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by Jack Hillman
Author Interview: Jack Hillman
- Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. Persistent. I’m handicapped and as a result have to be very persistent to accomplish most things. This comes in handy when writing so I don’t get discouraged when rejections cross my desk. As thy do fairly often.
2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? Normally I choose the genre, because I know where the story is going before I start writing. Which does not mean the publisher may change my mind when they offer a contract.
3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? I little of both. I try to plot, but things change as I’m writing and I wind up pantsing.
4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? Yes, fear of Success: In my new novel the main character is trying to teach his new partner about the world but is afraid when she learns how to deal with the world she may leave him.
5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? I spent about fifteen years as a journalist facing daily deadlines so I’m used to deadlines. If you plan properly and work persistently, you tend to meet all deadlines. If that doesn’t work run screaming around the house waving a battle ax and people leave you alone so you can get your work done.
6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? If I switched with Dan Braden, the results would be bloody. I’m meaner than he is and a lot more sneaky.
7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. I have a very well set-up office to work in. Minimal distractions and a lot of books to look at for inspiration (since I’ve read most of them). Comfort food: Pretzels. I buy the big jar to munch on.
8. Writing inspirations? Robert Heinlein, Mercedes Lackey, David Weber, Richard Meade, David Eddings, Andre Norton, Musically- anything with bagpipes or a Celtic Harp.
- You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? I don’t have just one favorite but I’d ask any of them the same question: What’s your next book?
10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. Massive use of non sequiturs and obscure quotes from books most folks haven’t read. I confuse the heck out of them. And then come the puns. It’s all downhill from there.
Magic Forgotten is an Adult Urban Fantasy set in Eastern PA. It is the story of a paraplegic, freelance writer who has withdrawn from the world only to be dragged back out by the appearance of two strangers in his back yard. They are a Sidhe, the old elves of England, and a human wizardess, a captive of the elf, and they are here to take over the world. The writer and the wizardess have to stop the elf from achieving his plans.
Dan gripped the rails of his chair with both hands, holding himself upright by what little strength remained in his body. The cold touch of the steel tubing seemed to give him energy and he looked up at Baraz.
“What is it you need?” he asked, weakly. The stones permitted this question, perhaps because it was a benefit to Dan’s master. “I can find anything here faster than any visitor. You need me alert and conscious. To get what you need.” Each phrase was a strain to speak, without direction from Baraz.
“We have found what we need, cripple,” Baraz answered. “By now, Thook has discovered the way into the place where they grow the gems we seek.” He stood, pointing to the computer as if the gems were there for display. “That place grows gemstones, an amazing skill I must learn for myself. Two stones of the proper design, placed together inside a spell Thook will prepare, will open a doorway from my world to thine. The light of the sun will rip through the veil and provide the path for my queen to come back to her power.”
“You want laser crystals,” Dan exclaimed, the logo now making sense to him. He had seen it before, in an ad in the employment section of the local paper. SolarTech grew laser crystals for industrial use and they were looking for good employees to work in the labs and clean rooms of their facility. “This has got to be the strangest quest I ever heard of,” he mumbled. “You look like a reject from a sword and sorcery movie. Playing with laser crystals, no less.”
“Enough,” Baraz shouted. “Thy place is to obey, nothing more.” He stepped forward and pointed the ax at Dan. “I could dispense with thee now, but that would require another tool in thy place. But soon, fool, thou wilt be as worthless as thou appear. Then I will deal with thy insolence.”
Dan snapped. Baraz was within arm’s reach. Uncaring of the pain caused by the stones on his wrists and forehead, Dan gripped the shaft of the ax. More due to Baraz’s surprise than any martial skill, Dan jerked the ax free, spun it in his hands and swung at Baraz’s stomach. The blade sheared through the tunic, grating on the mail beneath. Dan spun the shaft in his hands, tangling the tunic around the ax-heads and pulled, dragging Baraz to him.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A lifelong Pennsylvania resident, Jack began a love of books sitting amid the mystery of hospitals and medical paraphernalia. Mythology of all cultures and a fascination with martial philosophies led to King Arthur, the knights of the round table and an array of science fiction and fantasy authors that had a strong impact on his life.
Real life got in the way of a writing career to start, but thirty years in the life and medical insurance field led Jack to a job as a stringer for local newspapers and writing for medical and insurance journals. In addition to years in the insurance field Jack also has fifteen years experience as a journalist and freelance writer, and has even won a Keystone Press Award (1998) for his journalistic efforts. Jack has written on a wide variety of subjects and keeps his hand in medical and insurance matters on a daily basis.
In addition to newspaper reporting and magazine articles, Jack has written articles for a variety websites–some under his own name and some as a behind-the-scenes contributor. Jack’s first short fiction piece, a novella, was serialized in an old BBS site in 1992, with the first hard copy magazine story arriving in 1993. Four dinner theater plays written by Jack have been produced and performed for local theater in Eastern Pennsylvania. His novels are now coming to light with the release of There Are Giants In This Valley published by Archebooks Publishing.
With experience as a journalist, short story writer, playwright and novelist, Jack often speaks at writer’s conferences, to writer’s groups and to school gatherings. If you are looking for a speaker on esoteric subjects, Jack probably has something tucked away in a folder for the occasion.
He lives in eastern Pennsylvania with his supportive wife, a squad of feline editors, and an array of edged weapons to inspire his works.
Updated on December 22, 2015 by Jack Hillman
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