From Tabletop Gaming to Fantasy Writing
1) Let's start with the basics. What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.
2) What inspired you to become a writer?
Tabletop gaming. I started when I was very young. The whole process is pretty much collaborative storytelling.
3) What is the best time of day for you to write?
The most productive time for me is between 5 and 7AM.
4) Which character of yours is your favorite and why?
I think Raelyn has really stepped into that role, which surprises me, as it was never my intention. There is something about ancient, and rather exhausted succubus that appeals to me. She’s certainly a dark character, but at the same time, she definitely has a nice redemption arc to her.
5) Did you receive encouragement from a mentor, family member, teacher, coach…?
I participate in a writers’ workshop. (AllWriters’ Workshop and Workplace) Workshops are incredibly supportive and encouraging.
6) What gives you the most satisfaction in the writing process?
The craftsmanship. I am writing a long and complex series, so all my details and timelines have to line up. At times, it can be tedious, but every now and then, things just come together perfectly. All those disparate plot threads come together, forming a tight knot.
7) What is the most important bit of information you would want to tell a person interested in publishing a book?
Rewrite your first three chapters. Inevitably, if you are a new writer, you’ve grown over the course of your writing. When you seek an agent, or send a book in for review, the other party is only likely to look at your first three chapters, which are very likely the poorest examples of your writing.
8) Pick five books that are must-reads in your mind.
Sticking with fantasy, SciFi, and related genres, and including series: A Game of Thrones
The Dresden Files (Stormfront is the first book)
The Expanse (Leviathan Wakes is the first book)
The Name of the Wind (I recommend stopping after book 1)
The Riftwar Saga
9) What is your favorite character from any book you have ever read?
I’m going to go with Raelyn, but only because, since I’m writing her, I know her better. I know what lies behind and beneath the words. It’s unfair, but on the other hand, I would argue any authors who don’t cite one of their own characters should think about that and ask themselves why.
10) In your opinion, can a book series be too long?
I don’t think length is really the issue. Quality content is the issue. As long as a series continues to grow and evolve, without circling back on itself and recycling themes, character development, plot, and action… it isn’t too long.
11) What is your favorite quote and why?
I’m not sure I have one. Books aren’t so much about quotes for me, as they are about emotions, memories, and scenes.
12) If you could live in any “book world” what would that be?
Certainly not mine! My world is far too cruel and dangerous. I think I might like the Dresden Files universe. Urban Fantasy, with most of the fantastical creatures I like. There is danger and mortality, but it isn’t quite so harsh.
13) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.
Rebirth of the Fallen is the name of my series. Book one is Citadel of the Fallen.
The story focuses on the few surviving human colonies, three centuries after demons conquered their world. As with many epic stories, this one starts with children, who find themselves possessed by spirits that lived back before the world fell. The spirits deliver knowledge and power, but it comes at a price. Possession isn’t always pleasant.
14) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?
15) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)
Facebook is a good place to follow me: (4) J R Konkol | Facebook
16) If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?
I think there is a fair amount of information about me in my books. The dedication in the beginning of book one speaks of my recent tragedy. The acknowledgements at the end of each book tell a more complete story.