Tuesday, October 19, 2010

J.S. Chancellor

Today is J.S. Chancellor Day on my blog. I am so excited to have an exclusive interview and a review of her book, “Son of Ereubus,” ready as part of her blog tour. Let’s start with the review so you know what we’re talking about.

As a writer I am sometimes overcritical when I’m reading someone else’s work. Even when I’m not trying, I subconsciously pick out things I would do differently or words I would use instead of the ones being used. It’s not that I’m trying to be a jerk or hyper-critical when I do this, but sometimes it just happens.

But then there are the other times—the times when the writing is so spectacular, or the voice is so strong that I find myself inspired, looking deeper within my own writing soul for ways to be better. Once I find a writer that does that to me, I’m hooked for life. Stephen King and Brandon Sanderson come to mind right away. But I have found another author who can sign me up for anything she writes. She is fellow Rhemalda author, JS Chancellor. Her debut novel, Guardians of Legend Book One: Son of Ereubus is a must have for all fantasy fans. While reading Ereubus, I was in awe of every word Ms. Chancellor painted onto the page. OK. So you say to yourself, why should I listen to a Rhemalda author when he promotes another Rhemalda author? Fair enough. Maybe you shouldn’t. If you’re skeptical, I understand and instead of taking my word for it, I offer you this free sample to make up your own mind: http://issuu.com/rhemalda/docs/jschancellor_golsoe_look_inside_web . Go ahead… I’ll wait.

Well? Was I lying? I think it’s pretty good stuff.

As for the book, which is why this is a book review and not an author review. S.O.E. is fantasy how fantasy should be done. Explaining the entire plot in this brief review would be foolish of me to even try but I’ll mention what I love most about the story. I love that S.O.E. is character-driven at its best. I love Ariana, while I struggled with whether Garren (the bad-ass dude on the cover) is good, evil, or what. He fools me by showing mercy to some. Or maybe he fools me when others receive his fury (sorry about your luck, Aiden). As with brilliant characters, you don’t entirely know whether you want him to win or lose. You’ll ask yourself, as I did, what is with the pooch, Koen? Or what happened to Ariana’s father so many years before. S.O.E. is a fantasy novel—there is no doubt—but a touch of horror is woven throughout the well-crafted world of Chancellor’s imagination. This story is great for reading on a full-moon night in an old, settling house with shadows from the outside world bouncing beneath the street lights. That is, unless you hate to be creeped out. Fantasy with a touch of horror can be a wonderful thing if done correctly and I am happy to announce Ms. Chancellor’s success at doing so.

My only question to you is—why are you still reading my blog and not placing your order?

Well done, J.S. Chancellor.

So that is my review of S.O.E. But wait, there’s more. Ms. Chancellor was generous enough to take a break from her hectic writing schedule to join me for an interview.

What inspired Son of Ereubus; Book one of The Guardians of Legend trilogy?

At night, when I was younger (and not old enough to roam the house whenever I couldn’t sleep) I’d listen to music on my huge, clunky, portable CD player. In the dark, all these scenes would come and I’d listen to the same song over and over until whatever the scene encompassed had solidified. Then, I’d write it down the next day. Sometimes I would repeat this for several nights in a row. One of those nights found me listening to a certain song (that’s my little secret) and the scene in SOE where Palingaurd is destroyed came to life. There is a section in that song (still my secret), where the music dies and all you hear is voices in harmony—that moment brought Adoria to life for me—it gave me the sense of this, place, where unseen protectors could still provide hope, even in the midst of such despair, for these desperate humans.

Tell me something about Ereubus that you haven’t spoken about publically.

Aside from the song? Haha, well…in all seriousness there are things about SOE and the Guardians trilogy as a whole that are deeply personal for me. It was never intended to be a story read for entertainment purposes only. I mean, I hope it entertains, obviously, but there are some themes and subjects covered that are unapologetically weighty; family, abandonment, slavery, rape, abuse, forgiveness, love, hate…the list goes on and on. While I’ve gratefully never experienced the worst of these things, I’ve studied them. I have a sincere appreciation for the human soul and spirit, and what all they can endure. We really are incredible creatures, with the capacity to extend love far beyond our means.

Are you an outliner, a winger, or a meticulous planner when you write? Or something else?

Maybe a little bit of all of those things. I outline, then I write and toss about half of the outline—that’s the winging it part—in order to reach the areas of the story that have been purposeful, meticulously, thought out in advance. That’s the ‘something else’ part.

What is your typical writing day (or night) like?

Depends on the day honestly. If I don’t have a schedule, I’m screwed. When I write, I write with my noise reduction headphones on, for hours and I don’t emerge till I look and act drunk. Writing hangovers are the worst. I think fantasy authors experience the brunt of this. It’s tough to come back to the real world after existing for hours, days, weeks on end in another universe.

What is your favorite music band?

That’s another tough one because my music tastes are really broad. But, you did say band, so let’s go with Within Temptation.

TV series?

Right now, Criminal Minds. But, I love Law and Order.


The Burbs, with Tom Hanks. I could watch it all day, every day. Literally.

Author? (please say me, please say me, I say as I rock back and forth nervously.)

Douglas Brown, of course ;)

What has been the hardest thing for you to learn as a writer?

There isn’t enough room in cyberspace for my real answer. I’ll say this: They tell you everything will change once you’re published—be it by a large house or small. They aren’t kidding.

Tell me about what you have planned with Rhemalda after Ereubus.

Obsidian, which will come out Spring of 2012 (after book two of Guardians).

Speaking of Obsidian, tell your fans a little about it.

Obsidian is a cyberpunk retelling of Beauty and the Beast…and so far it’s been a blast to write. I’m having a lot of fun with it. It isn’t finished yet, so I’m still in the early stages, but it’s coming together beautifully.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my blog followers?

I love readers! LOVE readers, love to hear from them, what their thoughts are on the series, what their questions are, etc. I can be reached via email, jschancellor@gmail.com. I’m doing pretty good about answering all emails right now—I can’t promise that’ll always be the case, but for now it is. So, don’t hesitate to contact me!

What will you be doing special to celebrate launch day?

We’re going camping the second weekend in November and that’s sort of a gift to myself. I’m giving myself time after that, a whole month, to work on a novel that I have no intention on publishing. That likely sounds counter-productive, but it’s something I want and need. A reward for working on stuff that will see public scrutiny. I have a feeling that this will become a tradition of mine.

We are having a launch party here in Columbus, Ga. Though, the details on that are a little hazy at the moment. It will be towards the end of November so we can hit more of the Christmas shoppers.

A big thank you goes out to Ms. Chancellor and all of the luck in the world on her November 1st book release. Order it here: http://www.rhemalda.com/bookstore/guardians-legend-trilogy-ereubus-p-30.html?osCsid=othci2e39jvljjcoeom366tmb2 or go to Amazon among other places. You won’t be disappointed.

BTW, Sorry that you have to cut-and-paste but I can't get the links to work for some reason.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Bone Sword Review

I was fortunate to receive a copy of Walter Rhein’s fantasy novel, “The Bone Sword,” before its release so I could give a review. Well, here’s my review.

The Bone Sword if a fun, action-packed adventure that follows a tough-as-nails warrior named Malik and a brother and sister team who are on the run from the evil Father Ivory. When I say evil, I mean torturing and lopping off hands and heads evil. A word of caution, this isn’t a story for the squeamish. The sister, Jasmine, has the ability to heal people which, as you can imagine, is blasphemy to self-proclaimed religious types such as Father Ivory.

If, when reading a book, the number one goal is to be entertained, then Walter has succeeded. You often hear people say that they couldn’t put a book down but that doesn’t make it any less true. I enjoyed the characters and the action and the pacing to a point I found myself constantly saying one more chapter before I went off to bed. As such, I would be happy to recommend Walter’s book to anyone looking for a fast-paced fantasy novel.

If what I’ve heard about a sequel is true, we can expect more from Walter’s fantasy mind which will have me first in the figurative line to preorder. Good work, Walter and good luck with the release.

So what are you waiting for. Copy and paste this link and get ordering.