Today we are visiting with young adult fantasy author, A.N. James. I always feel a bit awkward talking to people who publish by initials (though my own pen name for adults are initials *snort*) For the purpose of this interview, what would you like me to call you?
You can call me Mr. James, Sir James has a nice ring to it but I think it might be to pretentious. Also I haven’t actually earned the title yet.
In all seriousness though I use a pen name that is a combination of both my son and my name. It was, after all, his short story that inspired this work.
Kai: Very well, if you don’t mind, I’ll split the difference and call you Master James. Why don’t you tell us about yourself?
A.N. James: I work as a Paramedic full time and write in my spare time. I have a number of other hobbies that include Sailing, Hiking, Woodworking, mainly furniture however currently I am building a boat. I also enjoy reading books, fishing, and playing computer games, mostly puzzles and RPGs.
Kai: Holy cow! AND you’re a parent. I suddenly feel like a slug. But, I’m a slug who loves to read. I’d love to hear about your book.
A.N. James: Soulbound Alliance is about a young man named Benjamin. He has stunted in his personal growth. In an effort to improve he cuts himself off from society to learn and find what some might call inner peace.
His efforts are interrupted when the king pays him a personal visit. A nosy neighbor gets involved and Benjamin is forced out of seclusion. The adventure turns out to be exactly what he needs.
You can purchase through amazon at https://amzn.to/3l66jRr
Kai: What inspired you to write this book?
A.N. James: Soulbound Alliance was inspired by a short story called Lands Above the Clouds written by my son. I had been working a lot of overtime and he sent me the story in an email. The story resonated with me and stuck with me. Months later I used some of my free time to begin writing a book that was based on his work.
Quickly I found myself immersed in the world and next thing I knew a few weeks (that’s right weeks) I had a first draft of a manuscript that was…rough… I had never written a book before and had no real idea of what the process involved. I spent months refining it. When I felt it was good enough I sent it to an editor. We tried to preserve a writing style that was similar to my ten year old but people found it distracting. I am currently improving flow and hope to have the edits submitted soon so I can get the printed version up.
Kai: How great that your son inspired your book! I love for potential readers to get a feel for the author behind the story. Help us know a little more about you by sharing your top three answers to the following:
Top 3 favorite books (you didn’t write)
There are so many! But this is actually fairly easy. Cradle by Will Wight (the whole series so far). Challenger’s Call by Nathan Thompson. Harry Potter
Top 3 editing tricks
Copy editing, having a document side by side with the original and copying what I like into the next document.
After that I use a Text to speech to help with readability.
Finally, I read the story out loud to my kids!
Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer
Writing a book is a very involved process. It requires an insane amount of work and effort. I am an ambitious and driven person. Even so, I still found it challenging and rewarding.
There are amazing people out there willing to share knowledge and help out. There are also a lot of people out there that want to promise you success in exchange for your money. In talking to the people that were actually successful independent publishers they all had one thing in common. They didn’t give up when it got hard.
The best thing about being an author is when people let you know that they enjoyed your book. Seriously nothing better about the work. It’s almost as good as when you save a life!
Kai: Almost! J We’re so glad you could join us today. For those who would like more information about your book, where might they find you online?
Kai: Thanks for visiting, Master James, and for sharing Soulbound Alliance with us.