Joining us today for an author interview is J.E. Lowder, fantasy author of Tears of Min Brock and Martyr’s Moon!
The first book in the series: Tears of Min Brock follows a young girl of 14 summers, named Elabea, who hears a whisper calling her to the shining land of Claire; a kingdom that was supposedly destroyed in the devastating Dark War. Outcast from her family and village, with her childhood friend, Galadin, her only companion, Elabea sets out on an epic quest to become one of the most powerful beings in the world – a storyteller.
The sequel: Martyr’s Moon, was just released this past February. Here is the back cover blurb:
The Council of Ebon encircle the Cauldron, their grotesque features shrouded in shadows. With voices like ice shards scraping against stone, they disclosed their dark prophesy…
Mothers, guard babes: Fathers, draw steel,
Thunder approaches, soon blood on the fields.
Tempest of war, so black and so vile,
Spreads o’er Allsbruth; lament suckling child.
War between the dark nation of Ebon and rebel forces is imminent. The Martyr’s Moon rises. The blood of a storyteller is spilled. Hope vanishes. Yet in night, the King of Claire whispers.
Why did you choose to write in this genre?
Epic fantasy gave me the creative canvas in which to develop a litany of quirky characters as well as being able to describe their inner struggles in a surreal manner. Because my series is a quest-type, I opted to not use the typical beasts found in most fantasy books in order to make my story fresh. So I created unique creatures that make the story (at least I hope so!) feel like a new world experience for my reader.
Is anyone else in your family musical/artistic/writers? Describe your family members’ artistic interests and abilities.
My dad is a classically trained pianist, so I grew up listening to Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, to name a few. As a kid, I’d fall asleep listening to him practicing down the hall. What a wonderful way to doze off! He also played the pipe organ at our church. It was amazing to watch him playing separate keyboards with both hands, pulling stops, and pumping bass lines with his feet ALL at the same time.
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Everyone has to start somewhere, so mark today as your starting point. And remember what Richard Bach said: “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
Which authors do you admire? Why?
Dickens because he created the best opening line ever: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,…”
Ray Bradbury for being able to creep me out in a lyrical manner.
O’Henry for teaching me how to turn a tale.
Stephen King’s advice from “On Writing”: kill all adverbs.
What are your fondest writing memories?
In high school, I finagled my way backstage to interview rock bands like Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Kansas… Think “Almost Famous” without Kate Hudson or living on the road with a band. If interested, here’s the link to my website where I recaptured my interview with Kansas: http://jelowder.com/short-trails-2/
What inspires you to write?
My passion is to craft a story that captures a reader’s heart and imagination.
What is the best part about writing?
Getting into that zone when I’m in the scene and I can feel, see, taste, touch everything my characters are experiencing. I can get lost in such moments; lost for days!
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The business! Marketing, selling, networking, social media, blogging, Twitter….you get the picture.
I know it’s part of the job, but I’d rather just crank out another book. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy meeting readers and answering questions, but I’m not a marketing guru. I’m just an introvert who’s creative and likes to write.
Describe your ideal place to write.
I love to write early in the morning, as in before 6, and in my office. Add a strong cup of French roast laced with half & half. When my family goes to the beach for vacation, I write there too, but to be honest, I’m usually distracted by, well, THE BEACH! Ditto for trying to write in the mountains or at a swanky resort. I like to explore new places, or go see what’s happening in the town, or try a cool coffee place. All of which ads up to not writing! In short, I’d probably do best if incarcerated and locked in a cell!:)
How do ideas come to you?
My ideas come from observing life and people. An algae covered pond inspired the draiggs of Cor len Bluun (Martyr’s Moon.) An elderly friend, whose hair is silvery-white, became Newcomb. My years in the music business in Nashville put shape and form to DeMorley, the minstrel. Ditto for his lute, a rare instrument made by revered luthier, Bellini.
I have not yet read either of these books, but I have read what is available on Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” and I am quite looking forward to purchasing, reading, and reviewing these, they sound exactly like the sort of thing I usually enjoy reading. Finding new authors to read is one of the best parts of the Featured Artist Friday! Thank you, Jay, for popping by for an interview!
Find out more about this author at his website: http://jelowder.com/