Speed Dating for Readers
The Veiled Path to Destiny
Doesn’t the title grab and shake you a bit? Sigh. This special lady makes me giggle every day with her spunky memes on coffee. I can’t wait to connect with her in September at the St. Louis PennedCon. Please not only read about her special work but seek out her stories to escape the ordinary. Let’s let’s meet her!
My name is Jolanthe Aleksander…or you can just call me Joli. I am an office manager for a company that provides services for people with special needs. I am the mother of a son who makes every day brighter with his smile, and I am the proud daughter of a Retired Marine. I write because the characters in my head have demanded I tell their story, and so I shall to the best of my ability.
Tell us about this new story that has been begging to be told.
My newest release is The Veiled Path to Destiny. It is the second book in the Veil Series and picks up right where the first book, Beyond the Veil of Whispered Dreams left off.
The memories of her previous life licking at her every step, Daria fights to hold onto who she had always thought herself to be, along with the doubts of whether or not Iauron wants her for who she is or who she once was. Iauron sees her struggle, but is sure that once she accepts her destiny, everything will fall into place…but will it? With the threat of the enemy still lurking in the shadows, can Daria embrace everything that has been laid at her feet and can Iauron let her go if she cannot? Buy Link: www.amazon.com/dp/B072YT686B
With an added note: In this new story, the relationships that develops between some of the secondary characters brings a wee revelation I hope no one saw coming. 😉
As a writer myself, I love getting advice from people I admire. Care to share some pearls of wisdom?
If there is a story running around in your head, write it down even if you never share it with anyone.
I’m curious to hear if there are any fictional characters on or off screen you admire.
My favorite superhero is Xena….because she kicks butt, and she overcame a LOT to become the person she is.
Do you have a dream vacation in on your bucket list?
If I could get an all-expense paid trip, it would be to the highlands of Scotland, because it has always called to my soul. I am convinced that in another lifetime, I hailed from there.
Destiny Begins With Action Figures
Several years ago, I met Ben Reeder when he talked about independent publishing at Ozark Romance Authors. I thought, “Wow. This guy has his act together.” So, I was surprised when he showed up at one of my workshops, still willing to learn. One thing I believe this interview will show you is that writing really is a continuous journey into the unknown and we need to embrace it. Sitting down with Ben is an educational experience. Come meet him and his delicious characters that have become his life.
I was always destined to be a writer. I learned the power of being a story-teller as a kid in 1978, when I recreated the Clone Wars in my back yard. Using my Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure and toy soldiers, I would work out what would happen during his long-standing battle with the mysterious Sith Lord Darth Vader in a galaxy far, far away, then run inside and write it all down. It was glorious. Then I discovered Dungeons and Dragons, and the power of creating my own kingdoms and worlds, and my world expanded to the front yard as well, with massive tree cities and farm lands and dangers galore coming from the mountains to the south. Seeing the world from the perspective of a six-inch-tall action figure changed the way I saw everything. The entire world became my playground as a story-teller. It wasn’t until high school that I discovered the power of the audience, when a friend picked up something I was writing and started reading it. By the end of the day, ten other people had read it, and I got the original pages back with a new page that was filled with notes, my first reviews. Most of them were a variation of “I want to read more.” From that day on, I worked toward the goal of writing for a living, because I knew I would never be as happy doing anything else in my life. In 2015, I made that dream a reality.
Current WIP: Former warlock Chance Fortunato is finally getting his life back on track after his disastrous semester at the Franklin Academy. But when demonic attacks surge in New Essex, Chance knows he has to join the fight. Soon, he discovers that a powerful Infernal force is looking for the Half-Caste Child, a girl whose sacrifice is crucial to the Rending, a night when any contract or binding can be broken, including one that keeps the most powerful Prince of Hell imprisoned.
As the Rending approaches, Chance discovers that more than one Infernal power is at work, and finds himself faced with an impossible choice: Repay an old favor and protect the Half-Caste Child from one side at all costs or defend his classmates from another faction’s demonic onslaught on the night of his junior prom. No matter what he does, the end result may be Hell on Earth.
Starting with the first in the series: https://www.amazon.com/Demons-Apprentice-Ben-Reeder-ebook/dp/B00R3Y86C0/
What inspired you to write this series? Is this typical?
The Demon’s Apprentice springs from a variety of sources. I’ve always enjoyed coming of age stories centered around young mages, and for years, I had wanted to write the story of an apprentice wizard in modern times. Making him a reforming warlock came from a premise for a role-playing game, which was to create the least likely hero we could imagine. The opening of The Demon’s Apprentice was based on his backstory, and I found that his story didn’t stop there, so I continued it, and it has just grown from there.
How do you make time to write? Do you have a routine?
When I first started writing seriously, I learned that I had to treat it like the career I wanted it to be, which meant approaching my writing time the same way I would a part time job. At the time, my girlfriend worked an overnight shift and I worked in the evenings. I’d come home, we would eat dinner and spend time together, then she would go to work and I would sit down at my desk and write from midnight to three A.M. every weeknight without fail.
One thing I learned during that time was to simplify my writing routine. The more things I required to write well, the longer it took to get ready to write and it was also easier to procrastinate or give myself an excuse not to write. I learned to simply show up, sit down and write. The rest is just decoration. Where this has really helped me was when I found myself traveling to help out family, but I also had a deadline for pre-order on the book I was working on. I ended up finishing the draft in the back seat of a car in the middle of the night. If I can do that, I can write anywhere, and it’s a skill I take pride in.
What advice would you give writers and readers?
For writers, the advice I would give depends on where they are in the process. If you’re just starting I’d tell you to keep going, and be mindful of the taste gap, that early zone where your skill hasn’t caught up to your already good taste in stories. You know what you want, you just haven’t developed your skill to the point where you can deliver it yet. Don’t give up. You’ll get there.
For writers who are further on, I say give yourself permission to write badly during the first draft. It’s called a rough draft for a reason! Just keep going until you reach the end and make THAT your habit. You can edit bad writing, you can’t edit no writing.
Beyond that, I’m making a lot of this up as I go along. But if you’re looking to go pro, I’ll pass along the words of Robert Yehling, a long-time writer: Go all in. Write like you’re training for the Olympics and give it everything you’ve got. Nothing less will do.
Social Media: Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheOneTrueBen
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Reeder/e/B005FB6LNY/
Demon’s Apprentice Series:
The Demon’s Apprentice
Page of Swords
In Absentia: An Anthology
Prom Knight* Fall 2017
Zompoc Survivor series:
Zompoc Survivor: Exodus
Zompoc Survivor: Inferno
Zompoc Survivor: Odyssey
The Verge Walker: The Long Walk
The Apocalypse of Enoch: Ash Fall