Monday, February 13, 2012

Interview with Epic Fantasy Author Sara Jo Easton

I'd like to welcome Sara Jo Easton. Sara, would you tell us when you started writing? What did you first write?
I started writing at a young age; my mother has "books" I made up when I was five. I first got serious about writing in the fifth grade, when I had a very helpful and encouraging teacher. I've been working on my writing ever since.

My first novel involved an orphan bobcat and a pack of wolves fighting evil humans. I had fun writing it, but looking back I've gotten more joy out of laughing at my middle school antics. I'm rather glad that Kindle publishing wasn't easy when I thought that particular story was good.

Tell us about the fantasy world(s) you make up. What are they like?

The Sandleyr is a world in which humans are slaves to a race of dragon-like creatures called the Onizards. Ideally, the Sandleyr is ruled by four empaths called the Children of Light, but when the last Child of Light died, no one inherited her powers. Instead of an empath who has a strong incentive to keep his or her people happy,  the Onizards of the Day Kingdom have the Fire Queen, whose idea of fun is setting humans on fire.

The human Jena was just trying to stay out of trouble when she was brought to see Onizard eggs hatching. A freak accident left her as the only one who could save a drowning hatchling. Now that her mind is telepathically Bonded to the mind of that hatchling, she has to fake her own death to avoid the Fire Queen's wrath. There's also the awkward expectation that she'll be the one to free her race.

How do you work out a magic system for your world? Do you prefer a lot of magic? Light magic? And why?

The Onizards have plenty of magic in their world, but the magic has limits. The Fire Queen can breathe fire, but she can't do so as often as she'd like. The Children of Earth are probably the most powerful Onizards, as they can heal wounds, but Children of Earth can tire themselves out or even over heal.

I like having a lot of magic in a story, but having that magic limited to make it more special. Magic that comes too easily ceases to have the wonder that makes it magic. 
What is the hardest thing about making up a fantasy world? Why?
The hardest thing to do when making up a fantasy world is to tone down the information in your head when it's time to write the story. You may know everything there is to know about your fantasy culture, but if it isn't related to the story it isn't worth adding.
Tell us about your most recent main character. Would we want to share a meal with them? Why?
I don't think sharing a meal with Jena is a good idea unless she's the one issuing the invitation. Wherever Jena goes, a loyal group of Onizards follows. They would eat everything in your house and still be starving.
What about the villain of your most recent novel. How did you make them up? Would we be scared to meet them in a dark alley?
The Fire Queen popped into my head when someone stole my writing and threatened to set it all on fire. The idea of someone who would callously burn something knowing what it meant to another thoroughly frightened me.
I don't think the Fire Queen would fit in a dark alley, but if she was stuck there she'd already be angry. I would be terrified to meet the Fire Queen when she was angry, as  she'd waste no time in killing me.

What is your next project?

"The Speed of Wind", the next Onizard novel, comes out in March, so I'm busy editing and formatting it. After that, I'll be working on another Onizard story for an August/September release.
The Zarder is available on Amazon. I hope you'll check it out.


J.A. Beard said...

Good interview.

carol rich said...

J. R.,
I've seen you on Kindleboards for a while now and decided to come here and check out your blog. Your interviews are great and really bring out the excitement of writing and how personal the process is. Thanks.
Carol Rich