Author Jon Wasik has been telling stories since he was a little boy, but didn’t put pen to paper until fifth grade, when he had grand dreams of becoming the next big sci-fi/fantasy writer. Since then he has written hundreds of short stories and multiple novels, many of which can be found posted on the web. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.
My name is Jon Wasik, I’m an IT tech by day, a fearless writer by night! Okay perhaps not fearless, but hey, I can dream. I live in Colorado right now, a state which seems to have an identity crises when it comes to seasons, but at least it keeps it interesting! I love all things geek, including reading, video games, and sci-fi/fantasy conventions!
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, so one day when I was bored in 5th grade, I just picked up a pencil because I wanted to write my own Star Trek story. Everyone in my class read it, and most enjoyed it, so from that day forward I was hooked. I knew that I could inspire readers the same way books had inspired me all of my life.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That first fateful day in 5th grade was definitely day one, but it wasn’t until I created a website to post my first fanfic in 1999 that I truly felt like a writer. It was then that more than just friends and family could read my stories, and it was then that I received my first feedback, both positive and negative, from complete strangers.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
At the time that I write this, The Sword of Dragons has been published for nearly a year. Forged 3000 years ago, The Sword was designed to end the civil war between the Star Dragons and their twisted kin, the Dark Dragons. Now, a rogue Mage has discovered the Sword and has used it to incite war. Only the outcast Warrior Cardin Kataar and the fledgling Wizard Dalin stand in her way. Together, they must unite the four kingdoms against her, or watch everything they know fall to darkness.
What inspired you to write this book?
The Sword of Dragons has a very, very long history. When I first started writing, I was completely obsessed with writing sci-fi, and so this novel started as a sci-fi with fantasy elements. I wanted to tell my own epic space opera like Star Wars or Star Trek (sensing a theme?) One day I realized this would work so much better as a high fantasy. So the inspiration for this story has varied sources. Sci-fi for sure, in fact, the main trio, Cardin, Sira, and Reis, I had long ago modeled after Kirk, McCoy, and Spock (though that has drastically changed since then…) Some Arthurian legends played a role too, such as the powerful sword central to the plot, but that too evolved into something very different.
Ultimately, my inspiration came from a desire to create a new universe, complete and imaginative, that readers could delve into for years to come.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My favorite novels have always been in third person limited, so I find myself always drawn to that medium. To me it is the best of both worlds: you get to focus on seeing the world from the specific character or characters you focus on, and so learn so much about them, but also the beauty of a wider picture from being able to see events from multiple perspectives. In The Sword of Dragons, I specifically keep each chapter centered around a single character’s PoV.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
Originally it was called Sword of the Dragon, simply because it was a Sword crafted by the Star Dragons. However, when I finally finished the final draft, many many years after I had started the original story, I did a search in Amazon, and found that another novel had been published with that name. At first, I was saddened, how in the world could I come up with a better title for this novel? But then a friend suggested that “The Sword of Dragons” would be a more apt description anyway, so I ran with it, and I find that it does in fact fit the history of the titular weapon better.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are many, but I love leaving most of those to the readers to discover on their own. However, the two that I think are most obvious are that 1: no weapon or object in existence is inherently good or evil, it all depends on who wields it; and 2: the universe runs on action, not inaction, and if you wish to make a difference, you must act.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Being a high fantasy, most of the novel is imagination. But like any good writer, I drew as much on real life as I could. For instance, the character of Reis, always grinning and in good cheer, but able to be serious when the need arose, was based loosely on one of my closest friends. I’ve had limited experience with sword fighting, but had to adapt that knowledge to a fantasy adventure setting.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Certainly Tolkein, not in writing style but in story quality and world-building. J. K. Rowling has most definitely been a huge inspiration, and her writing style is incredible! But honestly, I grew up reading a lot of the Star Wars novels, and I loved the styles of Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole. Their ability to tell adventure stories with just enough detail to satisfy, but not too much so as to slow down the action, has been a big influence on me.
If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
I’ve never had another writer take me under their wing. The only reason my writing has progressed so much over the years is because of friends who have not been shy about giving honest feedback on my writing.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
Christian Michael was the artist for book 1. I chose him because I knew him in person and so could work with him in real-time, but also because I loved the work he had done for his own book covers.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write with passion! I cannot overstate that, your passion is your greatest strength, and believe me, readers can feel when it’s there, and when it’s not. So write what you love, and love what you write.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You all are why I write! To inspire and bring excitement and joy to all of you. And I absolutely love hearing from you, so please never hesitate to reach out to me 🙂
Cover Artist: Christian Michael