We recently caught up with author R. J. Jerome, author of The Pelagius Game series to chat about writing and his latest book, Valstain.
Thank you R. J. for sharing these interesting stories about your writing journey!
What first motivated you to write?
Musicians. I think when I heard Oasis singing Don’t look back in anger for the first time or John Lennon singing A day in the life, I was like I want to write something meaningful. I started out as a musician, but ended up an author. In the literary world, R.A. Salvatore. His books, The Dark Elf Trilogy probably inspired me as well.
What is your latest book about?
Mixing religion with Fantasy to create an interesting playing field. Imagine a chess game between God and Satan. Valstain is the game board and the heroes and villains are the game pieces. Our hero, Timothy Anderson, believes he is the only piece left alive on God’s team. To survive, he must find the sword of the spirit in order to kill his remaining enemies. But the weapon is on Holy ground and he is a vampire. How is going to do that? Add a few giant spiders, some elves, a huge wolf and we have nightmares for weeks.
What technology helps you to write?
There is a program called Autocrit that helps me recognize my weaknesses in writing. (Lol. Did I spell that right?) I recommend it for every writer.
Describe your writing schedule?
So I’ll do a quick meditation session and if inspiration hits me, I pour a glass of absinthe and I write. If inspiration says now is not the time, I pour a glass of absinthe and do something else. At the end of the day everyone is happy.
When did you realise that readers were taking you seriously?
When I started receiving religious gifts in the mail and secret society offers. That’s when I said, this is fantastic.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
If my pants fall down in public people will just say, “Ah well, he’s an artist.”
What do you do to publicise your books?
I do interviews with you, Andrea. And thank you for that. I also have a social media expert from etreasures named Kylee Howells, who keeps me busy.
Do you write first and edit later, or do you perfect your writing as you go along?
That’s a good question. For my first two books, I just wrote them and dealt with the fallout later. Now, I’m micro managing every word while writing my third book, and I really don’t recommend doing that.
Do you outsource your formatting or do you do it yourself?
etreasures publishing (Small “e”) handles all that for me.
What has been the best achievement in your writing career?
Without a doubt, selling the most books for etreasure publishing.
What advice would you give to authors who are struggling to find enough time to write?
Just do it! Even if you write just one meaningful sentence for the day, just do it.
What are your writing goals?
To release a new book every 18 months.
Have you ever thought of writing non-fiction?
Absolutely. My friend Albert Rementer, who is currently writing sports articles, is branching out into fiction. But we recently discussed the possibility of a self-help book or a book based off of our life experiences which would make anyone cry. That would be a huge 180 for me.
What do want people to learn from reading your work?
That books are still wild adventures that let the readers see things in their minds that television would have difficulty recreating.
Have you ever had any particularly good and / or particularly bad reviews? How did you feel upon reading them? Did you learn anything?
One disgruntle reviewer claimed that I was giving away secrets of the Church and of the Free Masons and he bashed me. What I learned was that he had to buy it in order to bash me and while I am a published author, no one knows he is. Either way, I’m blessed.
What’s next for R.J?
I am currently writing the 3rd book in the Pelagius Game series, I believe there will be 6 total. When that’s done, I might go into the non-fiction world or disappear somewhere in Salem, Massachusetts with a leprechaun, a bottle of absinthe and some pudding pops. In closing, I want to thank you for your time, Andrea. To my readers, thanks for all the kind words and crazy jewellery. Go Manchester City!
Click on the images below to see the books on Amazon