Folks, please give a very warm welcome to J. J. Sherwood, author of Kings or Pawns, Book 1 in the epic fantasy series The Kings. She’s kindly given us a very fun interview. Also, don’t miss the iRead Book Tours link to more interviews, guest posts, reviews, and giveaways! Don’t forget to check out the giveaway, linked at the end of this post!
Would you rather have a dragon, or be a dragon?
Definitely human—then I’d still get the benefit of flying and fire and all that wonderful dragoness without the downsides—you know, dragon slayers and lack of fingers and being an awkward size.
Unless I could be a dragon who could turn into a human. That’d definitely be the winner.
It’s time for you to host the book club. Who do you invite (living, dead, fictional, real)? And what 3 books will you be discussing?
Alexander the Great—I mean, I’ve had a crush on him since I was a kid and he could be there so I could oogle him with a proper excuse. Next, John Quincy Adams—he swam nude in the Potomac River every day so that pretty much clinches him as fascinating. And St. Francis of Assisi—he was the first Italian poet, stripped naked in the middle of the town square when his father demanded he return the money he stole for a poor church. He was a definite eccentric, and also as a bonus, was supposedly dashing…
Ok, so we would read no great intellectual masterpiece like Shakespeare or A Tale of Two Cities: I think we’d just discuss the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. It’s my favorite series and you can’t just read ONE. That’d be a crime.
If you had to choose someone to rescue you from the jaws of certain death would it be a superhero, supernatural creature, or a space alien?
Superhero and he would be Spiderman. And as he whisked me away into the sunset he’d make a dreadful pun.
Myths and beliefs that we would consider fiction or fantasy in modern literature once upon a time shaped history (think of all the hunts for unicorns & dragons). Do you see modern fantasy fiction affecting human cultures today and how?
Hm. This is a thinker and while I gave myself a whole thirty seconds to consider, I came up with nothing. I think “affecting human cultures” is a strong phrase when compared with unicorn hunts. But I wish that we all had an excuse to spend a Tuesday night hunting dragons. So while I don’t see it affecting people’s actions in the grandest sense, I do believe it promotes inspiration and imagination across the world.
I think it’s extremely essential in fiction—especially in fantasy. We are often weighed down by the wonder of magic and fantastical creatures, so normalizing the world with a (brief) description of a lengthy travel coupled with a few choice “realistic” descriptions (not to mention a bathroom break or two), can go a long way to make the reader feel like they have both feet in the world. The key is to not make such mundane things boring.
What has been your worst or most difficult job? How does it compare to writing?
Worst job: working as a cashier at a craft store. It was like grating my forehead against a cheese grater. I frankly can barely tolerate any actual paid work outside of writing. Except cleaning up other people’s messes. You will PAY me to scrub your toilet bowl and vacuum up cat fur? SOLD.
And that totally isn’t sarcasm.
No really. I’m serious.
If you were sent on a magical quest which other 4 fantasy authors would you take with you?
Oh boy oh boy. Nancy Varian Berberick—beautifully poetic, Jonathan Stroud—clever and funny, Mark Lawrence—original and funny, and Margaret Weis—one of the primary reasons I write high fantasy today!
If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you chose to do?
Well, I use to want to be a lawyer. Or go into politics. You know, something where I could argue all day long. Now that I’ve gotten married, I think a house wife would about do the trick, too.
In this age of publishing, self-promotion is really necessary for the author. What do you enjoy most about advertising yourself and your works? What do you find most challenging?
Generally I find interviews to be a challenge. I mean, the ones that ask me the standard twenty questions. Sometimes I feel like stabbing my eyes out with a pencil when I’m asked “where were you born?” for the 50th time. This one, however, has been a blast.
But the thing I love most of all is the cosplaying we do for the series at conventions. Not only do we have the opportunity to meet new people, but we get to stalk around in fantastical armor while we do it.
Don’t miss out on more interviews, guest posts, reviews, and giveaways on the blog tour!
J.J. Sherwood’s debut novel KINGS OR PAWNS: THE KINGS, BOOK 1 is the first in a high fantasy epic series sure to please fans of both the science fiction and fantasy genres.
The year is 8994 P.E., and the city of Elvorium is corrupted—rotted to the core by the machinations of depraved politicians. With his father dead and the country facing a rebellion, Price Hairem becomes the king of the elven world of Sevrigel in one of its most turbulent points in history.
Young and daring, Hairem is determined to eradicate the corruption festering in Elvorium’s self-serving and all-powerful council, which thwarts his best intentions at every turn. But Hairem’s problems are far more sinister¬—and deadly—than merely political. The loyal members of the council are being savagely murdered by an assassin loosed within the city—an assassin whose brutality knows no bounds. Outside of the city, the Lord Saebellus wages a vicious rebellion against the capital. He has been thwarted thus far by the brilliant General Jikun, and Hairem is certain that the general can crush Saebellus.
But instead of continuing the campaign against the warlord, the council orders Jikun’s army to be split, sending him on a mission that furthers only their own wealth and power. Jikun knows that the council’s demands will leave Elvorium vulnerable to an attack from the formidable warlord. Although Saebellus has been recently defeated, he is far from vanquished. As corruption and death threaten to tear the city apart from within, the rebel Saebellus seizes the opportunity to lay siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital and unleash his most powerful weapon yet: a demonic beast that neither weapon nor magic can kill. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem is grasping for his own power to fight against the forces that threaten Sevrigel.
Will Hairem overcome the council’s scheming and duplicity? Can General Jikun defeat the warlord Saebellus? Will this be the war that finally brings Sevrigel to its knees? KINGS OR PAWNS offers action, intrigue, mystery, and suspense—a thrilling story that will leave readers hungry for the sequel, Heroes or Thieves, to be published in February 2016.
J.J. Sherwood lives in Ohio with her husband and four near-identical cats. KINGS OR PAWNS is J.J.’s widely anticipated debut novel, and is the first book of The Kings quartet. The series is set in the high fantasy world of Aersadore, home to hundreds of characters who all clamor for J.J.’s attention. To learn more about the trials and tribulations of General Jikun and King Hairem, visit StepsofPower.com. J.J. Sherwood will be at the tenth Fandom Fest Comic Con in Louisville, Kentucky this coming August 7th-9th.
Prizes: Win 1 of 20 copies of Kings or Pawns – print or ebook (mobi or ePub) (USA & Canada). Just click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!