Friday, June 14, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Meme - Shadow & Steel by James A. West (@JWestBooks)

The Next Big Thing
(Blog Meme)

James A. West
author of
brand new epic fantasy novel


James states that he "will write for chips & salsa", but his fiction is worth a great deal more.

James is a talented writer of fantasy novels.

His latest work is Shadow and Steel (Heirs of the Fallen Book 3).

I've read James' work and enjoyed it a great deal.
I read Reaper of Sorrows (Songs of the Scorpion - Volume I).

It was quite good. Great fantasy, with a strong hero reminiscent of Maximus from the film "Gladiator", great action, and some pretty effed-up dark magic.

Take it away, James!

1. Title of your book:
Shadow and Steel

2. Where did the idea come from for the book:

My brain. Sorry, couldn’t resist! Actually I got the idea for this series 10 years ago. I love epic fantasy, but one day I thought to myself wouldn’t it be cool if the hero failed at saving the day? Or, even better, what if the world ends right at the beginning and there isn’t even a chance to save it? I have always been fascinated by survival situations. How would people survive? How would they cope with a destroyed world, and the aftermath that ensues? So, I started writing Heirs of the Fallen.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Epic fantasy, because fantasy is awesome.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is the hardest question! I honestly don’t know. I will give it my best shot…

Leitos – I think Taylor Kitsch would be a good choice. Leitos is a warrior, and after seeing John Carter and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I don’t think Taylor Kitsch would have any problem at all playing a warrior.

Ba-Sel  – Djimon Honsouj (because he is an amazing actor who can play any character!)

Belina – For Belina, the criteria is dark-haired, strong-willed, and feminine. She is beautiful, but also powerful and not afraid to speak her mind. I think Selma Blair would be great! 

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Former slave Leitos Valara has spent the last year in hiding, training for vengeance, but now destiny has forced him onto a treacherous path of shadow and steel; and the Faceless One is waiting.

6. Who is publishing your books?

That would be me! All of my books are self-published. I like taking the adventurous road in life, although some would say another name for that is doing things the hard way :)
I don’t regret going the non-traditional way at all. I am having too much fun!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

It took 2 days and 15 cans of Red Bull. Just kidding! My brain would explode if I tried something like that. Shadow and Steel is about 70,000 words. It took me about 6 weeks, but that is just the first draft.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

I tried really hard to make the setting and plot as different from other epic fantasy as possible. I mean no disrespect to “traditional” epic fantasy, I love that stuff! But I wanted something different. Instead of the medieval setting, mine has more of an ancient Mediterranean feel. There are no dwarves, dragons, elves or heroes that save the day. In terms of writing style, I’ve had people tell me it is similar to A Game of Thrones, and the Sword of Truth series. I hope that is true, because I love George R.R. Martin and Terry Goodkind! 

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

In some ways a lot of my inspiration comes from Stephen King. I read The Talisman when I was 13, and it blew my mind! I wanted to write a series that dealt with an apocalypse, but I also wanted to capture the humanity of that struggle. How people cope, act, treat each other, etc. Stephen King does that so well in his stories.

10. What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?

I am hoping to pique the interest of people that are looking for something a little bit different. It is fast-paced fantasy. The book is shorter than most epic fantasy books, but there is a lot going on. It is non-stop action. I wanted to write something almost like an action/adventure story but mixed with fantasy. I hope people enjoy it!
Shadow and Steel is available now, so I invite you to give it a try. It just received a 5-star review on Amazon, which made my day :) I'm also excited to say this is now a best-selling epic fantasy series!

Finally, I am pleased to introduce the two writers I tagged for the Next Big Thing Blog Meme:

First, author Tom Bielawski.

Tom is an extremely talented science fiction and fantasy author.

I am currently reading A Tide of Shadows, and I am enjoying this book immensely. I am really looking forward to reading more of his work.

Please go visit his blog to learn more about him and his work, and check out his Next Big Thing Blog Meme!

Last, but definitely not least, I tagged writer Wanda P. Smith.

Wanda is an exciting up and coming novelist, and Summer Winds is her debut.

I enjoyed reading about Sunshine, and I know you will as well.

Please go visit her blog to learn more about her, and be sure to check out her work!

Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to stop by! I hope to see you again soon.

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