Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome Justin Enos, author of From Wrath To Ruin, for an author interview.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Growing up in a military family, Justin Enos was lucky enough to get to see a lot of the world as a child. Born in Thailand, he subsequently lived in Kentucky, Maryland, Vermont, California, Germany and Virginia. He hasn’t stopped moving around as an adult either, calling Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thailand again, and now Portland, Oregon home.
Justin began devouring books at a young age and his interest in writing followed soon after. Never much of a student, he could at least count on his creative writing abilities to gain him some top marks. Fantasy novels were his main love as a teenager and that led to what has now become a long-term interest in fantasy writing. After publishing a couple of short stories in fantasy magazines that no one has ever heard of, he buckled down and began working on his first novel.
“From Wrath To Ruin” is the first in what will eventually be an ongoing series of books. Inspired in part by the Conan novels written by both Robert E. Howard and Robert Jordan, each of Justin’s books will be stand alone stories.
Can you please tell my readers about your ambitions for your writing career?
Currently working a full time job while I write. Trying to find a balance between the two is not always easy. While it would be great to be able to be a full time writer, I know that for the vast majority of writers that is not possible.
I already consider my writing career a success simply because I have published my first book! Whether or not my career becomes financially successful or not, I will continue to write as I thoroughly enjoy it and I have so many stories I want to tell.
Which writers inspire you?
Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, Bernard Cornwall and Jonathan Carroll in particular. Each in their own way make me want to be a better writer.
Tell us about your book?
“From Wrath To Ruin” is the first in what will eventually be an ongoing series, though each book will be a stand alone story. The stories follow the adventures of Tijodrin, a man who has been exiled from his homeland and now wanders the world as a mercenary. Though the genre is fantasy, “From Wrath To Ruin” reads more like a medieval tale. It is a gritty, action-filled story with virtually no elements of true fantasy to it, something that will change a bit in further books.
How long did it take you to write it?
About three years, in fits and starts.
Are you working on any other project(s) right now? If yes, what are they?
I am in the process of writing Tijodrin’s next adventure titled “Under A Shadow Of Sorcery” as well as working on some short stories that take place in the same world.
Why have you chosen this genre?
I read a ton of fantasy novels growing up and that lit the early fires of my interest in writing. Though I have dabbled in sci-fi and historical fiction, my real passion for writing will always be in the fantasy realm.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Well its something I have been good at ever since I was a teenager and I have always had a lot of ideas floating around in my head, but it wasn’t until recently that I gave much thought to actually trying to earn a living as a writer.
Why do you write?
That’s easy – because I enjoy it. I enjoy the creation of the worlds, the various characters and their backgrounds, bringing it all to life.
Where do your ideas come from?
Most of my ideas have come to me totally at random, something I have seen or heard that gives me a sudden burst of inspiration. Along with writing, another long-time interest of mine has been architecture and perhaps unsurprisingly I have gotten several ideas from specific buildings. Two examples of this are the Foster Building (now the Renaissance Hotel) and the Cathedral of Learning, both in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I lived for many years and the closest thing to a hometown that I have. The Foster Building gave birth to The Grim Gate, a fortress that will feature prominently in one of Tijodrin’s later adventures. The Cathedral of Learning became The Spire, around which I came up with an entire world and story line.
How do you prefer to write? On computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?
Definitely with pen and paper. I only commit my writing to a computer once I am in the latter stages of editing.
What are your 5 favourite books and 5 favourite authors?
Never been good at picking absolute favorites in any category so I will just list some books/series that I have really loved.
- The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. LeGuin
- A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin
- “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman
- “Land of Laughs” by Jonathan Carroll
- “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova
- The Thieves’ World series by Robert Aspirin and Lynn Abbey
- “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss
- “Gates of Fire” by Steven Pressfield
How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
Unfortunately, there are many distractions when you are trying to write and when those get the better of me I find its best to just step away from my work until the creative flow returns. If it persists, I will try to write something, anything, as long as it is not related to my current project
What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?
Write as often as you can, every day if possible. Writing is like any other skill, you can only get better at it by practicing.
Thank you, Hunter, for all your straight-forward answers! Great writing advice too!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In exile from his homeland… As a mercenary, Tijodrin has wandered far and wide, and now his travels have brought him to the great city of Hohvenlor, a city he knows well. He quickly finds himself caught up in a fierce rivalry that threatens to destroy two powerful merchant families and turn the streets of Hohvenlor into a battlefield. Within the city walls, Tijodrin will find danger in many forms. Can he survive the endless plots of the vengeful merchants and the swords of their bloodthirsty henchmen, as well as the lurking daggers of the shadowy assassin’s guild?
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