Thanks for being with us today, Stuart!
First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing?
Hey, my name is Stuart Thaman, and I’m a best-selling author from Kentucky, though I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, and I received a BA in politics, a BA in German, and a concentration in classical political philosophy. I’m currently in my second year of law school as well.
That’s really interesting to me–I’ve been a lawyer for 30 years (now retired), and found that the call for creative solutions that comes from lawyering also helps in the creative writing process!
My background helps my writing quite a bit as I believe the hard work and extreme academic environment provided by Hillsdale College has shaped me into the self-starter that I am today.
Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?
I do drink a good deal of coffee, though I enjoy tea as well, especially mint tea.
Tell us about your latest publication.
The Minotaur King is my latest release, and it becomes available on September 1st. The short novella is my first published novella. Set in the world of The Goblin Wars, it follows Qul, a would-be royal guard of a minotaur clan and his ultimate rise to power through the mountain ranks.
What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?
Qul has a pretty cool backstory that I just barely touch in The Goblin Wars book 2, and I really wanted to flesh it out to give readers an idea of what he was like before they meet him as the bloodthirsty king he is in Death of a King.
How would you best describe your books?
I write epic and heroic fantasy. This is a layout of the covers of the Goblin Wars series–I love it!
What is your favorite genre to write? To read?
I read mostly horror and sci-fi with just a little bit of fantasy, though my writing is the complete inverse. Fantasy is just so much more fun to write than it is to read.
What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always wanted to be an author. That much I knew from when I was little. And the best thing about writing is getting to craft the most grandiose, over-the-top scenes I can imagine and bring them to life.
I also love meeting fans at conventions—I hate driving to conventions.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?
I’m a mod over at www.reddit.com/r/selfpublish, a community of 14,000 self-published and indie writers.
Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?
Oh yes. I always listen to music. Usually, and more so when I’m writing a battle scene, I listen to Sabaton. Other favorites include: Unleash the Archers, Epica, Dimmu Borgir, Kamelot, Arch Enemy, and The Agonist.
Tell us a little about your path to publication.
My first book was written for National Novel Writing Month. I got an offer on the manuscript through some personal connections, and that proved to largely be a scam. But regardless, I had my foot in the door. That gave me a platform to approach larger publishers.
How did you finally find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?
I met Tony Acree, the owner of Hydra Publications at an author fair in Indiana. We were on a panel together and seemed to have very complimentary personalities, and I had been sitting on a horror manuscript (eventually turned into For We Are Many) at the time, so it made sense to submit to Hydra. Luckily, they accepted me!
What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?
The Minotaur King has some cool aspects. At its core, The Minotaur King is about a lost love and a delusional minotaur who thought he had the queen’s eye. It also tells a bit about manipulation and how those emotions can be turned to pure rage and then molded to something useful.
What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?
I have another full length novel coming soon: The Chronicles of Estria Part One: Blood and Ash. The book is a bit of a departure for me, though it is certainly epic fantasy. Blood and Ash follows Lina Arias, a princess who forsakes her family and crown in favor of fangs and dark, evil magic. The Chronicles of Estria is a series that goes along with the tabletop miniatures game Chaos Wars, produced by Iron Wind Metals.
What would you like to tell readers?
Keep the fantasy alive!
Tags: award, Cincinnati Comic Expo, epic fantasy, fantasy, Goblin Wars, Hydra Publications, Iron Wind Metals, lawyer, Lexington Scarefest, minotaur, Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, novel, RPG, Stuart Thaman, The Minotaur King, Tony Acree, Uncategorized, writer, writing
Today’s interview is with Etta Jean, about the characters in her new book CHRONICLE OF SUMMER. Etta Jean and I have known each other for a number of years, meeting on the internet in the late 1990s in a Star Trek RPG chat, where participants generated original characters as well as channeled those already in existence in various franchises. I was always struck by her ability to provide unique traits and interesting folk to interact with–and I’m pleased to say that her novels have carried on that wonderful gift!
Question 1: So, tell me a little bit about CHRONICLE OF SUMMER.
SUMMER is the conclusion to the Chronicle series, started in Chronicle of Destiny. The Chronicle kids are becoming adults, and they are now embarking on their own journeys to find their destined Furies as well help save the world. Lucksphere has been through many changes in nine years, and while sentiments are changing, it’s still not safe to be a Chronicle. Everything comes down to an epic battle for the fate of the world and . . . well, that’s all I’m going to say.
Question 2: What came first, the characters or the story itself?
The characters, which is not unusual for me. I have an old, old notebook that has some bare notes in it that merely said “Fury” and “Chronicle.” The words were just sticking in my mind. I wanted to do something with Dragons, and I decided a Fury was a Dragon . . . and it just snowballed from there. Relatively speaking, the final product of the series is not too far removed from my very first story notes.
Question 3: Did your characters develop exactly as you’d originally pictured them, or did hidden facets come out you hadn’t expected?
Ha! My characters are always throwing curveballs at me. I didn’t even know Tariah was a cook until she revealed it to Dominic. The younger Chronicles, C.J. and Kelsey especially, were constantly hitting me with either things I didn’t expect them to do, or they’d open their mouths and something hilarious would come out.
Question 4: Can I meet them?
Sure! Let me pry Kelsey from her forge and get Solis to stop tormenting Xander. *exasperated* Would you two get over here? Sheesh.
Question 5: So, Solis while remembering to keep this PG-13, what’s your favorite thing about Kelsey?
Heh, no worries on the rating. My favorite thing about Kelsey isn’t a physicality: it’s her spirit. She’s temperamental with a short trigger, sure, but she’s passionate and loving and just . . . perfect for me. I rather enjoy watching her take charge of situations where no one else can. And when she laughs . . . at the risk of being incredibly mushy, there’s no sweeter sound to me. She was worth waiting for.
Question 6: Kelsey, what about you? What was it about Solis that made up your mind that he was the only one for you?
Well, I kiiiinda lacked any actual ‘choice’ in the matter, being that we were destined to be together, but I’m absolutely fine with that! Pretty much from the time I realized he liked my temper and that he enjoyed my bossiness, I decided I was perfectly content with what had been picked for me. *sotto* And he has a really cute butt. Just saying.
Question 7: What turned out to be your favorite part of the story?
Kelsey: Well, my absolute favorite part has to be when Xander punted an enemy over a mountain.
Solis: For me, I will probably not forget the sight of Morgan and Tariah giggling after accidentally getting intoxicated.
Kelsey: Oh yeah! That was funny, too.
Question 8: Anything else you guys want to add?
Kelsey: Buy our story or else!
Solis: What she means is that we hope you will enjoy following us on our journey and stick around long enough to see what shape our happy ending takes.
Kelsey: I like my way better . . . .
Question 9: Thank you so much for joining us. Etta, this was a blast. Anything you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU. Thank you so much for following me, supporting me, and returning with me to the worlds I’ve created. I literally wouldn’t be here without you. And thank YOU, Lyndi, for hosting me and my cranky Fire Chronicle! I’ll have Tariah send you some sangria.
It has been nine years for Lucksphere. A devastating battle that shattered millennia of beliefs looms in the past. Magi are confused, the Black Magi Elite are in hiding, and Chronicles are still murdered on discovery. Yet a secret hides within the sheltering arms of the world. A secret that the Elite will literally kill to find and the Dragons are rushing to find first: Tariah and Morgan Chronis are not the only Chronicles who have made it past puberty.
The four Chronicle children that Morgan sent away for safety are now becoming adults. Kelsey Renaire is a fiery Master Weaponsmith with often more sass than sense. Roman Arequo is an aloof and airy farmer who dabbles in glass carving. C.J. Daragon is a gentle weaver who creates beauty from soil and sand. Jayda Lakemore is a gifted doctor whose watery talents mend all but the most terminal injuries. Secretly living as Master Magi, all have felt isolated from their peers. All have suspected there might be something more to their power.
None of them know what destiny lays in front of them.
As the Elite rise again and strike out in ways that threaten to tear the land to pieces, the six Chronicles of Lucksphere and their Furies are going to have to join forces and fight not only for their right to live, but for the rights of the Magi and Kin as well. If they don’t work fast, this summer will be last for Lucksphere.
Will love finally defeat hate?
Etta Jean was born in Sacramento, California and destined from birth to be a bard. She told tall tales while devouring the creative worlds of others until she finally had to create her own. She has seen both good and evil in her life, and her stories, like life, have no half measures. Her happy endings never come without cost, though, for she truly believes we can’t appreciate the good and the joy without the bad and the pain along the way. Her current haunt is a comfy house in her beloved hometown where she wrangles three feline fur-kids while constantly overbooking her calendar. If she’s not chained to her desk, she’s stomping through the scenery in search of equally fantastical photographs.
CHRONICLE OF SUMMER is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFAZK16 for Kindle or http://www.amazon.com/dp/1940938198/ for paperback. Etta’s Summer Fest blog tour continues through February, and there are prizes to be won by commenting on the stops along the way.
CHRONICLE OF DESTINY, the original Chronicle tale, can be purchased from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1940938104/ and check out the book trailer here:
@ettajeanfantasy on Twitter
Oooo! Hydra Games has just come out with the Region of Turmoil (Andronia Region Guide) RPG book!
As you round the Draekyn Peak, storms of pure chaos buffet you from all sides. Tears streaming from your eyes, you dare to stop and get your bearings. In that brief moment, a bolt of energy flies past your face, nearly causing you to lose your footing and fall 1000 feet to the chasm below. You glance backwards to find your guide incinerated in the blast of Tek energy. It is not the battlefield you would have chosen, but you have enemies and they will track you to the very ends of Andronia.
ANDRONIA– A new campaign world designed by Hydra Games. An epic high fantasy world crackling with magic and an ancient, controversial technology called tek. Using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules as its base Andronia offers familiar rules coupled with: ~ New races and classes to create exciting characters and NPCs ~ New skills to help Players survive this untamed world ~ New weapons, armor, equipment and items to discover ~ New monsters to fight ~ Intriguing and dangerous areas to explore With guides devoted to each region of the world, novels, RP modules and adventure packs, you will have a vibrant and massive world at your fingertips to run any type of campaign you desire.
Sounds like a huge amount of fun. Who’s in??