Interview with J.J. Sherwood

J.J. SherwoodWhat a treat I have tor you today! I was approached by J.J. in June with a review request. I admit, at first I was quite busy and I thought her book might not be quite what I’d like at the moment [for the future reference – I was wrong!], but I offered an interview instead. This is it – the interview you’re going to read is the result of our little email conversation. It was fun!

This is it – the interview you’re going to read is the result of our little email conversation. It was fun! Yes, I’m talking about the interview, but the conversation was fun too :). In fact, the answers made me want to read the book [actually, I might even want to read one of King’s books after that, but let’s not get crazy ;)]. So go on, read the interview and then follow the links bellow for the books, author profile, and overall stalking possibilities ;).

I’m sure there’s much more to your characters that you’re letting the readers know. Are there any curious details you’ve never written about? Any favorite colors, animals, some curious experiences?

Oh my—absolutely countless little things! I’ve had some of these characters for almost 20 years and (being the dork that I am) I love roleplaying them as often as possible: so I’ve learned so many quirks about them that it would be impossible to put EVERYTHING into one book! (Evrae’s favorite number seven and favorite color is sapphire blue. One of the old legendary characters- Eraydon- likes green best. Another (Mesheck), rusty red. And General Jikun (an cyromancer from The Kings) was court-martialed multiple times in his academy years for ceaselessly lowering his fellow soldiers’ water to unbearably frigid temperatures while they were bathing.) My goal is always to make sure—by the end of the character’s run—I’ve done their craziness—er, uniqueness—justice.

If you had a special skill, superpower or mutation, what would it be? Or maybe you already have one 😉

CAT-WHISPERER. Cats love me. I have a special connection with pretty much every cat I meet. While out walking a few years ago, I found a stray cat who I named Xena covered in fleas. I immediately rushed over and picked her up and carried her to take her to the vet. No one else could hold her, touch her, or get her to come to them. Recently, we just moved to a farm and I was out in the horse-pasture with some family members tending to the grass. A little meow called specifically to me and a feral cat introduced itself and became my instant friend. I could go on about how bizarrely attached my own four cats are, but you’d have to see it to believe it (aka: left on vacation once and my cat Link gathered my hair from the apartment and sat on my boots by the door (with hair in mouth), waiting for me to return. Another ran away when he realized I had left (got him back). Lol).

It’s always something that gets me curious, you see I like playing games including MMO’s and there’s one thing that always takes me tons of time when I’m creating a new character is the name. How do you come up with the names for your characters and places? Do they have a meaning or do they just sound right to you?

This is a really great question because it’s actually a very important part of my writing. Often, I just have to dig into the recesses of my brain to find a decent name lurking, but they always hold a special meaning, and—even though I fear sounding utterly bizarre—a power of their own. Once  applied, the character and city complete their personality on their own and are no longer in my control.

Now-a-days, I’m very careful about names. Back when I was younger, I threw them on to the character willy-nilly (aka, at 7, a character named Eua—how do you even pronounce that??—is currently in the process of getting his name changed to Evrae. Sure, I’d love to just say “Changing name! Wala! Done!” but that’s not possible—so over the next few years, before he appears in my novels, I have to “write/roleplay” with him frequently to slowly introduce the new name without altering his personality.)

Yes, I know I’m an eccentric… ^^;

Why elves? I know I love them, but what do you find so special about them?

When I was a kid, I started out with basically no speculative literature. The first time I picked up a book and found this race of creatures—not humans or talking animals—I was floored. And utterly smitten. I dove deeper into fantasy and fell in love with the magic, grace, and intelligence so often applied to the elven race—instead of one or two humans you’d read about who had those traits, you had an entire people who embodied such awesomeness! Working and forming them as a unique race of my own has been one of my absolute favorite aspects of writing fantasy.

Do you dream about the worlds you’ve created? Do you get any new ideas through dreams?

Yes. I consider myself extremely lucky to very frequently dream with my characters or my world—and not piddly little weird dreams where we’re floating on clouds and eating cotton candy, but legitimate adventures of suspense and betrayal and danger! I have gotten fantastic ideas. 😀

Have you ever had a discussion with one of your characters (inside your head or out loud)?

…If I admit to this how crazy will I sound?

On your Goodreads bio, you’ve mentioned RPG’s – what’s your favorite class and weapon of choice?

Easiest answer ever: Fighter Mage. Sword (preference: stuns or does electricity damage). And I always dual wield. XD

Is there any character in your books that you despise? Why?

Heck yes. As I try to create characters who are wholly well-rounded, every single character has flaws. And as I said, each character is in full control of themselves while I write—they call all the shots. In particular (and despite that he’s very popular with readers) I despise the necromancer in The Kings series, Navon. He is such a whiney little… UGH, I can’t choose just one colorful word to flay him with. Not only is he extremely voiceless during the writing process, but the personality he does choose to show irks me to no end. And I loathe a certain villain in the series with a burning passion.

What was the first thing you did when you finalized your book? [I’m not talking about clicking the “save” button]

I screamed with joy. Literally. Then I called all my family and screamed to them. Then I went out to eat and learned I’m a master at tying cherry stems with my tongue.

Last, but not least – you’ve got a new book coming out, the second one in series, tell us what is it about, what can we expect [no spoilers ;)].

Kings or PawnsOh boy… no spoilers. This is a VERY tough question to answer. I try to say very little about the actual content of my series because even a name drop spoils things. In Kings or Pawns, readers saw Sevrigel’s trials, but in Heroes or Thieves, Ryekarayn is brought into the struggle and its trials are just as deadly—if not more-so—than Sevrigel’s. If you thought you knew the whole plot, who the characters were, or who you were rooting for, you’ve certainly got your feet planted more firmly than any reader I’ve spoken to yet! ;D There are some magnificent character additions to the second novel! (And some of my absolute favorite characters yet!)

Stalker zone

Goodreads | Website – Steps of Power | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

And if you want to check my review, here it is (I’m writing the review of the second book now, I hope it will be ready soon)

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12 thoughts on “Interview with J.J. Sherwood

  1. Pingback: Monthly summary – August – Magic of books

  2. Pingback: Fantastic continuation and a great cast of characters – Magic of books

  3. Ciaparo

    I already guessed your superpower, J.J. You’re a cat magnet. I’ve read both books, and am just beginning to get a good grasp on some of the characters, in part by following the author and character interviews. Your responses have given me insight on Navon, clarifying a suspicion I had about him, as well as some of the other characters.

    Liked by 1 person

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