J.C. Braswell Q&A

Below is a Q&A that I had with long time author J.C. Braswell. He has just released his book Reignfall and in honor of this release, we're going to post this special Q&A session. 
Reignfall is released today! If you want to buy this book, click the link to go to Amazon and if you want to learn more click here to go to the Goodreads page. It is a book that I recommend you try as it is a great way to dive into this new genre. I hope you enjoy reading the answers below and if you want to read my review, click here!

1. What prompted you to become an author?
The desire to open people’s minds about a variety of subjects. Writing is an extremely persuasive tool. Also, CS Lewis and my mother played a huge role in it as well.

2. How did you become an author?

I still don’t consider myself an author. I think it’s one of those titles readers give you.

3. What does your family think of your writing?
They’re all encouraging to varying degrees. My mom was the first believer. I know my wife is proud of me. I think she carries my mother’s torch in that regard.

4. How do you get over writer's block?
I’m really not sure. I know if I ever find myself at an impasse with a story I usually get another cup of coffee. That usually helps me out.

5. What else have you written (essays, novellas, etc)?
Besides some extremely dry articles in academic legal journals, I have two short stories coming out with Scarlett Galleon Press. One is titled Netherlands and will be released in the October anthology Dark Hallows II. The other is titled Rise of Finfolkaheem and is schedule to be part of a two volume set titled Fearful Fathoms. I believe that will come out early 2017. I also wrote a series of short stories last year and combined them in a middle grade/young adult novel titled The Lighthouse Keeper.

6. What is your schedule for writing? Do you have a lot time for other things (hobbies, work, events)?
I stick to Stephen King’s 2,000 words a day when I’m writing. I think that’s the gold standard. It’s not nearly as time consuming as editing. I do find time for my family as they’re the most important thing to me.
7. How did you come up with this idea for Reignfall?
The seeds were definitely planted by my wife. While we were drinking beer during a happy hour my wife looked over at me and started talking about eternal life. Like everyone does when they’ve had a couple, we got into a fairly deep theological discussion about it. I started mapping out a story in my head that grew into Reignfall.

8. Are the views of main characters in this story a representation of your views?
You can find some of my ideology within several characters throughout the story. I tried not to focus my personal views—political, religious, or otherwise—inside one character’s point of view, rather spread them out. But, yeah, they are definitely in there. Even Sullivan captures a couple of my viewpoints. Overall, I wanted to capture a variety of viewpoints from all spectrums of life. I think it would be a disservice, given the nature of the story, to do otherwise.

9. If you have to pick your favorite character, who would it be and why?It would be easy to say Crixtian. He’s a flawed protagonist but not in the stereotypical sort of way. There’s a raw honor to him that he has trouble understanding. It also helps to know his eventual story arc in my head. But at this point in the story, I would have to say Jedediah Bane. I think his personal path of redemption mixed with obsession is a griping arc. I love where he goes in the second book. President Sullivan is a close second. Without giving too much away, I think he really captures the essence of how power and temptation can corrupt the most noble of people.

10. What future books do you have planned?
I have a supernatural thriller titled Ghosts of My Lai coming out this winter, probably near Christmas. It follows group of American soldiers in Vietnam who get lost under unusual circumstances after the massacre at My Lai. Then there’s Reignfall’s sequel A Time For War which I’ll release next year. The first few drafts are finished, and I’m really looking forward to how the story grows. I could talk about the other fourteen novels I’ve drafted, but I’m really focused on My Lai and A Time For War during the coming months.

11. What genre of books do you tend to write in?
Sci-Fi thrillers, Supernatural thrillers, some MG/YG fantasies.

12. If you have to pick a favorite book, what would it be?
It’s a draw between The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Lewis because of the symbolism and Hemingway because of the way he writes and the romantic story. I really love that story.

13. If you have to collab with one author, who would it be?
I think it's going to be Ronald Malfi eventually. We already floated a dark comedy novel about zombies on the Titanic. Yeah, we need to write that book.

14. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Everything about my writing is at my website www.jcbraswell.com. You can also follow me on twitter (buyer beware) at @JC_Braz. There’s really not much to me. I’m just some ordinary guy.

15. Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Yes, thank you for inviting me onto your blog. I certainly appreciate the time you took to review the novel. The most important part of writing is the readers. A writer cannot thank their readers enough. A writer is essentially inviting others into their mind who don’t have to accept your invitation.

Thank you J.C. Braswell for doing this interview! I will definitely reading the next book after Reignfall and trying out some of his other books. I hope this has motivated you to give this book a read!
He is also having a giveaway on his Goodreads page which can be accessed with the link above. If you don't have a Goodreads account, then comment below and I'll see if I can get a giveaway running here.


The Written Hand

I recently had the project of making a representation of the number six. Instead of using the actual number I used one of the meanings, which is harmony. So below I'm showing some of the steps that I took to make the completed picture...

...It is a very long process but doesn't take too much skill. First, draw an outline of the hand, then fill it in with words. Then go and draw thin lines if the words didn't shade properly. Finally color in the hand any color. Then create a contrasting background. Finally paint in the fire with a variety of colors (even if you think they don't work well together, you can be surprised) and enhance with pencil crayon.



RememberRemember Summary:
When sixteen year old Charlize finds herself unmistakably lost in the forest with no memory how she got there, it was easy for her to assume the angel face boy who saves her was there to. But little did she know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

With a brush of death, she finds new reasons to live after the unexplained death of her father. Her only regret in last three years was letting the one boy she could have loved get away.

Plunged into a world not of her making, there are those that will hunt her, a foe that calls her Little Queen, and her torn heart. Most of all, she will have to remember and face her memories if she is to survive.
Remember Review: 
Remember turned out to be worse than Through the Lens. While the plot and story was there for Through the Lens, it was clearly missing from Remember. Through 80% of the story we are dragged along as Charlize tries to find out what is happening to her. The next 20% is a bucket load of information that is dumped on us, adding to the confusion. The romance was irritating and the character development was almost non-existent.

I get the Charlize woke up with amnesia, but the lack of emotion throughout this story plus not knowing what is supposed to be happening dragged out what should have been a quick read. On top of that we have a love triangle with two guys were not more ill suited towards her. One was the mysterious bad boy, but came off weak and moody. Then there was the childhood friend that was secretly in love with her, who could not figure out who to love. And their version of love was downright cheesy and hard to get over.

Charlize was not much better. She is a beautiful 17 year old girl who, obviously doesn’t realize that she is so attractive to others. She can’t understand why so many guys are suddenly falling in love with her. I could understand that she’s shy and all, but this type of characterization is overdone and boring in the YA genre. It was not used well in this book. This lead to a lot of eye rolling moments.

The one really good think about this book is the paranormal aspect of it which doesn’t show up until the 80% mark. We are introduced to vampires, shifters, Nephilim, angels which made everything much more interesting. It would have been nice for that part to be elaborated on so the book could actually be Paranormal YA. Also, there was the prophecy that came close to the end which really shouldn’t have been part of this book. It was just there to set up a sequel because the ending was so rushed.

Overall, this book is 1.5 star read. The plot was too fast or too slow, the romance was annoying, the characters were unrelatable, but the premise was interesting.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!

Through the Lens (Through the Lens #1)

Through the Lens (Through the Lens, #1)Through the Lens Summary: 
Being a twin isn’t all that bad, nor is it all that good. Being the fat twin makes things a little worse. Seventeen year old, Jessa Shelby has been all but ignored. Trimmed down, but not skinny like her sister, she has decided to make her mark in her final year in high school.

Things begin anew the summer before her senior year when she meets Ethan Hart, a super hot boy with a twisted past. Unfortunately, he has a girlfriend. Relegated to friend status with Ethan, she turns her eyes on football jock, Josh Macon, whose crush worthy too. No longer the ‘fat girl’, Josh seems to be interested in her too.

Spending more and more time with Ethan causes unexpected complications and she finds herself falling for the wrong boy. Josh is sweet but wants more than she can give. His warning about Ethan’s past may have come too late. And gasping for air with a noose around her neck, she has to wonder if trust came at a very high price.

Through the Lens Review: 
Through the Lens is the type of read that I would love because it is of a woman standing up for herself and finding her own identity. This part was spectacular and I loved every moment of it. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by the mystery aspect and the constant grammar mistakes didn’t help either.

The mystery itself was really interesting. With one of Ethan’s friends disappearing, the suspense of Jessa trying to solve this had all the ingredients for a good mystery. If this story had had just a bit more detail, then it could have been its own book. Since it was part of Through the Lens it should have not been so prominent because as this was happening, the love story was also developing. Neither story got the attention they deserved which left the book feeling a little lackluster.

The romance part was spectacular. I am officially a die hard romance fan so I love when two people who couldn’t be more different found each other and themselves. Ethan and Jessa faced many obstacles, the biggest being the mystery, and still came to each other.

The characters were amazing because they had the depth of real people. They reacted as ordinary people and had problems that we could relate to. I loved Jessa especially because of her backstory and how she handled her new life and love.

Even with all these good qualities, the biggest drawback of this novel is the grammar. This isn’t an ARC, which may have grammar mistakes because it isn’t the final draft. This is the final copy which means that there should be missing words, punctuation or improper usage of words. It does take away from the story but if you can overlook all that the is quite enjoyable.

Overall, Through the Lens is a three star read. The story and romance was captivating but the grammar and the overbearing mystery story line made it into a bit of a disappointment. I do recommend this book as many did enjoy it.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!