong. We really learned the hard way. We thought that since people liked the book it would automatically fly off the shelves. But the trouble was that people didn’t know it existed. So we had to shift gears and focus on letting people know the book was available. People are so accustomed to large book releases that we ran into a lot of people who had the book marked to read and would ask us when it’s coming out. Of course, it had already been out for months. As for the book promotion now, we’re focused on getting reviews and getting the word out, which has gotten the book a lot of attention on GoodReads and Amazon. So, we’re getting a lot happier with our marketing.
TIM: Also, we’re doing a book interview at this very moment.
Well I hope I do you justice with this interview. What was the most difficult part of publishing your work?
TIM: Setting up the interior design for the book was the hardest part, choosing the fonts and spacing. I’m not trying to make that sound more difficult than it is. That was just the hardest part for us.
What was the least difficult part of publishing your work?
TIM: With the self-publishing platforms out there, it’s really simple to get a book in the market, as long as you take the time to learn the mechanics.
Did you, at any point, seek out a professional non-biased 3rd party book review? Why or why not? What was that experience like?
TODD: Yes, we did a round of sending out the manuscript to people we trusted. We tried to pick a diverse group to get as much feedback as we could from many different perspectives. We used the notes that came back to make a few adjustments, and it definitely made the novel better.
If you could go back in time for the distinct purpose of giving yourselves insight into publishing Trespassers, what would you tell yourselves?
TODD: Be patient. Market the book months before you release it.
I can see that, probably gold information for us aspiring authors. I think there will be many authors that will read this and appreciate the publishing advice. My hope is that we reach lots of readers for you and give them a little insight into who you guys are as writers and to encourage them to check out Trespassers and anything else you’ve written.
Thank you all for reading along, I hope you’ve enjoyed our look into the lives of authors Todd and Tim Wynn. Please check out the links below again to their website as well as the online stores where you can find Trespassers. It is their debut novel so you’d be helping a great couple of gents continue to live a dream many of us share.
And a huge thank you to Todd and Tim for giving me their time for this interview. I truly hope it helps you reach more readers and bring your dream a little bit closer.
‘Til next time friends.
Todd and Tim Wynn Website – www.wynnbrothers.com
Purchase ‘Trespassers’ at these online stores: (you may click the name)
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