In this section you get to have a look at some of the fantastic opportunities we’ve had to sit down and chat with some of our favorite writers!
With great pleasure and enthusiasm, I introduce you to J.S. Chancellor.
Author of her debut novel and first of the trilogy, “Son of Ereubus”.
We first made contact about a month ago on Goodreads. I am always overwhelmed by authors who stay personal, and in touch, with their readers, like replying (themselves) to emails, taking time to write private messages in books, and who sincerely ask our opinions about their books etc. This is the type of author J.S Chancellor is and it’s also why I was more than willing to read and review her book.
Little did I know that I would stumble upon one of the best books I’ve read in 2010! I strongly recommend this book to all of those out there who are in need of a great new series!
This book is full of the sort of mysteries that will have you covered in goosebumps, as you wander through Chancellor’s story with a history that is both old and magical. She has done an outstanding job of weaving a tale of unfailing friendship, self-discovery, with an achingly tragic star-crossed lovers plot. But best of all… a promise of a great second book!
- Son of Ereubus (guardian of legends #1) published November 1st 2010
- Blood of Adoria (guardian of legends #2) published November 1st 2011
♠ Interview ♠
How did you first come up with the idea of the story? Was it something that came to you overnight or something that you were building in your head for some time?
─ This story started, truly, from a dream I had when I was eleven years old (a certain object hiding in the overgrown confines of a tree in chapter 2) and then I wrote chapters one and two back when I was a freshman in High School. They’ve obviously been changed, edited and tweaked, but the heart of the idea is the same.
Which character has most of your affection and why?
─ Tough question as so many of them do. If forced to pick one. I’d say (strangely) the Dark Lord Azrian. He doesn’t appear much in book one, but he’s around a whole lot in the next two books and through the process of editing and getting book two ready for publication next fall, I’ve started to enjoy working with him all over again. He’s a study in opposites, but what fascinates me is his back story and the fact that he was once good –that he was once King of the realm of light– and that he’s got this tiny little thread left (in this trilogy anyway) that ties him to that past, whether he likes it or not.
First few chapters were written in “Ariana’s” POV, but then more than half the book was actually written in a male’s (Garren, Michael and others) POV. Is it harder for you to write since you are a female writer?
─ You’d think it would be! But, actually, since Ariana is sooo much like myself, I found it harder to write from her POV. Weird, I know. I did have to ask my husband a lot of questions about how men think and what, exactly, they would think about in certain situations. But what I’ve enjoyed about this, is that Son of Ereubus really has an epic cast of characters. There really isn’t one main character.
What is the first sentence you wrote for this book? Did you happen to keep it intact or did you rewrite it?
─ LOL, that’s a great question. I had to dig for it; “It was there just before she opened her eyes.” Unfortunately, the line got cut when I revised chapter one and added the prologue.
You mentioned “religion” when you recommended this book to me, how much of it do you think the book is based upon it in your opinion?
─ There is a fair amount of religious allusion and certainly an undertone. With names like Michael and Gabriel, it’s tough to miss it. But, there are equal references to Greek, Roman and even Celtic mythology as well, so it sort of depends on which angle you’re coming from as to how much of it is based on religion. The foundation of the book is a struggle against good and evil, so I purposely chose all of those references in an effort to weave a tapestry that should “feel” familiar to the reader in some way, regardless of their background.
What type of a writer are you? Do you schedule yourself to write everyday?
─ I write my best work at night, when everything is quiet and there’s no one around to distract me. I’m far too ADHD to write in chaos like some writers I know. I don’t know how they do it. I even have noise reduction headphones to block out accidental noise in the house while I’m working. I guess I’m kinda of a diva.
I also write full time. That’s a huge thing for me because it meant leaving my full time job last September and trading security (gainful employment) for freedom. Turns out that it was a good decision.
Which scene in this book did you think was most violent and ugly? (I flinched reading one or two scenes, which I haven’t experienced in a while- which made me love the book even more!)
─ Actually, the worst scene were nixed by me, prior to being sent to the publisher. But, of those scenes that made the cut, I’d say there’s a toss-up between the execution scene in the prologue and the scene where a certain character loses his tongue. Both very pretty groovy and definitely cringe worthy. I read horror on a regular basis, so threading in scenes like that will likely be a mainstay of all my works. I don’t dance around it, a good many authors do, relegating “evil” deeds to political machinations or deceit, but as you stated in your review, some of these characters are dark, through and through and their actions reflect that darkness. This is important for so many reasons, one of which is to show how hard the road to redemption really is. My definition of evil is the ability to do good, without the will. And it’s the characters who know better, who have the choice to do otherwise, that are the real villains. It’s fun, as an author, to play with that concept and to mold a reader’s experience as one goes through the whole trilogy. Nothing remains constant for long.
What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your book?
─ The human capacity for strength and recovery is incredible. However, our ability to forge past wounds that others have caused and to forgive the doer for causing them, is harder to conjure than most “feel-good” messages would have you believe. Those wounds stay with us and become part of who we are. There are those who would convince you that this is a bad thing, and for some it would be –if you don’t know what to do with it. But for others, those wounds heal and like a broken bone, they’re stronger then they were before. Yet, whenever it rains, that broken bone will react. We aren’t any different as humans and to pretend that you can just forgive and forget is unduly narrow. We need to explore those emotions and allow ourselves to feel angry and hurt and upset. Those are healthy things. Can you tell my background is in psychology? lol. I’m actually halfway through a masters in professional counseling.
I realize that this is your first book to be published, could you take us through this journey?
─ It’s also the first one written down fully. I wrote lcarus when I was in junior high, but didn’t
redo, or rather finish it, till I was done with the first draft of the Guardians trilogy. I started book one four years ago, and by the end of that 12 month frame, I’d finished all three. Then, I shelved it for three months, before I started the revision/edit process which lasted another full year. Finally I started to query agents and after a string of form rejections, I decided to query small publishers. Rhemalda was the second one I queried (the first went defunct a month after I sent them my submission).
If there is anything else you would like to add, please feel free.
And once again, thanks for agreeing to this interview!
─ I’d like to add a HUGE thanks to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on the book. I’m not the sort of writer who shares my stuff with others during the drafting stage; I don’t do critique circles and I don’t have very many beta readers, so this whole process of sending my first born out into the world has been harrowing, yet it has opened my eyes to value of sharing. The work has come alive in ways I wouldn’t have imagined, just by hearing how readers are seeing it and responding to it. It’s incredible and I’m deeply grateful!