Tag Archives: UF

Author Interview: Jonathan M Lazar

Author Jonathan Lazar describes himself as a queer and quirky, mostly fantasy writer that tries to break conventions but who also plays with tropes. He loves tea, making homemade pizza, and posting pictures of his cats on his social media accounts. Please welcome Jonathan to No Wasted Ink.

My name is Jonathan M. Lazar, and I am mostly a fantasy author. I say mostly, because I also write science fiction, and I have an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy available. I am self-published for most of my works, but I have been fortunate enough to have my Urban Fantasy series picked up by Kyanite Publishing. I am originally from Chicago, but have lived in Kalamazoo (Michigan), Springfield (Illinois), Saint Louis (Missouri), and currently live in overly sunny Tucson. My husband and I are owned by two adorable Siamese cats named Ping and Pong.

When and why did you begin writing?

Funny story actually. Back in the third grade we had a homework assignment to use as many of the weekly spelling words as possible. I used all ten, in what would now be considered a fan fic. I wrote a very terrible Power Rangers story, I don’t remember what it was about now. My teacher said that I would go on to win an Oscar (I am still waiting for that to happen).

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I can say I first considered myself a true writer, after my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) way back in 2008. This was when I wrote my first 50k word novel for a fantasy series I only had notes on. Prior to that, everything was notes, or attempts at short stories.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

This book and the entire Gehenna Cycle series actually, takes place in the far, far future of my science fiction series, the Terran Rising series. I know crazy, magic in a science fiction series, right? But I found a way, one that will eventually be explored not only as I get the science fiction series available, but as I continue on with the Gehenna Cycle. So stay tuned.

What inspired you to write this book?

Fate of the Flame is actually the third book in the Gehenna Cycle that I wrote. During my first NaNoWriMo, I wrote, Shadow of the Queens, which is the second in the series, and then during another NaNoWriMo I would go on to start the third book in the series. However this was always the intended first book in the series, chronologically. I knew the characters, the world, and the idea, but actually writing it down, took a very long time, mainly I had to figure out how they got from point A to point B and met everyone in-between while still staying consistent with the world I had built.

Do you have a specific writing style?

For many of my works, I am a sucker for the small details. I love describing the way the suns rays hit fabric, water, or a window. I love describing the way a piece of clothing moves in both the wind and as someone adjusts themselves, or the smells of the building or what’s in a cup. I like to fully immerse not only myself but my readers in the world. I find this adds such depth to the world that I am building.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Fate of the Flame was determined as the ultimate title, since the novel revolves around the Augur prophecy that details the Order’s fall by the hands of the Boy with Sapphire Eyes. Wish there was a more hidden meaning behind that, but its not. Sometimes titles naturally manifest and are in direct correlation to the novel’s happenings and sometimes, they are more symbolic. Though I can say the original title of this book was almost Destiny of the Flame.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

This novel is an epic story with a prophecy, and through out the entire book, there is the theme of lies vs truth. As the religious, Order of the Unnamed Goddess will do everything they can to keep power, and are not below lying to the populace.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I want to say outright no, as this book is part of my epic fantasy series, however, this series started off as a very terrible fantasy story involving myself and my friends (back in high school). So I do see myself as my MC, Bastian. Also because I was the main character when I first wrote the story… then reworked it to make it what it is today. Very little, aside from some names that remain.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Most definitely this would have to be Roger Zelazny and his Chronicles of Amber series. His writing made me realize that fantasy can have elements of science fiction and vice-a-versa, which plays heavily into the Gehenna Cycle.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

My cover designer was OlivaProDesign on Fiverr. I have used her for several other of my novels, including my fairy tale fantasy series Bound by Wolves & Roses. She is both professional and as you can see, just fantastic. I chose her, because as an independent author, it can be difficult to get fantastic covers for a relatively low-cost. This satisfied both requirements.

I am also going to throw a shout-out to my amazing editor, Katlyn Webb of Ambition Editing, LLC. I found her on a whim, or she found me. But she has been instrumental in editing many of my works, including Fate of the Flame.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice has to be keep writing, make a doable word count goal. Start small and build up, and most of all, get that first draft done! You will always hear that your first draft is crap, and I have plenty of crappy first drafts. Your first draft is just to get your work finished, everything after that is perfecting the work.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I always love hearing from everyone. I am quite chatty on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, regarding writing, my cats, food, tea, and endless array of topics. Feel free to comment on my posts, tell me what you love, what you hate. Sign up for my monthly newsletter and get a free novella. Also don’t miss out on my author page on Facebook, because that’s where I also occasionally run the bulk of my contests.

Jonathan M. Lazar
Tucson, Arizona

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 Fate of the Flame

Cover Artist:  OlivaProDesign
Editor: Katlyn Webb (editor)
Publisher: Kyanite Publishing

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Author Interview: JG Gatewood

Author JG Gatewood is a prolific YA author that loves to write about vampires.  I hope you will give him a warm welcome here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Jason GatewoodHello. My name is Jason Gatewood. I spent my early years in Iowa before my family decided to move to Colorado when I was 13. I’m never leaving (if I have my way). I love everything about this state. The outdoors. The mountains. The professional sports teams. It’s just a great place to live and raise a family. I’ve been married for 17 years and have two sons, Branden (13) and Evan (8). Fortunately, my wife feels the same way about Colorado. We also have a 100 lb Alaskan Malamute. I am currently working on my MA in Professional Fiction Writing from the University of Denver.

When and why did you begin writing?

I feel like I always enjoyed writing, from grade school all the way through high school. But I never really did anything or tried to complete a whole story until 9 years ago when I was laid off. While looking for a new job, I took my time and wrote my first book. I made a lot of mistakes, but have learned so much along the way.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I received the first proof copy of my first book. It didn’t feel real until I held it in my hands.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

My most recent novel is an Adult Urban Fantasy book called The Vampire’s Curse: Life Eternal. It is the first book in a trilogy about a young man who is fighting a losing battle with brain cancer. He is visited on his deathbed by a vampire who offers him eternal life in exchange for a year of service. Out of options, he agrees. But he despises what he’s become. His family and friends think he’s dead and he’s lonely. He refuses to serve his year and now he’s on the run. Most of my stories are suitable for pretty much any age above 12, but this one is not. It is definitely adult in nature.

What inspired you to write this book?

One fall weekend in 2016, my wife and I decided to watch all the Twilight Movies back to back. There’s nothing wrong with them, I even read the books, but I got into a conversation with my wife about how PG the books were. When I think of vampires, I don’t typically think PG. I told her that night I wanted to write a vampire book that was the opposite of Twilight, and where I experimented with the ideas of what we know about vampires. A month or two later was NaNoWriMo and I went through with the idea. I’m really happy with it. It gave me the opportunity to unleash myself. I’m usually a pretty reserved person, so being able to say all the things I normally wouldn’t say, was quite a cathartic experience.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know that I have a specific style. It depends on what I’m writing. For instance, The Vampire’s Curse was a completely different style and tone from what I normally write. My YA fantasy book is from the perspective of a teenage girl, so I tried to channel as much of that as I could. I have to get into my characters and I let them dictate the style.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

I had the idea for the title before I ever started writing. He’s a vampire who hates being a vampire. It made sense to me and I ran with it. Usually, I go through a few different titles before I settle on one.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In this story, there wasn’t a deeper meaning. I had fun with it, and as I mentioned before, It gave me the opportunity to say things I wouldn’t normally say. I wrote it more as an entertainment piece (including humor) and that was all there is to it. This isn’t always the case. My YA book deals with issues of racism and differing religions.

What authors have most influenced your life?

What about them do you find inspiring? There are so many. Stephen King is probably my favorite author and the one whom I inspire to be the most. However, I write primarily fantasy, so, from that standpoint, I would say, Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, and Branden Sanderson. Their world building and plot design are so amazing and I only hope to be as masterful as them someday.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

Outside of the above-listed authors, I haven’t been taken under any wings, but I am a member of a critique group through RMFW that contains members with varying backgrounds and accolades. Thes people have helped my writing so much. They truly are my brothers and sisters.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I usually design my own covers. For this book, my publisher took with what I created and went in a similar direction. But ultimately, they decided on the cover.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

This isn’t something that happens overnight. Sit back and relax and enjoy what you are doing. Writing is a craft that takes time to develop. Write often and keep writing. When you aren’t writing, read. Read anything you can get your hands on. I mentioned I am currently working on my Masters. I have read many stories and novels I never would have picked up before that I absolutely loved and learned a lot from. My last bit of advice, find a critique group or writing community. I was nervous at first, but it was probably one of the best things I ever did.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

The biggest thing I have to say is, Thank You!. I enjoy writing. It keeps me calm at the end of a bad day and makes me smile when I am feeling down. But none of it would be worth it if I wasn’t sharing it with people. So again I say, thank you.

cover_vampires_curseJ.G. Gatewood
Parker, CO

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The Vampire’s Curse: Life Eternal

Publisher: Isabella Media

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BARNES & NOBLE