As promised, here is the first of a couple author interviews and give aways that I've been hoarding :)
Jon Sprunk is a friend of mine. He sent me his debut fantasy novel, Shadow's Son a couple years ago, hoping I'd give him a quote for his book. I really loved the story and was happy to provide a quote. I interviewed him on my Goodread's blog when Shadow's Son came out last year. Here's a link: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/467137-interview-contest
The second book in the series, Shadow's Lure was recently released and Jon agreed to do another interview with me. To be entered to win a copy of Jon's book (your choice of the first or second), please leave a comment and your email address by midnight July 24th. This is open to international readers as well :)
Here's the cover copy for Shadow's Lure: In Othir, he was at the top of the food chain—an assassin beyond compare, a dark shadow in the night. But Caim left that life behind when he helped an empress claim her throne. And now his past has come calling again.
Searching for the truth behind the murder and disappearance of his parents, Caim discovers a land in thrall to the Shadow. Haunted by temptations from the Other Side, he becomes mired in a war he does not want to fight.
But there are some things a son of the Shadow cannot ignore, and some fights from which he can't run. In this battle, all of Caim's strength and skill won't be enough. For none can resist the Shadow's Lure.
Take 10 More with Jon Sprunk:
1) Tell us a little about Shadow’s Lure. Do we learn more about Caim and Josephine from the first book, Shadow’s Son?
Yes, they both return in the sequel. We get a deeper into Caim’s psyche and his equally-murky past. Josey has a lot of troubles, too, not the least of which is trying to rule an unruly empire. And there’s more of Kit in the second book as she becomes a more pivotal part of Caim’s life.
2) Shadow’s Lure – harder to write or easier?
A little of both. Easier in the sense that many of the main characters were coming along for the ride, so I felt comfortable writing about them. Harder in that this was my first attempt at a sequel. There was a lot in the planning and plot arcing (running into book 3) that I had to figure out as I went along.
3) What advice would you give to an aspiring author interested in writing a series?
I think a connected series (where the books are tied together in plot) needs more planning than a stand-alone, if only because you need to have an idea where you’re going beyond the first book. That being said, don’t be afraid to toss those plans out the window if better ideas occur to you during the writing.
4) You’ve been a published author for a year. Is it what you excepted?
Not at all. At first, I had the silly expectation that all my dreams would come true overnight. Then reality set in. I would have been crushed if I wasn’t so focused on improving my stories and style with each book.
5) What has been your favorite aspect of being published?
Besides the private island in the Caribbean? (cue hysterical laughter) Meeting my readers. Making connections with fans keeps me grounded, and it reminds me who I’m writing for.
6) What is your least favorite part of being published?
There’s some pressure. Writing is my profession now, and I want to be successful. But it’s a good pressure. For me, there has been no real negative.
7) You have a short story, Sea of Madness in the anthology, Sails and Sorcery: Tales of Nautical Fantasy, do you have any more short stories published? Do you enjoy writing short, or is novels your favorite?
There’s a list of my published short stories on my website (http://www.jonsprunk.com). As you can see, I write very few of them. From very early in my creative life, I wanted to be a novelist. There is something about a novel, the scope and sweep of it, that drives my inner muse. That’s not to say I won’t write a short, or even a novella, if a good idea strikes me.
8) I see you have a number of book signings and convention appearances this summer and fall. Do you enjoy promoting your books or would you rather be writing? Which do you feel spreads the word about your books better – a convention or book signing?
I love the experience of showing people my work and winning them over. And hearing back from a fan you met at a con or signing—about how much they loved the book—that is the best stuff on Earth. But when I attend conventions, some part of my brain is counting up the hours of writing I’m not getting done. So it’s a balance. I think book signings are more effective per hour of time spent, but overall conventions expose me to more people. But they cost money out of my pocket. Again, I’m trying to find the right balance.
9) You’ve been talking trash about how your assassin Caim can beat Valek in a fight ;> Caim has shadow magic, but Valek’s immune to magic. So how do you think a fight between the two would go down?
Caim doesn’t need his powers to beat Valek; he’s the superior fighter. And his powers, as we’ll see in Shadow’s Lure, give him superhuman quickness, stealth, and the ability to cross distances instantaneously.
But, if Valek could entice him into a poison-guessing game like in The Princess Bride, I foresee bad things for Caim. :(
[I strongly disagree on Caim being the superior fighter!]
10) What’s next? Are you working on Book 3 in the Shadow Saga? Is it the final novel or do you have more planned?
Right now I’m revising Book 3, Shadow’s Master, which wraps up the series. (Although I never say never.) After that, I have plans for a totally new series, a heroic/epic fantasy involving mad wizards and genocidal god-kings.
Ohhhh.... sounds good!
Thanks, Jon for answering my questions.
Jon's website: http://www.jonsprunk.com
Amazon link to his books:
Shadow's Son: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Son-Jon-Sprunk/dp/1616142014/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b
Shadow's Lure: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616143711/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1N44FSM5HYBVR34ZX7K8&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938811&pf_rd_i=507846