Friday, September 12, 2014

Breakshield by J.B. Rockwell with Guest Post

How you write (Your process and inspirations)

How I write. Huh. That's an interesting one. I'll start out by saying it's changed over the years, just as my style of writing has changed. The most recent trend is one I didn't see coming. Like most writers, I write both novels and short stories. Regardless of the length of what I'm writing, it usually starts out as a random thought that comes at some odd moment - usually while I'm running - that I dutifully jot down in my 'ideas' notebook.  There it'll sit for days or weeks, maybe even a few months while I mull it over and try to figure out a full-fledged story for my random idea.  One recent work started with just a name.  Took me a long time to figure out what that guy did and what I was going to write about, but it's my favorite piece that I've written so far.  Which leads me to the unexpected trend part. That piece started out as a short story. Ok, a long short story. One that tickled at the edge of being a novella. So, naturally, I made it longer and turned it into a book :) I've done the same thing with two other short stories now - fleshing them out and turning them into books - and I think I quite like the concept.  But who knows - next month I may be watching cartoons and writing fan fiction while wearing bunny slippers and pig pajamas.

As for my inspirations, you name it, I’m inspired!  Honestly, I don’t know.  Ideas come to me and if it’s interesting enough it sticks and becomes a long and winding thing with words.  Mythology is an influence.  Folk tales and fairy tales too.  A lot of my works take themes and characters from those and use them in one way or another.  Not strict retellings, just hints here and there.  And if you’ve read my work you’ll know I love animals, and I think everything I’ve written works some kind of animal in in some kind of way.  Oh, and my fellow writers inspire me.  I seriously have the best writing group ever.  We trade critiques do beta reads and help out with queries. They inspire me immensely with their talent and creativity, their cheers and commiserations and general awesomeness. Go Inkbots!

Breakshield by J.B. Rockwell
Series: The Between #1
Release Date: March 26, 2014

Found at the intersection of life and the afterlife, the Between is a place where science and reason are replaced by magic and violence. It is a place where Typhon and his Huntsman of the Dark Waste spread like a plague and where Talents go to die. 

The only thing standing in Typhon’s way is Morgan Quendalen and the people of the Shining Lands. They are sworn to protect the last remaining Talents, a precious few who teeter at the edge of extinction. Morgan valiantly fights, protecting these last remnants of magic in a war he's not sure he can actually win. 

When Jamie Aster, a mortal Talent with undiscovered powers, is put under his charge, Morgan weighs his oath against a desire to save the Shining Lands. Could he kill a Talent if it meant saving his people?

Amazon Buy Link : BREAKSHIELD on Amazon
Barnes & Noble: BREAKSHIELD on B&N

Praise for Breakshield

"- Villain: Oh, he's mean, despicable and totally cruel...I wanna know more about him and I surely hope we'll get to know more about his background and plans of doom."
 -Amazon Reviewer-Magyca

"It has well developed characters that you cant help but love and a vile protagonist that makes the book very hard to put down." 
-Amazon Reviewer - Deirdre Page

BreakshieldBreakshield by J.B. Rockwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I would like to thank the author J.B. Rockwell for giving me this book for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The world building was nicely done and the story-line is very good. It did start out a bit slow, but picked up pretty quickly. The characters are well developed and written. I am looking forward to reading more of this series and more from this autor.

View all my reviews

 Author Interview

1) Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Not really! I’ve always loved to read – I devoured every book I could get my hand on as a kid and libraries and bookstores are still my favorite places to hang out - but for a long time I never imagined writing a book of my own. That seemed huge, daunting, something only mythical figures of literature managed to complete. I wrote a lot - research papers mostly, technical analyses, that kind of thing – but it was only about five years ago that I sat down and started to slog my way through writing my first book. I was really na├»ve then and that’s probably a good thing. If I’d known then how competitive the publishing market is I might never have started!
2) Where did you get your inspiration for Breakshield?
It all started with just Morgan and Kitsune. I love foxes and I love the idea of familiars. The Between series is really about their relationship as much as the struggle with Typhon, and so once I knew Morgan and Kitsune - had worked out the relationship between them - the rest was just figuring out the backdrop to make that relationship come out. The funny part is I set out to write one book and somehow it ended up being three...
3) What can we expect in book 2 of the Between series? (No spoilers)
Things get ugly, we learn a bit more about Jamie and he gets into a lot more trouble.  Typhon will be back of course – anyone who read BREAKSHIELD will know that guy’s not going away – and some new and unexpected adversaries pop up in unexpected places. Vague enough for ya? :)  Ok, what else could I spill?  Book 2 definitely provides more insight into all the major characters, filling out some of the backstory and motivations for Morgan and his crew. And there's lots of Kitsune. Lots and lots of Kitsune.  That should make some people happy.
4) What is your writing style? Do you outline, write everything by hand first or do it all on a computer, ect..?
Ugh. I'm a wreck. I don’t really have a lot of time during the week – like most people I work full time and I’m honestly too tired most nights to be usefully creative.  The bulk of my writing is done on weekends in between chores, errands, social events, etc.  I carry a little moleskin notebook with me most places and jot ideas down.  Sometimes I can find a quiet place and sketch out entire scenes if inspiration hits me.  But the notebook is just an idea saver.  The bulk of my real writing is done on the computer. The notebook is just a safety net for when I'm someplace where I can't grab the computer. As for outlining, I don't really do it. I am immensely impressed with the people who have the self-discipline and organization to outline but I’m more seat of the pants in my writing.  I get an idea and work out the basic story arc in my head and then I just start writing. Things get added and changed along the way, and it all ends up far more complicated than I originally thought it would be, but things tend to work out.  If a bit chaotically…
5) What character do you relate to most?
Probably Jamie. :) He's just an ordinary guy surrounded by extraordinary people in extraordinary situations. He's a little scared (ok, a lot), a little mad, nervous, curious, amazed, defiant - he's everything I'd expect a real person to be in a messed up situation like he’s dropped into in the Between.  That said, I can relate to just about all the characters in BREAKSHIELD: Morgan's willingness to do the right thing even if it’s the hard thing or the unpopular thing; Kurou's calm demeanor and quiet force; Hallea's level-headedness and strong moral center; Hakkon and Tussle - the mess-around twins. And Kitsune. She’d my favorite character. And she’s the strongest of them all.
6) Who is your dream cast if your book ever became a movie?
Wow.  There’s a tough one.  I’d just be happy if someone wanted to turn my book into a movie!  But if I had to pick…well, Sean Bean is an obvious one. He’s one of my favorite actors out there – has been ever since I saw him playing Richard Sharpe from the Bernard Cornwell books. In fact, when I wrote Morgan's brother Merrick I pretty much had him in mind.  For Morgan...well, I'd say Karl Urban, but he'd have to go blond :) Hiroyuki Sanada from Sunshine would be my choice for Kuro, and I could see Oded Fehr (from The Mummy) playing Tussle.  I have no idea who’d I’d pick for Hallea and Hakkon.  No idea at all. 

7) Where else can we see your work? 
I've got several short stories out there. The Ice Dragon is a stand-alone available through Amazon and in Zharmae's Irony of Survival Anthology, Fairest Fowl just got published in IFWG Publishing/SQ Mag's Star Quake 2 anthology, and Infinity was included in Infinite Acacia's Infinite Science Fiction anthology.  Both of those anthologies are available through Amazon as well.

8) What authors are some of your favorites?
I really admire C.J Cherryh’s work – both her sci-fi and fantasy stories – and I think her writing had the most influence on my own.  Not that I’m claiming to write like her or as well as her, but I love how she weaves in themes from folk tales and mythology.  And her characters…she creates these amazing broken, wounded characters that are so pissed off at the world.  There are a ton of other authors I really admire (Neal Asher, Steven Brust, Charles de Lint, Stephen King, Bernard Cornwell) and though the style and themes of my writing might not necessarily be like them, reading their work, seeing how they build a story and string words together has definitely helped me to develop my own style.  I’m also extremely fortunate to know a few upcoming writers that are part of my writing group.  Laura Lam – author of Pantomime and Shadowplay – writes amazing, award-winning LGBT speculative fiction that is beautiful to read, and John Dixon – author of Phoenix Island – saw his novel adapted for the TV show Intelligence.  Their work is incredible and they’ve both helped me out along the way.


I’m a New Englander.  I was born and raised in a small town in southern Connecticut, and though work and life have led me elsewhere, I remain a New Englander at heart.  
I attended Connecticut College from 1991-1995 and graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and environmental science…and dreams of digging up ancient artifacts in the deserts of the southwestern US.   Unfortunately, I married a military officer.  That meant a lot of moving about, and the few jobs that are available in the anthropology/archaeology arena want you to stay put for years on end.  
So, take two: back to school, this time to the University of Rhode Island, where I completed an MBA program in 1999.   Not exactly the most exciting field of study but boy did it open doors for me and today I am gainfully (and happily) employed by the US Coast Guard developing and maintaining IT systems that support all facets of their operations.  
So, where am I now?  West Virginia!  I can honestly say that I never thought I’d be living in West Virginia (much less working in the IT industry) but here I am, and loving it.  No matter what you’ve seen or heard, West Virginia is a beautiful place to live.  And so, here we are - me, the husband, and three cats that basically run the show.  Life is good, and as long as I keep writing, it will keep getting better.

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