Tell us about your book.
Chosen is the first in a series, called The Guardians of the Word, and is about the journey of a young man to discover who he really is. He’s a twin – the less outgoing, less confident of the two. When he’s thrown, quite literally, into Hell, he has to figure out fast how to endure, relying only on his own wits, so he can save the soul of his ancestor, whose survival is key to keeping the world from falling to evil. On a larger scale it’s about good and evil and what throws the universe out of balance when one side, the Gods or the demon, gains more power than the other.
This is the first book of a planned seven-part series. Did you always intend for this to be a series?
No, but I realized quickly that the story wouldn’t be told in one book. I kept trying, but I couldn’t stuff it all in.
"Science fantasy" means different things to different readers and authors. What does it to mean to you?
The next writer or reader may think of it as something else entirely, but to me science fantasy is the combination of fantastical elements – in the case of Chosen, several of the characters are telepathic, others have the ability to change shape, there are dragons and wraiths, Gods and a demon – meshed together with science fiction elements like space flight and technology. Star Wars is a science fantasy story. There are laser swords and Jedi Knights capable of picking a spaceship up out of the water with the power of their mind.
I think rigidly sticking to one genre and specific definitions of genre can be limiting to both reader and writer. When I started this book, all I thought about was writing a good story, not what category it would fit into. I knew what I liked to read about, what I liked to see in my head. I knew I had to have some element of technology and space flight in it, and I knew that there would be the fantasy elements with the Gods fighting off the evil demon.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was heavily influenced by Tolkien growing up - to the point of performing in a couple adaptations of the Hobbit. It was great fun! I also grew up loving the future Star Trek presented and I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I have a light saber. I have a few real swords on my wall too. I wanted to tell a story with both elements. Underneath all that, I had the story of this conflicted, uncertain boy in my head, and how he comes to find himself. Some of it isn’t especially pleasant for him.
Some authors define everything about their characters in advance. Others start writing and find that the characters "take on a life on their own". How did the development of Dynan flow for you?
I’m not much of a planner outside the basic storyline. I’m finding Dynan along the way, just like he is.
You have six other books to write, so you'll busy for a while, but, after that, do you have any other series planned?
Actually, they are already written. I’m in the editing and rewriting phase, so I may be less busy sooner than I think. I don’t have immediate plans to start another book, but if I do, I’m going to try to keep it to just one.
Thanks for stopping by, Jolea.
Chosen is available at Amazon.
Jolea's blog is at http://jm-harrison.com/
She's also available on Twitter as @Joleab and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/