Author Spotlight: JGJ Fairhurst

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What inspired my novel –

Inspiration came from many sources. Reading other novels & authors is an obvious answer but far too important to leave out for the sake of avoiding cliché. Personal experience is a huge part too. For example, I have a friend who wears glasses. Whenever it’s just me and him he would shout “hey, four eyes!” when he seen someone else wearing glasses. The offended party would turn round, see my friend with glasses on and then see me without. I’m sure I don’t need to point out who was always chastised for the yelled insult. Thankfully, It never lead to me being punched or beat-up but if looks could kill I would be dead fifty times over by now. I put this ‘trick’ in one of my short stories. There are lots of real life incidents that can make for interesting reading. If you remember it, then by definition it’s memorable. Chances are someone else will see the humour, the joy, the sadness, the awkwardness or whatever the case may be too. There are countless novels in your memory bank, the hard part is working out how to best utilise the material you have stored there. I used my “hey, four eyes!” memory in a short story called ones boy’s war. I think it made for a brilliant read but hey, we would all love to write our own reviews, right?

What’s it about –

The children of duty & justice interweaves fantasy, romance, politics and religion with mental illness, gender relations, and broken families.

The book follows Osyron Rymore as he leaves the family home to find his way in life. He joins the marshals (the law) in the hope of seeing justice done and being someone of worth in the world. However, it’s not long before world events outmatch one ideological boy and his honourable intent. All kingdoms have united into two empires that now sit tentatively side by side. Guided by scripture, Emperor Horim of Olbaid foresees an inevitable war and plots to strike before being struck. Horim hatches a plan to frame neighbouring empire, Miria as instigators to win support for his holy conflict. Despite a predicted death toll in the millions and a war expected to span decades, Horim see’s no price too great to shape his legacy and see off the preordained demonic invasion.

Due to this brewing war, most seasoned marshals are conscripted into the army leaving Osyron and fellow recruits with tasks that outweigh their experience. Opportunity is on the rise for criminals and a child trafficking ring is suspected to be operating in a coastal village in the far reaches of the empire. Osyron is sent alone. Here he meets Daniela Callahan, a fisherman’s wife who leads him on a journey further that any charted map and beyond all belief.

Additional info –

I have a deep love of the fantasy genre and wanted to create a medieval, fantasy world that incorporates and explores modern topics and issues. I wanted to write a novel that did not lean too heavily on fantasy elements just for razzmatazz sake. The idea was to keep real people with real issues as the meat and potatoes of the story and use fantasy as flavoursome gravy. I find there are too many novels that do it the other way around. At the very least I wanted to offer a fresh take on the traditional cornerstones of the fantasy novel, something a little different without sacrificing what makes fantasy such a well loved genre to begin with.

If anyone reading this is contemplating writing a novel or even a short story, then I urge you, do it. Don’t tell yourself you’re not a writer. You were not a walker once and if you applied that same logic back then you’d still be crawling today. It’s challenging but you can do it. Writing yourself off leads nowhere, writing a novel leads to be continued.

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Author bio – I was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland and still enjoy living there today. I worked as a stock auditor for seven years which involved travelling around the towns of Great Britain and Ireland. What may sound glamorous on paper were countless hours daydreaming out of a mini-van window. My first novel, ‘The Children of Duty & Justice’ is a direct product of those daydreams. Like a lot of folk, I wanted to write a novel but always dismissed the thought, telling myself. “But you’re not a writer.” This horse before the cart logic only pacified me for so long. I decided to test the waters with a short story, something light to gauge my aptitude with the pen, or as these are modern times, I guess the keyboard would be more apt. That short story became my 116,000 word debut novel. Maybe I was a writer after all, or perhaps I just really suck at short stories.

Wanderlust

Warm arms that never comforted

Cold heart that beats blindly for more

Lips that just wont satisfy the ache inside the soul

Wrap the blanket tighter against the cold

Shivering alone inside the darkness of my soul

Missing the raptures of new found love

The tempest of emotions that rage curiously

Exciting romance, springing to life for the first time

Or is it the last time? Is it another braking time?

Missing the thrill of a first mate on debut

Missing the jitters that go with laying eyes on someone new

The journey began waning falling off it’s course

Perhaps theres hope but neither knows for sure

Say you love, but I know better

Say you want this, but I know better

Say you’ll fix it, but I know better.

Presenting: Dauntless

Dauntless full cover

Dauntless is a coming of age story set against a fantasy background.  When Kacey Alexander turns 18, she finds out that she is a Mage, one of a long line of magic practitioners.  When Kacey’s mother dies, she leaves all of her belongings to Kacey, including a journal that details her past as a monster hunter.  When the details of her mother’s past come back to haunt her, Kacey must learn to master her powers and put together an unlikely alliance of friends to stop an army that threatens to destroy her city.

What inspired it:  I was in the middle of a long writer’s block when I came up with the idea for Dauntless.  One day my roommate Brandon and I were watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I complained about how TV and movies never had characters like her anymore.  Characters who were strong, sure, but who also had the ability to be weak.  Characters that were well rounded and experienced the full range of human emotion.  My roommate challenged me to write a character like that and, after many incarnations, Dauntless was the result.

Dauntless is a book that lets us know that family means more than just who we’re related to.  The strong bonds that Kacey has with her friends make them just as much family than her blood relatives.  In fact, more so.  Further the struggles that Kacey faces in finding herself in an unknown world mirrors a lot of problems people face when trying to fit in.

Find it on Amazon!
https://www.amazon.com/Dauntless-Thomas-G-Atwood-Jr/dp/1612967256

author portrait

Thomas Atwood Jr was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His love of writing was kindled early when his father gave him a copy of The Legends of King Arthur as an Easter present. These presents continued every year and he would devour them all. Soon he was developing further adventures for the characters to go on. When his high school teachers encouraged him to pursue writing, he embarked on a journey that would result in Dauntless, his debut novel.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tatwoodauthor/

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Check out his other books also available on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Dauntless-Thomas-G-Atwood-Jr/dp/1612967256