Today, my guest is writer, J.S. Chancellor,author of a new the fantasy trilogy,
Guardians of the Legend. Son of Ereubus is the first in the series.
1. Please tell me about your book.
Son of Ereubus is book one of an epic fantasy trilogy. Sounds like a pretty generic description doesn't it? There is a reason for that. We also chose to limit how much information is on the back of the book. The Guardians trilogy reminds me of a labyrinth---twists and turns and false leads, with creatures and characters popping up in places you wouldn't expect: No fun telling you in advance where to look for them. It will only ruin the experience. I will, however, tell you this: Nothing is what it seems in this character driven fantasy.
2. Where did the idea for this story originate?
The idea for this particular story came from a dream I had when I was a kid, then came to fruition when I was early in High School. I wrote the first two chapters in my parents' den when I was a freshman--just 14 years old. Eventually, the drama of being a teenager faded and once I'd graduated from college and was working a steady job, those voices came back en masse and insisted that I finish their story. So, at 25, I did just that. I sat down, started to write again, and didn't stop until the trilogy was finished at 330,000+ words. 3. Are you a full-time writer or part-time and how do you organize your
I'm a full time writer. Last September, I left my full-time job in order to pursue freelancing and to my surprise (and everyone else's around me) I was offered a book deal within 7 months. 4. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I first knew I wanted to be a writer when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Then, when I was eleven, I wrote down a little book of detective stories (which is forever lost) and a poem about a revolutionary war soldier that garnered the attention of my teachers and the rest of my family (beyond my parents). The rest is history. Every family gathering, every year at school, I was asked how the writing was coming along and I think that constant focus sort of steered my passion in the right direction. No one would let me forget those early pennings. 5. What do you expect readers to take from your story.
I hope readers will take away a few things, one of which is that genre fiction can be every bit as in-depth as literary fiction. For too long our work has been the red-headed stepchild of the literary world and it's time that mentality ended. You'd think Stephen King's Shawshank Redemption, alone, would have taken care of the stigma. But, no, we still have to put up with it. So, bottom line is that I hope readers see the deeper themes and the precise threads that make up this story. 6. What genres do you write?
I write mainly fantasy--be it dark, epic, or urban. I've recently branched out to cyberpunk, which is turning out to be a fun experience. I don't have a preference to be honest. I love it all. 7. What is the hardest part of being a writer?
Toughest part about being a writer, aside from the sting of criticism and/or rejection, is quite frankly the monetary aspect. We work for years without pay and then have to fool with submitting and some really ridiculous "industry" rules about multiple submissions and what not. As if writers don't actually need money to live. It's ridiculous. I've voiced some fairly strong opinions on this stuff over at The Asylum, but it's worth repeating: Agents are nothing more than the literary equivalent of a temp agency and until they've signed you, they don't have the right to demand exclusivity. I don't care how they feel about it. I've heard more than one agent whine about their time and how they are entitled to exclusivity while reading a partial or a full and I say that's crap. The loss of their time is the cost of doing business. If they are that worried about it, then perhaps they ought to read a little faster or hire an assistant. Most of them have assistants anyway. 3-6 months to wait on what is likely going to be a rejection, before sending out more feelers, would be insane in any other industry. But, because someone said they liked the emperor's new clothes, this practice is hailed as acceptable. Good news for authors like me, is that there are other paths to publication. The roads are a little rougher, but the rewards are still there to be had. 8. Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
Nope, not a thing. Fortunately. 9. How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Ariana is so much like me that at times she's difficult to write. I have to distance myself from her occasionally in order to see through her eyes properly. 10. What kind of research did you do?
The only research I had to do with this story dealt with weaponry. I learned a lot about crossbows and swords. 11. Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?]
There are a whole lot of violent scenes in Son of Ereubus, and in Guardians as a whole. The violence doesn't bother me, likely because I read mostly horror novels whenever I'm not reading for reviews. Highly sexual scenes would bother me, which is why there aren't any in book one. Book two has two scenes in particular where there is sex and I've tried to write them as tastefully as possible. I think once you build a reader up for certain....ahem....closure, then you've gotta deliver and a two liner just doesn't cut it for most of us (like in say, Breaking Dawn). Still, this particular series doesn't warrant graphic sexual content. It's a fine line I'm treading. 12. What about your book makes it special?
Hmmm...good question. I'd say that there is a simplicity about it that I haven't read or seen in fantasy novels in a while. It's a bit like the old stories you'd hear around the campfire during the age of Beowulf. Good 'ol adventure and intrigue. So much fantasy these days focuses so hard on political machinations and "realism" that the fantasy bit gets lost. To Kill a Mockingbird doesn't mention the Ming dynasty because...well...it isn't relevant. Yet, fantasists try to pack everything, every little bit of world-building, into their novels and it makes for a dense, two dimensional read. Quite the opposite of what they intend. There aren't 30 different magic systems in this series. There aren't 900 languages. There are, however, civil wars and historical details that I'll never mention in the novel. I have a good bit of it written down, but unless the reader "needs" to know, then I won't bother them with it.
14. Where can fans learn more about you?
You can learn more about my work at my website http://www.welcometotheasylum.net or my author website http://www.jschancellor.com 15.Any tips for new writers?
Just shut-up and write. That's the best advice that was ever given to me and I'm just passing it along. Don't get caught up in rules or tips or blogs on writing or any of the other time-stealing things that are out there for authors to get snagged by. You're a writer, right? So write already.
J.S., thank you for being my guest and sharing a bit of your writing life.