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.

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New Things

Hello followers and friends.
I have been out of pocket in many, many places.  But I hope to find my way Home.
Meanwhile, I have a new phone so I signed into my WP App for the first time just now.  It was strange.

I have a new laptop battery and power cord on the way!  ……so I haven’t been on my computer in almost a week.  I’m so behind on everything!
I ALSO have a new Vlog on YouTube!

My username is Skarletteetchings, and here is the link to my intro video! 

Prevent forest fires, friends.
Other new things…. hmmmm….

No.  Not really.
I can’t write lately.  My brain wont let me.  So much going on inside of it, and so little time to myself, it’s so hard having an imagination and the responsibilities of Life.  Meanwhile I live in the world of Eldegras in my head, but somehow I forgot how to extract it to the page.  So slow in progression lately.  It makes me sad.
I miss writing and expressing myself through the pen.

I miss sharing my thoughts here.

I miss having coherent thoughts.  Parenting and motherhood seems to destroy your ability to think, remember, produce anything more than macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes because you’re too tired to make that three course dinner you had planned… before the zucchini molded in the refrigerator.  You know, the one you bought last Friday that was supposed to be cooked on Monday?
Awesome things happening for my author friends though.  Books being publised, trips being planned, people being met!  Oh the joys of life.

A debut and promotion for Thomas Atwood is happening this week on the blog!  **highly dependent on when I receive my Life Packs to sustain my laptop……
Keep ya posted on new stuffses as it arrives.
Peace!

Don’t Judge Me

I see you there, waiting in line behind my conveyor belt of groceries.  My two children are ready to be home, and frankly so am I.

I pull out a little white card, and hope you can’t see.  Swiping it quickly, shamefully, I dive my hand into my purse so you don’t know what the card looked like.

Don’t judge me, please, as you watch my transaction in process.  You tap your button and glance at your display, I know you know.  Please don’t say anything.

I walk the aisle in the store, and purchase the same as I would if I were buying for my family.  We’re vegetarian and don’t drink milk–but we eat yogurt, eggs and cheese.  We drink coffee and herbal tea instead of soda and juice, we sweeten with agave and honey.
These things are expensive, I know.  It’s not my fault eating right is for the elite.  But I’m not going to stock up on junk food because it’s “cheaper”.

Don’t watch my hand dive in my wallet.  Please don’t look at me as though I’m a criminal.  I’m honestly just trying to feed my family, and my husbands income is not enough.

I’m not asking for a handout.  I don’t want your help.  We have barely been scraping by.  Our bills are paid, our rent is covered.  We put gas in the car …. once.  But now the money is gone, and we still have needs.  I don’t know how the laundry is getting washed.
The diapers were a gift.  Someone blessed us this month.
The trial is only for a little while, we expect to have it better soon.

My husband goes to school, and has a job.  I can’t get one too.  Right now, my job is Mommy.  Don’t judge my decision, it’s really not up to you.

I write, I draw, I can make use of my time.  Simple little ways to earn some extra money from time to time.  Though writing jobs are hard to find.  I’m subscribed to receive opportunities– and so are hundreds of other writers.

I teach.  However I have no college hours, substituting is out of the question in this town.

I came out of poverty, and have to poverty returned.  A degree would have been of no use, I wanted to be a youth pastor.  Ministerial degrees aren’t in high demand.

Don’t judge me.  You don’t know where I’ve been.  I only wished I’d never be in that place again.  But we are.  And you don’t know how hard we work to fix it.

My husband is at school on scholarship.  Thats the only way he can go.  Being in the military, you’d think he’d have earned more respect.  This isn’t the same Military it was in 1945.  This isn’t the same America either.

We’re fighting to make our way, and pushing really hard.  The numbers aren’t rounding up, they continue to plummet instead.

I’m a white American woman, married, with two kids.  A soldiers wife, proud and strong.  A minister fighting for the Kingdom.  I’m the Warrior cast.

….but right now we’re in need.  So unless you have the magical ability to feed my family with two loaves of bread and five minnows–until our boat comes in– I suggest you go judge someone else.  I’m not in the mood to feel anxious over what you think of me.

Endless Screaming

The voices in my head.
The baby in her bed.
The toddler in the hall…..
Someone silence it all.

I’m so tired, I’m so done.
I just need somewhere to run.
Make it stop! Send relief!
I feel like I can’t breathe.

One will stop, the other start.
They’re tearing my skull apart.
It’s ringing in my ears,
Driving me to tears.

If anyone can hear me,
Come and make it stop.
Why can’t they let me be?
Night wont seem to drop.

Go to sleep, just let me rest!
Please stop scratching at my chest.
Silence your shudders and cries.
Close your mouth, close your eyes.

Drift away and give me a break.
I’m losing my mind, for goodness sake.

Church Hunting

It seems the worst thing a person could put themselves through, is the experience of church hunting.  Finding a place to call “Home”, and a church “Family” to be apart of.

Several things that stand out as you walk into a church, is the interior.
Where are your children going to be during service?   Is it easy to find?  How many hallways do you have to wind through before you find it?
Where are the restrooms?
Is there carpet?  Is there concrete?
Will your expensive cup of hot coffee have to cool in the car while you sit through over an hour of service?

The next thing people note, are the people.
They look friendly, but are they going to talk to you?  Is the church even small enough to know when there are guests?
Will the Greeters be the only people who make your acquaintance?  Will they care if you come back next Sunday?
Are you going to meet somebody genuinely interested in who you and your family are?
Will the person who told you you can’t have your coffee in service be the only person who reaches out to you?

And then you sit down, and service starts.
Why do churches spend so much money on a sound system, when no one knows how to use it?
Either the acoustics are too loud, or the sound is muddy, or you can’t hear the vocals…..
People around you worship God, oblivious to you and who you are.  Wrapped up in their moment– not even realizing you’re there for the first time.
Never taking the moment afterward to reach into your Life.

People don’t go to church to sit through service.  They go to find people who will connect with them and help them find the things they are looking for.
They come in, wanting to be poured into, and leave empty.
When the emptiness continues, time after time, eventually they stop trying to find something new.  They stop going altogether.

The “greeting” comes around.  Your hand might be shaken, you might be nodded at.

And then the pastor gets up.

Now, going into a non-denominational church presents several problems.

1) The pastor is waaaaay too Charismatic, and you sit through what feels like a televangelist service.  It includes prophetic “messages”, or escatology and “the end is upon us!”
((Which I believe is highly possible….. but not quite the same as they do))

2) The pastor starts mistranslating scripture, taking things out of context and pushing modern ideology instead of sound theology held strong through the ages.

3) The pastor goes into political moments and asks for the wrath of God to fall on our Nation’s leaders.  Also not biblical.

4) Prosperity preaching.

Non-denominational churches seem like they all spring out of the Pentecostal movement.  Where are the Spirit-led, Baptist background churches with sound theology, but openness to the Gifts?

5) Universalism

At any rate, it’s so hard to find what you’re looking for, when there are so many options….  and you’re tired of looking.

I’m tired of looking.
I’m tired of going to church, never being talked to.
I’m tired of going to church and only ever being talked to by the guy who tells you you can’t have your coffee in service.

The lack of friends in my Foresaken home in the High Plains becomes even more than obvious as our second child prepares to come into the world and we lack EVERYTHING for a little girl, because the first was a boy.

The lack of a church Family with people we can talk to as our life stands on the balance of Change, is also highly frustrating.
Man was not intended to be alone.  Even Jesus surrounded himself with friends.

Jesus was highly extroverted.  He was a natural people person and confident in who he was.
Unfortunately, mankind is not at all like Jesus.  And you walk into a new church and walk out of a new church still waiting to be reached into.

My Life As A Human Spawn Point

Going back to Mommy Ramblings for a moment, the trip to Ohio wore me down.  Normal things, such as getting out of the car, eating, and sitting were uncomfortable.  Why is it when you’re pregnant, bloating is ten times worse?
Rest Areas are usually found every 76 miles, but sometimes that’s just not soon enough.
I remember being pregnant with Isaias on the road to Ohio, we always stopped three miles BEFORE every Rest Area.
This is the second time I’ve had to travel across the country pregnant, for a death in the family.   My doctor said I’m not allowed to have the baby this time, but considering I still have 16 weeks of pregnancy left, I don’t see that being a problem

Between trying to raise a toddler, spawning a baby, and being away from home I am worn out.  My poor son probably thinks I’m the Thing From The Black Lagoon first thing in the morning, what with having to give up coffee.  I sneak a cup in here or there, but honestly that’s probably doing more bad than good to my sanity.
Why is it that when we have children, we feel as though our sanity has disappeared?   I am a Stay-at-home mom which makes my loss of sanity that much worse, as I literally spend every waking hour – and more – with my child.  The husband is off and away for everything and anything while I am at home raising his family.  When God cursed Eve and said, “I will increase your pains in child bearing” what he meant was, “When you’re on your period, it will be hell.  When you’re pregnant, it will be hell.  When you’re giving birth, you’ll wish you were dead.  When you recover from birth, you’ll hate yourself.  When you raise your child, you will love your child, but Free Will means your kid is going to push every button in your emotional body, and it will be hell.  Then, you’ll get pregnant with the next one and the cycle will plunge you into insanity.”

…..so, maybe he didn’t mean that, but heaven and all its occupants know I’m not prepared to have two toddlers running around testing my patience every chance they get.
Did I mention I’m having a little girl?
I get the best of both worlds,  but I’m going to endure Night and Day difference the moment she develops her personality.  I look forward to having a baby again,  but then I remember they grow up.

When you’re pregnant,  you really have to pick your battles with your toddler wisely.  There isn’t enough of you to go around.  Literally.  Your body is growing another child, and it slowly suckles away your energy, your ability to move quickly,  your ability to think clearly, and your ability to keep your emotions balanced ((I don’t know, maybe that’s just me)).
I’m tired.  I’m worn out.  I’m just ready to have my body and it’s needs back.  I went from breastfeeding, back to pregnant with only a month in between.  ((My husband couldn’t handle the thought of the depravity of his wife on our Anniversary.   I said I didn’t want to get pregnant.   But men have this way of guilt tripping you for holding out on them during important days in your relationship.   An anniversary is a pretty big thing to have to skip out on, apparently…..  like he couldn’t have waited two more days…..))
The things that comfort and care for me are coffee, and the occasional Mikes Hard Lemonade, or red Moscato.
I also thoroughly enjoy rigorous exercise, yoga and pursuing a slim, toned figure.
Those are the things I do for me.  Things that I have to wait for again.
Why is it that the things we love most are the ones we have to give up so we can bring children into this world?
When do I get to be me again?
When can I look in the mirror and love how I look?  How I feel?

Am I the only one who feels like this?  Should I feel guilty for needing to do for me, when I have to look after everyone else?  Why must coffee be a “guilty pleasure”?  Or two glasses of wine on the occasional Saturday night dangerous?
This is the punishment we endure for nine months, when the hormones are raging, the toddler’s misbehaving,  and the husband won’t do his share to make things easier.
Somebody tell me it gets better.  Because right now, I don’t see it.  And I’ve still got 16 long weeks to go.