Friday, April 7, 2017


1. When/why did you decide to become a writer? *

I started very late, at the age of forty-eight. My son, who was around ten at the time, mentioned something about a cartoon he'd seen, something about trees, and said it would be cool if they could talk. Later that night, I had a dream about talking trees. It became the basis for my first novel, The Tower, now out of digital print. I just took it from there. As for the why, I think that I have the ability to tell a decent story. That's what I try to do each time out. 

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today? *

When younger, I only wanted to read, not write, but I loved (and still love) Robert McCammon, N.K. Jemisin, and Bill Pronzini, who wrote mysteries. They all crafted fine characters and sometimes outlandish situations, yet I could relate to them, even though their characters were chronologically much older than me. I still read them. As for books, YA Fantasy, historical drama, sci-fi (for adults)...pretty much anything is okay, except for erotica.
3. What was the inspiration behind your latest release? *

A friend of mine is a serious chocoholic, and she said to me "Jess, what would happen if you wrote something about a candy factory?" Well, WIllie Wonka had already been written, but the idea of candy--something sweet--took hold. Additionally, I like the idea of the underdog. Most of my characters start with nothing, and Martin Calder, the star of The Titans of Ardana--and its sequels--is your classic underdog. He's not overly tall or strong, average in looks and merely so-so at scholastics, but he is decent, loyal, and tries to do the right thing, no matter what. I love taking my characters out of the mundane and dropping them into situations where they have to adapt. This time around, I wanted to combine comedy with a touch of romance, as well as action. I hope that I managed to pull it off!
4. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life? *

In this case, only one. Martin's best friend, Greg, is a short, very rotund kid who always wants something free. In my younger days, I knew a kid like that. He wasn't quite as bad as Greg, but very close. I based the character of Greg on my friend...and my bud is stilll pretty heavy!
5. Why do you write in your chosen genre? What other genres would you like to try your hand at? *

YA/Fantasy/Action has a freshness and immediacy all its own. With YA, the choices the teens make seem very important. In retrospect, they may turn out not to be so important, but at the moment....that's what I want to explore. In the future, I may try something more for adults, such as a thriller, but for what I want to do, it's going to take a lot of time and research. Someday...
6. What would you do if you were your main character? *

Probably the same as what I have my characters do in my novels, although it would be tempting to break the fourth wall--for real--and yell "Get me out of here!"
7. Will we ever see these characters again? *

Yes!! Martin and his co-star, Dana (no last name ever given) have returned in The Titans of Ardana 2: Battlefield, already out on Amazon, and will appear in one more novel, Interstellar, to be released later on this year.
8. Would you like to see this book as a film or TV show? If yes, who do you want to see play your characters? *

Honestly, I think it would rock as a movie. It's got everything: action, drama, a little romance, alien worlds, and a knock-down, drag-out fight to end all fights. Oh, and it's got chocolate--a lot of it. As for who'd play the leads, I'd go with someone new and unknown. Certain actors/actresses get typecast and I'd rather have a new face make the part their own.
9. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

Hopefully, still writing and somewhat better known.
10. Is there anything you haven't touched on that you'd like readers to know about your book? *

No, I think I've said it all. I love doing action; that's what I'm known for, really, but I want to be known for good dialogue, narrative...everything that makes a good writer great.
11. What would you be doing if you weren't writing? *

Teaching, but I'm doing that now. I teach ESL for a living in and around the city I live in (Osaka), so that's what pays the bills!
12. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next? *

Editing Interstellar, the final novel in the Titans trilogy, editing The Undernet, a YA thriller that should be out later on this year, and almost finished the first rough draft of The Key Masters of Telemma, a YA adventure novel. It's very rough, but it has a good idea, and I like where it's going, so...
13. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with? *

None, really. I know that sounds arrogant, but I have my own style--rough though it may be--and they have theirs. Writing is a very lonely job, just me and my 'puter and nothing more. I feel compelled to do things on my own.
14. What are three things that may surprise your readers to know about you? *

Wow, three things? Well, although I was born in Toronto, Canada, I've lived in Japan over half my life, speak the language fairly well, and am married to a lovely woman from Osaka. We have two sons who like to eat---a lot! Point two, I'm left-handed. Nothing special, really, but lefties are supposed to be more creative. I can only hope so! Point three--hmmm---gotta think about that for a bit...
15. Please list your links where readers can find you online and purchase your works. *


1 comment:

  1. Great interview! Thank you!

    I hope you don't mind me taking a quote from here for an author spotlight. It will be cited and linked back to your blog post. :)