Thursday, 18 July 2013

Author Interview - R. J. Larson


R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women's Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman's Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I grew up with four brothers and we traveled quite a bit when we were younger. As a result I love trying new foods and learning about other cultures. That childhood sense of wonder and adventure has carried over into my writing. My characters are constantly crossing borders and traveling from one country to another.

In addition, growing up as the only girl definitely affected my attitude toward life. While I never liked taking physical risks as a child, I often found myself in the midst of quite a few escapades because of my brothers, and somehow we all survived despite my fears. I grew up with an “I’ll get through this” mindset that plays into my stories. As does my firm conviction that girls in ball gowns and tiaras can join any escapades. Just keep sewing kits and bandages handy.

I believe my parents are still finding out about some of our childhood scrapes

When did you first know you could be a writer? Somewhere around fifth grade, it struck me that whenever I wrote an essay, I received perfect or near-perfect grades from my teachers. Writing became my tool of choice when approaching most tasks. Later, when my sister-in-law became an editor and showed me some manuscripts she was working on, I was hooked. Just seeing those unpublished manuscripts…I KNEW I could write. I simply had to learn what publishers expected to see in an ‘ideal’ manuscript.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Settling upon a character’s basic personality, and remaining true to that personality throughout the storyline. A character’s opinions might change, but the personality usually does not.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? An excerpt? Sure!

Akabe and readers are meeting Ela, prophet of Parne in this scene. There’s a bit of foreshadowing here:

Her prophet’s staff in one hand, Ela stood with her two formidable chaperones just beyond the fringe of her makeshift canopied study area. Akabe eyed the prophet’s staff. The branch, Ela called it. An ordinary-seeming piece of vinewood. But he’d seen that branch glow like fiery-white metal, illuminating Ela’s dark hair and eyes with the Infinite’s power.
Healing her of fatal wounds.

Now the image of a model Siphran, Ela bowed. When she looked up at Akabe, her big brown eyes shone, serene. She appeared, for all of Munra, to be nothing more—or less—than a lovely young lady in a flowing tunic and embroidered mantle. Yet Akabe knew better than to be lulled by her delicate appearance. Strengthened by the Infinite’s Spirit, this girl felled kingdoms.

Never, for as long as he lived, did he wish to become a target of this prophet’s warnings.

How did you come up with the title? King’s title carries through with the Books of the Infinite theme, which is the building of a fantasy world’s Holy Scriptures. I wanted the third book to portray some of the hazards faced by ancient Biblical kings. The king of this book, Akabe of Siphra, embodies several storylines inspired by kings such as Solomon and a bit of David, along with quite a few storylines from prophets such as Elijah.

Who designed the cover? The awesome Bethany House Publishers’ team. I love the design, and the brilliant colors. Bethany House usually requests author ideas, characters’ physical traits, and thoughts about props or scenes. Once an author has submitted ideas, the design team takes it from there. Receiving the finished cover is like receiving a Christmas gift—I love it.

Have you started another book yet? I’m working on another Biblical fantasy spin-off from King, and the Books of the Infinite series. My publisher probably won’t make any final decisions on it until this autumn, but I’m having a great time writing it!

What contributes to making a writer successful? Patience and perseverance. Many phenomenal stories have been lost to the world because their authors didn’t persist with the craft. If you’ve been told by an editor or an agent that you have talent, keep going!

Do you have any advice for writers? Take advice, particularly if the same advice is repeated by industry pros. Writers must be willing to learn from their mistakes and any rejection notes. As it is with any career, “Never stop learning!”

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? Thank you so much for visiting. I appreciate my readers’ time!

 

King by R.J. Larson Fantasy Meets the Old Testament in a Novel That Will Reach Readers of All Ages. Against his wishes and desires, Akabe of Siphra has been chosen by his people to be King. But what does a warrior know of ruling during peacetime? Guided by the Infinite, Akabe seeks to rebuild the Temple in the city of Munra to give the sacred books of Parne a home. But dangerous factions are forming in the background. To gain the land he needs, Akabe must forsake the yearnings of his heart and instead align himself through marriage to the Thaenfall family. Meanwhile, Kien Lantec and Ela Roeh are drawn still closer together...while becoming pawns in a quest to gain power over the region. As questions of love and faith become tangled with lies and murderous plots, each must seek the Infinite to guide them through an ever more tangled web of intrigue and danger.  


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

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My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

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Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

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My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
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My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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