Today I am joined at the campfire by dark fantasy author James Reid and his magnificent beard. We chuck another on the flames and settle in for a chat about all things books.
- Hi JMD Reid tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?
I am a fan of fantasy books. I always loved the works of Tolkein, Eddings, Jordan, Brooks, Weis & Hickman, and more when I was a teenager. I wanted to tell my own stories set in fantastical worlds of my own!
- What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?
The creative worlds, creatures, and powers that are impossible in the real world. It lets your imagination be its most free.
- Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?
My latest series is Secret of the Jewels, a five-book dark fantasy series that starts with Diamond Stained. It follows Obhin and Avena, two souls weighed down by their guilts and regrets.
Obhin, a palace guard who has fallen after making a tragic mistake, is now a bandit at the nadir of his life. He doesn’t care about much any longer. About the pain he causes others. But when his only friend is mortally injured, he’s spurred to save his life. Joined by Avena, a young woman the bandits have captured, they fight to keep him alive despite the objections of the bandit leader.
This act gives Obhin a chance for redemption. A new beginning, but can he find that new beginning in a city full of crime and corruption where a dark necromancer, a crime syndicate, and political unrest threatens to plunge the city into madness.
And can Avena trust this dark stranger in protecting the most important person in her life: her teacher and famed healer.
- What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?
I like to write characters with flaws and help them overcome them. Probably because I’m such a flawed person and it’s nice to know that people can be heroic and overcome their weaknesses.
- For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?
You need to write, write, write. I could be crap. I could be garbage. It could be nonsense. But you need to get in the habit of writing and develop your mental muscles. You can’t get better if you don’t write, write, write. If you can’t find an hour every day to write, is it really something you want to do? Something you are passionate about? This discipline can be hard to achieve, but if you can get it, you’ll start to find you finish stories and make progress.
- What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?
I write everyday. I have a schedule I follow. This is my job, and I treat it. Wake up and go to my writer’s den.
- Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?
I am a hybrid. I started off more of a pantser, but now I do very loose outlines of major events then write more detailed scene outlines for a few chapters at a time. I write them and that way I can evaluate how the characters reacted and what they should do next. So there is room for my loose outline to change and grow while my scene outlines generally don’t’ change much.
- What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?
I am editing What Mask Hides, which is a sidequel to Secret of the Jewels. It takes place in the same time period of Secret of the Jewels and they have some connection, but each are standalone stories. It’s about a noblewoman who becomes a thief to find meaning in her empty life. Then I’m writing No One’s Tale which serves as a sequel of sorts to both series. It follows villain characters from both series as they search for new place in the world after seeing what their actions caused. One is a shapeshifter called No One who also needs to figure out who he is. In addition, I’m writing a fantasy quest series called Shadow of the Dragons. About a young boy trying to protect his childhood friend after she’s possessed by a dragon and a dark organization needs her for their nefarious goals.
- With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?
I like my characters to triumph but to have difficult journeys.
- What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
Lord of the Rings. Star Wars had three awesome movies, but Disney is running it into the ground with their current soulless stories. Harry Potter is great, but J.K. Rowling should stop writing these Fantastic Beast movies. She somehow ruined the concept of a fun movie about a guy going around with magical beasts into this crazy, over the top mess.
Follow James via
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.M.D.-Reid/e/B00P44PBQK/
Diamond Stained Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085X3PHYB